Surely society matters

Society is an agglomeration of humans bound together in a variety of criss-crossing rules and regulations, obligations and duties, entitlements and freedoms. They may also be bound through common or similar origins. These origins may be tribal, geographical or experiential. Other links are a shared inheritance of religion or even spirituality.

Over-arching institutional structures relating to governance and administration, law, order and justice, education and empowerment, as well as mutual sustenance, can also represent appropriate links; as can those other instruments relating to codes of conduct which signify a civilization. Such links are usually sustained through a shared language, and agreed moral values. These values protect the collective, and lubricate relations between its members.

The core of human society is everywhere the family. This unit of humanity produces, nurtures to maturity, and prepares for civilization, those who will take the society into the future. It is the family, not one of the other structures of society, which shapes pivotally the society-in-the-making, and enhances its viability. This is so, especially in an environment of vast de-stabilising social forces. Protection against cultural tsunamis requires rock-like stability in both family and society, in order to prevent the erosion of traditional time-tested societal and human values. Those Asian societies which survived the onslaught of Christian colonialism are a testament to this need.

In the last half-century, Australian society has been racked ferociously by the forces of change. These changes have been vast. In the field of family formation, an atmosphere of unrelenting uncertainty about durable values and practices, associated with a recognized inability to influence these de-stabilising forces, has diminished the coherence of society.

In the event, are there any agencies or authorities whose role is to protect the family and, through that process, to guard the health of society? How is an appropriate family unit for a modern society to be defined? What mechanisms are available, or needed, by these agencies and authorities to protect society, especially against the escalating dysfunctionality of families?