29. The Second Pillar of Society

The second pillar of a functional society includes all institutions of democracy and the organizations related to government and politics.  Excluded are those that are social institutions and organizations and those that are involved with controlling or managing the economy(ies) and those involved in financial business, which includes some aspects of profit-making organizations. 

“Functional” in these Posts means that the institutions and organizations of each separate pillar of society (social, political, economic/financial) functions in a manner that helps support that society.  Often we have seen where one pillar is dysfunctional while the other two pillars are functional.  Historically, the political pillar has been fraught with difficulties involving efforts by individuals and groups that strive to gain positions of authority, control and power by illegitimate means.  Bribes, kickbacks, favoritism, cronyism, blackmail and coercion have been used in the last 238 years, which work against the good functioning of society. 

“Tongue in cheek,” the moral and ethical low standard in politics has been to do whatever you can get away with without getting caught.  Yet, statesmen and stateswomen have also demonstrated exceptionally high levels of ethical and moral service, though that usually does not become evident until years and decades later.
We should not confuse the institutions of democracy with politics.  Politics has not set a good standard for emerging and developing democracies as the politics of mature democracies has not progressed beyond the appearance and behavior of small boys wrestling in the school yard.  There is much grunting and dust being kicked up but not much getting done in the classroom. 

Viewing 238 years of American politics, the increased education of the public and public awareness via an electronic media, and the discovery of the three core values of social sustainability, it seems timely to initiate an evolved process of democracy that builds upon what exists now.  If we take Peter Senge seriously, we could predict then that when we change the structure of democracy, that change will cause a change in behavior of citizens and leaders.  We could go further and even predict that citizens and leaders will begin to think in terms of the integrated systems of democracy and social sustainability, and behave accordingly.  (Senge, Peter M. The Fifth Discipline – The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.)