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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » Will Respect and Trust for Institutions Ever Return? (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Will Respect and Trust for Institutions Ever Return?
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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Who here has made such an assumption?
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Aijalon
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All institutions eventually become bloated and corrupt, because people are corrupt. I think we're more inherently good, than corrupt, but that doesn't stop the decay in the institution. I would describe the reason for the decay along the lines of an axiom I discovered on a "demotivator" slogal poster.

NONE OF US IS AS DUMB AS ALL OF US
(pictured: several hands of business people palms down in circle - titled: "MEETINGS ")

Change happens on it's own, and institutions are reactionary, and often slow. Institutions, especially large ones, require institutional levels of change to keep up with the changes outside the organization. The longer that change is delayed, the worse the relationship of that institution to the outside.

Every business model breaks down eventually, and every business eventually gets bought out. The biggest and oldest organizations are bound to be the most corrupt, but there are always fresh organizations growing underneath waiting to take their place...

(to take us toward new record levels of corruption... teehee)

I think it is possible to respect organizations legacies left behind even when they are presently stagnant and useless. Gamaliel's thread on appreciation of other people's traditions is a good example.
http://forum.ship-of-fools.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=020230

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
Who here has made such an assumption?

None here, nor did I say so.

[ 26. July 2017, 11:10: Message edited by: Gee D ]

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
What I find disturbing is an assumption that no institution is worthy of respect, and none can earn it.

I think it might be a sign that our civilisation is wearing itself out.
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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
What I find disturbing is an assumption that no institution is worthy of respect, and none can earn it.

I think it might be a sign that our civilisation is wearing itself out.
No. I don't think that's necessarily the case [the political and economic order in place since the early 80s is wearing out, but that's somewhat orthogonal to what's going on right now]

The reality is that plenty of institutions in the past were riven with flaws, and were often allowed to go on unreformed because they served a useful role - even if only in the eyes of the PTB. The revelations of those flaws plus the current state of affairs where it's very each to expose minor flaws, leads to a situation where people are automatically cynical of everything. I think that's only natural.

In time, a new balance will no doubt develop where people are more forgiving of minor public foibles.

OTOH those bemoaning the lack of respect and trust have it incumbent on them to explain which institutions they think should have more respect and trust, and why.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:


In time, a new balance will no doubt develop where people are more forgiving of minor public foibles.

Is there any sign or proof that this is likely to happen? I'm not terribly convinced.

Myself, I'm not a huge fan of institutions. We have to have them, but I can't think of a likely event or serious of events that's going to make me more 'forgiving' of them.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Is there any sign or proof that this is likely to happen? I'm not terribly convinced.

Giving an equally considered reposte to the above; Corbyn, Trump.

Clearly there are strategies and moments where past foibles are ignored.

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SvitlanaV2
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But those are individuals, not institutions. It remains to be seen whether these men can fashion their political parties in their own image. And then whether those parties will regain 'respect and trust' from among the people, rather than just votes.

(After all, it's not as if our democracies can abolish political parties due to our boredom or dissatisfaction. Someone is going to win, regardless of how much we may dislike the whole lot of them, or the political system itself....)

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
But those are individuals, not institutions. It remains to be seen whether these men can fashion their political parties in their own image. And then whether those parties will regain 'respect and trust' from among the people, rather than just votes.

Sure but at the moment the people positing a change from the past have the onus to prove evidence.

There are two ways of looking at this; Perhaps past respect largely depended on an information asymmetry coupled with the the ability to intimidate. So perhaps 'respect and trust' was misplaced, and it's return may not necessarily presage anything particularly good (as in the Trump case - and I disagree that you can't see the same thing happen at the institutional level - see everyone who depends on Fox/Breitbart for their news)

At the institutional level, there are plenty of younger thinkers who are coming to the limits of movements and therefore promoting the building/rebuilding of institutions, coupled with a keen sense of their limitations and therefore the need for checks and balances.

I would struggle to see why the latter sentiment would be a worse situation that the 'respect and trust' given in the past - and in many ways it's an awful lot better.

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SvitlanaV2
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I'm not really arguing against what you're saying about the past. Previous centuries wouldn't have had much to offer me, so I don't have much cause to be nostalgic.

It's more than I'm fairly unconvinced about the future. You talk about Trump; I see the votes for Trump as a sign that the civilisation is in trouble. People chose him in defiance of career politicians. They'd already had the career politicians, and not been satisfied. What was Hilary going to do for them? She would've been much more competent than Trump, but to whose benefit?

To be honest, I don't think there's likely to be a joyful future for many ordinary Westerners. The quality of jobs is likely to continue to decline. The standard of living won't increase. Healthcare costs will become harder to cover. These problems are unlikely to improve the public's attitude towards institutions.

There may be some very clever young people out there starting their own sensible news blogs, etc., but I don't think that's going to change the attitude towards journalists and official news organisations in general.

But we'll see. Certainly, there are always winners as well as losers.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

It's more than I'm fairly unconvinced about the future. You talk about Trump; I see the votes for Trump as a sign that the civilisation is in trouble.

That wasn't my point. My point was that both in the case of Corbyn (and Trump) you have supporters willing to ignore past foibles, which is the narrow point I was specifically responding to.

And again, the tale that 'everything will just get worse' is most assertion with very little supporting evidence apart from a feeling.

Even if you want to posit a trend. Every historical reversal worked against the prevailing trend.

[ 30. July 2017, 12:07: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
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Let me tell you one surprising fact. If you look for times when fairness has taken a step forward then you need to look at the times when people have been engaged in the development of institutions.

From a British perspective, the Victorians were big institution reformers (particular enterprise and charitable institutions) and they are also an age when injustices were tackled (child workers, slavery, universal education etc). Please note I have not said that Victorian age was Utopia, just that they did noticeable work toward making an unfair society fairer.

The second big wave from a UK perspective was the post war. Again another big institution building time and also one where inequality was tackled. This time the institutions were largely governmental.

Unfortunately, times of regress from fairness seem to come about at times when we are anti-institutional. A failed state is one that has no institutions and it is not good news for the poor.

We need to seriously reconsider the discourse which says "institutions bad". Too often the "institution bad" discourse gives a dog a bad name and hangs it. There is no incentive under that regime for the institution to function well. They are destroyed because they exist not for being good.

Rather we need to start a discourse which gives a vision for good institutions. I am now feeling I should do this but am cautious as much of my ideas are formed within a pretty specific cultural setting. So what would a good institution look like?

Jengie

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
The tale that 'everything will just get worse' is most assertion with very little supporting evidence apart from a feeling.

Even if you want to posit a trend. Every historical reversal worked against the prevailing trend.

The idea that civilisations stagnate and occasionally even come to an end is hardly an 'assertion with very little supporting evidence'!

But it's always good to be positive, certainly. And individual circumstances will always differ. Highly educated, well-paid, mobile young people will always do well. One has to know how to spot and grasp opportunities.

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:

But it's always good to be positive, certainly. And individual circumstances will always differ. Highly educated, well-paid, mobile young people will always do well. One has to know how to spot and grasp opportunities.

Yes. But 'highly educated' isn't always a plus. 'Raised with high expectations' may be a better way of putting it [Smile]

I love this kind of story - Young Urban Farmers

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Let me tell you one surprising fact. If you look for times when fairness has taken a step forward then you need to look at the times when people have been engaged in the development of institutions.

There are plenty of people engaged right now in the development of institutions - perhaps you are looking in the wrong places?
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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Let me tell you one surprising fact. If you look for times when fairness has taken a step forward then you need to look at the times when people have been engaged in the development of institutions.

There are plenty of people engaged right now in the development of institutions - perhaps you are looking in the wrong places?
And there is the problem. People concentrate on the care and maintenance of the institutions, not the work of the institutions.

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(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
And there is the problem. People concentrate on the care and maintenance of the institutions, not the work of the institutions.

Not necessarily. There are plenty of people doing both, and putting the aims first, and building institutions to support those aims.
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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
And there is the problem. People concentrate on the care and maintenance of the institutions, not the work of the institutions.

Not necessarily. There are plenty of people doing both, and putting the aims first, and building institutions to support those aims.
I agree but the institution should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. If those in charge have the emphasis then the institution will stagnate and cease to do much good. Maybe institutions need term limits?

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
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Firstly I grant there is some, but I am so used to the negative talk of institutions as always bad that I see in so many places including this thread.

Secondly, those that tend to be created are small scale entrepreneurial.

Thirdly our solution to problems is nearly always compliance regulation.

A highly regulatory compliant institution does not fit with small scale and entrepreneurial.

In other words we are setting them up to fail.

Jengie

[ 30. July 2017, 19:02: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:

Thirdly our solution to problems is nearly always compliance regulation.

A highly regulatory compliant institution does not fit with small scale and entrepreneurial.

In other words we are setting them up to fail.

Well yeah, I think at this point there are a number of people who have read and digested 'Ruling the Void' and similar and understand the above reasonably well, and so have their thinking on institution formation influenced by such considerations.
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Boogie

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We have a small scale 'cottage industry' going. We sell about one item a day. I'm glad the craftsman complies with regulations, or he'd have no fingers left by now!

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Ohher
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The basic problem lies in the tension between individual experience (including of institutions) and "systems." Institutions are all predicated on systems of basic assumptions and rules.

With public institutions, this means there will be, for example, eligibility guidelines for receiving food aid or free medical help. The rules are generally quite rigid, but individual experience is highly variable; systemic eligibility rules screen many people out (and arguably, are deliberately designed to do so). The single mom with 2 kids earns one dollar over the eligibility limit for food aid and goes away hungry and angry. Is she still poor and desperate? She is. Does she get the help she expected to receive? She does not.

Her experience is her reality; the institutional system's rules discriminate against her; she has no basis on which to trust or respect the institution.

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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