A nation and, increasingly, the global community is a complex of interacting organisations. The greater the resources that an organisation controls, the greater the power of its upper stratum. A collection of similar organisations that co-operate to acquire yet greater power and status forms what is described as a sector. Sectors are also organisations and the same principles apply to them. Sectors are of particular importance as they control or influence the institutions of a nation, and thus, its general culture. When they exist in an influential nation, they can also impact on multinational or global culture and affairs. They are therefore discussed in some detail here.
Sectors differ from nation to nation, and from era to era. The way that nations were organised in the past, are organised in the present, and, to a limited extent, how they will be organised in the future can be explained using the concept of sectors. To do so we need to understand the ways in which sectors interact. Of particular interest is their impact on government, the nation’s controlling sub-system.
All organisations are hierarchical, and all organisations are a part of yet greater ones. Thus, high status in one organisation often confers status in a parent organisation. Within the parent organisation, the high status individuals of a child organisation can negotiate with others for yet higher status. This is done by offering support in return for status. This support often takes the form of wealth and influence. The larger a person’s status base, the more resources he controls, the greater the support he can provide, the greater his trading ability, and the higher the status he is likely to achieve in the parent organisation.
This process is recursive. So, an individual with high status in a business can, by trading the support of that business with others, achieve high status in a sector, and by trading the support of that sector, achieve high status in the national establishment. The national establishment comprises high status members of many sectors including government. Thus, trading can take place between high status representatives of a sector and government. Of particular concern is the ability to influence government decisions. Unfortunately, this influence is often not in the interest of the nation but rather in the interest of the sector, the business, or even the individual representing them.
To acquire status in the establishment members must overtly appear to have something to trade. This explains the very high salaries and often ostentatious lifestyles of the leaders of many organisations. The purpose of such high salaries is not to satisfy the needs of the recipient nor, as some would argue, to attract and reward those with the necessary skills and talents. Rather it is to enable the upper strata to make overt displays to their peers in the establishment and, thus, better enable them to trade for status and influence. Unfortunately, this trade within the establishment requires ever greater displays of status, particularly wealth and power, which in turn leads to ever greater income inequality.
The interplay of sectors, through their representatives in the national establishment, plays a very large part in shaping the governance, culture, and beliefs of a nation. Each sector will carry with it a worldview suited to the needs of its members, or of its upper stratum. Through trading in the establishment, it is possible for the leaders of organisations in one sector to influence the decisions of the leaders of organisations in another. This influence includes not only decisions favouring a particular sector, but also the propagation of the latter’s worldview and the suppression of other, possibly more rational ones. In extreme cases, one sector can usurp the leadership of another, for example the takeover of the industrial commercial sector in the West by the financial sector and the imposition of a “bottom-line” ideology. A sector can also take control of government, as in the case of military dictatorships and theocracies.