Disraeli, Communities, and Institutions

What are the differences between a “community” and an “institution,” assuming there are any differences? This question arose when I was perusing some quotations from Benjamin Disraeli today:

“I repeat…that all power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that from the people, and for the people all springs, and all must exist.”

“Ignorance never settles a question.”

“In a progressive country change is constant; …change… is inevitable.”

“Individuals may form communities, but it is institutions alone that can create a nation.”

The quotations are from this site.

I wondered if Disraeli himself believed what he said in the first quotation. As to communities v. institutions, I’d go only so far as to hazard a guess that an institution might be a community with at least one prominently defined goal (in addition to self-perpetuation), perhaps with other customary, unstated, but nonetheless firm goals, and many defined rules or regulations or other markers to control behavior. I should have written I was hazarding a most amateurish guess. I should have also written that “community” seems like the broader category, while “institution” might qualify as a kind of “community.” As a taxonomist, I am, as you might have noticed, no Aristotle and no Linnaeus, although I did visit Linnaeus’s formal garden once in Uppsala.


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