Society - "an organised group of persons associated together for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes; a body of individuals living together as a community."
Community - "a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and have a common cultural and historical heritage; a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests."
In addition to the above two definitions of social gatherings, I find that I must create an additional specific term, to more accurately reflect the kind of social gathering to which the discussions that follow will apply. I thus introduce the concept of a "Social Unit", to mean a specific kind of social gathering.
Social Unit - "any group of individuals (of any species, including human) that are gathered together for the purpose of co-ordinating individual efforts towards a mutually desirable goal, such that each member of the group benefits to some degree from the joint effort.
This definition is phrased as it is, to allow the inclusion of non-human species within its scope (a pride of lions, for example can be regarded as a "Social unit" within this definition). But for my purposes here, I will be using the concept of "Social Unit" exclusively to describe a collection of Human Beings. As you can see from the definitions with which I start this section, a "Social Unit" is merely a specifically constrained variant of a community and a society. The specific distinction I wish to make between what I am defining as a "Social Unit", and the commonly defined society or community, is drawn by the characteristics of cooperation and the co-ordination of effort towards mutually desirable goals.
Almost all social groupings, whether they also qualify to be called communities or not, can be called Social Units. Examples of this form of Social Unit include the Boy Scouts, a Bridge Club, the community of HAM operators, a street gang, a political party, a municipality, and a nation-state.
The only form of grouping excluded from this definition, are groups where the individual members of the group do not consider that they obtain any benefit from the co-ordination of efforts, or where the goal of the effort is not regarded as desirable by the members of the group. In other words, communities that are specifically excluded from the definition of Social Units are groupings where the membership in the group perceives no benefits from participation in the group. (And of course, the perception need have no real relationship with the true nature of things.) Slaves and other forms of serfdom, prison populations, and some (but not all) forms of dictatorial nation-states, for example, would be explicitly excluded from this definition. The discussions that follow are not applicable to such communities.
The examples I have cited of non-social-unit communities may encompass numerous Social Units within them. However, they cannot themselves be considered as Social Units. Consider the prison population. Within a prison there will be many gangs, each of which can be considered a Social Unit, and to which the following discussion does apply. But the entire prison population cannot be considered a Social Unit because its membership is involuntary, the goals of the prison population as a whole are not the goals of any individual prisoner, there are no perceived benefits to be had through membership in the population, and there is little sharing of common goals and values
Many dictatorships or other forms of tyranny, however, can be classified as "Social units" within this definition, as long as the goals of the co-ordinated efforts of the social unit are generally regarded by the membership as desirable. Within such non-voluntary social organisations, although the individual members of the group might have little if any say in the direction and co-ordination of efforts, and may not reap many of the benefits of that cooperation, the raison d'être of the organisation is still recognised and accepted as cooperation for mutual benefit. The population of such a non-voluntary organisation still participates in, and contributes efforts towards the achievement of the goals of the organisation, because there are still perceived to be mutual benefits, however slight, to be gained.
All members of any society or community that is also a Social Unit, must be perceived by its members to share, to some extent, a common conception and desirability of the goals of the community. Individually, the membership may not fully agree on the details, or on the exact degree of desirability. But there must be some degree of generally accepted common agreement on the overall goals, and on their overall desirability. It is more important that this commonality of interests be generally perceived to be common, than that they actually be common. What matters is that each individual member of the social group conducts him/her-self as if everybody else is in agreement with the desirability of the particular goals and means being pursued.
Thus, within any particular Social Unit there will always exist a certain subset of individual Value Patterns that are recognised by each member of the group as being more or less common to all members of the group. This set of Social Values will be assumed by each individual member to be more or less the common sub-set of the individual Value Patterns of the membership of the social unit. Even if the set of social values is not, in fact, a relatively common sub-set of the individual values, the set of social values will be treated as if it were a true amalgamation of a meaningful subset of the individual value patterns of the members of the group.
I must emphasise again that it is not necessary for the set of Social Value Patterns to actually be common among all members of the group, merely that the set of social values must be generally considered to be common. There are a number of significant ramifications of this assumption that I will explore later. At the moment, however, it will be sufficient to point out that the one characteristic that most separates members of a social unit from non-members, is the set of value patterns that is considered to be common ground among individuals. This identifying characteristic is as true of your local Boy Scout troop as it is of the United Nations.
Law - "(1) body of enacted or customary rules, recognised by a community as binding; any rule or injunction that must be obeyed; (2) the principles and regulations established by a government and applicable to a people, whether in the form of legislation or of custom and policies recognised and enforced by judicial decision; (3) any written or positive rule or collection of rules prescribed under the authority of any government; (4) the controlling influence of such rules; the condition of society brought about their observance."
The set of Social Values is employed by the Social Unit to evaluate or establish the desirability of social behaviours, in the exactly same fashion that individual value patterns are employed to evaluate the desirability of individual behaviours. The set of social values reflects the degree of social desirability that the group attaches to specific behaviours. Since the purpose of the social unit is cooperation and co-ordination towards the achievement of some set of mutually desirable goals, particular behaviours will be regarded as more or less desirable depending on how they contributes to, or conflict with, the group's achievement of those goals. As a consequence of these social values, every Social Unit, regardless of its size or purpose, establishes certain restrictions on the behaviour of its members. These restrictions are intended to identify the behaviours that the group regards as conflicting with, or supportive of the achievement of the group's common goals. In the case of major conflicts with the goals, these restrictions on individual behaviour are generally codified in some form as "laws".
The "laws" of the social unit are established in some form, written or traditional, so that each member of the social unit can be made aware of which individual behaviours will be approved of or disapproved of, by the other members of the group. The system of laws also outlines what penalties the other members of the group will exact for disrupting their efforts. These penalties will, in turn, be considered by a rational member of the social unit, whenever contemplating which behaviours to enact. The purpose of the penalties, is to raise the probable costs to any individual considering some proscribed behaviour, so that it becomes less likely that following such disruptive behaviour will be considered in the individual's best interests.
It has been established that it is every individual's innate nature to pursue the perceived best interests of that individual's gene-plasm. Or, in more socially relevant terms and drawing upon some of the concepts described in earlier chapters, every individual will instinctively choose behaviours that will maximise the perceived satisfaction of his/her emotional needs. In any given situation, the individual member of the social unit will examine the available behaviour alternatives, and pursue that course of behaviour that the individual perceives will maximise the satisfaction of his/her emotional needs. Whether or not you personally accept the argument at this point or not, the social functioning of all social units depends upon the reality of this principle for the successful functioning of its system of laws. I have discussed at length, how the individual's use of rational analysis and a sound understanding of Reality's cause-effect relationships will determine how successful the individual is at achieving the intended result of long term maximisation of his/her emotional needs.
The purpose of associating penalties of some form with behaviour that is determined to be undesirable, is to provide input to each individual's calculations as to which behaviours are likely to achieve the individual's own desired result. The social unit will establish penalties for the display of behaviours that are considered disruptive to the goals of the social unit. The more disruptive the proscribed behaviours, the more expensive will be the penalties. For social units on the order of the local bridge club, these penalties might include censure by key opinion makers in the club, or expulsion in the most serious cases. For social units on the order of nation states, where expulsion is not a feasible alternative, the penalties are usually some form of physical restriction. It is the intention of the social unit that when the individual members contemplate a behaviour that is disruptive, the penalties that the social unit will impose are sufficient to deter the individual from following that behaviour. I will discuss this matter further in the section on crime and punishment.
To give the foregoing definitions some life, let us explore their meaning with respect to a group of people I shall call "The Club". The membership of The Club consists of a number of people, all of whom share something that they feel separates them from everyone else. The membership have agreed among themselves on some rules of procedure for managing The Club, and for organising themselves, and directing their common efforts towards some desirable ends. Periodically, the membership of The Club, through the processes they have previously defined, determine what particular goals the membership should be pursuing towards their common benefit. Almost all of the members of The Club (there are always a few swimmers against the tide) will agree in public, if not in private, that the thing they share makes them unique and truly separate from everyone else. And almost all of the members of The Club will agree in public, if not in private, that they are in general agreement with the aims and purpose of The Club. Members of The Club who will publicly admit that they actively interfere with the activities of the The Club, are relatively rare. (Of course, the larger the total membership in The Club, the more numerically numerous will be these nay-sayers.). Most of the members of The Club will agree in public (if not in private), that the currently chosen goals of The Club are "Good and Desirable" in principle if not in the details of practice. Most of what public dissention there is among the membership of The Club will be over the details of means, and not the goals being pursued.
As intended, by the definition I have detailed above, The Club fulfils all of the requirements of a "Social Unit". Moreover, I have described The Club in very carefully generalised terms. My description of this community could fit almost any voluntary association of people. Think of how by description of The Club would fit The Boy Scouts, or Girl Guides. How about your local Bridge Club, or Curling Club? And how does my description fit a Municipal government? Or even a Federal government? My description should sound equally valid if you substitute any of these or similar terms into the preceding paragraph in place of "The Club". The basic social principles in action in a Social Unit, are as valid in a 10-year-old's "Secret Gang" as they are in the operation of the United Nations.
Conflict: - fight; struggle; collision; clashing of opposing principle; opposition of incompatible wishes;
It is almost impossible to conceive of a Social Unit (with a set of values and goals) where every member of the social unit is 100% in agreement with what is supposed to be the shared or Common set of Goals and Value Patterns. It is inevitable in any Social Unit, that its individual members will have personal value patterns, and pursue personal goals, that conflict to some degree with the common goals and value patterns of the rest of the membership. The larger the membership of the Social Unit, the wider the cultural, educational, economical, and historical backgrounds of the membership, the more frequent will be the conflicts, and the more divergent will be the goals and patterns leading to these conflicts.
Such conflicting goals and values do not necessarily have to be of concern to the rest of the membership of the Social Unit. Most of the membership of any social unit will go about pursuing their own goals and following their own values, without significantly impacting the common goals and value patterns of the social unit as a whole. Only when these conflicting goals and values yield behaviour that directly interferes with the achievement of the Social Unit's professed common goals, or threatens the viability of it's common value patterns, does the rest of the membership have to be concerned. (Which is not to suggest that general public concern is never aroused over less serious issues.)
When such conflicting behaviour does arise, it can potentially have serious consequences for the Social Unit. In such situations, the membership of the social unit must resort to some form of "Conflict Resolution" process to minimise any negative impact on the achievement of the common goals. The two broad classes of behaviour that would pose a threat to the Social Unit as a whole are:
(a) behaviours that have, or would likely have, serious consequences for other members of the social unit (i.e. would significantly interfere with their achievement of their own individual goals, or the achievement of the common goals), where these other members have no direct way of affecting the initiation, progress, or outcome of the conflicting behaviours;
(b) behaviours, or threats of behaviour, that are in violation of "Basic Social Standards" (core parts of the common set of social value patterns), where consistent violation of these standards is deemed by the remainder of the Social Unit as threatening the achievement of common goals, or the viability of the perception that the professed "Social Value Patterns" are in fact a common or shared set of individual value patterns.
The first set of behaviours threatens the Social Unit by directly threatening the reason that members participate in the Social Unit. If the individual members of the Social Unit cannot go about achieving their own particular goals (including those common goals shared with other members of the social unit) and following their own set of values, they will find no individual advantage to continued participation in the Social Unit. Since the achievement of the common goals of the Social Unit requires the continued existence of the Social Unit, and those goals are deemed to be advantageous to all members of the Social Unit, it is necessary for the Social Unit as a whole to prevent behaviours that would encourage its membership to leave (either literally or figuratively). Therefore, when this interference might lead to an exodus of members from the group, behaviours that particularly interfere with an individual member's pursuit of individual goals are threatening to the Social Unit as a whole. This sort of disruptive behaviour becomes even more threatening to the Social Unit, of course, when the goals being interfered with are the common goals that are the justification for the existence of the Social Unit in the first place. And this leads us naturally into the second set of conflicting behaviours.
While not directly interfering with the achievement of common goals, conflicting behaviours can threaten the continued existence of the Social Unit by threatening the viability of the perception of a common set of "Social Value Patterns". The Social Unit remains a viable community working together to achieve common goals, only so long as those goals, and the value patterns that give those goals desirability, are viewed by the membership as a common ground shared among all members. If there develops a wide-spread belief that what is supposed to be a "Common" set of value patterns, is not in fact shared by a large proportion of the membership, then individual members will begin to doubt whether the other members of the Social Unit are working towards the same goals.
Given that the achievement of any of these goals requires the co-operative effort of the entire membership, if such doubts should arise, individual members will begin to view continued membership in the Social Unit as not worth the continued investment. Why continue to work towards a goal that no one else is working towards? Thus, behaviour that appears to deny the commonality of the "Common" set of value patterns is threatening to the Social Unit as a whole. If, this behaviour becomes frequent or wide-spread enough to suggest that the common set of value patterns no longer are common, or that the goals being pursued as mutually desirable are no longer so desirable, then the Social Unit will disintegrate. If you have any doubt about the significance of this effect, consider the disintegration of the Communist Empire in the 1990's.
Every social unit, whatever its size or purpose therefore, has to establish certain restrictions on the freedom of action of its individual members. These restrictions are intended to define and prevent behaviour on the part of the membership, that is judged (by the common set of Social Value Patterns) to be detrimental to the achievement of the common goals of the membership. As described earlier, these restrictions take the form of laws, either written or traditional.
To make the foregoing discussion a little more real and concrete, lets examine two examples of Social Units, and how they deal with conflicting behaviours. The two examples I have chosen are a local Boy Scout troop, and the nation-state of Canada. These two examples bridge the spectrum from a voluntary social grouping of young people, to a more or less in-voluntary grouping of otherwise indistinguishable people. By examining how these two totally different communities behave as social units, and how they deal with conflicting behaviours, I can hopefully make the preceding analysis more comprehensible.
A Boy Scout Troop is a good example of a voluntary Social Unit. The Boy Scout oath defines the "Common set of Value Patterns" in a very obvious way. It makes little difference whether or not all of the Boy Scouts belonging to the troop actually believe in, and behave according to, the values defined in the oath. They each operate publicly, as an individual, as if all of the other members of the Troop believe in them. Conflicting behaviours (so-called anti-social behaviours) are dealt with through a process of disapproval and censure. If the behaviours become threatening enough, then expulsion from the Troop is the ultimate penalty. The restrictions that a Boy Scout Troop places on the freedom of action of its members are defined in general terms by the common set of value patterns established by the Boy Scout oath. In more detail, they are codified by the Boy Scout Code of Ethics, and the rules and regulations governing the operation of the Troop. Behaviour on the part of any one member of the Troop that significantly threatens the benefits that other members gain from participation in the Troop, is not tolerated. Significant violations of the rules will quickly result in censure at least, and expulsion in extremis.
The nation-state of Canada is a totally different example of a Social Unit. As a nation-state, the set of common value patterns are partially codified in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and partially culturally determined from Canada's heritage of English Common Law. The nation is publicly governed as if these value patterns are common to all citizens, regardless of whether in fact they are, and regardless of what the governors may think privately or do behind closed doors. Behaviours that are regarded as threatening to these common value patterns, or threatening to the goals defined by these value patterns, are dealt with far more severely than in the Boy Scout Troop. The theoretically universal supremacy of what is considered to be the common set of values and goals, is used to segregate "citizens" from "criminals". Individuals whose behaviour grossly conflicts with the "common" values and goals of the nation, are defined to be criminals. Once a citizen is identified as a criminal, all sorts of punitive retaliation can be easily justified. And that same theoretically universal supremacy of the common values and goals of the citizens of the nation, can be used to justify all manner of means towards the achievement of whatever the governors choose to define as the "Common Goals". Since a social unit is supposed to exist for the cooperation and co-ordination of effort towards commonly valued goals, the government of a nation can impose extraordinary constraints on the freedoms of the citizenry, all in the name of achieving a commonly desired and valued goal. And since a nation-state usually claims the freedom and exclusive privilege to use force, violators of the rules can quickly face forceful retaliation, even death, for an open display of conflicting behaviour. Prime Minister Trudeau's invocation of the War Measures Act in 1970 to quell the nascent FLQ revolt in Quebec, is the now classic Canadian example of this principle in action.
Government - "The political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies or states."
The "Government" of any Social Unit consists of those individual members of the social unit that act "on behalf of" the other members, and whose decisions are regarded as binding within the defined scope of that social unit. Every Social Unit has a government of some form or other. It matters not how large or small the Social Unit, or what its purpose. The government of the Boy Scout Troop consists of the Troop Leaders and the Scout Master (and possibly others). The government of a local bridge club might be the person with the rule book, or the person at whose house the club is meeting. In a street gang, it is usually the one member who can convince the others that he/she is the toughest.
All governments, regardless of the size or nature of the social unit being governed, have three basic components. These components are:
1) Political Component - a method of aggregating the individual Value Patterns of its membership and extracting a set of more or less common "Social Value Patterns"; of expressing and interpreting the Social Value Patterns of the membership in order to determine what "Common Goals" are to be pursued; of defining the means and organisational structure through which the goals will be achieved; and of establishing the necessary restrictions on individual behaviour to minimise disruption of the common effort.
2) Executive Component - a method of co-ordinating and directing the common effort of the group towards those goals determined by the Political Component, of detecting violations of the behavioural restrictions imposed by the Political Component, and of imposing whatever penalties are associated with any such disruptions to the pursuit of the common goals;
3) Judicial Component - a method of settling disputes among members of the social unit in a way that minimises any resort to disruptive behaviour on the part of the membership; and of controlling the power of the executive component.
It is the function of the Political Component of any social unit, what ever it may be, to express the "Common Value Patterns" of the social unit. Through the inter-personal processes of politics, the individual value patterns, goals, and needs of the membership of the social unit are sorted, assembled, and balanced into a recognised set of "Common Value Patterns", "Common Goals", and Desirable Means, for the entire membership.
Every social unit, regardless of its nature, purpose or size, has a political component. It is often referred to as "The Political System". Every human organisation of more than two people quickly develops a process, with varying degrees of formality, that translates the set of individual judgements of what should be the common value patterns, into a set of recognised "Social Value Patterns" and "Common Goals". And, in the process, develops an associated set of recognised restrictions on membership behaviour. Within any political system, "Politics" is the inter-personal process by which individuals, each with their own set of personal "Value Patterns", goals and emotional needs, arrive at some commonly accepted "Social Value Patterns, and commons goals for the group.
"Politics" is the label given to the inter-personal interactions through which favours are traded for favours, and influence is exerted over the decision making process of the collective membership of the social unit. At any level of human intercourse, if you as an individual want the political processes to yield a personally desirable result, the art of persuading others to do or give you what you want, is the art of politics. And since a social unit is a group of people working towards a common goal, politics is essential to the setting of priorities, the selection of goals, the co-ordination of effort, and the smooth working of the group. Politics is the oil that lubricates the functioning of any social grouping.
The larger the population of the social unit, the more formal is the political component likely to be. In a local bridge club, it could be merely a casual get together to decide how to deal with a problem or opportunity. In a paternalistic society (an absolute dictatorship or monarchy), it might be the chieftain, gang leader, war lord, or high priest consulting with advisors and passing an edict. In nation-states, there is always a congress, or parliament of some kind. This is not to suggest that the political component in a nation state consists solely of the formal legislative structures. Even when the political component of the government of a social unit is quite formally defined, the formal portion will be the smaller portion of the full extent of the political component. A political system is both the formal structural organisations, and the informal network of influence, that translates the wishes and opinions of the individual members of the social unit into output in the form of laws, policies and co-ordinated actions towards the achievement of the common goals of the membership.
The population of every social unit can be divided into three general classes, according to how much influence they have over the political processes of the group.
(a) "Those in Power" - These are the individuals who currently occupy official or un-official positions of decision making in the governing processes of the social unit. The values, goals, opinions, and priorities of these people determine the activities of the government, and select the goals and means pursued by the entire membership of the Social Unit.
(b) "The Powerful" - These are the individuals whose opinions and interests can influence those actually in power. These are the members who seek to influence the activities and goals pursued by those in power, and who have sufficient strength of personality, power, or resources to be valuable allies to those in power. The powerful exchange favours with those in power, in return for support for those granting the favours.
(c) "The Powerless" - These are generally the majority of the membership of any social unit. In any social unit, most of the membership will not have things to trade with those in power for favours, or will not be interested in seeking those favours. In most situations, those in power, and the powerful, can safely ignore the interests and opinions of the powerless. The circumstances that cannot be safely ignored, are those where the powerless gather in groups. For in groups, the powerless can become powerful, and begin to wield influence over those in power. A group of otherwise powerless people, properly organised and directed, can join the ranks of the powerful. Unfortunately, such a group is also usually a single-issue gathering, and is relatively mindless. (Such groups, by the way, are themselves Social Units, and possess memberships that differentiate into the three political classes discussed here.)
The combination of "Those in Power" and "The Powerful" are often referred to as "The Power Elite" of the social unit. Individuals can become members of the Power Elite in two separate ways. First, they can acquire some form of political power base in the process of pursuing other goals. Typically, especially in Nation-States, this occurs when an individual, in the pursuit of personal wealth, is sufficiently successful in that endeavour that the relative amount of wealth becomes itself a politically powerful economic lever. When the other members of the Power Elite recognise this new power base, the individual who controls it is automatically included in the operations of the political processes. The control of a political power-base, no matter how acquired, automatically causes others possessing political power to consider the opinions and goals of everyone who controls such a power-base. The second method of acquiring political power, is the active pursuit of the support and cooperation of others. These are the "Standard politicians". An individual who acquires such a power-base purports to represent the people who support him/her in the matter of one or more topics. The power comes from the hypothetical threat of the group being represented acting en masse to achieve their aims.
The political component of a Social Unit is so important because a delicate balance must be maintained between the freedoms of the individual membership on the one hand, and the restrictions imposed by the political system on the other. The individual membership will not long tolerate restrictions that make their own personal goals difficult to achieve. Individual members of the Social Unit will always balance the desirability and benefits of the "Common Goals" of the membership as a whole, against the personal costs resulting from the restrictions imposed by the Social Unit. When the costs are perceived to be greater than the benefits, then the individual will begin to exhibit persistent disruptive behaviours. And the legislative structure will not long survive an environment in which disruptive behaviour impairs the achievement of the membership's common goals.
Consider, as a concrete example of this principle, the dissolution of the Communist Empire. In 1917, when the Bolsheviks seized control of what was then the Russian Empire, the concepts of Communism, and central state and party control over everything, had popular support. It was perceived and believed to be in the best interests of all members of the Social Unit that became the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was even believed to be in the best interests of all people, justifying the Communist drive to conquer the world. The generally accepted "Common Set of Social Value Patterns" and the "Common Goals" of the people of the USSR and the Communist Empire gave support to, and justification for, the centralist form of socialist government. But over the years, the membership of this Social Unit changed their own personal goals and values, and changed their perceptions of the benefits of and desirability of the expressed "Common Goals" of the Social Unit of the Communist Empire. As a result, the people of this empire began to display ever increasing amounts of disruptive behaviours. In the last few decades of the existence of this Social Unit, a common popular joke was "They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work". This joke encapsulates the attitude that working for the "Common Goals" of the social unit was no longer perceived as desirable, and was done to the minimum extent possible. Every attempt was made by the individual members to avoid investing in the common goals of the Social Unit, and instead pursue their own separate and more desirable goals. As a result, the economy of the Communist Empire collapsed, and what economic activity remained existed in the "black market". Only that small minority that directly benefited from the continuation of the status quo, supported the continued existence of the Social Unit. Finally, and inevitably, the membership of the Social Unit became so dissatisfied with, and unaccepting of the expressed "Common Social Value Patterns" and "Common Goals", that the social unit of the Communist Empire dissolved into chaos. From what was once the membership of a single unified Social Unit, arose a whole host of new Social Units, with new and different expressions of "Common Value Patterns" and "Common Goals". All because the Political System of the older Social Unit, did not keep pace with the changing value patterns and goals of its memberships; was not able to adapt the cooperation and organisation of the Social Unit towards the changing values and goals that were deemed desirable by the membership; and was able to enforce restrictions on disruptive behaviours with less and less success.
The government of every social unit also has a Executive Component. The function of the Executive Component is to actually do the required co-ordination and organisation of the efforts of the group, employing whatever means towards whatever goals the Political Component has chosen.
As part of this function, the executive component also must enforce the restrictions the Political Component has chosen to define on the behaviour of the membership. These defined restrictions on individual freedom will successfully exert influence on the membership (minimising disruptive behaviour) only to the extent that the value to be gained by an individual by violating the restriction is less than the penalties to be paid for getting caught. The more benefits can be gained from disruptive behaviours, and the less likely or severe the penalties that will be extracted if caught, the more likely and frequent will be the disruptive behaviours. It is one of the functions of the Executive component to detect proscribed behaviours, identify the individual(s) responsible, and exact the penalties defined by the "laws" put in place by the political component.
In most informal and semi-formal social units, such as the local bridge club, there is no formal Executive police force. The detective function is fulfilled by the membership in general, and the penalties likewise exacted by the common action of the membership. In more formal social units, and especially in nation-states, a Police force is a formally constituted organisation within the Executive Component, with defined powers and authority. The police force of a nation-state is unique, in that it is vested, by common agreement of the membership, with a monopoly on the use of force within the scope of the nation-state. It is one of the defining characteristics of a Nation-State social unit that such an empowered Executive Component organisation exists. In less formal social units, the executive component more usually makes use of moral suasion, and the force of social pressure. This is largely because most non nation-state social units exist in the social environment of a nation-state. Since the nation-state has reserved to its own executive structures a monopoly on the use of force, social units that exist within it cannot resort to that form of enforcement. This is not universally the case, however. There are many social units that exist within the boundaries of nation-states that would be regarded as "illegal" by the nation-state. Since they are in violation of the restrictions set out by the nation-state anyway, these "illegal" social units have no real constraints on their own use of force. Examples of this kind of social unit include various kinds of gangs, and the infamous Syndicate or Mafia. The possession of a semi-formally defined police force empowered with the use of force, is one reason why the Syndicate is frequently called a "State within a State".
Every social unit also has a judicial component. The Judicial component fulfils two related functions within the Social Unit. Its more "formal" function is to officiate over the identification of those accused of violating the laws of the Social Unit. Since it is the responsibility of the Executive component to identify those members violating the laws of the Social Unit, those members actively involved in the exercise of Executive functions are in an extraordinarily powerful position from which to exchange or extort favours from the rest of the membership. In order to minimise the disruptive impact that this power might have on the "Common Goals" of the Social Unit, every social unit develops a Judicial component to constrain the powers of the Executive component. The Executive function may initially identify that some member is violating the laws of the Social Unit, but it becomes the responsibility of the Judicial structure to formally recognise that identification, and to verify that the identification process is valid and done according to the rules. Thus the Judicial component usually becomes somewhat of a counter-balance to the Executive component, with the responsibility of ensuring that the Executive component does not become disruptive in itself.
Although the "formal" function of the Judicial component gets more visible attention, in any Social Unit the more common and more important function of the Judicial component is to settle disputes between members of the Social Unit. The "formal" function comes into play once the laws have been (apparently) broken. The less formal "arbiter" function comes into play before circumstances get that far. It is the purpose of the Judicial component as "Arbiter" to avoid the recourse to disruptive behaviours, by settling disputes and conflicts peacefully, in a manner that is acceptable to all parties to whatever dispute is involved.
The foregoing description of the three facets of the governing structure of any Social Unit might sound overly formal, and inapplicable to such informal social units as your local bridge club. But if you examine what takes place in any social unit, regardless of size, you will recognise that these functions are indeed taking place. The identification of an individual member with a particular role may be a lot more fluid, changing from minute to minute in the same discussion. But the functions are being fulfilled none the less. In your local Block Parents Association, as an example, some one member might raise an issue about another member disrupting the purposes of the group. A third member will almost certainly step in and act as an arbitrator and peace-maker, attempting to make sure that the accuser is not being capricious, that the accusations are indeed valid, and that the rules are being followed. If the issue results in a lengthy discussion among a number of participants, the roles of Plaintiff, Defendant, Executive and Judge may change from minute to minute as the discussion proceeds. But whoever is acting the "Judge" at any given moment, is attempting to fulfil the functions described above.
Nation - "a large number of people of mainly common descent, language, history, etc., usually inhabiting a territory bounded by defined limits and forming a society under one government."
State - "organised political community under one government."
A "Nation-State" is a particular kind of Social Unit. A Nation-State shares all of the characteristics of a Social Unit as defined and described above. In addition, as has already been alluded to, a Nation-State possesses a number of additional defining characteristics. The four defining characteristics that distinguish a Nation State from any other social unit are:
(1) a geographically defined territory - Most Social Units consist of a number of like-minded people who gather together for the purposes of achieving some common goal. There is nothing in the definition of a Social Unit that pre-supposes that the members of the Social Unit are, or must be, in any way geographically proximate. Indeed, if one considers the community of Amateur Radio Operators, the membership of this Social Unit is scattered widely throughout every geographical and political region of the globe. And when the Space Shuttle is in orbit, it occasionally carries a member of this club completely off the face of the Earth. Nation-States, on the other hand always consist of some defined geographic territory. All residents domiciled within that defined territory are deemed to be members of the Nation-State social unit.
(2) involuntary membership - Which brings us to the next defining characteristic of Nation States. Unlike most other forms of social unit, participation in the membership of a Nation-State is largely (but not entirely) involuntary. If you live in the defined geographic territory, you are considered to be a member of the Nation-State. You have no choice, other than personal geographic relocation. All residents of the defined territory are considered members of the Nation-State social unit, regardless of their personal opinions and attitudes on the matter.
(3) supreme authority of governance - The concept of "Supreme Authority" is also unique to the Nation-State form of social unit. Because all persons present within the defined geographic territory are considered members of the Nation-State social unit, the governing processes of the Nation-State operate on the principle that all persons present within its territory share the "Common Value Patterns" and "Common Goals", and therefore must adhere to the "laws" (restrictions on behaviour) of the Nation-State. Like any social unit, a Nation-State will not appreciate disruptive behaviours. But unlike other social units, the "Common Value Patterns" and the "Common Goals" of a Nation-State social unit are such as to define the social unit's governing structures to be superior to, and all encompassing of, any values, goals or laws established by any other social unit that may exist (in whole or in part) within its territory. As a result, other social units may acceptably co-exist within the territory of a Nation-State, only so long as the membership of these other social units operate on the basis that the "laws" of the Nation-State are supreme, and superior to those of their local social unit.
(4) exclusive use of force - And the reason that this is a practical attitude, is that the Nation-State social unit always reserves for its own Executive function, the exclusive privilege to use force against its own membership. It is a key defining characteristic of a Nation-State social unit that the use of force among its membership is prohibited. (This results from one of the universal "Common Goals" that is common to all Nation-State social units, and I will discuss this further in a moment.) The use of force is reserved, within the territory of the Nation-State, for the exclusive use of those parts of the governing structures that Executive the laws and protect the membership of the social unit against disruptive behaviours.
Tribe - "group of (primitive) families under a recognised chief, and usually claiming a common ancestor."
Although, in the modern world, Nation-States are fairly large gatherings of peoples, this was not always so. In fact the origin of the Nation-State is the Tribe. To understand how a Nation-State functions, and why it functions as it does, it is necessary to understand more about the nature of the Tribe. As you will see from the following discussion, the purposes and goals of a Nation-State are inherited from, and are the natural modern expression of, its tribal ancestry.
A "Tribe", as you can see from the above definition, originated back in the dawn of mankind's history. Even before Homo Sapiens arrived on the scene, our primate ancestors gathered together in troops that, even today, share many of the characteristics of the Tribe. The behaviour of mankind as a member of a Tribe characterises the great majority of our evolutionary history as a social animal. Man's history as a member of a Nation-State begins only three to five thousand years ago with the creation of the first City-State (a City-State being a smaller version of a Nation-State in that the geographic territory encompassed a single small city or town). If you consider that Man's social evolution has been in progress for at least a couple of million years, then you can see that our adaptation to life as a member of a Tribe, is at least four hundred times stronger than our adaptation to life as a member of a Nation-State. This is why the behaviour of Man as a member of a Nation-State is but a natural extension of our behaviour as a member of a Tribe.
The "Tribe" originated as, and still remains, a group of loosely related family members who gather together for the purposes of mutual assistance and mutual defence against outside threats. By and large, the Tribe would be headed by a single chief, or a small group of senior elders. The family units making up the tribe would be related to some degree, generally with at least one member of each family unit being direct descendants of the chief or senior elders. When the Tribe grew too large, it would divvy up the accumulated resources of the group, and split into two separate Tribes that would each go its own way. Studies by anthropologists of the few remaining tribal societies, suggest that when a tribe grew beyond 150 members, there was an increasing probability of a split. Sooner or later, one faction of the group would decide that the leadership of the Tribe was pursuing goals or using means that were undesirable. Or they would decide that the benefits to be gained from splitting into a separate Tribe would be greater than remaining to share in the benefits of the larger Tribe. The dissident faction would then split away under its own leaders, and become a new Tribe.
But why should individuals gather together in Tribes in the first place. By examination of the few Tribal societies left, and by extension from the examination of groups of primates and other animals in general, two basic driving forces become obvious:
(1) mutual protection - the number one reason that drives members of the same species together, is mutual protection. The more eyes watching, the better able the group is to detect predators. The more individuals fleeing a predator, the less likely any one individual is to be the next victim. The more defenders available, the better able the group to repel predators. And in a species like Man, where the child-rearing roles have been sexually segregated to some degree, a Tribe is better equipped to defend the women and children when it consists of a number of families, each with at least one defending male. And this arguement applies whether the predators involved consist of the local lion, or the neighboring tribe.
(2) collective food gathering - no matter what food gathering method is employed, it is easier and more resource efficient, if it becomes a collective effort for a number of co-operating individuals. If you are hunting, then hunting in packs is more effective. If you are gathering, then more eyes to see with, and more hands to collect with once the stuff has been seen, is more effective. And by obvious extension, if you are farming, then more hands to plough and reap are more effective. And so on, across the spectrum.
These then, become the "Common Goals" of any Tribe. And by extension, these are the "Common Goals" of any Nation-State. Of course, to be understandable in relation to Nation-States, these two common goals must be translated into terms and concepts that have meaning in the modern age.
Therefore, employing some relatively obvious translations and updating the Tribal concepts for the modern world, the two primary "Common Goals" of any Nation-State become:
(1) Mutual Protection - protecting the membership of the Nation-State from threats to its individual and collective welfare, from both internal and external agents.
(2) Welfare Maximisation - maximising the individual and collective welfare of the membership of the Nation-State.
Threats from "external agents" generally implies military or economic aggression from other Nation-States. In order to protect its membership from such threats, every Nation-State, without exception, builds and maintains a military force of some degree of effectiveness, and engages in International (meaning between Nation-States) Politics in order to use threats, persuasion and exchange of favours as a means of preventing such aggression. All of the many and various forms of International relations, intrigue, and conflict are justified and rationalised on the basis of protecting the membership of the Nation-State from the actions of other Nation-States.
Threats from "internal agents" fall into the two categories I discussed earlier when presenting the two kinds of conflicts that a Social Unit must deal with. The first category is "individualized disruptive behaviour" - behavior that threatens the specific welfare of other individuals, and may or may not impact in any significant way on the co-ordinated effort of the group as a whole. The second category is the non-specific "generalised disruptive behaviour" that threatens the viability of the assumption that the group is working together towards a mutually desirable goals. There is , however, another perspective from which to regard these disruptive behaviours. Such behaviours can be classed as:
a) disruptive behaviours that interfere with some other individual's pursuit of their own goals, including those goals that happen to be the Common Goals of the group. I will label this kind of disruptive behaviour "Theft" because such behaviour is almost always perceived by the person being interfered with as the taking of some wealth without proper compensation.
b) disruptive behaviours that, while not directly interfering with any other individual, are judged by the membership to be threatening to the continued viability of the "Common Social Value Patterns". I will label this kind of disruptive behaviour "anti-social", because it is disruptive to the entire social environment rather than to any one individual in particular..
The political justification for laws proscribing the more personalised "Theft" behaviours is easy to grasp. It is in the separate best interests of each individual member of a Nation-State to classify any behaviours that result in unwelcome interference in their own pursuit of their individual goals as "disruptive behaviours" that must be proscribed, deterred, and penalised when they occur. The remaining challenge to the political processes is the aggregation of many individual opinions as to what is regarded as "unwelcome interference", and the balancing of one individual's pursuit of their own personal goals, with another's desire not to be interfered with. In the absence of specific situations to examine, the general principle that would apply would be to minimise the constraints on individual behaviour to maximise the ability of each individual to pursue personally valuable goals, while simultaneously minimising the amount of mutual interference that occurs when two or more individual are pursuing conflicting goals or employing conflicting means. A simple concept in principle. But as anyone knows who is at all familiar with the complexities of the various legal systems in existence in the world, it is a very difficult concept when it comes to actual practice.
The political justification for laws against "anti-social" behaviour is more difficult to grasp, probably because such behaviours are not personal. The justification is based on the fact that each individual member of the Nation State shares in the pursuit of, and the benefits from, the "Common Goals" of the Nation-State. It is therefore in the best interests of the individual if every other member of the Nation-State is also contributing effort towards those Common Goals. The individual would thus consider that any behaviours that might imply that everybody else is not contributing towards those "Common Goals", would mean that his/her own individual return on the investment s/he is making in the pursuit of those goals is less than it otherwise would be. It is therefore in the best long-term interests of each individual member of the Nation-State, if such "disruptive" behaviours are minimised or eliminated. Even if the behaviour in question has no immediate impact on any one individual, behaviours that imply a less than universal commitment to the pursuit of the Common Goals is detrimental in some degree to each individual. Threatening the viability of the common perception that the "Common Social Value Patterns" are in fact common, causes an increasing doubt in an increasing number of the membership, that continued effort towards those Common Goals will in fact yield the promised benefits.
Like any other Social Unit, in order for the Nation Sate to translate the collective interests of its membership into specific "laws" that can be universally recognised by the entire membership, and enforced by the Executive component, the Nation-State employs a Political Component of some form that defines just what behaviours are considered "crimes". For Nation-States, the structures of the Political Component are usually referred to as the "Legislative Structures" of the society.
To ensure that all of the proscribed behaviours are detected, and the associated penalties exacted, the Nation-State, again like any other Social Unit, employs a Executive component, and a Judicial component. In a Nation-State, however, because of the relative size of the social group involved, these structures are generally more formally defined than in other Social Units. The Executive component is formally given the responsibility of detecting and apprehending any member displaying the proscribed "criminal" behaviours. Formally defined institutions are put in place so that the established penalties of various severities can deter the proscribed behaviours to the best extent feasible. And the Judicial component is embodied in formally defined structures and generally given the formally defined responsibilities to keep the defined structures of the Executive component under a degree of control.
To make the "laws" passed by the Legislative structures effective in defining and deterring those behaviours deemed undesirable, it must be generally accepted by the membership of the Nation-State that the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial structures are operating successfully in translating the values and goals of the membership into properly defined laws, deterrence processes, and penalties. If a sizeable portion of the membership does not accept the political effectiveness of these structures and the resulting laws, the Nation-State will experience increasing displays of disruptive behaviour. More and more of the population will ignore more and more of the laws that have been established, and be more and more blatant in their flouting of those laws.
Remember, the Executive component of any Social Unit is not just the formally defined structures. All members of any social unit have a part to play in the detection and enforcement (by social censure) of disruptive behaviours. The formally defined Executive structures of any social unit will become over-taxed and loose its effectiveness if increasing proportions of the membership of the social unit abdicate their role as part of the Executive component. The formal Executive structures becomes less and less effective at deterring disruptive behaviours, the larger the proportion of the membership of the social unit that refuses to play its proper part. If you have any doubt of the impact of this, remember again what has recently happened to the Soviet Empire. This is a very good example of what happens when the general membership of a Nation-State looses faith in the political process of the formal governing structures.
Each member of the Nation-State, as an individual, pursues a personal goal of maximising the state of their own personal prosperity (as it applies to their perceived probability of success in procreation and the proliferation of their own genes). The membership of the Nation-State co-operates and co-ordinates their joint efforts because in many ways it is more effective and efficient to pool efforts, than to work separately. It is in the interests of every member of the Nation-State to have the Nation-State establish and maintain conditions that will optimise the return on the joint efforts invested. The set of social conditions that define how individuals receive a benefit from their own personal investment of effort, is generally referred to as the "Economic System" of the Nation-State.
There have been many different forms of Economic Systems over the course of history. And there are almost as many Economic Systems employed today, as there are Nation-States in the world. The governing structures of each Nation-State have developed their own ideas of what particular conditions offer the best opportunities to optimise the return on the joint efforts of the membership. I do not intend to offer here an analysis of any of these various economic systems, except to say that each and every one of them was/is intended to maximise the total amount of wealth that exists among the membership of the Nation-State. Different economic systems express different attitudes about how best to distribute limited resources, and how best to produce new wealth. Certain forms of economic systems attempt to concentrate as much wealth as possible under the control of as few people as possible. And other forms attempt to distribute what wealth there is equally across the population of the Nation-State with little regard for incentives for new wealth production. There is a veritable continuum of possibilities between those two extremes. But regardless of the choice of means, the end that justifies their actions is the maximisation of the state of health and prosperity of its membership. The only differences are in how the concept of wealth is perceived, and the membership that is involved.
Given a certain amount of wealth, distributed unevenly throughout the membership of a Nation-State, there are essentially two approaches to maximising the total of the collective wealth. The first, and simplest way, is to permit and encourage "fair trade" among the membership of the Nation-State so that each individual can trade wealths that they value less for wealths that they value more. In this way, after each such fair trade, the total collective wealth will increase. It is therefore in the best interests of each member of the Nation-State if the economic system of the Nation-State maximises the ease of "Fair Trade". And by association, minimises the occurrence of Un-Fair Trade.
The second, and much more difficult way to maximise the total of collective wealth, is to create new wealth. A critical ingredient in the process of wealth creation is the skill or knowledge required to know how much of which inputs to put together in what way. It is in the best interests of each individual member of the Nation-State if the economic system of the Nation-State maximises the amount of wealth production that occurs. The existence of a certain minimum amount of Fair Trade is necessary but not sufficient to ensure a high rate of wealth production. Fair Trade is necessary so that the individual (or group) co-ordinating the wealth production can obtain the contributory wealths that will go into the production process. But also required is some compensation to the individual with the required skills or knowledge to put the ingredients together properly. And the compensation must be commensurate to the effort and risk involved. Like most tasks, wealth creation is generally hard work. But unlike most tasks, there is usually some degree of risk inherent in wealth creation. One little booboo separates a slightly soggy burnt offering from a tasty apply pie.
So in order to maximise the wealth that is distributed across the membership of the Nation-State, there must exist a maximum of "Fair Trade", a minimum of "Unfair Trade", and appropriate compensation as incentives for a maximum of wealth production. And finally, there must be some means of ensuring that the wealth that does exist, and is produced, gets distributed across the membership in what is generally accepted as a reasonably equitable manner. For if the wealth gets too concentrated, then the membership as a whole will loose the individual incentives in maintaining a "Fair Economic System". It is only in the interests of the general membership to maintain a "Fair Economic System" as long as the average individual member perceives some benefits from such a system. But if the wealths that exist and are created, get too concentrated in a small minority, then the average member of the Nation-State perceives little benefit in maintaining the Fair Economic System, and a large benefit in an economic system that re-distributes the existing wealths in a more desirable manner.
Desirability, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Which is what makes the different forms of economic system possible. A "Robin Hood" system of economics that takes from the rich to give to the poor is obviously more desirable from the perspective of the poor, than it is from the perspective of the rich. It is the operation of this latter principle that marks the operation of a Socialist or Communist form of economic system. These two closely related economic systems pay little attention to the incentives for wealth production, or Fair Trade. Their primary goals are the redistribution of what wealth already exists in what is perceived to be a more equitable manner.
Once the redistribution is accomplished, history suggests that the general membership returns to the collective opinion that a "Fair Economic System" is more desirable. For this reason, a Socialist or Communist economic system has historically been successful only as a transitionary stage. It will never be successful as a long term economic structure. In the long term, the production of new wealth will always be more desirable than the re-distribution of a constant amount of wealth simply because a tiny part of a growing pie will eventually become larger than an equal part of a non-growing pie.
Of course, even in a "Fair Economic System", there will have to be some restrictions on individual behaviour. It is in the best interests of all members of the Nation State, to accept restrictions that define behaviours that would result in "un-fair trade", or theft. Because even though a single individual could take advantage such behaviours to maximise his/her own personal welfare, the group as a whole would find it detrimental to their own individual interests in general if such behaviours were permitted of others. The basic principle in action here is: "It is OK if I cheat, but I can't afford to allow you to cheat. Therefore, I will accept restrictions on my behaviour that outlaws cheating." The result of this attitude applied to the group as a whole, is a general acceptance of restrictions on individual behaviours, that each individual would not have others free to pursue. It is the obverse of the Golden Rule: "Don't do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you!".
In addition to this rather obvious kind of restriction against personalised "Theft" behaviour, there is another "economic" set of restrictions that falls more or less are in the same category of "Theft" behaviour. This kind of restriction defines behaviours of economic agents (both individual and corporate), that the group as a whole would like to see executed, or avoided. A good example of this kind of behaviour, is the environmental protection laws. The standard capitalist economic system is not very good at making the producers of wealth pay the sometimes abstract costs of the environmental damage that is incurred. Therefore, Nation-States that adopt a somewhat capitalist economic ystem enact laws to extract these abstract costs in other ways, or define unacceptable behaviour in realms that cannot immediately be considered as theft. Much of the various forms of commercial regulation falls into this category. Package labelling, automobile safety, and so forth, are all attempts by the individual membership to enforce or prevent behaviours by other individuals that are deemed economically undesirable.
A "Social Unit" is any group of individuals who are gathered together for the purpose of co-ordinating their common efforts towards some mutually desirable goals. A "Nation-State" is a particular kind of Social Unit, where membership is defined more by residence within a geographically defined territory than by any sense of voluntary participation, and where the governing processes have assumed "Supreme authority" of governance along with an associated exclusive freedom over the use of force.
Within any Social Unit, Nation-States included, the governing processes can be separated into three parts. The "Political Component" is that portion of those governing processes that translates the individual and personal values and goals of the membership of the group into a set of "Common Value Patterns" and the set of "Common Goals" to be pursued by the group. It is also the set of processes that establishes the definitions of what the membership of the group will consider "disruptive" behaviour. The "Executive Component" is that portion of the governing processes that identifies those members who undertake behaviours defined by the group as "disruptive", and exacts those penalties that the Political Component has associated with those disruptive behaviours. And the "Judicial Component" is the portion that is both the counter-balance to the powers of the Executive Component, and the processes by which disputes among members of the group are resolved without recourse to defined "disruptive" behaviours.
In addition, the population of any Social Unit, Nation-States included, can be divided into three general classes according to the degree of influence exerted over the governing processes of the Unit. The population can be broadly divided into the small group of "Those in Power" who directly control the various portions of the governing processes; a larger group of "The Powerful" who influence and trade favours with those in power; and the majority who are "The Powerless" and have little direct influence on the governing processes of the Social Unit.
The larger the membership of a Social Unit, the more formal become the various structures of the three components of the governing processes. And the larger the Social Unit, the more formally defined become the definitions of "disruptive" behaviours. In Nation-States, because they are the largest kind of Social Unit, and because of the unique nature of the concept of membership in the Social Unit, the degree of formal definition of both governing structures and "disruptive" behaviours reaches its peak.
None the less, all of the actions of any Nation-State's government, are actions taken by the governing processes of a Social Unit, for the purposes of organising the efforts of the group as a whole towards the achievement of mutually desirable goals. In a Nation-State , these Common Goals can be broadly classified as "Mutual Protection" and "Maximisation of Wealth".
To pursue the goal of Mutual Protection, the Nation-State undertakes activities to protect the individual and personal best interests of its membership from both internal and external threats. Protection from external threats involves the membership of the Nation-State in measures to prevent disruption by members of other Nation-States. Protection from internal threats involves the membership of the Nation-State in measures to prevent disruption from "Theft" or "anti-social" behaviour on the part of other members of the same Nation-State.
To pursue the goal of Maximisation of Wealth, the Nation-State undertakes measures to establish an Economic System that best reflects the opinions of "The Powerful" on the optimum means for maximising the total wealth that is distributed over the population of the Nation-State. There are no established rules which define such an "optimum" Economic System. Different economic systems span the spectrum between the maximum distribution of existing wealths (Communism and Socialism) and the maximum concentration of wealth creation (Laissez-Faire Capitalism, and Fascism).
These generalised descriptions of the high-level goals are interpreted and translated by the governing processes of the Nation-State, into specific detailed and immediate goals, and measures to achieve those goals. The political component of the Nation-State, both formal and in-formal, aggregate and summarise the individual values and goals of the population and interpret the generalised demands for mutual protection and wealth maximisation into specific measures with which to guide the common effort of the membership.
With each such measure, the governing processes of the Nation-State generate a set of restrictions on individual behaviour. Each activity that the collective membership decides to implement through the Nation-States government structures, determines a set of behaviours that would be disruptive to that activity. They are therefore defined as "disruptive", and are encoded in laws that are restrictive of individual behaviour.