Any group of human beings who are supposedly in a free society and who have a leader (or a council of people who lead), assigned by that group to make decisions for the common interests of the group, must rely on their own “self-regulation,” above and beyond the leaders’ government, in order to survive. This is imperative as a “check and balance” criterion for a healthy society.
In most democratic societies this is done through the elective process. People are put into power, and taken out of power if need be, through elections, i.e., the popular vote. The people have to keep a keen eye on what is happening in their communities, at the local level, and in their nations, at a national level. And of course, they must exercise due diligence with regard to global happenings as well. Only then will they know who to vote for that best serves their community.
This is how we have control, albeit sometimes not enough, on our government. We have little control over non-government organizations (NGOs) through the elective process. But we do have control, again to some degree, on social norms, moralities, values, and other things that may grate against our own “community standards” as a mass, through protest and other demands for accountability. In this regard our society is somewhat kept in check through a nation’s constitutional requirements, as well as our personal assertion as to what is “right” and what is “wrong.”