We grow up, study, work, live and die according to the limits we find along our lifetime.
Some of these limits are already there: Gravity, weather, the city in which each one of us is born…..
Others are built around you while you are living by your parents, at school, your friends, your bosses, your job-mates.
What I mean by this is that we are always immersed in a context that has influence on us, our decisions, our actions. However, if we change the scale of the approach and start to consider groups in a wider range, and finally society in general, it is much more difficult to evidence how the different parts of it, consider the “limits” to their actions.
The tool of negotiation is then quickly developed inside of us, and helps us analyze our own strength and others’ as well. From this assessment, we will plan a strategy. It’s a very demanding and constant exercise, taking into account that the terms of negotiation will surely change and evolve and will require making adjustments in our strategies.
On the other side, we maintain simultaneous negotiations every day. There are few things along any day in which a negotiation is not involved: maybe buying at a shop, maybe listening to music with headphones. But as soon as we wake up, we might find ourselves having to agree issues like who will use the bathroom first, or who will take the kids to school, when the schedule is altered by any contingency.
Apparently, in any society there must be agreed limits about what people, groups, even governments are allowed and not allowed to do.
Laws, rules and other written instruments are the ways for a society to impose itself the limits to stay civilized and not become a wild and natural environment, where we all act by impulse or even instinct.
In a relationship between a professional and a client, the latter will require methods, tools and milestones to control the progress, and results of any service given to him. As a counterpart, a payment of a fee is also agreed.
In more or less the same approach, every role in society ought to be framed in the same pattern.
Democracy is based on the assumption that there are hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people that cannot rule a city, a province and a country by themselves. There are representatives and a structured organization to carry out the required tasks.
Like in any other administration, people assign power to their representatives to act on their behalf and for their interests.
But unlikely any other organization, we could say in the “org-chart” of democratic societies the power relation pyramid is inverted: those who “theoretically” hold power are at the base, while those who are delegates are, contradictory, at the top.
Once in office, government “administrators”, apply their own judgement discretionally, resulting some times in actions that go even against the interests of those represented.
The question is: How are we surveying the mandate we delegate on our representatives? What are the tools we have for assessing results and reviewing the terms of this mandate? How “fixed” are these issues in a world subject to constant change?
How can we let our representatives know where the limits to their actions are, so they don’t build the idea they are not subject to any rule?