MATRIX OF ENLIGHTENMENT VALUES

Modern nation states and organisations are mostly run by virtue of what is known as Enlightenment values (EV) (for more, see)

There may be various permutations of these values in an organisation. Though permutations may vary, for large organisations to exist, the existence of the individual components of EV is almost essential. These are the factors that gel the organisation and propel it to higher goals.

Matrix of Enlightenment values (MOEV) is a qualitative assessment of the components of Enlightenment values embedded in various organisations.

Nation Empiricism Skepticism Liberty Individualism Rule of law (ROL)
Soviet Union +++ ++
China +++ + + +++
USA +++ ++ +++ ++++ +++
Netherlands ++++ +++ +++ ++++ ++++
Japan +++ ++ +++ +++ ++++
India ++ ++ ++
Indian constitution*

 

+++ ++ +++ +++ NA**
Pakistan + + +
UAE + + ++++
Saudi Arabia

 

++++
Iraq

 

Singapore ++ ++ +++ ++++

 

 

* I have included an entity that is dissimilar to the overall category to reinforce the point that nations and their constitution may have an independent or even divergent existence. However, the constitution of a nation guides it to a path if it is given an “aura” of sanctity. The idea of “constitutional morality” is a value system that emerges in a nation by virtue of the aura of sanctity given to its constitutional principles. In modern nations with written constitutions like the United States, this is very much true. At the same time, in those nations whose constitutions are overturned multiple times, this aura of sanctity is rapidly dissipated or in worst case will not even emerge in the nation’s consciousness. Many nations in Asia and Africa suffer from this dissipation of the notion of constitutional morality.

**   Not applicable because “rule of law” is the practical application of laws, and it cannot be ascribed to a body of principles and laws like a constitution.

MOEV helps us to understand why certain states fail, why certain others flourish, and why certain other states are sustained despite a paucity of major elements of EVs. It helps us to understand that EVs have different weightage for different components of the state. It shows that components of EVs, while successful in driving science (like empiricism), may not be enough to drive the society as a whole. It may result in temporary outcomes, but over a period of time the state loses steam.

While empiricism and skepticism are the driving forces of science, liberty and individualism are the driving force for liberal democracy. Here we have to understand that democracy can be illiberal too. Illiberal democracy without ROL is a potent concoction for the failure of states. We saw many such states in West Asia when democracy mixed with illiberal ideas led to the quick degeneration of states.

The matrix can be constructed for different organisations, ideologies and subnational entities. It’s open for empirical validation if appropriate indices are developed to capture the components of EV.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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