My Position on Institutions
People are incredibly complex and wondrous organisms. We have an innate human creativity that manifests in the very basic things of life: language, dreams, memory, etc., all of which make us computers of staggering capacity, computers so sufficient that something like what we term "free will" makes up part of our matrix: that is, we are capable (like other animals but even more starkly) to respond to external stimuli in a way that is at least partially original and unique to the situation at hand yet is not randomly generated. I am interested most primarily in what humans want and need, in limiting human suffering and pain and enhancing human fulfillment and pleasure, in creating a world where as few external barriers to spiritual progress are present. (Note that this above comment is simple scientific fact: Scientists know virtually nothing about people and their behavior and can scarcely predict the operation of worms, let alone people with billions of neurons).
People build institutions. People design and compose institutions. Therefore, institutions are malleable and can be changed by human hands. Insitutions, for the sake of discussion, are structures wherein people are put into recurrent roles in relation to each other. There are institutions of fluid power, such as racism and sexism; there are institutions of solid power, such as the state and corporations. Institutions include all of the above plus church groups, the Army, volunteer fire departments, food coops, the manor of a feudal lord, etc.
Institutions inherently delimit roles, order information, alter perceptions, assign privilege and incentives as well as punishment and disincentives. This is all fine and well. For example: A fire department has some people who are using the hose and others who are going into the building; a fire department will dispense information about burning houses that may not go to non-fire department members; a firewoman will have the perception thereof; and a fire department will reward good team members and punish those who slack off when the fire is burning. There's no necessary path to dominance here.
My point is that, since people want to interact in ways that are fairly stable and make sense (because we are inherently social or tribal animals), and people also want to have dignity and freedom, our institutions should propel the desires we hold dear: solidarity, diversity, liberty, freedom, equity, self-management, compassion, justice, etc. etc. We want our institutions to not only allow but encourage behavior that accomplishes these goals and makes people happy, and offers the necessary information and roles to do so.
To offer an example of institutional change: Slavery in the United States was once considered an acceptable institution that should be allowed and encouraged by the law; the inputs of the economy went into and out of slavery; and being a slave-owner was a sign of power and prestige. Nowadays, slavery is illegal and punished; the inputs of the economy overwhelmingly stay away from slavery (though capitalists do have sweatshops that are pretty much [wo]manned by slaves); and to own slaves is considered a sign of brutality and cruelty.
This does not mean that I support B.F. Skinner-style incentive/disincentive structures. I fundamentally believe that people have free will, dignity, freedom, and are not machines that can be simply tweaked by the conceit of a behavioral scientist. That having been said, I think that people will overwhelmingly choose to go along with incentives/disincentives, information structures, etc. that appeal to their greater interests, even if they may have occasional disagreements... So raising a child in a family is a hard thing, not easily solved by specious "science", but where the institutional structure will overwhelmingly make good, decent folk even if there are still some lingering hatreds and flaws.