Everyone needs to think carefully about what is really meant by the tenet of the Constitution that says the people are the bearers of supreme power.
Politics plays an essential role in the system of factors influencing (often determining) the future of a people, and this role is no less important than that of economics and law. Unfortunately, what is behind politics and political activity and why such activity is possible has so far received very little public consideration. In any case, there is no comparison between the attention given to politics and the attention given to law or economics, culture or education.
A person who suddenly declares themself a lawyer cannot be taken seriously in Estonia or anywhere else. With regard to politicians, it is extremely rare to talk about competency. Condemnations addressed to newly minted politicians can be heard only when and only after they have already done something unacceptable, fundamentally screwed up, or did not do what should have been done without fail.
Political activity assumes knowledge, skills, and experience. MPs and civil servants of all kinds should know a thing or two about people, society, and culture. They need to know forecasts and realities, to understand the relationships and dependencies in society and culture that form a self-regulating, changing, and developing system.
In order to orient in themselves and life, politicians need clarity and a picture of the world that makes it possible to understand what is happening, other people near and far, yesterday, today, and tomorrow, and also to realize that to act as a politician, it is important to have a sense of responsibility.
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Everyone, politicians and political scientists alike, journalists and editors alike, not to mention the “general readership and viewing audience”, that the bearer of supreme power in the state is the people.
One day, there will come a time when everyone will realize that elections are not some “event”
- about what you can joke and laugh,
- that can still be organized in any sort of way,
- that you can watch from the sidelines and quietly gloat about.
Participation in elections requires preparation and focus from both those who feel they want to serve their people, protect and develop their state with all their might (and decide to run for office), and from those who can issue the necessary mandate in elections to perform the should carefully consider what the first paragraph of the [Estonian] Constitution really means, stating above actions (decide who to entrust to represent them, develop the state, establish relationships, protect the people, the Constitution, nature, and culture). The responsibility for the choice made also extends to the voter. This also means that one cannot become a citizen randomly, by chance, in passing. A fleeting glance is not enough – to understand something, you need to delve into it.
A person who, in addition to the formal right provided for in the Constitution, also has the moral right to express their point of view and to formulate a preferred decision may participate in elections as a voter; a person who understands what is at stake and is able to recognize both an honest professional and an ordinary vote grabber (“decoy duck”).
You cannot become a citizen randomly, by chance, in passing.
A person can exercise the constitutional right to be elected if they know their state, country, and people; if they know how and why society and its subsystems function, change, and develop. They must know what conditions, circumstances, and situations have developed in the city and in the countryside, in different regions of the country and in separate spheres; what opportunities and dangers arise here and abroad. They should have some idea why this is the case, and what depends on what and on whom.
A parliamentary candidate should know what (if elected) they should do systematically, what to achieve and what to avoid, both at the state and international level. An MP takes an oath to the people!
What should an MP strive for? It would be necessary to ensure that the state has:
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The people can truly be the bearer of supreme power only if:
In fact, the people can be the bearer of supreme power only if all spheres of life, regions, and departments, all levels of regulation are in accordance with the Constitution. Familiarity with this book will help clarify why the structure of authorities should be justified, why the state should publicize goal visualization and feedback, and why the principle of personal responsibility should operate in the state.
The starting point for creating (improving) the state’s legal system should be reality, and not just some plans or other documents drawn up once upon a time somewhere by someone else. It is not difficult to understand that government agencies and local authorities communicate with citizens, they answer their inquiries as quickly as possible, and also search for opportunities to get rid of the causes of various shortcomings and create an activity system that is more effective than the existing one.
- Politics is not a game, but a particularly responsible activity.
- Playing a state will not work for long.
The state system of mass information must function on a public and legal basis. The rights, obligations, and responsibilities of all civil servants must be clearly articulated, made public, and be in accordance both with existing law and with social and cultural needs, customs, and rituals. All institutions should be transparent in principle.
When discussing politics, we still have to deal with fragmented thinking, experience-based opinions, assessments and judgments (taken out of context and time) of professionals who once lived somewhere, truths imported from other states and institutional systems, and sometimes even comforting each other that some neighbors are doing even worse because they lack even the knowledge, skills, and experience that we already have, for better or for worse.
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It is possible that people in many parts of the world may have already grasped a relatively simple truth: in politics, it is impossible to get anything but more or less correct descriptions and/or unsystematic speculations.
It is quite easy just to describe the composition and structure of politics as a phenomenon, as well as political activity and the factors that facilitate or complicate this activity. All of these descriptions may be quite interesting, necessary, and have an instructive grain, but they cannot be limited.
Active people — residents who want to be citizens — create and assess politics as a thought construct that adequately represents society and culture.
In short, we can say that in order to reveal politics as a problem, it is necessary to have the very three prerequisites that were discussed in the introduction:
In order to make sound and appropriate policy, it is necessary to know and consider not only the social and cultural connections, as emphasized above, but everything on which politics depends, and everything that in turn depends on politics. Above all, it is necessary to understand and consider humans and life. The people are not (cannot and should not be!) in the service of politics and the politicians who cultivate it. On the contrary! Politicians are supposed to serve their people, and politics is the system that orders and gives meaning to that service.
- The people are not in the service of politics and the politicians who cultivate it.
- Politicians are supposed to serve their people, and politics is the system that orders and gives meaning to that service.
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In principle, every citizen is a politician. Undoubtedly, there have been and are people among the inhabitants of a country, in every parliament, among civil servants and councilors, who carefully reflect on politics, the homeland, and the material well-being of the people. Such people are able to help others to go deeper into politics, to identify what it consists of and depends on, and under what conditions it would be possible to participate in political and legal activity in an expedient, effective, and intensive way.
It is possible to help those who are willing to improve, to think critically, to act responsibly and systematically.
This conclusion is intended to awaken and encourage citizens to think together about the present and future of society.
If we were able to link social and cultural theory, methodology, methods, and practice in the context of modern paradigms, then perhaps our people could be hopeful that we will not have to, modestly lowering our gaze, observe from the sidelines how other people’s well-being, security, and satisfaction with life grows.
The author did not set out to present an academic interpretation of politics as a system. The need for such a narrative has long been overdue, but right now it is difficult to predict who will commission it and which research institution will dare to undertake this intellectual labor. As long as such a comprehensive text does not exist, everyone must think independently, guided by the promptings of their conscience.
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For further reflection, we offer our readers a list of questions with references to the life of our [Estonian] state. Each of them contains a problem that can be analyzed (see Figure 0.3.3.).
Should it be achieved in Estonia that: