Diverse forms of authority

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It is a fact of life that some of us aim to have authority, in order to control the lives of others. This inclination could be regarded as natural, in the sense that it exists because the urge to do so is latent in the hearts and minds of those who pursue that sort of thing. On the other hand, each of us is supposed to inch towards self sufficiency with the passing of time, from childhood into adulthood. How do we balance our needs for self growth with the broader need to function as cogs in the wheels of our communities?

Arguments rage back and forth about the pros and cons of democratic systems of governance. It is obvious that many countries are struggling to make democracy work. Education is supposed to give individuals access to the information and mental training required to make sensible choices, but vested interests will always get in the way of any form of absolute objectivity about the way that societies should be run.

Some nations that wield influence on the world stage would like to make the point that democracy is flawed and futile. In actual fact, folks living in democratic systems don’t need to be told about this, since it is obviously the case. Even so, those who would like things to be run differently do not appear to have any alternative options that place fairness at the heart of the vision.

At this point in time, there is no doubt that new systems are needed, to provide more fulfillment across the board for individuals and communities. Where are they going to emerge from?

Is it possible that we might need to look backwards, into the localised systems of governance that our forbears used, to find ways of upgrading the values that matter from place to place?