Disciplines of Civil Society

Any society functions and continues to function if it has a well-considered set of disciplines to follow. These may be a rule or a system of rules that all people agree are supposed to govern the conduct of its citizen. When we no longer agree with these rules or disciplines, the society regulated by them faces collapse or disillusionment and ultimately revolt or revolution. It is said that history is ultimately the ebb and flow which follows revolution and reform. When reforms do not stick, we again face revolution.

To function at all in a large and complicated society we need laws, rules and regulations in sufficient measure. When they are in short supply, the populace is confused and lacks discipline. When they are in excess, the populace is restricted and feels strangled and out of breath. The solution might be simple: find a balance in the laws, rules and regulations that are just sufficient to stimulate but not so excessive as to restrict the freedom of the populace to stimulate advancement of the society. This allows it the potential to advance toward a great civilization. But whatever happens, we may not know until it is upon us. Then everyone will say that we are doing well, and that we are going in the right direction. Some may not be quite sure.

Nevertheless, when laws and rules are made in which there is significant disagreement, not everyone may follow the imposed discipline of government. Unless there is an orderly attempt to resolve disagreements, the result could be chaos. More likely there is some movement toward compromise. Resolution of differences is incomplete, but somewhere between minimally sufficient and a complete resolution of differences.

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