Politics > Determining Political Choice > Review Political Choice > Varieties of Government

Varieties of Government

Government can be assessed in terms of the way this framework is used.
Note: This page assumes an understanding of Political Maturation.

Authoritarian Regimes

Pressures on Governments

A Stage-1 Political Society has not matured politically at all. The challenge for the regime is to ensure stability while strengthening the country, despite the government's use of repression and oppression—hence the label «authoritarian».

Stage-1 Pragmatic-Pluralist societies are tough places to be a political player.Closed Calls for «democracy» take on a different appearance in the present frame of reference. The term is used vaguely as a rallying cry—often to put a different set of Stage-1 elites into the top spot.

Genuine change requires the main features of the legitimist mode to be instituted; and that means:Closed power-shifts and wealth-shifts via rule of law. Talking about these shifts (to happen when «the people are ready», of course) is different from wanting these shifts or making them happen.

Tentaive assessment of the global situation as at August 2009 showing a distinction between the West and emerging societies. Tree showing upward and downward  influences in the Tree of determinants of political choice.

In this modern era, many current Stage-1 Pluralist-I Societies are under pressure to move towards a Stage-2 Legitimist ethos. Until they do this unequivocally, the societies will be periodically subject to social disruption, even revolutionary turmoil, as discriminated and non-enfranchised groups protest. In modern times, it has got somewhat harder for government to stay at Stage-1, ignore laws, trample over human rights, and repress all dissent—but it is still quite common.

ClosedCL3: Elite Interests

Even if a government merely leans towards authoritarian (i.e. applies rule of law flexibly, limits enfranchisement), the CL3-private self-interest of the elites will over-ride any sense of their obligations. In such societies, virtually no-one in power will be trusted, or even expected to act for the good of society: something like this seems to apply in Thailand.

ClosedCL4: Government Choices

CL4-Government choices often have rather limited rational or consultative components; and politicians stay a long way away from where their decisions have effects. So there will be damage to the environment and to whole villages or towns due to «tragedy of the commons» effects, free-riding, and just dumping «bads» on the public because it is expedient.

ClosedCL5-CL7: Concerns of the People

The management of CL5-Public opinion may be attempted forcefully via restriction or distortion of statistics, internal propaganda, and control of media. Ways to distract people and activate positive moods will also be developed. Society will suffer if its CL6-unifying spirit is in disarray and people become too disillusioned with politicians, policies and political efforts.

Governments will then have much difficulty in addressing what individuals, communities and groups actually CL7-need for a decent life. Neglected or severely disadvantaged communities often depend on philanthropic efforts and committed workers locally, and possibly from abroad to provide basic education, sanitation, and health-care.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 27 Jan 20103.9c Step 2 Comparing Ethical Choice Approaches.htm

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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