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The acts, rules, procedures, instruments of power and institutions by which the citizens of a country (or more generally the parts of a system) communicate with (see communication) and exert control upon each other so that the country as a whole maintains its unity and is directed toward ends chosen from within that country (see self-organization, autonomy). Its opposite is laissez faire. In the reality of politics, government is rarely uniformly distributed and is constituted (see constitution) instead in a ruling elite, exercising institutional control over those governed. This unequal distribution of government is particularly prevalent in technical realisations. E.g., the governor of a steam engine, computer control of a production process. In biology, such control hierarchies (see hierarchy) rarely exist which suggest that they may be an outgrowth of rational constructions not a fact of nature. (Krippendorff)
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