Interacting-for-Benefit > Generating Benefit > Authority & Stability

For Success 2: Authority and Stability

Authority and stability, essential for social cohesion, provide a foundation for personal well-being and the handling of change.

Authority demands and promotes stability becauseClosed whoever has the authority is generally unwilling to see any change.

Stability depends on and assumes authority and so,Closed there is always a danger of instability during transfers of authority.

Well-being Set

■ Authority is valued over Responsibility

These mentalities offer authority and stability, which create feelings of safety and equilibrium. A sense of control not only reduces anxiety, but also provides the needed context for being rational and responsible.

Disruption may come from anywhere, so these mentalities generally encourage a broad and roving attention span.

Moving up the diagonal reveals:

Handling Change:Closed Family members offer support when change is inevitable. Customs and ceremonial rites help personal and family transitions like births, marriages and deaths.

Handling Change:Closed Because the over-riding aim is to consolidate power and maintain control, either stability or change may be pursued. The hierarchy in which everyone knows their place and must perform makes it likely that the desired result will be achieved.

Handling Change:Closed Consensus is the stabilizing force enabling social change. If everyone participates, even tradition may be overcome or tyrannical power overthrown. Such change aims to distribute benefit, lessen feelings of inequality, and enhance group morale.

Handling Change:Closed Since the only constant is change, stability comes from aligning the personal will to the flow of events and social forces.

Productivity Set

■ Responsibility is valued over Authority

These mentalities advocate and produce change. They tend to reject, avoid, deny and disturb existing authority and, if not immediately destabilizing, the potential is always there.

Problems with Change:Closed The relativism and defence of new values are confusing and disliked. Eminently-sensible proposals that flout current sensitivities can generate outrage and abuse.

Problems with Change:Closed Sought-after reforms are intrinsically biased to the factional group proposing them, even though adherents believe, or claim, they seek the good of the whole. Often proposals are too radical or too extensive.

Business is socially destabilizing because:Closed
● Unhindered commercial activities and financial flows generate change, willy-nilly.
● Differences in capability and opportunity produce wealth inequalities, which may either exacerbate or run counter to the existing class/power structures.
● Money can be used to disregard or evade laws and societal authorities.

Originally posted: July 2009

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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