The nature of human development

In a monist universe, man & society are natural phenomena responding to the same natural order as everything else. The nature that man & society shares with everything else is their complexity. And in the complexity of man & society in particular, they exist in mutual dependence, where it is impossible to dissociate one from the other (see man & society).
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Society itself is a complex system which can be modelled by the integration of three constitutive elements: culture, economy and institutions (see the nature of society).
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Human Development then, is given by the combination of Social Development with a collective Individual Development. Social Development is related with higher social complexity, while Individual Development is related with higher personal complexity.

Complexity is a natural phenomena given by the integration of differentiated parts. Higher complexity, in general, is related with dynamic flexibility, autonomy, holism and stability (see complexity). Complexity is a universal phenomena present also in man and in society. In Social Development, higher social complexity is translated into more free, tolerant, equalitarian and stable societies where people live more in peace with each other. In Individual Development, higher personal complexity is translated into higher personal, cognitive, spiritual and volitional integrity, where the individual has higher degrees of personal autonomy and stability (see human developmental nature). The combination of both makes Human Development, where people live more in peace with themselves and with each other, and where there are higher degrees of freedom and well-being.

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Sustainable Development would be Human Development with a sustainable use of the natural resources. It would be the extension of Human Development into more holistic forms, where there is higher integration between society and the natural environment. In terms of complexity, sustainable development would mean higher complexity in the system man-society & natural environment. Higher complexity in this system means higher stability; which would be translated in people living more in peace with themselves and each other and in harmony and balance with the natural environment. In other words, sustainable development would result in higher degrees of freedom and well-being in harmony with Nature.
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The main difficulty in analysing complex systems is that all its elements are mutually dependent, interacting  in bidirectional relations. It is impossible to reduce the system to sets of simple principles and linear causal relations. In rigour, to understand the whole we would have to understand each one of its relations, integrate them, and contemplate them in their simultaneous dependence; but this is literally unintelligible. A more intelligible approach then, would be to analyse each of its parts separately, bearing in mind their mutual dependence.

Institutional development
There is a relative high correlation ( r=0.68 ) between Human Development Index (given by the UN) and the Corruption Perception Index (Transparency International). And there is a clear difference between those societies ranking high in Human development with the lowest levels of institutional corruption and those ranking low in Human development with the highest levels of institutional corruption. The differences of institutional development is related to the levels of institutional complexity.

Institutional development means higher institutional complexity, which means higher differentiation and integration on its structure. In institutions, higher differentiation and integration is translated into higher division of power, more efficient mechanisms of checks and balance of interests and higher institutional efficiency. In other words, institutional development is the transition from the simple to the complex, where the simple is related with vertical hierarchical structures where power is concentred on one person or a few (e.g. authoritarian governments and ineffective democracies), and the complex is related with more horizontal structure where power is divided and exercised by many (e.g. parliamentarian, effective democracies).

Complexity in general is related with higher stability. Institutional stability in particular, is related with lower corruption. The higher the division of power and the more efficient the mechanisms of checks and balance of interest, the lower the institutional corruption. And lower institutional corruption means higher political stability.

Institutional corruption ->  economic development
Economic development is a necessary condition for personal, cultural and human development . As it is shown by the World Values Surveys, societies with low human development tend have more survival values, while societies with higher human development, where material needs are satisfied, tends to have more self-expression values. Self-expression values in turn, are a positive reinforcement of human development (see Personal development « Human Development).

But economic development is highly tied to institutional development; and in particular, to the level of institutional corruption. The higher the institutional corruption the lower the economic development. And this is reflected on the levels of Human development. One of the dimensions to measure Human development is the standard of living of people (measures by the GDP per capita). So the higher the economic development, the higher the human development. And Human development is also highly correlated to the level of institutional corruption. Societies ranking high in Human Development have the lowest levels of institutional corruption; and the inverse being true. So the higher the level of institutional corruption, the lower the level of economic development, and the lower the level of Human development; the opposite being also true.

Cultural development
Human Development is related with more free, tolerant and less prejudiced societies. Societies with lower Human Development tend to be more prejudiced, less tolerant with higher levels of, for example, chauvinism, homophobia, xenophobia or nationalistic values. These cultural differences are differences on the degree of cultural complexity.

Cultural development means higher cultural complexity. Complexity in general, is related with higher differentiation and integration. In culture, higher differentiation and integration is translated into freedom of thought and expression and diversity of values and beliefs systems. The opposite, cultural simplicity, is related with homogeneity of values and beliefs.
Complexity in general, is also related with flexibility and stability, while simplicity with rigidity and instability. In cultural complexity, flexibility and stability are reflected on lower prejudice, higher tolerance and higher degrees of cultural adaptation and change. In cultural simplicity, rigidity and instability are reflected on prejudice, intolerance, traditionalism and lower cultural change. This is partially reflected on the World Values Survey, where high human development is related more secular values while low human development with more traditional values.

Cultural development -> institutional corruption
Corruption, not only is institutional but also cultural. And institutional corruption not only depends on the degree of institutional complexity (and mechanisms of checks and balance of interests), but it also depend on the degree of cultural development. When the ruling elite reaches power, they do so taking with them the dominant values of society. As it is shown by the World Values Survey, low human development is related with survival values, while high human development is related with self-expression values. With high human development, where material needs are satisfied and where there are lower socioeconomic inequalities people behave more ethically (see morality & ethics). With low human development, where there are stronger survival values, people are forced to have less ethical and more self-regarding behaviour.

Socioeconomic development
Human Development is related with equality of opportunities (e.g. education more independent from parents income), lower social inequalities (lower gap between the rich and the poor) and high social mobility. How can we interpret this in terms of complexity?

Socioeconomic development means higher socioeconomic complexity. Complexity in general means higher differentiation and integration. In society, socioeconomic development is the transition from social simplicity to social complexity; where social simplicity is related with vertical, unequal and rigid societies, while social complexity is related with more horizontal, diverse and equal societies.
Higher complexity in general, is also related with higher flexibility and stability. In societies, higher social complexity is related with social mobility and equality of opportunities; while social simplicity is related with social inequality and rigidity. Socioeconomic equality in turn, is also related with higher social stability. Inversely, the inequalities of simple societies tends to make them more unstable.

Personal development <-> Human Development
Human Development facilitates personal development, for It brings economic stability, better education, better health services, social stability (safety and security); all of which means that the individual has more freedom and possibilities to follow individual interest and maximise individual potentialities.

Personal development in turn facilitates Human Development. Personal development is related with personal complexity, which is related with higher degrees of freedom and autonomy of thought and judgement. Autonomy of thought and judgement in turn, empowers people. People turns, from being responsive to the ruling elites, to force the ruling elites to be more responsive to the will of the people (social development is a balance of interests). Personal development then, forces institutional development, which in turn facilitates Human development.

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