Starting out with a couple of definitions: A function is something that transforms an input into an output. A system is a functional network. A human function is a behavior that (semi-reliably) transforms a stimulus into a range of outcomes, represented by a random variable. A human system is a network of human functions.
All long-term human institutions have (at least) three causal factors: the exoteric reasons, the esoteric reasons, and the functional reasons. In more down-to-earth terms that’s the reasons people say out loud, their internal motivations, and the real reasons, respectively.
For example: white flight. The reason people say out loud is they want to move somewhere with good schools (for der chiiillren). Their internal motivation, whether they’re honest with themselves or not, is to move to where lots of other white people are and minorities aren’t. The functional reason for this is part of the great circle of life: white people make nice things, nice things attract minorities, minorities make nice things less nice, white people regroup elsewhere.
For example two: centralized schooling. The reason people say out loud is that every child deserves an education (read: every child deserves to be upper-middle class). The real individual motivation is that 95% of parents can’t be bothered to raise their own children, and it’s easier to outlaw homeschooling and other alternatives so that badwhites don’t get a leg up on their offspring. The functional reason is to brainwash children into statolotry, which makes them amenable to post-industrial peonage.