The previous chapter had laid out the conditions required for creating our human environment. We will now discuss the structures necessary for supporting those requirements. But before we begin, let us first set a suitable precedent and an expectation for what is to follow in this chapter. Otherwise we may fall into a position where we may fail to recognize what is being proposed and perhaps even fail to comprehend the intent of the supporting framework, as the term may be too amorphous to grasp without a prior explanation. Let us therefore start by defining what we mean by a societal structure.
Most of us are either biologically inclined or psychologically conditioned to think of societal structures as something that simply exists; perhaps built and instituted by others and that we have no part in driving their construction, their maintenance, or their transformation. We are led to believe that we are each born into a system or a combination of systems where we are but minor players with limited control over something so large as the machinery itself, which places its barriers in our lives and erects walls against those risky forces awaiting beyond our enclosures for our own benefit. This type of thinking unfortunately is not what we mean by a societal structure, and it must be left behind going forward. Instead, let us consider that we are each responsible for abiding by the structures around us or to reject them and to construct something better. We are all active movers in the functioning of the systems we interact with and it is up to us to direct the applications of these external supports. Without this shift and a willingness to cognitively leap beyond our set boundaries, we will not be able to envision anything beyond what we do not preconceive to be our strictly bound limitation of understanding.
The second point we would like to make is that we often think of societal structures as institutions or black boxes that provide certain essential functions, which we must all abide by for the common good. We often believe that all such structures are built on well thought out processes and rules, and hence they must be correct and well suited to managing our complicated problems. The bigger the machinery, the more moving parts there are, each of which must adhere to more complexity as demanded by the structural integrity of the machine. We often believe the same is true for organizations. The larger the organization, the more bureaucracy it requires as it needs proper methods and procedures to manage its complicated flows of activities. Compensation demands that flexibility is lost with size, while stability is made possible with rigidity. Efficiency is lost with bureaucracy, while predictability improves with additional controls. There is an optimal size for everything but there also exists its breaking point. It is difficult for anyone to determine what the correct set of parameters must be to achieve a successful system of human organization, and we cannot claim that certain formations are better than others, nor can we assume that these black boxes are altogether infallible or irreplaceable in their monolithic importance. Therefore rather than limiting our options to our altogether prevalent inclination for creating governing abstractions, we must instead consider whether better alternative interactions and cooperation can create improved coordination among the individuals of our society. We will hence deliberately avoid equating the proposals with any form of organization or box-container type of thinking. The box is always there if needed, but we must try to avoid the habit of packing our ideas into their prettily adorned and heavily invested caskets.
Thirdly, we must be cognizant of the fact that how societal structures are established and how well they function depend mostly on the nature of the individuals who belong to them, their values, and their culture. It is always possible for an individual to affect change, no matter how small or insignificant they may be perceived or perceive themselves to be. In all cases, it is the imperative of the capable to fix what is broken, to replace what cannot be fixed, and to create something new altogether by offering better solutions; for we who understand each other do not jealously belong to any organization that is disjointed from the reality of our common human organism. Our loyalties first and foremost belong to humanity itself and there is no other artificial abstraction of our making that can be placed above our allegiance. Therefore establishments and institutions that do not work to create those environmental conditions we require are to be considered dysfunctional, sub-optimal, or downright defective. We have our own common values, and we each have our shared culture, and we know what we want. Let us not lose sight of what is important in our pursuit of working societal structures for limited and confined organizational successes.
Lastly, all human organizations are centralized expressions of power and therefore they are all without exception, prone to corruption. This has been a recurring theme of humanity that has occurred without fail for every generation, consistently impacting every single individual throughout all of recorded history. It is certainly not something we can fix by creating better organizations nor can we prevent it entirely with carefully placed controls and fail safes. It is also somewhat inevitable as human nature and group think assures the organization's self destruction by accumulating the personal failings of its individuals and thereby relentlessly eroding away its founding principles. We must instead learn to recognize and to provide the means to effectively fight corruption whenever and wherever it appears and that power does not remain stagnant in concentration for long. This statement is of course also applicable to the proposed structures in this chapter and we will discuss the subject for each of them. In the next following chapter however, we will return and focus in detail to elaborate on this topic and its frequent forms of manifestations in human organizations as justifications for imposing power structures that insist on their own versions of law and order.
Our proposed societal structures will be presented in a uniform format, where we will discuss its aims, the prerequisite conditions for achieving success, the positively helpful effects that can aid in their functioning, and the negatively harmful aspects that can interfere with their proper operation. The proposals will be presented abstractedly and broadly to avoid limiting the applications to the instruments of the zeitgeist or to the mentality of the current generations. And we will refrain from guiding the implementation possibilities as much as possible as that is likely subject to change under many different circumstances. They are also not to be be limited to formalization of rights or the basis of key institutions erected for centers of command. They are instead to be understood as innate parts of our culture, which we as individuals believe are crucial to having the kind of lives we want to live and as something we wish to pass on to the next generations.
One final word before we begin. We have repeatedly insisted that the focus of this effort needs to be on the individual rather than on groups. Even though this has been said repetitively over and over, we must repeat it once again in case the point has still not reached understanding. Our societal structures exist for its individuals rather than for groups. We must remind ourselves that group thinking and generalizations must not make a resurgence when considering these supportive systems. Doing so will assuredly devolve our thinking to concepts adhering to mass, mob, and hierarchical mindsets, which in turn would lead to the degradation of our quality individuals to the level of the chief common denominator. Instead, the proposals should be viewed as the responsibility of each individual to take part in realizing their own manifestation, to provide for those who are unable or unwilling to take up the challenge, and to support other capable individuals in our shared effort to sustain our human environment.