To summarize I wished to make following point,
Political institutions matter because they strengthen co-operation and channelize conflict.
However here we are confronted by a difficulty.Combining premises of previous posts while creating institutions are beneficial for society, to individual acting on "instinct" of self interest the return (to him) doesn't justify the cost incurred.
This essentially calls for a collective effort, but there arises another dilemma, even the collective effort requires minimal level of co-operation.
Indian society is almost antithesis of "near equals", and therefore the task to create institutions suited for Indian reality requires much higher level of co-operation and effort. It is here that a political philosophy which guides the decision takers, informs the opinion makers and thus defines the contours of debate is required.
This is where that Indians have failed, while (at the pleasure of being called Hindu jingoist), India displays considerable cultural harmony, we sorely lack guiding principle for our politics. Unfortunately this ignorance is firmly anchored in the Indian psyche. Our founding fathers, while no doubt selfless in the love for nation, nevertheless underestimated the herculean task of creating political institution for nation, instead for the most part relying either on the colonial machinery or British model both unsuitable for independent India.
The above deficiency explains the extent of misgoverning in post independence India. In absence of sound political foundations nation is plagued with "a million tyrannies".
It is possible to guide India out of this quagmire. However for that to happen Indians need to work on guiding principle.
Which means recognizing that Indians constitute a political entity and our destiny is profoundly affected by the institutions we build, which depend on the objectives we want to attain from these institutions.
It is on this criteria that evolution and evaluation of structures institutions which will be most suitable for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness should happen.
This in nutshell is republicanism. Perhaps we should pay more attention to 26th January.
PS Selfishness is instinct, self interest is "rationalizing" of instinct, enlightened self-interest is a selfishness with a flashlight. Rationalizing in this manner is perfectly all right as past time and amusement, however it is a folly of highest order if one mistakes it for 42