Society

The present is an introduction of society from a monist point of view.

A monist universe is a natural universe where everything is governed by Nature. In a monsit universe then, society, by metaphysical necessity, is a natural phenomena; and, as such, it respponds to universal patterns of change.

Society is a natural phenomenon related to Nature in two ways: on its complexity and on its dependece to human nature.

Complexity, in general, is a universal natural phenomena given by the interaction of constituting parts (see Complexity). Society, in particular, is a complex system formed by the interaction and mutual dependence of individuals following their natural behaviour (see Human nature).

Society is an entity that nobody chooses, designs, understands or controls; yet, it controls everybody’s lives.

This entity is a complex system. And in the following we are going analyse society as a complex system refeering to it simply as, ‘the system’.

Society, like all complex systems, needs to be modelled in order to make its study possible. And like all models, social models are simplified approximations to an otherwise unintelligible complex reality.

Our current social model is based on the, already familiar, relations between economic, cultural and political aspects, with the addition of an element of human nature.

  

Social Structure

  

  

  • Culture is the transmition of beliefs and values from one generation to another.
  • The Socio-economic aspect is about the generation and distribution of wealth and resources.
  • And politics is about the distribution of power.

Each one of this aspects are related in turn to human nature and has an effect on the collective individual development.

Development, in general, is the natural process by which complex system increase in complexity (see Development). Social development, in partucular, is the process by which societies increases in complexity.  And this happens with the development of the four social aspects: higher socio-economic complexity, cultural complexity, political complexity and collective personal development.

  • Cultural development is related with a shift of values from conservation and self-enhancement to values of openness to change and self-transcendence (see Values), and with a shift of culture as an instrument of control and manipulation to a means of collective personal development.
  • Socio-economic development is related with social equality and individual freedom.
  • Political development is related with the de-centralisation of power, lowering hierarchies and the democratization of the political structure.

The above are not arbitrary definitions but are the consequence of higher social complexity on culture, the economy and politics.

The relation of social development with an improvement of society is not just an intuition; it is a natural property. The development of systems, in general, is related with higher levels of complexity. And higher complexity is related in turn, with universal patterns of change towards more flexible, adaptable and stable systems. In society in particularly, higher social complexity translates into a more harmonious and balanced society. Higher social complexity tends to maximise balance of power, minimise tension and maximise fulfilment among individuals in mutual dependence.

Development, in general, is not an inevitable process. And social development, in particualr, is neither. Societies don’t tend to develop ‘naturaly’. They only develop with favorable cultural, economic and political conditions. And developed societies can regress with adverse conditions.

The opposite processes to development, underdevelopment or social regression, are related with social simplicity, whose effects are higehr hierarchies, social inequalities and the well-being of the ruling minorities at the expense of the majority.

       

       

Views of society: natural science, social science and monism

 
Social Development

 

The System: Society as a complex system
 

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