Politics > Political Life in Society > Social Responsibility is Political: CG1

Social Responsibility is Political: CG1

Social Life entails Responsibility

Political choice is associated with political activities that generate questions like:   What should I be doing? What are they doing? What did that politician mean? Why is that happening? What can the government do?

The first «Grouping» (CG-1) in political life begins to answer these questions. It proposes that: everyone must assume political responsibilities. This refers to a duty to the society where we feel we belong, and usually where we also live and work.

Work to influence political choices requires many people to accept responsibility for their society. Because such responsibility cannot be forced but rather must be spontaneously and naturally assumed, the only accountability is to oneself. Does that remind you of anything? Closed It should remind you of ethics. Others may judge you and of course they will—but no-one can really hold you to account for your ethical choices except your self (i.e. your «conscience» or «internal standards»). Recall that we linked politics and ethics to identify the Framework needed to get this inquiry underway.

Oscillating Duality: In these Monads, a personal perspective reveals an alternation in focus. The odd groups/levels are subjective (in the sense that their handling is under your control and a matter of choice) while the even groups/levels are objective (in the sense that they are a social given and not dependent on your judgement).

THEE Note:Closed Each Group in the Grouping is associated with a Level identified in the Tree of Political Choice. By adopting the perspective of personal responsibility, the Level quality and naming changes slightly from that used in developing the Tree.

Recognizing 7 Levels of Political Responsibility

7 arenas of political commitment where people can and must recognize their responsibility.

► Group Power: CG-11

Political responsibility focuses on group power because that is the only way to ensure your own security in society.

Group power refers to the ability of any group to obtain, maintain and potentially increase its (or its members’) share of society’s available social goods.

The pluralist mode in political choice made it evident that everyone in society must depend on the power of one or more groups that share concerns for financial well-being and social status.

This is a subjective focus… Closed i.e. you might decide that your interests are best served by your profession, or the status of your socio-economic class, or a particular advocacy group. In accord with a pragmatic-pluralist ethos, you can decide to change your group e.g. by taking up a new profession, or joining a different political party. You could even start a membership body for people with like-minded interests (if nothing suitable already exists).

► Rule of Law: CG-12

Political responsibility focuses on the rule of law because that should provide each citizen with protection from coercion by others and (at times) the State.

Rule of law refers to the application of a system of regulations and orders valid within a society and backed by governmental force.

The legitimist mode in political choice aimed to control use of power by the most powerful groups in society. Exactly the same thing holds in regard to participation.

This is an objective focus… Closed i.e. the systems and life of the law in society are a given. Your opinions are not relevant. Your choices are limited to engaging more actively by working within law-related bodies, or actively opposing the rule of law.

► Official Decisions: CG-13

Political responsibility focuses on official decisions because they lead to changes or choices that impact on specific people or (sometimes) everyone.

Official decisions refer to any commitment with a social impact that is made by an authorized person or social body.

The individualist mode in political choice focused on obligations and interests of a variety of officials. Because we are focusing on responsibility, we refer here to decisions made by officials.

This is a subjective focus… Closed i.e. depending on your talents and qualifications, you can decide what sort of official to become, what sort of post to take up and what kind of societal work to pursue; and once in a post, you have considerable discretion within its terms of reference.

► Societal Issues: CG-14

Political responsibility focuses on societal issues because they reflect discontents or fears or hopes that could be harmful or destabilizing for most or all in society if not addressed effectively.

Societal issues refer to any focus, real or imaginary, that generates concern in society and possibly requires societal action.

The rationalist mode in political choice targeted solutions to problems, but from the present perspective it seems more appropriate to just refer to «issues» (which reflect concerns but may or may not be problems as such).

This is an objective focus…Closed i.e. something either is of general concern to many people or it is not. The degree of concern may vary and issues that are of deep concern for small groups may never become societal. In any case, the feelings and preferences of any single person are irrelevant to the wider consensus.

► The Public Interest: CG-15

The political responsibility focuses on the public interest because the good of each and all in society is the rationale for politics and government.

The public interest refers to judgements of what constitutes the general welfare of all members of a society.

The conventionalist mode in political choice dealt with public opinion, sentiment and practical adaptations of many or most people. From the viewpoint of responsibility, the political concern is consideration for the welfare of people in general—and the phrase commonly used for this is «the public interest». (In practice, the judgement immediately leads to promoting something claimed to be «in the public interest».)

This is a subjective focus…Closed i.e. you are entitled, just like everyone else, to your own view of what people «need», what constitutes «welfare», and what is good for the public. The idea that the public interest is an agglomeration of private interests is an attempt to objectify what is necessarily an intuitive and personal view. Many public interest groups provide sectional rather than comprehensive support for the welfare of all. The largest coverage is provided by groups serving «consumers».

► Moral Institutions: CG-16

The political responsibility is for society’s moral institutions because they provide for cohesion, cultural identity and unity.

Moral institutions refer to established value systems that engage with personal identity, ethical rules and social aspirations. (Reveiw the categorization.)

The transcendentalist mode in political choice dealt with cultural identity and personal principles, and these both relate to the natural moral institutions within a society for which a person can feel and assume a degree of responsibility.

This is an objective focus…Closed i.e. the moral institutions of society, like them or not, exist independently of any person and are unaffected because someone ignores, disagrees or rejects them.

► Communal Needs: CG-17

The political responsibility is for communal needs because these go directly to what is perennially required by everyone and (sometimes) currently lacking.

Communal needs refer to what communities, and each person within them, require to survive and thrive.

The communalist mode in political choice generated concern for present and future personal-cum-social needs. Some people in society must feel a sense of responsibility for determining and meeting these.

This is a subjective focus…Closed i.e. needs are latent and their identification and valuation is a matter of judgement, education, awareness and preference. In addition you are entitled to pick and choose amongst needs that seem most relevant or urgent to you.

This has been a long and complex page. However, it is of the utmost importance to identify and describe the Monads correctly. Why? Closed Because every other element in the Structural Hierarchy is constructed by combining these.

Check these supporting topics: 

Originally posted: August-2009; Last updated: 5-July-2014

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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