last revised/edited 11/2010, 12/2017
societal, economic, and political institutions hardly consider people's
need for psychosocial bonds within small groups; legal systems and
efforts to prevent crimes are largely based on obsolete assumptions.
When societies become large and anonymous, social instincts work poorly
and some natural ethical inclinations fail. The instinctive ambition to
rise in rank becomes dangerous: this drive has no natural point of
satiation and, in the anonymity of large sociopolitical structures
there are little or no inhibitions. People can be very uncaring and
cruel towards strangers, and in modern societies, many are considered
‘strangers’ by their neighbors. Large societies should be built of
strong, small communities with effective institutions to govern
interactions between small, mid-sized, and large political units.
Many institutions became more democratic and humane -
warfare between villages, clans and countries and colonial rule are
rare today. However, poorly restrained capitalism has created
corporations and financial institutions that have become more powerful
than democratic governments, making elections almost irrelevant. In
addition, globalization created new levels of corruption and terrorism.
Third World Nations have difficulties dealing with extreme poverty in
the midst of a new, growing, Westernized middle class. Western nations
try to deal with legal and illegal migrations, primarily political and
economic refugees who are making poor areas of the USA and Europe their
home. There are clashes of culture. Third World nations’ fear of
decadent influences often promotes religious fundamentalism. Westerners
have sometimes difficulties distinguishing between what constitutes
variability of cultures versus inhumane practices that violate
international standards of ethics.
Democratic political institutions tend to maintain the
status quo including culturally ingrained human rights violations. The
principle of self-determination, a people governing itself, is
problematic. Local people usually consider culturally accepted human
rights violations as justifiable, if they recognize them at all.
Elected representatives and appointed government officials are supposed
to serve all citizens, but since they are members of families, clans,
professional and other groups, they can hardly be objective mediators
between interest groups; there are always conflicts of interest. This
is why police departments, schools and other institution often seek
outsiders to direct them.
Systems of elections and referenda could easily be
improved. As populations are better educated, voting systems can
utilize more complex computer programs.
Modern legal systems are based on obsolete theories concerning the
human mind and they hardly fulfill their intended goals. Particularly
in most Third World countries and the USA, institutions largely fail to
prevent the development of criminal careers, and they fail to protect
citizens from crimes. Many preventable forms of suffering are not
effectively addressed. Most legal systems are more concerned with
vindication than rehabilitation. Their reliance on finding “truth” and
establishing culpability are meaningless. The terms “equality” and
“justice” are obsolete: everybody is different and societies cannot
compensate for apparent 'injustices'. Realizing human rights, effective
prevention of transgressions, and humane treatment of all people may be
a goal to replace a goal of ‘justice.’
In all planning, ethical thinking and relevant
research data must be considered, including findings in the fields of
psychology, psychiatry, neurosciences, biology, anthropologic, and
particularly ethology (compare data researched and compiled by Konrad
Eibl-Eibesfeldt, Edward O. Wilson, and others).