The maintenance of basic order depends in large measure on establishing an informal consensus on the appropriate forms of individual behaviour which allows community sanctions to be invoked when necessary. It is becoming obvious that effective development depends upon a relatively stable basis of order being present in any particular community. Yet, in many socially mixed rural communities, such a consensus is lacking, and a haphazard assortment of patterns of behaviour is considered normal, with the result that social occasions often end in disorder. Furthermore, individuals tend to assume that a personal effort towards maintaining order would be comparatively fruitless. Residents are unwilling to hold one another accountable to social norms. For example, although many people may express concern over alcoholism and vandalism, individuals or groups rarely take the initiative to deal with such disruptions. The wisdom of older people is rarely called upon and they are unable to impose effective sanctions. Individual communities may have no official police force, and even where there are some means of law enforcement, violations of the law ranging from deliberate shootings to dangerous driving may be ignored. The education of children is left largely to teachers. Young people are confronted with conflicting expectations of appropriate roles and are given few opportunities to organize social events or to take responsibility for community facilities; vandalism and property damage are the result. All these things contribute to a sense of disruption which pervades everyday life. Until more orderly forms of social ethics are established at the community level, the climate of community life will continue to discourage residents from participation.
The state must abandon the anaesthetizing political discourse that plays down problems and adopt policies that deal effectively with the growing disintegration of social values and the issues of multiculturalism and clash of values.