In Favor of Institutions

If I wanted to reduce my entire political program to a single sentence, it would be this:

I'm fighting to strengthen institutions, to make them more stable, more durable, more effective, more sustainable, more adaptable, more flexible, more limber, more efficient, more lively, and more fun, by making them more democratic, more responsive, more open, freer, with a deeper commitment to the rights of people they involve and affect.

Institutions are social relations, and I seek to foster and strengthen these relationships.  The most important kind of institution, as Aristotle knew well, is friendship.  We can hope for more and better friendships.

I recognize that not all institutions will survive, but I predict, or at least I hope, and I will work towards making it that those institutions that do survive will be the stronger, more sustainable, more flexible, more fun, more democratic institutions that provide greater rights and freedom.  I also think they will be institutions that are more likely to work together for the preservation and regrowth of the environment.  (This is analogous to Darwinian evolution, in which the species that is better adapted to its environment is the one that survives and propagates itself.)  Many, many institutions will perish.  Indeed, I think it's fairly likely that no, or very few, present institutions will survive.  We will have to build new institutions.  But it's important to point out that building is what we are fighting for - that we are pro-institutional, not anti-institutional.

Let our goal be to build institutions that are so carefully and cleverly constructed, balanced, and well-developed through trial and error, that eventually they no longer require dictatorial wills, or any sort of rigid hierarchy, to sustain them.  And then let everything else fall away and let these institutions remain, a source of pride for work well done.


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