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Functions of the State and Problems of Relations between the Legislative and Executive Authorities

Functions of the State and Problems of Relations between the Legislative and Executive Authorities
Delyagin Michael 06.12.2006

(Speech on the session of Independent Economic Society dedicated to the centenary of Stolipin’s reforms)

Development of a society is defined by interaction of three basic subjects: state, business and population. It is essentially important that ways of action and short-term interests of business and population are various.

Business by its nature aspires to efficiency - to concentration of blessings at the most successful subjects of economy and policy. This aspiration is made out by ideology of a free competition - liberalism.

Meanwhile population aspires to justice that is to more uniform distribution of blessings. Its natural ideology - socialism.

The state provides harmonization of these current interests for the sake of achievement of long-term success of the whole society in general.

Various historical conditions, settlement of various problems at different stages of its development demand from the society various proportions between efficiency and validity, between liberalism and socialism. Political powers are also being replaced accordingly.  

The general principle of harmonization of interests of business and population is simple though has been developed by the progressive countries in socially-administrative flours. In an external world the state should realize interests of business as more active and creative element of the society, supporting it in every possible way and partially directing its expansion. Inside the society it should support first of all population - not so much owing to its prevailing (in rather democratic society) political influence as due to the fact that internally unstable, splitted society can\t be competitive in medium- and long-term prospect. 

The model described is connected with the costs for business but they pay off by the efficiency of the state capable to provide as performance of "game rules" established by it inside the country and also external expansion of business due to which it will receive for sure more than it will lose from internal restrictions. An example of self-restriction of large business on internal arena – is its consent to antimonopoly regulation.      

At the same time from this at the first sight trivial scheme of harmonization of interests of business and population due to encouragement by the state of external expansion of business in exchange for its consent with priority ranking of interests of the population inside the country the tragic conclusion about an opportunity of successful development of only limited quantity of countries follows. It’s clear that external expansion being a condition of internal harmony of a society can’t be carried out by all the countries of the world: someone will be its subject, someone – it’s inevitable - object. As Bulat Okudjava sang “everyone can’t have sweet gingerbreads“. The country which is an object of external expansion (classical example – modern Russia) is not only deprived of possibility of harmonization of interests of business and population by the described way but also comes across qualitatively new problems coming out from this external expansion.     

Way of harmonization of interests of the population accessible to it and business is - association of their efforts in opposition to external expansion for the sake of preservation in the country of a greater share of resources produced and their directions for the needs of own development of this country, that is in initiating of some kind of "national-liberation" war in the field of economy. Necessity of this "war" and victory does not cancel at all the necessity of simultaneous organization of external expansion of national business which is becoming independent aim of the state policy.       

Maintenance of harmonization of social development by means of the organization of such expansion is - the main duty of any state. Performance or nonfulfilment of this problem distinguishes the successful state from unsuccessful and developed - from fallen or falling.

But, certainly, any state should carry out and its standard functions.       

In fact business by its nature is focused on support and glorification of the strong, those who are capable to take care of themselves. (These are the roots of limitation and insufficiency of the ideology of liberalism).       

Accordingly, public function of the state is the care of the others - of those who for whatever reasons cannot take care of themselves. As a whole function of the state is wider and has compensatory character: it incurs all problems which the society faces but which it cannot execute by itself (for example, harmonization of interests of population and business). By virtue of presence of a significant circle of such problems the society endures the state with its inefficiency and monopoly for violence. The thing that is necessary should be better done badly than not to be done at all.        

The integral functions of the state: establishment of norms and rules and maintenance of their observance (that\s why the private prison is possible while there are no private courts), providing of security of a society (including defensibility, maintenance of stability of the natural and technological environment), strategic planning (not without reason they say that the state is - brains and hands of a society) and organization of the social help.    

Besides depending on a level of development of a society the state renders to it services which it gradually should learn to render itself. The main from them is - realization of long-term and capital-intensive projects, excessive or unattractive for business (as a rule because of a relevancy of necessary investments and duration or uncertainty of their recoupment) - first of all in the field of development of an infrastructure and creation of new technologies (including fundamental science).

The sphere of influence of the state is being narrowed by natural way in the process of development of a society: the last incurs more and more functions, however establishment of norms and rules and also, possibly, strategic planning and social help will remain in its primary competence. The weaker is the society, the more widely is a field of action of the state. Therefore it constantly tests temptation to weaken society for the sake of preservation or even expansions of the influence that conducts to an inefficiency and loss in external competitiveness.         

Various feedback mechanisms with society as from the part of the society (mass-media, democratic freedom, NGO) and from the state (the main thing here is - division of authorities: independent court, division of legislative and executive authority) are being created to restraint these aspirations of the state.

Contradictions between legislative and executive authorities naturally appear from the division of authorities, but first of all before to consider their relations it is necessary to make serious deviation.

It’s important to define substantial and formal democracy that is the aim and the means. In the modern practice there are 2 principally different understanding of democracy.

The first on - substantial concentrating attention on the aim: democracy is – social device at which managing system to the great extend takes into consideration opinions and interests of controllable.

The second - is formal-institutional, concentrating attention on the means. According to this understanding, democracy is a set of formal (and consequently possible to be measured that is very convenient for exhibiting various estimations) institutes: divisions of the authorities, independent court, parliament, elections, freedom of speech and some others.

It is essentially important that the aim approximately corresponds to means only for the most developed western societies. In the other democratic maintenance of a social system can be provided only by others, formally (that is from the western point of view) not democratic tools.

For this reason artificial introduction of democratic institutes in badly developed societies, as a rule, conducts not to "construction of democracy" but to its various and destructive distortions.

These institutes become means of usurpation of authority by aggressive and rallied minority and establishment of its dictatorship above the majority.

(A classical example as a consequence can be treated the Islamic countries which "democratization" by the West conducted to the coming to power of either religious fundamentalists or severe tyrants; rather convincing illustration of destructiveness of "export of democracy" is also Russia of the 90th years).

Degradation and archaization of the society can lead to the state of things when democratic institutes having worked before would become too difficult to it and, consequently, would turn into its own destructive contradiction.

In particular, the Russian society can appear and it is possible that already has already appeared in the condition when it’s not able to stand up to the requirements of standard democratic institutes as a result of a long and universal socially-psychological shock because of liberal reforms and mass inflow of carriers of archaic cultures.

Reasonable motivation of their turning is - in it (it’s another matter that because of self-interest of authority it goes by advancing rates and the authority itself became the basic mean of archaization of the society).

Now about the relations between legislative and executive authorities.

Theoretically legislative authority is carrying out strategic management (such as establishment of the game rules and realization of major measures), while executive – tactical.

But it’s all more difficult on practice.

Legislative authority serves not so much to people but to the voter, involuntarily submitting to its momentary interests and indulging whims. Even in England where the voter traditionally trusts to his elect the right to judge from his name about too complex or extraneous things; what one can say about the USA where the members of parliament by virtue of political traditions simply express opinions of voters notwithstanding their own attitude to them! 

As a result parliamentary republics have no strategy of development or have the strategies worked out by their own global corporations.

While in presidential republics (the USA, France, Russia) functions of strategic management are assigned to the president and the executive authority appears to be an embodiment not only of tactics but also of strategy of management.      

Legislators turn out to be simply one of stabilizers, mechanisms protecting society from excessive concentration of authority and carrying out external control after it, almost an element of a civil society.
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