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The most fundamental benchmark to evaluate social governance

 Human societies are fundamentally hierarchical organizations in which leadership is exercised by a group of people, also hierarchically str...

 Human societies are fundamentally hierarchical organizations in which leadership is exercised by a group of people, also hierarchically structured, usually under the direction of a designated or elected leader. The establishment and maintenance of hierarchy depends on the nature of the social system. The hierarchical structure of governance in an autocratic society is fundamentally different from that in a democratic society, but the hierarchical structure of governance is common to human communities.

However, the fundamental factor of evaluation of the activity of social leadership is not obviously, clearly and objectively determined, according to which it is possible to measure whether the leadership carrying out the governance is performing its work usefully for the society. What is the most fundamental measure that can be used to describe the useful effectiveness of social leadership?

There are a number of practical approaches to assessing the usefulness of social governance. It is obvious that the effectiveness of social governance can be characterized by the impact of its activities on the community. The fundamental question, however, is what is the defining indicator that can explicitly and objectively show the effectiveness of governance.

The effectiveness of social leadership is usually measured in terms of its efficiency in solving social problems, improving quality of life, promoting social change, and its impact can be measured in terms of social satisfaction, community development, or positive changes in social indicators.

But these are controversial, not obvious, not unambiguous, and not necessarily objective measures of the effectiveness of social governance. Social problems, for example, are difficult to define, and most of their solutions are generally subjective. Nor is the improvement in the quality of life clearly linked to the impact of social leadership on the community. And judgments about the direction of social change are fundamentally interest-driven and therefore not well suited to objectively representing the effectiveness of leadership. Similarly, social satisfaction is a distant, indirect consequence rather than a clear result of leadership. Nor are changes in social indicators that benefit the functioning of society necessarily the direct result of leadership effectiveness.

There are also a number of more technical aspects to analyzing leadership, such as whether leadership can inspire, motivate and support followers to achieve common goals and improve their social status; how it deals with the challenges, conflicts and changes it faces; how ethical it is; how honest, responsible and credible it is in its decisions and actions; how it respects social norms and values; the extent to which it contributes to social innovation, sustainable development, social justice and social inclusion; and what feedback and recognition it receives from its followers, partners, funders and social media users.

Of course, these aspects provide some reflection of leadership effectiveness, but they mainly analyze leadership activity and do not focus on the obvious, unambiguous, and objective determination of the impact of leadership activity on the community.

The essence of social governance is not the determination of objectives, means and methods, which are subjective elements dependent on society, but the result of the activity of social governance, which is an objectively assessable and evaluable aspect. The development of the community could be a fundamental determinant of the effectiveness of social governance, but development is by no means an obvious characteristic, and its definition is as constrained as the definition of governance effectiveness described above.

However, there is one social aspect that can be fundamentally linked to the beneficial activity of social governance, and which can be used as a benchmark to measure the beneficial activity of social governance, which is essentially formed and shaped by the activity of social governance: the apparent level of social cohesion.

Social cohesion is a measurable characteristic of a society that shows how well its members are able to behave as a coherent community. Social cohesion refers to how strong and close the ties are between members of the community. Cohesion can be strong when people share common values, goals and identities, and participate equally in the life of the community.

Social cohesion is not directly linked to the actions of social leadership, and is therefore a less manipulable benchmark, and therefore an objective and potentially fundamental characteristic for assessing leadership effectiveness. Social cohesion is an obvious, unambiguous and objective indicator for evaluating social governance.

The degree of cohesion in a society is not just a cultural issue. Social leadership must not reduce social cohesion, and good social leadership increases social cohesion as a result of its activities, so it is a fundamental indicator by which the effectiveness of social leadership can be evaluated.

Social cohesion is not an easy characteristic to measure, as it involves several dimensions and variables, but it can be objectively assessed once a commonly agreed and fixed professional methodology has been defined. Some possible indicators of social cohesion are how much people feel excluded, isolated or disadvantaged in the community; how much they fear social conflict, poverty, unemployment, immigration or minorities; how much they trust each other and their neighbors, friends, colleagues or strangers; how involved they are in civic engagement, political activities, community organizations or charitable activities; how connected they feel to their local community, region or country; and how often they keep in touch with family, friends or relatives.

These indicators can be measured using different methods, such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, statistical data or indices, but the most important thing is that the measurement result can provide an explicit and objective state of the degree of social cohesion.

Increasing social cohesion is the ultimate purpose of governance and the yardstick by which social leadership can be evaluated. The most, if not the only, obvious, clear and objective measure of the real quality of political leadership is the degree of social cohesion. If the social cohesion does not increase under the activity of social leadership, the leadership is not a good leader of the society, and if the social cohesion decreases, the social leadership is unfit for its role.

It is interesting to note that society-building religions based on the supposed guidance of God also focus on increasing group cohesion. Religions are seen as a means to increase social cohesion as politics often uses religion as a tool to increase social cohesion. The problem with this is that if the values of religion and the values of politics using religion are different, the use of religion as a tool to increase the effectiveness of social governance will lead to counterproductive results in the long run.

Nevertheless, the role of religions in strengthening social cohesion is a remarkable feature, because religion is a suitable means for forming human society into a unified organization. Social cohesion is not only a measurable indicator of the effectiveness of the activity of social leadership, but also a means of achieving a possible higher goal, which ultimately enables human society to function as a unitary organization and thus to reach a qualitatively higher level of human existence. The goal of social leadership, the goal of politics, must not be to acquire and maintain power, but to enhance social cohesion in order to lead human society to a new level of life. The cause and effect is the exact opposite of the ordinary political view. The proper activity of politics is to improve social cohesion in order to form and provide political power, and not to acquire and possess political power as the goal and means of improving social cohesion.

Politics is a socially dangerous profession to play, and defining the standard is a necessity, and evaluating political activity according to it is a fundamental determinant and selector of political activity and politicians as well.

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