Society is a historically established form of human coexistence, a set of social relations and institutions.
For the citizen, the state is a macro-environment that is ordered, on the one hand, by unwritten rules defined by culture, and, on the other hand, by formal rules and laws, for which an administrative structure has been created.
Society is a historically developed form of human coexistence and a set of social relations and institutions that emerge within it. In every state, social relations are formalized both horizontally and vertically; both administrative and cultural subordination have been achieved; and in a good case, there is also goal visualization and feedback, publicity, and the accompanying social control.
Administrative and cultural subordination in society is official subordination; a fixed order of who is responsible for what, who can give orders to whom and who must report to whom about the results achieved and the consequences that occurred.
Society is characterized by intergenerational continuity, people’s willingness to work, spirituality, diligence, consistency, respect for professionalism, caring (protective) attitude to talent, and basic and functional literacy. (See 2.7.)
Characteristics of society: percentage engaged in productive activities, percentage willing to engage in lifelong learning, percentage engaged in creative processes, percentage respecting unwritten laws, etc., as well as the percentage of cheaters, criminals, persons living a parasitic lifestyle, the servile, captive surrogates and, in addition, the percentage of -ists and -phobes. (See Figure 4.0.1.)
Society and its subsystems are characterized by readiness to cooperate, nature conservation, caring for language, caring for children and the elderly, etc. (See Figure 4.0.2.)
Society is characterized by belief in the future, the degree of alienation and estrangement (see 3.3) emigration, fertility (see also 13.2.), and the stability of the institution of the family. Life expectancy and the number of years lived in good health are also indicators of the quality of society.
Society can be characterized in different ways, looking at layers of society, institutional structure, property, age, education, value structure, and other characteristics. On the one hand, we can see a crosssection of society conditioned by various attributes; on the other hand, we get the opportunity to consider how people feel about society and how to get at all sorts of influences, connections, and policy-making.
Quality of society could be described through:
- vitality and independence;
- birth rate;
- spirituality and pragmatism;
- openness to the new and necessary;
- reclusion to the unworthy and unnecessary;
- dynamism and stability;
- the publicness and the justification of authority structure;
- freedom and order;
- defense readiness of the people;
- the proportion of healthy people;
- internal and external defense systems;
Demography is often referred to as a social science. However, demographers operate only with some characteristics, ignoring and not analyzing many important phenomena that characterize the population. Likewise, social scientists are often limited to descriptions that cannot be called scientific works. Society is often mistakenly understood as the economy.
We consider it important to recall that scientific research should begin with the question “Why?” and consider the problem in statics and dynamics as its object.
As already noted, all people are members of society and representatives of culture. Since this book is addressed to those who would like to behave like a citizen, in this chapter we will consider society, first of all, from the point of view of a citizen. An outsider may discuss the prospects and future of your country, but the responsibility for this future lies with its citizens themselves, some of whom hold high positions. We must remember that the world is becoming increasingly global, and the needs and interests of large countries are not shrinking.
Under what prerequisites could every citizen really participate in shaping the future of their country?
Who does not know that both the state and the people, as well as nature and culture and all the cultural values need protection?! However, it is not known from whom or from what they should be protected. Just as in the past it was considered taboo to call dangerous phenomena or things by their proper names (“so as not to cause trouble”), today it has somehow become common to invent streamlined expressions and phrases when talking about phenomena and deviant behavior that are unacceptable in society, thereby hiding the very essence of negative processes.
We do not know which viruses threaten independence and national identity, the health and education systems, as well as the systems of communication, economy, culture, agriculture, science, etc. In order to be effective in protecting society’s core values, and to change what cannot be tolerated any longer, it is necessary to observe society as a whole, as a system. It is necessary to know not only the existing conditions and circumstances, but also what those conditions and circumstances depend on, and what are the factors that change and preserve them. The criterion for assessing conditions and circumstances is the situation in which people feel themselves (see 3.2.).
It is important to remember that in society it is possible to “make noise” for a long time, trying to change one (any) factor, but this does not make much sense, because in order to cause changes, it is necessary to change the system. These days, non-systemic activity is shameful and ridiculous.
In the public space, it is customary to talk and write about an enlightened society, but it is still unclear what kind of society can be considered enlightened (what features it should have). There is no doubt that such a society should rely on truth and justice as its basic concepts. There is no room for deception: citizens can be sure that everyone around them is saying what they really think and doing what they say.
Is our society enlightened, and if not yet, what would it need to be to be called enlightened?
It remains to be seen how citizens could contribute to a movement leading to the formation of an enlightened society.
We have all heard and read that society should be open, tolerant, constantly changing. But in life everything is not so simple!
- Tolerance or reconcilia-tion, as well as change, cannot be goals!
- The goal can be either the preservation of the living environment or a new, qualitatively more perfect state achieved through innovations.
Citizens should be very vigilant about who and what to be open to and who to lock up in front of. The same goes for tolerance. It is possible to tolerate anything moral that is in harmony with the cultural values and formal laws that reflect the ideals formulated in the Constitution. Naivety is not a virtue! People who consider themselves citizens will easily understand who is worth being tolerant and caring toward, and who is worth being intolerant toward.
Tolerance or reconciliation, as well as change, cannot be goals!
The goal can be either the preservation of the living environment or a new, qualitatively more perfect state achieved through updates or reforms.
In an enlightened society:
In a society considered normal, people feel they are in a true problem choice situation. In an absurdly coercive situation, one should not expect anyone to make long-term plans (see 3.2.).
A person feels they are in a problem situation if they have:
Based on the above prerequisites, with a certain amount of preparation and by acting consistently, it is possible to:
- In a normal society, people feel they are in a true problem choice situation.
- In a deceitful society, people feel caught up in a game or absurd coercive situation.
Something goes wrong everywhere. You do not have to be afraid to do too much good for your homeland. Therefore, a sharp eye is needed to notice big and small shortcomings and learn to formulate them as problems. To begin with, it would be appropriate to delve directly into your living, working and/or learning environment in order to analyze it meaningfully, and detect in it the good and the bad in combination with the causes. Only after recognizing the true causes it is worthwhile to start creating a system of measures.
Synergy is the mental potential formed as a result of a process of mutual spiritual and intellectual enrichment.
NB! Two kinds of measures are needed: 1) to reduce the causes of the problems, and 2) to create the prerequisites for forming a satisfactory condition.
Everything that happens after that is called the resolution of the problem.
- Problems are only in people — in the minds of people. There are no problems anywhere else.
- It is impossible to solve problems; it is possible to create prerequisites for solving problems.
A society in which the Constitution declares many rights and says that citizens are the bearers of supreme power, but in reality they have no opportunity to exercise those rights, is called a deceitful society.
A person insufficiently educated, experienced, and informed (including the lack of such an opportunity) to navigate society and participate in shaping decisions, but who is called upon to vote or make any decisions, feels themself to be in a game or absurd coercive situation (see 3.2.). Both situations are dangerous and are sophisticated methods of destroying a person.
In a deceitful society it is tended to consider:
- education is created and offered in educational institutions;
- culture is created and pre-sented by institutions subordinate to the Ministry of Culture;
- science is what happens in universities;
- elections are voting;
- consultations are joint gatherings and listening to speakers.
People who have been involved in deceptive schemes are mostly characterized by apathy. But there can also be aggression, insanity, a wasteful attitude towards nature and culture, uncontrolled wasting of time and burning through life (see 3.3.). It is difficult to predict how far those who are trying to destroy people’s faith in themselves and in their state plan will go. This activity can only be stopped by the bearer of supreme power — the people — through principled behavior during the election period. If the people are not ready to behave demandingly, then they, in general, have no right to express discontent.
Signs of a deceitful society:
Thus, in a deceitful society:
Human mobility is one of the characteristics of society. This refers to both physical (from village to city, from north to south, from one state to another) and career (vertical) mobility. It is time to promote a person (see also 2.1.), when they have developed a potential readiness for more responsible activity; when relations with others are not only reasonable and demanding, but also honest, kind, and trusting; when mutual support and respect prevail; when the ability has been formed to distinguish between mistakes, misfortune, and pigheadedness; when synergy, enthusiasm, and faith are born through communication.
Professional knowledge, skills, and experience should be taken into account, but they should not be taken as sufficient grounds for promotion. The prerequisite for promotion cannot be loyalty or a desire to conspiratorially remain silent when it is necessary to make one’s position clear.
It bears repeating what was said earlier: you have to be extremely careful when promoting people with complexes. Many of them are very active and are ready to move mountains with words. People brought up as objects of manipulation (see Figure 6.0.1.) do not know how and do not want to live differently, preferring to be with someone at their side and manipulating others in turn. They are used to wishful thinking.
- Mobility is the result of success.
- Stomping in place is a consequence of powerlessness.
It is good if a promotion takes into account both the professional and the moral side — cultural ties, virtues, respect for the homeland and nature, patriotic attitude, etc.
People who get into high office or parliament by chance, or at the behest of influential friends, can admit that something shameful has happened and begin to study and think very hard, or, on the contrary, pretend as if everything were as it should be. A person who does not respect themself does not usually respect others, which sooner or later causes a moral crisis.
A society or an organization can live and work several times more efficiently and intensively if its members are professionals with a common vision, who create the prerequisites for each other’s success (generate synergy, value ideas) and are passionate about teamwork.
People who want to understand each other strive to achieve clarity in terms of terminology and concepts, as well as, in the future, to preserve this clarity. If, in the presence of a common worldview and picture of the world, similar courses are also taken, then it is quite easy to formulate common goals and choose suitable means to achieve them, as well as principles of activity and assessment criteria.
The impact of an activity can be local or global, public or hidden, functional or dysfunctional (in accordance with or in contradiction to the claims), manifest immediately or later(see also Figure 9.5.1.).
Political parties usually prefer a local, public, and immediate impact, which allows them to believe that the right people are in the management of the party. Global decisions that affect the state and the people as a whole, as a rule, are not the most pleasant for the people, and their positive fruits may appear only years later. This circumstance is the reason why citizens could weigh the expediency of protecting a number of important public institutions (such as education, science, and culture) from the influence of party and political winds, as was done in due time with defense issues.
It takes much longer than a four-year election cycle to achieve global qualitative change. Largescale decisions designed to lead to qualitative changes require careful preparation. Decisions are executed by the people if the leadership creates and maintains the necessary prerequisites for this. A haphazard approach leads to a senseless waste of resources and discord.
- Big decisions can only become effective when the infrastructure is also created to implement them.
- Infrastructure is the system of physical and organizational factors through which the social system functions.
- Within the boundaries of one area, for example: school, store, library, post office, community hall, pharmacy, hospital, fire department, police, housing, electrical system, internet, road network, etc.
Big decisions can be considered satisfactory if they include planning the necessary infrastructure for the updated activity. Practice shows that citizens should be especially vigilant about this point.
The mantra that has been repeated in Estonia that there should be a uniform tax system throughout the state has led to the devastation of large areas, because it has not been taken into account that the efficiency of entrepreneurship is a function of infrastructure. In places with insufficient or non-existent infrastructure, the efficiency of entrepreneurship cannot compare to the efficiency in regions with satisfactory infrastructure.
In any region, infrastructure includes, for example, a school, church, store, library, post office, community hall, pharmacy, hospital, fire department, police, housing, electrical system, internet, road network, heating systems, water and sewer systems, public services, etc.
People prefer to do what they like rather than what they should be doing. It is very convenient to not go deeper, to be superficial and to act without regard to integrity. Destroying and doing nothing is much easier than creating and preserving.
When decisions are made by others, there is no need to be professional. The tone is set by acquaintances and sycophancy. Secretaries come to the fore (keepers of secrets, from the word “secret”). As a result, all activities become bureaucratized, criteria and principles are thrown aside, and the public begins to be manipulated with the help of falsified data and “good news.”
The security index is one of the indicators of society. Defense training is just as important as training to form independent decisions and act with confidence in any role. Readiness to defend is accompanied by a sense of confidence, which creates a significant prerequisite for activity in all roles and situations.
Everything that could be in danger should be protected.
It is necessary to protect:
Care must be taken not to allow forces to spread that threaten the rule of law, artistic freedom, and other freedoms; not to allow forces to emerge that endanger culture. Both formal rights (laws) and informal protect the state and all parts of the state infrastructure.
Wisdom from ancient Roman times:
When you hear the unanimous decision, look for a despot or imposter — one of them must be!
Dissenters should be especially protected and ensured that they can and are not afraid to defend their point of view in a reasoned way. It is useful to consider different opinions and arguments in the search for qualitative solutions, when the goal is to improve the conditions, and not to hide your activities and motives, as well as shifting decisions to someone else’s shoulders. Publicizing different opinions and their arguments is one method of avoiding errors.
All sorts of spying, snitching, denunciations, and other such activities have especially depressing and even paralyzing effects on people.
According to the Constitution, everyone has freedom of speech. Proponents of immoral behavior accuse those who enjoy free speech of making angry speeches. This is a technique of demagogy: labelling (see 12.3.). Such a reception is neither a European value nor a defense of European values.
Basic security is the protection that is formed by a system of moral concepts, and the social control that people exercise over one another.
There are many objects in need of protection (security). Environmental protection, child protection, talent protection, life protection, personal protection, citizen protection, property protection, author protection, animal protection, historic preservation, health protection, labor protection, diplomatic protection, internal and external security, legal protection, family protection, and protection of the elderly are important. (See Figure 4.0.2.) Anyone can add to this list and see how effective this or that protection really is.
Protection can be called satisfactory if it is both administrative and moral. Basic security is the protection that is formed by a system of moral concepts, and the social control that people exercise over one another. Every reasonable citizen has the right to elect and be elected on an equal basis with others, but if no one has the obligation to create the necessary prerequisites for exercising this right, then even this right becomes fictitious. The exercise of civil rights requires one to be educated, informed, and experienced enough to navigate social and cultural life. As for running for office, it is important to figure out who is who, and what the elected officials are actually promising or denouncing.
- Giftedness is given at birth.
- Talent is a giftedness that has reached a certain level.
The main wealth of society is talent, the need for which we have emphasized more than once in this book, and which in our society is not yet protected in any way. Most abilities, unfortunately, dissipate before children reach school age, but even in school the careful treatment of talents is not a priority. Every year, dozens of young people with outstanding abilities are lured abroad, away from the country. Sweet speeches are made to excuse and justify this form of theft.
In developed countries, buying talent (headhunting) is considered the most successful business.
The state is a macro-environment ordered, on the one hand, by cultural ties and, on the other, by written rules. The state has an administrative structure, a constitution corresponding to the state system, and legislation coordinated with it; the judiciary, the legislature, and the executive branch.
At the same time, the state is an institutional system that functions, changes, and develops or declines; that serves to benefit its people or exists at their expense.
All state constitutional institutions and their subordinate organizations are (should be!) founded:
- It is necessary to have quite a few points of view to see the state.
- It should be kept in mind that the state is not only a territory, an economic space, and a transit corridor, but also a space of culture, communication, and a living environment.
- The state is a subject of international interaction and cooperation.
- The state is the homeland, the fatherland, the motherland, the dream that binds generations together.
Most people serve the common interest and are willing to give and do what they can for the sake of society, so that not only themselves but others may live a decent life and the living environment — both nature and culture, both natural resources and cultural values — may be preserved.
What goes well needs to be cherished, and what goes badly needs to be changed.
According to public rhetoric, Estonia is a democratic, sovereign state governed by the rule of law. However, this statement has not been defined. It would be necessary to know under what conditions the state can be called legal, democratic, and sovereign.
Here we will consider the state as a problem (see Figure 0.3.3.). This requires clarity about what characterizes the state (characteristics), what the state should be and what it is now (what has already been achieved and what has not yet been achieved). By comparing these two images, we can find out what in the state is already quite good and what is still not so good, what is lacking and what is superfluous.
Based on these same characteristics, we can create a picture of the near and distant future. Then you can begin to create (strengthen, reinforce) the system of measures to be taken to reduce (or eliminate) contradictions.
For the most part, how people assess the state does not depend on the status quo, but rather on how it corresponds to their expectations, hopes, and dreams.
The same logic is at all other levels of regulation. The ability to professionally understand and improve the system described is one of the most important prerequisites for being a citizen. Orientation at the state level is necessary, but it is not enough for the citizen; one should think through what is relevant at other levels of regulation as well. To simplify the analysis, see Figure 7.2.1.
The state is characterized as (see Figure 4.3.1.):
Territory. A typical representation of a state is that it is a territory consisting of land and sea. Natural resources, the border, border protection, and the entire support system for preserving the territory are added here.
Population. No population data is available in Estonia. Data collected by the Department of Statistics, from which demographers compile charts and tables, provide information on the number of births, deaths, marriages, and divorces.
They try to extrapolate (to calculate future time-series values on the basis of single indicators), as if social life proceeds similarly as tangible world and the population is as much a resource as surface or groundwater.
In reality, people have thoughts and feelings; people create, decide, investigate, think, set goals, choose means to achieve those goals, establish principles, and can put an end to immoral activities. People can change their behavior. All this means that it makes no sense to predict by extrapolation the processes associated with people.
Demography is not a science. Science begins with the question of a system of functional and causal connections and their effects, followed by a search for connections on the basis of which it is possible to answer the question “why?”.
Population science must answer many questions. Demographers do not look for answers to questions like “why?”, they only describe the situation. Description only precedes scientific investigation. Descriptions are necessary to formulate problems.
Administration. Depending on the level, administration can be state or local. Administration is necessary where self-regulation does not function: to exercise public authority, to establish and protect order, to organize the distribution of labor, as well as to guarantee the rights of institutions, organizations, and individuals, to ensure the principle of separation of constitutional powers, etc.
Public administration: that is, agencies that include departments, must provide vertical regulation in the state (top-down from the state level to the individual, and, at the civil level, back up to the management of institutions). Agencies should ensure that sub-agencies (departments) are able to influence processes, phenomena, and material values in the state.
It is important that agencies are not exclusively bodies that have the right to authorize, prohibit, and order. The people have no obligation to serve the officials, but the duty of the officials is to serve the people. The Constitution gives the people many rights, and it is the duty of officials to create equal opportunities for all to enjoy their rights.
Horizontal regulation covers different levels. At the state level is the president, who before the war was called the State Elder; the state consists of counties, which must be headed by county elders. Counties consist of towns and parishes. A parish is headed by a parish elder and a town by a mayor. Each part of a city also has its own elder, and a village has a village elder.
- An institution is an economic, governmental, political, artistic or other social structure or tradition. Like medicine and education, the family in a general sense is an institution.
- The constitutional institutions in Estonia are the Riigikogu (Parliament), the President, the Government, the Bank of Estonia, the National Audit Office, the Chancellor of Justice, and the State Court.
The family is also a level of regulation, and the head of the family is obliged to be responsible for everything that is done or not done in the family. In reality, family and communal regulation in social theory are not yet ordered in any way (see also 7.2.).
Subject of international communication. In this role, the state is the subject (active principle), and must achieve normal relations with other states and peoples, as well as ensure independence and autonomy. State leaders should do all they can both to preserve state independence and to correctly fulfill obligations. Unfortunately, alliances of all kinds lead to concessions in terms of sovereignty. It is difficult (and sometimes impossible) to guard sovereignty alone, but joining any kind of defense alliance leads to dependence. Apparently, this paradox should be gotten used to.
- According to the Constitution, the people have many rights.
- The duty of the officials is to create equal opportunities for everyone to enjoy their rights.
- The people have no obligation to serve the officials; the duty of the officials is to serve the people.
Communication space. Various information channels pertain to the state as a communication space (see also 6.0.). These include radio, television, newspapers, magazines and other print media, the Internet, oral communication channels, etc.
Communication is a connection that involves mutual activity, without which it becomes purely informative. If messages are issued, but not monitored to see if these messages are received, how they are perceived, whether they are noticed, and to what extent they are understood and taken into account in the planning of actions, then this is not communication, but a mass media (propaganda) service (see Figure 6.0.2.). In this case, it is not even known if the message has become information at all. A communication system is a prerequisite for the development of the state and, at the same time, an indicator of the level of development.
Economic space. Production and consumption, the financial sector (budget, taxes, grants, financial investments), banks, construction, trade, transportation, etc., as well as the links between them are the objects of economic regulation. Economics is an abstraction, a system of relative numbers. An economy is a prerequisite for any activity and is one of the indicators of the level of development.
A person who wants to behave as a citizen must reach a level at which they will be able to understand that, dealing only in economics, it is impossible to establish and promote this very economy. To be economically successful, everything (!) on which the economy depends must be dealt with. Non-systemic activity cannot be effective. No single factor in society can be strong enough to ensure economic growth alone. At the same time, each factor is so powerful that its absence can render everything else meaningless. For example, if you pay workers ridiculous wages, it is impossible to achieve high efficiency — people will work poorly or quit altogether. Professionals will leave first, and all those who are left will not be capable of productive activity.
Around the same time that social scientific studies shrank (were reduced) in Estonia, occupational adult training also became a sham. By now it should be clear that saving on staff development courses will eventually lead to a sad picture (the loss of societal vitality).
The consequences of economic stagnation in the state as a whole are mass emigration and low fertility (see 13).
- It is impossible to establish and promote the economy by dealing only with economics.
- To be economically successful, everything (!) on which the economy depends must be dealt with.
The cultural space is shaped by values and norms, myths and taboos, attitudes and relationships that order a person’s way of thinking and behavior (see also 5.), including relationships and interaction. (see 6.1.) At the center of national culture is the native language, and around it all the beautiful and special, harmonious, delightful whole. Culture can be seen in every look and touch, smile and sigh, surprise and startle. Cultural connection provides the ability to understand and realize, to preserve the past, present and future in each other and side by side at the same time.
Homeland. A homeland is a place that we consider to be the best environment in the world, a place in which we would like to be and live, which we would strive to preserve and protect. The homeland is sacred. The homeland cannot be harmed, it cannot be surrendered! Hardship and suffering were endured in the name of independence, but there was always the belief that greed and stupidity would never be the guiding star.
A quality of life that is not significantly inferior to that of other countries and satisfies the needs of those who receive an average salary and pension can be considered acceptable. Such a country can be proudly called a homeland.
Connection. Every citizen should have the opportunity to be informed about what has been achieved and what is planned by the management, and how people in different areas, regions, and industries are coping. Every citizen should try to be aware not only of what is going well, but also of possible dangers, and to be aware of the results and consequences of both their own activities and the influence of outside forces. Forecasts and scenarios (ideas of a possible future) are necessary for orientation.
Goal visualization and feedback. At an acceptable level, all decisions made for the good of their people form a system in which the result of each decision and the process launched to implement it (the so-called “output”) fit as an “input” for subsequent processes or decisions. For this, processes and decisions must have goal visualization and feedback. Otherwise, it’s hard to stay on aim, and little will come out of goal-oriented activity. Self-regulation also does not function without feedback. Without goal visualization, thoughtfulness is lost, and without feedback, controllability disappears and the whole society can collapse (see 6.2.).
It is important to remember that if a state lacks some level of regulation, a gap can arise, making the state ineffective. Speaking of administrative reform, in Estonia it mainly means the management level and reduction of the number of officials or their relocation, as well as the merger or separation of administrative units. It would not be an exaggeration to say that local governments were essentially eliminated through administrative-territorial reform in Estonia in 2017. In so many places, there have been gaps in culture, and this threatens to destroy the local identity.
Constitution of the Republic of Estonia (Article 154):
- Local governments, acting independently on the basis of the law, are responsible for resolving all issues of local life and its structure.
In terms of the Constitution, local self-government is an independent unit, not an object of manipulation by officials. Now the entire administrative system seems to be mixed up on purpose. The Estonian administrative reform, which was planned as a reform of local self-government, will be a lesson to the whole world: what happens if the ignorant get the right to carry out a nationwide innovation. Towns have town meetings, parishes have parish meetings, but there is nothing at the county level. Because of this gap, neither normal vertical nor horizontal regulation can function.
The living environment is formed on the basis of the unity of horizontal and vertical regulation, and not under the influence of only one of them. The reformers attempted to replace the county level with a kind of surrogate, whose rights, duties, and responsibilities have not yet been defined, even though more than a year has passed since the changes were introduced.
If we start to change something, we should always remember that Estonia is not a big country, and we should not imitate big countries. We should not have exactly the same set of positions, embassies, and ministries as the big powers, and a total of three or four times more officials than is considered normal in small states.
Unfortunately, the need for more officials is growing because those who are already in office are not coping with the tasks assigned to them. Increasing the number of ignorant people will not remedy the situation. Occupational training opportunities should be provided for officials and councilors. More precisely, regular certification for officials and councilors and accreditation of government agencies and departments should be introduced. It is imperative that the status of chancellors be reconsidered as a matter of urgency. The rights, duties, and responsibilities of chancellors, ministers, and vice-chancellors should be made public.
The relationship between officials and MPs in Estonia is still ambiguous at all levels. According to the Constitution, the separation of powers must be ensured. As a legislative institution, the Parliament has not only the rights but also the duty to exercise supreme supervision over all constitutional institutions and how they affect society and the state. The Parliament appoints and (if necessary) recalls the heads of these institutions.
The executive branch reports to the legislative branch, not the other way around. The government is accountable to Parliament. The town and parish government is (must be!) accountable to the town and parish council, respectively. In reality, it is often the other way around. And why this happens, let everyone think for themselves.
State and municipal officials, as a rule, have quite a lot of experience and are often trained in various courses, but all sorts of MPs, who come and go, only occasionally imagine what they should know and be able to do in order to understand the prerequisites of their activities at all. Not to mention an understanding of what needs to be achieved at both the state and municipal levels.
Whoever does not want Estonia to be on the road to an authoritarian social order should demand:
- adherence to the principles of civil society;
- respect for basic civil rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of thought.
If the objects of management and the environment are not modeled, and the problems, criteria for their assessment, and principles of activity are not formulated, then all activity willy-nilly will be amateurish, and then we should not be surprised by its ineffectiveness. In such cases, the activity itself becomes the goal, and people become a means to achieve this goal. Officials will collect and distribute finances, set bans, and issue permits. Most of them cannot promise anything, but almost all can delay decisions, doubt, coordinate and agree, shifting papers from one box to another for so long that the intercessor runs out of strength. Courts set records for protracted proceedings.
Some systems function at the territorial level, others at the functional level, but their actions must be coordinated. Citizens should keep their eyes and ears open, not to let Estonia find itself on a path that would lead to authoritarianism. There is no need to fear that a citizen may do something too much or too well to strengthen civil society.
It would be natural that people want to participate in social and cultural life. However, participation may consist of visiting and listening. In order to truly (and not in vain!) participate in discussions and present your point of view, you must be competent enough to have the moral right to feel like a citizen — a subject that is worth listening to and whose opinion should be taken into account. NB! Professionalism is necessary, of course, but you also need to be honest, fair, consistet, etc.
If a person wants to be reckoned with, they must first do everything possible to form their awareness, at least in the sphere in which they would like to participate in the discussion (see also 1.7.).
- Training in the public sphere is necessary for every person!
- Otherwise, it is impossible to enjoy constitutional rights, including the right to elect and be elected.
For orientation in society and presenting opinions, assessments, suggestions, and wishes about what is happening in society, it is necessary to think about all the more or less possible options, taking into account the pros and cons of each of them. After that, it is not very difficult to reject the unsuitable options and choose the best from among the remaining ones. The chosen option should, of course, be described to everyone as quickly, briefly, and clearly as possible, arguing the reasons for its preference.
In principle, the entire population has the right to behave as citizens, but in the absence of the necessary training and awareness to participate in shaping decisions, this right would be fictitious.
It was discussed above why a state without goal visualization and feedback cannot, in principle, self-regulate and be managed. The same can be said of the parts and subsystems of society. If goal visualization and feedback are missing, managers will have the opportunity to hold meetings, distribute funding, allow or prohibit, make welcome speeches, open newly built construction sites, travel to various competitions, and see what people are doing. It’s all appearance, not essence.
MPs and officials can be busy all the time trying to fix things in one place or another, as well as lecturing those who, in their opinion, are out of line. Since none of them are responsible for anything, they fear nothing, except that incompetence and incapacity will come out.
- What works well should be strengthened, preserved, protected.
- Activities whose consequences are unacceptable should be stopped.
- Anything that is out of order needs to be fixed.
Mechanical systems (e.g., a steam engine) can self-regulate because of negative feedback; in social systems, both negative and positive feedback are important: what works well should be strengthened, preserved, and protected. Activities whose consequences are unacceptable should be stopped, and anything that is not okay should be corrected — not “someday and maybe,” but immediately and properly! No self-regulating system can exist and develop without feedback.
The object of management can be processes (see 2.9.). The state (like a factory, city, or department) cannot be governed. It is possible to manage some processes in the state (city, department, factory, etc.).
The state is not just a space of communication, law, culture, economy, etc., but a system that functions, changes, and develops according to its (unchanging) laws. All laws are manifested by patterns. People can slightly (and occasionally quite strongly) influence what happens in society, including contributing to or hindering anything.
The state can function, change, and evolve in response to internal and external factors, some of which are public, some of which are covert, some of which are direct, some of which are indirect, local or global.
Population is the totality or demographic of people on the earth or in a particular territory — a continent, a country, a region, or a subdivision. A population is characterized by nationality, age, gender, medical, educational, and other structure, as well as by industriousness, criminality, image, style and rhythm of life, vitality, mobility, integration, fertility, the number of years lived in good health, hope, and faith in oneself and one’s future.
A people are the persons living in the same territory (in a country, in a region). Persons who share a common language, way of life, and religion are also considered a people. Most Estonians live in Estonia, but many Estonians also live in Finland, Russia, Sweden, Canada, the USA, Australia, etc. We can speak of communities whose unifying feature is common cognition and aspirations, as well as of peoples distinguished by some characteristic features: northern, forest or mountain people, nomadic, urban or rural people, indigenous and working people, kindred peoples, Christians, Muslims, etc.
Nationality is the ethnic affiliation of persons; an identity in the creation of which language, culture, faith, historical experience, traditions, etc. play a role. Nationality is not primarily determined by kinship traits.
Nationality is the self-definition by which a subject associates (identifies) themself with the persons around them. In the formation and preservation of national identity, the entire living environment plays an important role, including all the institutions where learning and upbringing take place, where experiences based on customs, mores, traditions, values, norms, myths, and notions of virtue are formed. Faith and beliefs, symbols and codes play a role in the formation of nationality and the sense of belonging to a nationality (see 2.3.).
A nation is a collection of persons who:
- inhabit, for the most part, a territory;
- are a community conscious of their unity and identity, consisting of representatives of a common ethnic origin, language, culture, and religion.
The state is inhabited by persons, each with their own rights, duties, and responsibilities. (See also Figure 4.3.1.)
The people are not just taxpayers. As the bearer of supreme power, the people must be so educated, informed, and experienced that as citizens (subjects of self- and social government) they can participate in discussions, decisions, and the execution of decisions that can (publicly) be called reasonable, as well as participate in assessing the quality of results, distributing profits, planning new investments, etc. Most of the people at the moment are about as involved in the solutions of social and cultural issues as a mosquito is in plowing a field while sitting on the back of an ox.
Constitution of the Republic of Estonia (Article 1):
- Estonia is a separate and independent democratic republic where the people are the bearer of supreme power.
This book has spoken many times about the structure of unjustified authorities, which is a socially dangerous phenomenon that generates secrecy, collusion, pretentiousness, and unprofessionalism. In the late 1980s, we began to build Estonia as a state in which the structure of authorities would be justified and openness would reign in everything. What happened? Parties came to power. The parties were at the helm and are now ready to stay there indefinitely. When you know how to run campaigns to fool the public, it is not very difficult to stay in power, although it is quite expensive.
If parties were only allowed to tell the truth, and only people who understood where they were running could run, an election campaign would be much cheaper. Then there would be no need to look for popular people before the elections and lure them onto their lists — those who most often turned up on television and went on stage, whether they were athletes, actors, TV hosts, etc. Everyone knows that a parliament staffed in this way can for the most part only act as a rubber stamp, carrying out the government’s orders. This has been said and written about more than once. Unfortunately, the solidarity of persons accustomed to privileges is so strong and the conscious activity of citizens is so weak that everything remains unchanged.
As solemn as it may sound, it is true that the sacred duty of parliament, government, and other constitutional institutions is (should be!) to serve their people.
Mark Twain, famous for his witty puns, allegedly said, “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”
Elections can only take place if there are those who can be elected, that is, people who understand that power is not a privilege, but a heavy burden that comes with serious responsibility. The chosen ones must be able with their own mind to embrace and understand the state as a whole, the people and the many communities, life and the living environments. They must be ready to faithfully, responsibly, and conscientiously serve, protect, and defend the people.
- The constitutional requirement that elections be uniform means that electoral procedure must be the same for all.
- Election fraud can be avoided by making elections open.
Elections are possible if the people also understand that suffrage is accompanied by the real, genuine, serious responsibility of each person for the future of the state, and the election commission organizes elections according to the Constitution: at the right time and according to Article 60, which states that elections are general, uniform, and direct, and voting is by secret ballot.
The word “uniform” does not mean that each voter in the election has one vote, but implies that all voters should behave in the same way at the polling station: present an identity document at the polling station, get a ballot, mark their preference in the booth, and drop the ballot into the ballot box. That’s all. For those who are ill or otherwise unable to come to the polling station, the ballot box is brought to their home. Otherwise, the electoral procedure at home should take place exactly as provided for by the Constitution. The word “secretly” here means that the voter, when filling out the ballot, must be alone in order to avoid the influence of outsiders, whose presence in the same room as the voter at the time of the election is excluded.
If they cannot (do not want to) meet these requirements, then it is necessary to proceed with amending the Constitution and introducing the principle of open elections, whereby everyone who wants to see who voted for whom would have the opportunity to do so. This measure would also prevent mass manipulation and fraud.
The people, along with journalists, should be much more demanding and not consider as a party any company that wants to collect votes and usurp power (appropriate it illegally) with the help of any tricks. In order to be placed on the electoral rolls, all MPs must publicly prove that their training enables them to participate meaningfully in the affairs in which a member of parliament must participate.
Quite differently than is now accepted, it would be necessary to react to such cases when a party, after gaining power, chooses a course that is radically opposite to what it declared during the election campaign.
Practice shows that for corrupt individuals (see 4.5.) — be they MPs or bureaucrats — arguments do not matter, because they are engaged in other affairs, while the rest of us are accustomed to pretending that all this is not their business.
If society, communities, and political parties are threatened by indifference, greed, fraud, gossip, snooping, slander, libel, lying, covering up wrongdoings, pandering to unjustified authority, etc., we must begin to eradicate these vices. To begin with, we must see to it that none of the vicious persons are again promoted to the position of legislators and representatives of the state and the people.
In a civil society, the population seeks to cleanse itself of filth and protect cleanliness. In the same way, accuracy, honesty, courage, dignity, moderation, humility (as opposed to pride, which is considered a mortal sin in Christendom) deserve attention.
In our book, we talk about personal responsibility as a prerequisite for achieving and preserving competence. Although it is not clear how to arrange public life in such a way that personal responsibility is truly taken into account in every case and at all levels of regulation, governance, and management, one can always hope that the MPs of the next convocation of the parliament will think about the future of the country more than their predecessors, and will introduce this principle.
It is impossible and makes no sense to talk about the principle of competence if the principle of personal responsibility is not established.
If the principle of personal responsibility is followed, then the public must know the name and status of the particular person who organizes something or advises acting in one way or another. If their advice officially becomes the norm, then the author of the project is also responsible for the associated results and consequences of the introduced change. This also applies to bills, both to their authors and those who amend them. The same is true of all programs and projects in general.
If desired, citizens can stop impersonal activities!
If each level of regulation is subject to the principle of personal responsibility, then the principle of competence (the unity of knowledge, experience, and informedness) will also result — those who make wrong decisions will be forced to study and think more diligently or resign; they will have to pay compensation for the damage caused by activities from their own pockets.
If the principle of personal responsibility and the accompanying principle of competence were introduced, the status of teachers in society would rise substantially, as a new, more competent generation would be needed. Requirements for the quality of education would also increase, as school attendance and curriculum certification would lose their importance, and the need to be a specialist and a generalist would come to the fore. The actual readiness to form quality solutions and their implementation would be assessed. It would not at all be enough to take some unrelated aim — there would be a need for a unity of occupational, professional, and specialty training.
Feeling free and independent, cherished, loved and protected, a person in turn wants to protect and defend their state, to be industrious, honest, and fair. Moral attitudes cannot be achieved directly. They will emerge on their own if you create the right environment and conditions for their emergence.
The principle of mutual enrichment, which is an unavoidable prerequisite for the development of every institution and organization, can then also be established. Social life will develop much faster if people and organizations create mutually beneficial conditions for each other to succeed, to prepare and execute good decisions, to find mistakes, and to identify and eliminate the causes that led to them.
Cooperation leads forward, not competition (see 12). Cooperation is formed not through knowledge, but through the unity of knowledge, proficiency (skills), and understanding. (see 9.0.). They get smarter not because they learn, but because they think and comprehend. It is also possible to become smarter by understanding experience, which will be accompanied by the ability to anticipate and recognize.
Cooperation leads forward, not competition!
Also, we will be able to avoid mistakes, see their causes and seek, think, and discover what makes it possible to move forward expediently, at a suitable pace and quite effectively.
There are two ways to increase satisfaction: to reduce needs or to increase opportunities. It is desirable to go both ways at the same time, not by following advice, but the clear picture formed in your head.
Much more effort will be required to ensure that the population is able to become a civil society.
What should be done so that everyone can and would like to become a subject of self-governance and social management? It is impossible to find one answer to this question that is appropriate for everyone.
Different factors have their weight here, and each of them has a different meaning for people.
Before fixing the population’s characteristics as they are now and the characteristics we would like to see in the future, everyone must understand what they and others should be capable of and be able to understand in order to participate in population-related processes, both alone, separately, and all together as an active principle (subject). Today in Estonia, this ideal of the future is still in its formative stages.
If there is a vision (jointly discussed and approved) of the state, as well as of state and municipal regulation, we can begin to think about how and through what it is possible to move towards what we have envisioned.
To be decided:
Today, there is no literature or curriculum for understanding the not consider the current situation normal. A sober-minded person understands that those who do not know what needs to be managed and have no idea what certain processes depend processes taking place in society and culture. People who would like to behave like conscientious citizens do on cannot be useful to civil society. A person who does not know what infrastructure is, what the goal is, how the relationship between the goal and the means arises, and whose understanding of the internal logic of processes is inaccessible, must actively learn and think. Otherwise, such people can only talk about the importance of management, but are unable to do or say anything sensible (see 11). They are simply too far removed from it all.
- The citizen as a subject of social management can grow and develop.
- A citizen learns to be a citi-zen all their life, otherwise civil rights become fictitious.
If there were educational texts on society, government, and management, people would have the opportunity to read and study them at least in libraries, clubs, and educational institutions. In public training centers, it would be possible to discuss how everything works in general: how we and our neighbors are, what makes it good or bad here or there, in abundance or in excess. Then people could begin to think about the system of factors affecting their lives.
We do not pretend to be a prompter, there is only a desire to draw attention to the essentials and to call for reflection on the ways and factors of citizen formation both in the state as a whole and at the level of local governments and agencies. A citizen, both in the formal-legal sense and in the substantive sense. Citizenship can be obtained at birth. Citizenship can also be issued (appropriated) to those who have raised a citizen in themselves, and take it away if it turns out that they do not deserve it. (See also 1.6.)
A liar cannot feel free; their heart will ache, and sooner or later they will become ashamed. Lies draw us into the net where memories of moral values lead to the torment of conscience and the desire to hide the truth even more actively and to get out of it. For an immoral person, concepts such as honor, dignity, and virtues are foreign words that the person does not use and whose meaning they rather try to make ironic. It is impossible to get rid of lies through administrative methods.
- It is impossible to get rid of lies through administrative methods.
- A citizen should learn to call a spade a spade, otherwise it will be impossible to get rid of shortcomings and strengthen the foundations of moral behavior.
A liar should be called a liar, just as a thief should be called a thief, and an abomination an abomination. A citizen should learn to call a spade a spade, otherwise it will be impossible to get rid of shortcomings and strengthen the foundations of moral behavior. It’s easier for the brave to live!
Lying, stealing, and deceiving are not cultural practices that should inevitably be reckoned with.
By imposing their rules and so-called liberal values, certain “biased forces” apparently hope to ensure that people do not dare, do not want, do not know how to participate in public debate and do not dare to express their point of view, although they have long understood what is being done and in whose interests.
If citizens wish to preserve their country as a democratic state governed by the rule of law, immoral practices must be disclosed and immoral activities discouraged by common effort.
We must keep our eyes open for attempts to seize power and unjustified increases in power structures!
Politics is a system of goal-oriented activity at all levels of societal regulation; a way for the self-assertion of personalities and factions; a thought construct designed to regulate the relationship between property, power, and law. In each sense, politics has its own content, genesis, dynamics, and functions.
Politics is not just about party activities! Politics plays an important role in every area of life. Domestic and foreign policies, economic and social policies, as well as policies in the fields of education, culture, population, etc., require attention.
- Politics is not just about party activities!!! Politics plays an important role in every area of life.
- In a sense, all people who have a civic position and who are not indifferent to the future of society and their native land are engaged in politics.
In a sense, all people who have a civic position and who are not indifferent to the future of society and their native land are engaged in politics.
Everywhere there is thinking about how to preserve what cannot be changed and how to change what cannot be tolerated — this matters at every level of regulation, in every organization, in every institution and enterprise, as well as at home.
Politics are present in legal acts:
The source of power in politics is the alternative. Activities require dedicated people who can be believed and trusted; ideals and lofty ideas to which one can devote oneself; ideas concerning the care of home and homeland, as well as multiplying the conditions for the well-being of the people and the prerequisites for further development; fundamentals of systematic thinking and communication.
Politics is measured by the faith and trust of the people, and by support and respect for the political leadership.
What does politics depend on? To succeed in politics, it is necessary to deal with all the things that affect the systems on which the objects of regulation (phenomena or processes) depend. Politics is one thing, and the implementation of political decisions is another. To implement political decisions, it is necessary to deal with society as a whole — everything on which success depends. A system whose elements are law, economics, culture, ideology, education, etc. should be dealt with.
In the service of politics, there must be an ideology that creates the necessary attraction and explains, in a way that is understandable and accessible to all categories of the population, that what they have been waiting for and hoping for can be done if they themselves make an effort to do so.
Political struggles can lead to power. Power obtained by honest and legal means in the service of the people and the state is the heaviest of burdens. This burden is extremely significant and dangerous at the same time. Power obliges one to be competent, fair, unwavering, and considerate of everything and everyone.
If a person finds themself in a position of power by accident (unjustifiably), it may happen that they “forget” the responsibility that comes with power and begin to enjoy the privileges and other benefits attached to power. Power can make a person arrogant, indifferent, greedy, vain, self-centered, aggressive, and superficial.
- Power is the position of the subject in society and culture, entitling one to decisions that others are obliged to fulfill.
- Decisions come with the obligation to be responsible to others for their lives and living environment.
Power is an obligation and a revered opportunity to devote oneself to the service of one’s people.
Political activity presupposes knowledge, skills, and experience. In a civil society, it is considered normal for every citizen to know how the state functions. This means having knowledge in the field of political activity.
When social control in any society is weak, there is a danger that politicians will become corrupt.
A party considered as a subject of self- and social governance and wishing to achieve its goals should have:
- sufficiently good training in management, governance, administration, and networking;
- high qualifications;
- reasonable orientation;
- strong motivation to serve their people honestly;
- extensive erudition;
- trustworthy intuition;
- respectful, fair, and open style.
A party, which is essentially just a corporate community whose goal is to come to power and which wants to hold on to power at all costs, seeks to: