Evolving society become more and more complicated and decision-making mechanism periodically was upgraded to more powerful “operational system” (OS). For instance Agrarian societies have been ruled simply by one person; therefore autocracy is “version 1.xx” of decision-making mechanism. There are many “xx” modifications of this operational system, but the people of 18th century successfully upgraded autocracy to democracy, which is completely different “2.xx” version, more powerful, sophisticated, stable and most importantly – adequate to complexity of emerging Industrial societies.
Democracy was great operational system. It is collective decision-making mechanism, involving political parties competing to rule, elections and voting system working in favour of majority. Democracy is “collective mind” it worked very well for several centuries. During 20th century democracy also experimented with some modifications of decision-making mechanisms. In general these versions are attempts of one particular group of users to monopolise entire market. Most important are communism and fascism, which already crashed because they were unable to solve the social problems, they were created for.
Currently dominated “corporative democracy” also intend to monopolise entire market, but cause more damage than good to society and soon will collapse in even more spectacular way, because of the same reason – emerging global problems are so complex and “collective mind” of political parties, think-tanks and other democratic institutions, simply cannot solve them. This corporative version of democracy is badly paralysed by greed and hypocrisy, it destroy morality of users and generate social outcast and terror. Perhaps soon this version of democracy will be pronounced as clinically death. So, modern society is on the brink of transition from “Industrial” to “Post-industrial” level of complexity. Humanity urgently need new version of decision-making mechanism, adequate to this higher level of social and technological complexity. This is version 3.xx or “collaborative” decision-making mechanism.
“Collective mind” and “Collaborative mind” sound similar, but difference is principle and staggering. There are no political parties, leaders, “fathers” and voting systems at all; only we – the people of 21st century. Collective mind is something like – “mechanical set” of individual minds; Collaborative mind is “functional synergism” of the best minds of humanity.
Collaborative decision-making mechanism works as human brain, which is the most sophisticated decision-making mechanism created by Mother Nature itself. There is no “competing”, “leading” or “controlling” sells, no voting system; there are only associations (or collaboration) among “most relevant brain cells”. Hence we simply have to apply this mechanism to future society. So, basically people with necessary expertise collaborate as brain sells do in attempt to find solution, which is tested in real life. The final decision is made in favour of humanity as a whole, because humanity as a whole is a single living organism (or rational system). Therefore the collaborative decision-making process resemble global virtual mind in action. This stuff is outlined in more details at http://www.netocracy.org.uk.
To give a chance for such collaboration, experimental version of 3.xx decision-making mechanism is installed on wiki based website http://www.netsmind.org, which offer possibility to everybody with sufficient expertise to participate and collaborate with others in attempt to resolve social problems on all levels – global, regional, national and local. This Project also offer an opportunity to all people currently involved in variety of social movements, to collaborate in outlining the features of Modern society, the structure and functions of Future society and how transitional period will be implemented.
Apparently the people, who control the currently dominated corporative version will tray to keep it running as long as possible, but approaching upgrade is inevitable, because this system cannot run smoothly with very sophisticated modern applications. So, let make this qualitative leap from “collective” to “collaborative” mind, and upgrade Democracy to new more adequate to complexity of forthcoming society decision-making mechanism.
Upgrading the system is job for professionals. During 18th century British upgraded their version 1.xx to 2.xx OS in peaceful way. French people completed the job in very emotional and damaging way. Let we, the people of 21st century, upgrade paralysed democracy to the new 3.xx version peacefully and wisely. So, you are invaded to visit http://www.netsmind.org and participate in pre-release testing and debugging of this revolutionary new OS and bear in mind only collaborative mind could make it stable and operational.
Social evolution is a theory about qualitative changes in social structure throughout human history, aiming to discover the fundamental laws of the origin and development of humanity as a whole. Social evolution complements several basic research fields in human sciences like history, cultural evolution, anthropology, philosophy of history, social and developmental psychology, etc. The process of social evolution is very complicated and controversial. During the last two centuries, a dozen approaches, theories, concepts and paradigms have been trying to describe and explain how society works and evolves. Modern theories provide models clarifying the relationship between social structure, economy, technology, social values, etc. Nevertheless, social evolution remains obscure, because we still do not know the laws and mechanics, which determine social development.
Perhaps the most influential social theory today is “economic determinism”. It is largely accepted as “an undisputed law of history”. It attributes primacy of economy over politics in the progress of human history. The law of economic determinism is clear-cut: self-preservation or the pursuit of food, clothing and shelter is the supreme instinct in man. Understandably, because food, clothing and shelter are commodities, which could be bought or sold in society; the pursuit of these commodities is an economic activity. Therefore, according to this theory, economic laws determine the course of history. Economic determinism is usually associated with Marxism, but it is an important part of many social concepts going far beyond historical materialism. This is so because economic determinism is an outcome of capitalism as a socioeconomic formation, which influenced theoretical thought to a great extent during the last two centuries.
No doubt, the economy or organised pursuit of food, clothing and shelter is of paramount importance for the well-being of humanity. Yet, self-preservation, the pursuit of food and shelter is characteristic of the entire animal kingdom. Therefore, there should be something specific, which distinguishes the animal kingdom from Homo sapiens. This is the consciousness, reason and knowledge, which appear to be key in the process of the evolution of humanity. The economy is a product of these factors and cannot be accepted as a primary factor of it. Not everything that looks obvious is right. For instance, the Sun looks like it is orbiting the Earth, but the truth is the opposite. To comprehend social evolution, it is necessary to find its “centre” or the real driving force.
There are good reasons to accept ever-expanding knowledge as the driving engine of social evolution. Knowledge is conscious information. If biological evolution is based on genes, which are units of information, social evolution is based on memes, or units of knowledge. Thus, if genetics is the science of biological evolution, memetics should be the science of social evolution. In fact, social evolution is a process of gathering and the verification of knowledge. Therefore, knowledge is the real driving force of social evolution, and the economy, culture and governance “orbiting” around it.
Changing the point of view from the Earth to the Sun as the centre of the planetary system makes a dramatic shift in our understanding of celestial mechanics and the Universe. In a similar way, accepting knowledge as a driving engine of social evolution reveals a completely different picture of how society works, evolves, what is going on now and what future society will look like, compared with today’s broadly accepted economic determinism.
Mechanics of Social Evolution
Social evolution is based on three principles:
1. Interaction between objective and subjective factors
Humanity is a self-organising system, as with all-living systems. On the other hand, humanity is not only a living system; it is also a rational system. Because of this duality, social evolution is the outcome of two different factors: a) human reason and b) more fundamental laws of self-organisation, intrinsic to living systems. This is something like a “double helix”, which determines living and rational systems. Accumulation of knowledge makes society more complex. Raised complexity requires a new social structure. “Separation of labour” between subjective and objective factors is simple. Human reason gathers information, and processes and verifies knowledge, making milliard small quantitative changes in society. This process is known as culture. Leaving a part of the system makes rare but very significant qualitative leaps to new stages of development, destroying the existing, obsolete social structure and creating a new one, adequate for the achieved complexity. This is a form of objective self-organisation. These two lines or, to be precise, two stages of development could be defined as the course of history and helixes of social evolution. They cannot be separated ontologically, but epistemologically should be differentiated clearly.
The “separation of labour” between subjective and objective factors, or course of history and helixes of social evolution, is the first law of social evolution. According to this principle, accumulating knowledge, human reason or subjective factors makes quantitative changes, raising the complexity of society; periodically, objective factors or the living part of the system make qualitative leaps from an existing to a new, higher social structure, adequate for complexity already achieved.
2. Dialectics among culture, economy and governance
As a rational system, society is composed of three equally important sub-systems: social consciousness (or culture), economy and decision-making mechanism (or form of governance). Social evolution is the result of the development and interaction of these three basic sub-systems. Following the described mechanism briefly, all the sub-systems – social consciousness (culture), economy and decision-making mechanism – evolve as well. Throughout history, social consciousness evolved from mythological to religious (polytheism and monotheism) up to today’s dominant political social consciousness. Economy evolved from primitive horticulture to agriculture, advanced agriculture to today’s dominant industrial society. Accordingly, the decision-making mechanism evolved from autocracy, based on individual intelligence, to democracy, based on collective intelligence.
In fact, after the Industrial Revolution, society became so complex that it is impossible to be ruled by individual intelligence. Society has needed a new, more sophisticated decision-making mechanism in comparison with autocracy. Understandably, at certain times, monarchies were swept out and democracy, which is based on collective intelligence, spread across the world very rapidly.
Interactions among sub-systems in a process of qualitative changes are very important and should be comprehended clearly. The new helix of evolution starts with a cultural revolution, which replaces the domination of one form of social consciousness with a form that is higher, more sophisticated and adequate for new realities. The new culture initiates new economic relations. A new economy raises its complexity and eventually replaces the existing form of government with a new one. This “chain reaction” of qualitative changes in culture, the economy and governance is the second principle of social evolution.
3. Moving forces of social evolution – global and fundamental contradictions
Gathering, processing and verifying knowledge is a mode for solving problems. Social problems appear as contradictions. Eventually, the development of society is a result of resolving contradictions. Hence, the contradictions appear as driving forces of social evolution. An evolving society resolves milliard contradictions. From the point of view of social evolution, contradictions on the system and sub-system levels are especially important, because they describe the line of social development at any particular moment. The contradictions on the system level are fundamental; the contradictions reflecting the status and dynamics of sub-stems could be defined as global.
The fundamental contradiction of society is one, which plays the decisive role in social development, ending inevitably with the emergence of a new helix of social evolution. The fundamental contradiction is on a system level. Moreover, it should be considered as part of the objective course of social evolution, which cannot be influenced subjectively. The fundamental contradiction of modern society is the contradiction between the current hierarchical social structure and the achieved level of social complexity, which requires a heterarchical organisation of society.
Hierarchy is typical for simple agrarian societies. Rational systems like religious and military organisations, political parties, etc. are also organised hierarchically because of the simplicity and efficiency, which this structure brings in the decision-making process, implementation of decisions and law enforcement. In hierarchical structures, the lower structural level is controlled by the higher structural level. Gathering experience and knowledge, society becomes more complicated and more complex, and the hierarchical type of organisation becomes insufficient and obsolete. It seems that all natural and artificially created complex systems – like the cosmos, railway networks, the Internet – are organised heterarchically. The rising complexity of society gradually makes hierarchical organisation ineffective and even impossible. The human brain is Mother Nature’s solution for complexity and it is organised heterarchically. The globalised world is a very complex system, comparable only to the complexity of the human brain, and it should be organised in a similar way. Yet, for historical reasons humanity remains hierarchically organised.
The metaphor of “society as a single organism” represents the process of integration of around 200 hierarchically organised nations into a “living organism”. Hence, the fundamental contradiction of modern society is between the existing hierarchical social structure and the achieved complexity of society, which requires a heterarchical organisation of society. This is a most dramatic clash between subjective and objective factors in modern society today. Now, after 10,000 years of social evolution of hierarchically organised agrarian and industrial societies, it is time for a new reorganisation of humanity from a hierarchical to a heterarchical social structure.
According to Marx, the basic contradiction of capitalism is the contradiction between the social nature of production and its private appropriation. From this standpoint – knowledge as the driving engine of social evolution – this contradiction reflects only the capitalist economy as a sub-system; therefore, it is a global contradiction. Similar contradictions could be pointed out for other sub-systems and sub-sub-systems. For social consciousness, this is the contradiction between the concentration of financial capital and the destruction of morality; for the decision-making mechanism – the contradiction between achieving complexity of society and the existing decision-making mechanism. The global contradictions are different aspects of fundamental contradictions.
The first and second principles of social evolution are ontological; the third principle is epistemological by nature. Getting all three principles unified, the global and fundamental contradictions outline the dynamics and direction of ongoing social processes on the sub-system and system levels i.e. the dialectics of social evolution and dialectical logic of its analysis and understanding.
So, economic determinism could explain phenomena relating strictly to the economy such as competition, unemployment, class struggles and so forth, but accepted as “an undisputed law of history”, it creates theories like the dictatorship of the proletariat, the working class as the gravediggers of capitalism, etc. social myths, shaped during the past two centuries. Economics, history, anthropology, etc.: human sciences study the facts i.e. quantitative changes caused by human reason in the course of history. To be precise, they study society as a rational system. The theory of social evolution speculates about the second line – helices of evolution or qualitative leaps caused by self-regulation of living systems. This process of self-regulation periodically makes qualitative changes such as the Agrarian Revolution 10000 years ago, many cultural revolutions, Industrial, Scientific and Technological revolutions. Ever-expanding knowledge brought to life capitalism as a socioeconomic and political formation and in the foreseeable future, will replace this formation with a new one.
Social Evolution in Action
During the twentieth century, the knowledge accumulated throughout history made humanity a very complex system. It reached the stage of development characterised by the dominance of political social consciousness, an industry-based economy and the worldwide spread of democracy. At this stage, in violation of the abovementioned principles of social evolution, three engineering projects emerged and have been partially implemented – Communism, National Socialism (Fascism) and Financism (Wall Street capitalism). All three projects are the result of misunderstanding social evolution i.e. they are a product of confusing the course of history with the helixes of social evolution. All three projects are the attempts of groups of people to create a pre-designed model of social structure, implementing qualitative changes, which is the exclusive prerogative of social evolution, therefore – impossible.
Communism was an attempt to create an equal society. It is an artificially constructed social structure. It was implemented by a political party (collective intelligence) throughout the bloody revolution and recently collapsed due to the inability to self-organise. National Socialism was also created by a political party based on the idea of national and racial superiority. It triggered the bloody war and ended infamously as did all artificial creations. Financism was created by international bankers and power elites, gradually replacing political power with the power of money. This is truly profound, peaceful and a creeping revolution, replacing the objectively formed and self-regulating through the free market and democracy capitalism with a subjective, artificial and manageable construction. It is an unelected decision-making mechanism, controlling officially elected governments around the world by using financial mechanisms. Financism is a form of malignant cancer, destroying productive capitalism and pretending to be a “higher form” of capitalism.
The capitalism today is in a state of awake coma. It cannot be revitalised and does not need to be. The power elite killed capitalism through eliminating its self-regulating mechanisms – free market and democracy. It replaced the free market with a non-regulated economy, which is a completely different story. It also turned democracy from a self-regulating decision-making mechanism into a manageable political show. Financism is another matter; it will collapse and disappear infamously like communism and fascism. When this happens, capitalism will pass away peacefully, as Feudalism did two centuries ago; eliminated by the Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.
What is going on now?
Accepting knowledge as the driving engine of social evolution and following the dialectics between the course of history and helixes of social evolution could expect two types of change forced by self-organisation of society and provoked by human reason.
Qualitative changes caused by objective factors
Changes in sub-systems of society
The most important process today is the ongoing cultural revolution. Social consciousness is in a transition from the domination of its political form to the emergence of social self-consciousness. The emerging social self-consciousness is comparable with the emergence of self-consciousness in individual development during adolescence. They are both the result of expanding knowledge regarding the surrounding environment and concentration on the subject (person or society) itself. If there is an isomorphism between onto- and phylogenesis, as scientists believe, then society today is at the stage of transition from “puberty” to maturity. This is a truly dramatic change, with many other transformations to come.
The economy is in a permanent crisis caused by Financism and in a process of transition from an industrial to an ecological form, or from a money-based to knowledge-based economy.
The decision-making mechanism is in the process of the downfall of democracy caused by destructive Financism and the pursuit of a new, more adequate form of governance.
The clash between religious and political ideologies
Humanity today is divided by different levels of development of social consciousness. During the last few centuries, the so-called West passed throughout significant qualitative changes – the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment, which are three stages of the cultural revolution, replacing the religious consciousness dominant at the time with the domination of political social consciousness. Yet, the Middle East is not influenced by this cultural revolution and is still dominated by religious social consciousness. Because of this reason, today there is a clear clash between people dreaming of a world caliphate and people intending to create a New World Order. The irony of history is that the aspirations of both ideologies are doomed, because the first one is obsolete and the second one was artificially created, like the mentioned Communism, Fascism and Financism. At the end of the day, both ideologies will converge in the emerging social self-consciousness.
Globalisation and differentiation of society
Perhaps the most significant qualitative change today is globalisation. Globalisation is a natural process of integration of societies, of tribes into nations and today of these nations into a “single organism”. Globalisation is a controversial process accompanied with differentiation on the regional and community levels, which resemble the functions of organs and systems in the human body. In this way, through differentiation, humanity tends to self-organise itself as a heterarchical social structure.
Quantitative changes caused by the mindset of the power elite
These changes are nowadays gravely destructive geopolitics, aspirations for domination, attempts to create a world government or New World Order, terrorism, debt-based financial systems, destruction of morality and so forth.
Financism, world government, New World Order and globalism
So far, the power elite have succeeded in transforming the objectively created capitalism, self-regulating through the free market and democracy, into a controllable, artificially pre-designed socioeconomic system and manageable democracy. The ongoing attempt is to create a world government or New World Order. Establishing international organisations like the United Nations, World Bank, IMF, Trilateral Commission, etc., to mention only a few, is the first step in this direction. The creation of the European Union as a super state, followed by several similar regional unions, is a forthcoming step. This is clearly an attempt to create a strictly hierarchical social structure, resembling a national structure and distribution of power and governed by today’s power elite.
Recently, the power elite abandoned the controversial term “New World Order”, replacing it with a term better accepted by the general public, “globalisation”. In fact, this is one more “ism” or globalism in action. “Globalisation” and “globalism” are diametrically opposed terms. They should be differentiated clearly. “Globalism”, as revealed by the power elite, is the creation of an artificial, hierarchical and manageable social structure – world government or New World Order.
Expected Structural Changes in the Foreseeable Future
People are not blessed with the ability to see deep into the future, but following the general principles and dialectics of social evolution could outline some of the most important upcoming changes as the consequences of social evolution.
Transition from a hierarchy to heterarchy
Today the social evolution is in a process of a clash between the objective tendency to form a heterarchy and the subjective predisposition of hierarchy. The governing elites in the past and the power elite today have created a hierarchical structure based on core values – land and money – or a dominated form of social consciousness – religion and politics. Newly accumulated knowledge expands the complexity of society and the necessity of heterarchical changes in the social structure. In general, the course of social evolution is from a man-created hierarchy to an objective-created heterarchy. Hierarchical development is a quantitative process of the accumulation of knowledge. The transition to heterarchy is a qualitative leap towards a new social structure adequate for the complexity of modern society. The complexity of society creates a hierarchical network of newly emerged sub-systems. This is the most important transition since the Agrarian Revolution 10 000 years ago, which transformed the primitive heterarchy of hunting and gathering social groups into a highly sophisticated hierarchy. Today the process is in the opposite direction – finalising the full helix of social evolution.
Transition from democracy to collabocracy
The decision-making mechanism will be transformed from collective to collaborative intelligence or from the already obsolete democracy to the more sophisticated collabocracy.
“Collective” and “collaborative” intelligence look misleadingly similar, but they are different in principle. Collective intelligence is a ground of democracy. This is a quantitative mode of making decisions based on a voting system, choosing one of several options. It is typical for political parties and organisations. Collaborative intelligence is a qualitative mode of solving problems and making decisions based on the verification of feasible models. For instance, science and technology, among many other fields, employ collaboration as a method, i.e. there is no voting system at all. The downfall of democracy today is objective by nature, because the complexity of modern society generates global problems that cannot be resolved by a voting system. They require a problem-solving mechanism, which is collaborative by nature and involves experts. This situation is similar to the situation when individual intelligence (autocracy) was not in a position to solve the emerging problems generated by the industrial society. Therefore, the transition from democracy to collabocracy is inevitable and a matter of time.
Creating collaborative networks resembling a virtual brain and global mind
The heterarchical social structure is self-governing in principle. This means for the local community to be organised in a manner to manage resources, distribute and redistribute goods and make all vital decisions to ensure the well-being of the local population. The only way to do so is to create networks of decision-makers resembling a virtual brain and mind. These are self-selected knowledgeable people according to their expertise and experience in making decisions in favour of the community as a whole. They are the new elite, incorruptible by definition.
World government or single organism
Today there are two clear visible and contradicting tendencies – establishing a world government, imposed by the power elite as a continuation of the still alive Financism, and integration of nations into a “single living organism”, presented by the ongoing process of globalisation and differentiation, forced by social evolution. This is a truly heterarchically organised social structure. This means that society would be organised by “systems and organs”, resembling the systems and organs in the human body. Which tendency will prevail is a matter of power. The power elite are powerful regarding the rest of the population, but powerless in regard of social evolution. The only remaining question is the price of this clash.
Separation of the power of money and political power
This change is inevitable and perhaps one of the first in a line of changes, because of the emerging social self-consciousness. This will be a transition from a money-driven to knowledge-based society and the premise for the transition from today’s technological to tomorrow’s humanitarian civilisation.
Modern Society between Hope and Tragedy
Peaceful and bloody transitions
Qualitative changes are known as revolutions. As a rule of thumb, cultural and economic revolutions are peaceful by nature; only the replacement of governing elites tends to come with bloody upheavals. Cultural revolutions are initiated by a few people and grows to become a “critical mass” of people able to change the existing social structure. For instance, Christianity is a cultural revolution that replaced polytheism with a more sophisticated monotheism, and only 12 apostles initiated it. The Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment are three stages of the cultural revolution, which replaced the religious form of social consciousness that was dominant at the time with today’s dominant political social consciousness. Only a few Italian artists, German priests and French philosophers initiated it. In a similar way, the emerging social self-consciousness needs to reach “a critical mass” to be fully implemented and provoke qualitative changes in the economy and decision-making process.
The ongoing cultural revolution, the emerging social self-consciousness and the transition from “social puberty” to social maturity are objective necessities and a new helix of social evolution. They are peaceful and a great hope for humanity. However, these qualitative changes cannot be taken for granted. They face the desperate resistance of today’s governing and power elites. Financism created the power elite, who have clear aspirations for world dominance, implementing world governance or a New World Order. These aspirations resemble the Soviet’s notorious “World Revolution” and the Nazi’s thousand-year Reich. Financism, the power elite and New World Order are predetermined to end due to the same reasons – inability to self-regulate. The only question is – how? A peaceful collapse like communism or in bloody upheavals like fascism?
The clash between the outdated mindset of the power elite and social evolution
Today there is only one time bomb, treating to destroy humanity. This is outdated, hypocritical, egocentric and highly self-delusional, not to say the pathological mindset of the power elite. This is a group of people very good at ripping-off society and truly mediocre at comprehending morality, social values and humanity as a whole.
The most dramatic challenge for modern society is the clash between the outdated mindset of the power elite and objective self-regulating requirements of social evolution. The governing elites in the past and the power elite today are slightly different, but still share similar characteristics. They are arrogant, hypocritical, smug, self-indulgent and highly delusional. Some rulers are considered as geniuses in their time of power, but the historical judgment is that they were megalomaniacs and sociopaths.
At the time of the ongoing qualitative changes, all the governing elites tend to destroy themselves due to their outdated mindset, making profoundly wrong decisions. For instance, refusing to pay taxes in order to fix the fiscal crisis in 1788, the French aristocracy triggered the French Revolution. Apparently, they did not expect something like that to happen, not to say many of them, including the royal family, to be guillotined as a result of this decision. In 1825, the Russian tsar Nicolas I crashed the Decembrist revolt and Russia had an absolute monarchy. A century later, Russia’s aristocracy were swept out. After the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, European monarchies initiated the First World War, and in a decade, most of them disappeared from the map. When the Nazi party leadership started WWII, they were not in a position to predict the terrible outcome for the ruling elite. The Soviet nomenclature survives the collapse, because some of them were tempted to become oligarchs. In fact, the collapse of communism was a transition from Communism to Financism, which is also an artificial social system. In this way, they postponed their destruction to extinct together with oligarchs, created by Financism.
Analysing how the outdated ruling elites have been replaced by a new one could point out two features outlining the faith of elites and the price paid by ordinary people.
a) Elites gaining absolute power like the French and Russian absolute monarchies are physically destroyed. The French royal family were guillotined; the family of Russian tsars were assassinated. At the end of WWII, Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide and his henchmen were sentenced to death by an international tribunal. Liberal monarchies, which triggered WWI, were wiped off the map, but physically survived. Surrendering its political power, the British monarchy survived and remains as an institution. Therefore, the destiny of governing elites is in direct proportion of the gained and abused power.
b) The price paid by ordinary people tends to rise: communism brought enormous suffering and took at least 20 million lives in the Soviet Union alone. World War II, provoked by fascism, caused three times as much suffering and deaths across the world. Today’s Financism and power elite already cause misery to nearly three billion people, pressing them to live on less than two dollars a day.
The dilemma of modern society
The clash between the outdated mindset of the power elite and social evolution generated the biggest dilemma of modern society. It is the destruction of society or fundamental changes in the social structure.
The outcome of the clash between the power elite and social evolution is determined by one global contradiction. This is the contradiction between the exponential development of high technologies and the increased vulnerability of humanity.
Briefly, the technologies of the 21st century (robotics, genetic engineering and nanotechnology) provide opportunities for knowledge alone, without significant material resources, to destroy humanity. There can be no doubt that an increase in knowledge also increases the vulnerability of society and at a certain point in its development, could destroy the world. This possibility became a reality with the invention of the atomic bomb and has become even more obvious with the development of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction. The emergence of 21st century high technologies makes the destruction of humanity almost inevitable. It seems we have learned to use technology to our benefit, but even today, we do not actually realise the full extent of the downside of new inventions until it is too late. In fact, during the last few decades, science and technology have tended to expand exponentially. Unfortunately, to make things worse, many significant scientific discoveries and technological achievements have been applied to the production of more powerful weapons. They are produced more easily and cheaply rather than for constructive purposes. For instance, if the resources needed to create nuclear weapons are at a national level, the resources for the knowledge enable mass destruction weapons, accessible only to a small group of people. As a result, the technological civilisation faces one terrible dilemma – with the accumulation of knowledge, society becomes simultaneously more powerful and more vulnerable. This point of social evolution is unique and something which humanity should take into account from now on. Therefore, the exponential development of high technologies and the increasing vulnerability of humanity make structural changes inevitable. Destruction of humanity is not an option.
The idea that a digitally based security system could guard the New World Order is very naïve, not to say stupid. Even the most notorious security systems in the past did not succeed to preserve outdated or artificially created systems. As history teaches us, the Inquisition, Gestapo, KGB and Stasi to some extent worked well. However, after a certain point in social development, they turned their power against the systems they were supposed to protect and became a significant factor in their destruction. The future society does not need a security system typical for hierarchically structured and governed societies like a “digital Big Brother”. It needs an “immune system” intrinsic to heterarchically structured systems like living organisms.
The clash between the outdated mindset of the power elite and social evolution could cause the biggest tragedy in human history. Until the power elite choose how to pass on – gaining absolute power and die as did absolute rulers in the past or being forced to surrender by social self-consciousness – humanity will live with hope and fear tragedy.
For more info – see my book “Collaborative Democracy: The Transition from Money-Driven to Knowledge-Based Society”
Recently I published a book “Collaborative Democracy: Transition from Money-Driven to Knowledge-Based Society”, Paperback, 2011, 238 pages, ISBN-10: 1449564283, ISBN-13: 978-1449564285.
Publication Date: October 3, 2011
The Industrial Revolution, triggered by the invention of the steam engine and the expansion of the railway network, gradually replaced autocracy with representative democracy, because the complexity of society had risen to a level, which left individual intelligence (i.e. autocracy) no longer capable of effective leadership. The only possible solution was a transition from individual to collective intelligence or from autocracy to democracy.
Today, the Humanitarian Revolution, triggered by the invention of the computer and the expansion of the Internet, has turned humanity into a “single organism”. Understandably, the complexity of this globalised world is now beyond the capacity of collective intelligence to effectively rule, and the only possible solution now is a transition from collective to collaborative intelligence.
Collective and collaborative intelligence are different by definition. Collective intelligence is a decision-making mechanism based on a voting system. Collaborative intelligence is a problem-solving mechanism based on the verification of feasible models. The object of this book is to study the co-evolution of economy, social consciousness (culture) and decision-making mechanisms; to explain the downfall of representative democracy; why “restoration”, “repairing”, “re-engineering” etc of representative democracy is impossible; and to outline the inevitable transition from a collective decision-making- to a collaborative problem-solving mechanism in a globalised world.
The New Paradigm of Social Evolution is based on five basic theses:
1. Society as a living and rational system processing knowledge and composed of three equally important, inter-determinating & co-evolving sub-systems which should be in equilibrium. They are: social being (economy), social consciousness (culture) and decision-making mechanism.
2. Social Evolution has two relatively independent lines of development: subjective and objective. Generating knowledge subjective factor (human reason) creates a chain of quantitative changes known as “The Course of History”. Due to accumulated knowledge the objective factor periodically made qualitative leaps to a new social structure. This is a helix of Social Evolution. Agrarian and Industrial revolutions are examples of such helices. The people made history, but cannot influence Social Evolution.
3. Human beings as individuals and society as a whole are only two rational systems. Therefore, they are isomorphic i.e. personal development could be used as a blueprint to comprehend social development. For instance the emergence of social self-consciousness is equivalent to the emergence of self-consciousness in personal development. This comparison gives us a rough idea about the stage of Social Evolution. Metaphorically speaking society today is at the stage of transition from “social puberty” to social maturity.
4. The human brain is Mother Nature’s solution for complexity and it is common sense to follow the principles of heterarchical organisation of the human brain as a blueprint for social organisation.
5. Ongoing revolution is Cultural. This is the emergence of social self-consciousness, which is the new helix of Social Evolution. Therefore, it is unavoidable qualitative leaps to a new social structure, economy and problem solving. Eventually this is a transition from a nowadays Industrial society to an upcoming Humanitarian society.
Modern society is determinate by two contradicting processes — objective and subjective. On the one hand, during the 20th century three ideological formations were initiated: communism, fascism and financism (debt based capitalism). The last ideological formation tends to create financial empire, using the money as a tool for social management and manipulation. This is Empire Building or proclaimed New World Order. On the other hand exponentially growing knowledge initiated a new wave of technological revolution. The Invention of the computer and expansion of the Internet to a global network are the modern equivalent of the invention of the steam engine and expansion of the railway network, which gave birth to an Industrial society. In a similar way the digital revolution turned society into “single organism”, dramatically changing social perceptions, giving birth to social self-consciousness and transforming Industrial into Humanitarian society. Apparently there is a dramatic clash between Empire Building and emerging social self-consciousness.
At the end of the day, carefully created by Power elite, New World Order destroys democracy, turning the voting system from a collective decision-making mechanism into a tool for legitimisation of political power. These changes undermine political parties and lead to corruption and the downfall of political system and morality. Fortunately, social self-consciousness has a capacity to reorganise society and restore equilibrium among sub-systems. This is an entirely objective process (new helix of Social Evolution), therefore – inevitable and unstoppable.
The fundamental contradiction of modern society is between the exponential development of high technologies and the increased vulnerability of humanity. This contradiction raises the dilemma: survival of humanity or qualitative changes. This dilemma makes transition to Humanitarian civilization without alternative. Apparently qualitative changes in all sub-systems: economy, culture and decision-making mechanism are inevitable.
• Dominated political form of social consciousness will be replaced by emerging Social self-consciousness or with dominance of moral.
• Collective decision-making mechanism will evolve to collaborative problem-solving mechanism, which by definition is heterarchical; therefore there is no room for elites and corruption.
• Eventually, economy will be reorganised from profit based to knowledge based.
The New Paradigm is not a new socio-engineering project like above mentioned ideological formations. It is an effort to outline a theoretical framework of Social Evolution and point out the right direction for the transition from nowadays Technological civilisation to forthcoming Humanitarian civilisation. Resolution of all pending and emerging future problems on all levels: global, regional, national and local will be resolved by the creation of collaborative problem-solving networks. The mission of our generation is simply to make this transition wisely and peacefully.
In essence, Society is a living and rational system, processing knowledge. It includes three co-evolving sub-systems: economy, culture and decision-making mechanism. Economy ensures physical survival of human beings and represents the “living” part of society. Decision-making mechanism represents rational component of the system. Culture is a content of accumulated knowledge and acts as a transmission drive between living and rational parts.
Co-evolution of sub-systems follow two lines of development: objective for living component (economy) and subjective for rational part. “Division of labour” between “living” and “rational” parts is simple. Human reason creates a chain of quantitative changes. This is History. Due to accumulated knowledge the “living part” of the system (economy) makes qualitative leaps to new levels of social development (civilisations). These are helices of Social Evolution. To get to this level of processing and accumulating knowledge, society left behind three stages of development: Hunting and Gathering (prehistory), Agrarian and Industrial societies. These changes are qualitative leaps or helices of Social Evolution. They follow objective laws. Hence, people could make history, but cannot change the course of Social Evolution.
Forthcoming change will be a new helix of Social Evolution – the transition from Industrial to Humanitarian society. Transition is inevitable, because it is part of Social Evolution. The mode of transition is implemented by human reason and could vary depending on the mindset of the governing elite and the threshold of tolerance.
This is a brief comment on Niall Ferguson’s essay:
“America, the fragile empire”
Here today, gone tomorrow — could the United States fall that fast?
“The Los Angeles Times”, February 28, 2010
and full version
“Complexity and Collapse”
Empires on the Edge of Chaos, “Foreign Affairs”, March/April 2010
Mix of science and speculation
Society is an evolving and rational system. It has its natural laws, which should be studied carefully instead ignored. “Debating the stages of decline may be a waste of time—it is a precipitous and unexpected fall that should most concern policymakers and citizens.” The precipitous and unexpected fall has history and reason to happen.
The complex systems “go critical” when decision-making mechanism become inadequate to the level of already achieved complexity. This is a dramatic clash between objective and subjective factor – objective laws of social evolution or self-organisation of society and decisions made by ruling elite to keep its privileged position intact. As a result system is closed; negative feedbacks are cut-off and replaced with positive feedbacks, which generate chaos. Society become less adaptive, and system “go critical”. At this point collapse is inevitable. All empires including communism, fall apart due to this reason alone although decisions, which triggered even leading to domino effect are very different. Nowadays, deterioration of democracy to plutocracy and free market economy – to corporatocracy are examples of diminishing self-regulation and replacement with subjective decisions, which become increasingly inadequate to complexity of modern society. Collapse of Wall Street (redistributive) capitalism is inevitable and a matter of time. Eventually new adequate decision-making mechanism will be established. This is mechanism, which will separate power of money from decision-making process. However democracy is not possible to be restored, revitalised or unlock.
As a rule of thumb complex systems “go critical”, when “critical mass” of population are disillusioned about sustainability of society and reliability of ruling elite. At some point some insignificant event trigger chain reaction, which lead to collapse of politico-economic system and replacement of the ruling elite.
Transition from Representation to Collaboration
The concept of collaborative democracy is simple. It is based on two interconnected fundamental principles of Social Evolution related to two of its most significant aspects: Decision-making mechanism and Social structure.
Firstly – governing of society is mode of making decisions. Becoming more complex, evolving society generates more complex problems and insists higher intelligence, more powerful and complex decision-making mechanism to be ruled properly. So far there are known only two forms of intelligence used as decision-making mechanism: individual and collective. For thousand of years relatively simple Agrarian societies have been ruled by single individual. This is autocracy. Understandably power was inherited. More complex Industrial societies are ruled by more sophisticated collective decision-making mechanism – representative democracy. The history of representative democracy is a history of parliamentariasm. It could be traced back to Magna Carta and almost completed around French Revolution and now is broadly spread across the world. Representative democracy transformed the world from sleeping to digital village. However representative democracy now faces same problems as autocracy in the 18th century – lack of intelligence. Although Industrial societies are very complex compare with Agrarian, forthcoming “post-industrial” or Humanitarian society is even more complex. This is so because currently dominated politico-economic system is “one dimensional”, based only on profit or economic growth and money is world spread religion. Moral is in decline and side-effects of financial capitalism destroy society. Ongoing globalisation generates global problems, which cannot be solved by collective intelligence. Those problems insist higher intelligence and more complex decision-making mechanism. This is collaborative intelligence.
Secondly: Social evolution is a gradual transfer from a hierarchy to heterarchy. In principle simple systems are hierarchically organised, more complex system like, Universe, free-market, Internet and human brain are heterarchical by nature. Not surprising simple societies are hierarchical, more complex societies are heterarchicaly organised. Agrarian societies have complete hierarchical structure by definition. More complex Industrial societies are partly heterarchical. They have two clear heterarchical components – representative democracy and free-market economy. To survive forthcoming Humanitarian society insists complete heterarchical structure. However for society heterarchical structure doesn’t mean “equality” as politicians and economist could assume. It is a matter of using and abusing of power.
Interconnection between both principles – higher intelligence and heterarchical organisation explain dynamics of modern society – emerging of hierarchical politico-economic systems like communism and fascism, collapse and destruction of both systems. Historians could count number of various reasons: political, economic or what so ever, but at the end of the day they both were wiped away due to inadequate decision-making mechanism. Decline of democracy and degeneration to plutocracy; emerging of financial capitalism and corporatocracy, which is the last hierarchy based on possession and control of resources is a completely different politico-economic system compare with earlier stages of capitalism. It generates unsolvable problems by collective intelligence, which in addition is turned down by money masters and corrupted, arrogant and hypocritical power elite.
Although collective and collaborative intelligences seem to be tricky and misleadingly similar, they are very different indeed. Collective decision-making mechanism is based on competing political parties, general elections and elaborated voting system. Decisions are made in favour of majority. In most cases this is thru, but not always. Throughout history collaborative intelligence created folklore, myths and legends, in modern times – science and technology. There are no elections and voting system only self-selection according abilities, skills and expertise. In short, collective intelligence is quantitative by nature based simply on number of participants and decisions are made in favour of majority assuming that majority is right. Collaborative intelligence is qualitative by nature and only best minds could collaborate in an attempt to resolve a problem or contribute to creation of something socially significant. This is collaborative democracy. So, the point is could collaborative intelligence be organised in a manner to solve social problems and make-decisions? How collaborative democracy will look like and works?
For simplicity collaborative democracy could be called “netocracy”. However “netocracy” as higher form of democracy should be disambiguate clearly from a technocratic term “netocracy” coined by the American magazine “Wired” to describe emerging digital “aristocrats”, who supposedly will control future society. There is nothing in common between democracy and aristocracy, apparently noting in common between “netocracy” as collaborative democracy and “netocracy” as a “digital aristocracy”. In fact they are diametrically opposed and totally negate each other.
Comment: Perry Walker – “We, The People” (Developing a new democracy)
The book “We, The People” could be downloaded at: http://www.neweconomics.org/publications/we-people
Dear Mr. Walker, I share your concerns about democracy. I believe the ideas outlined in your book, from Democs to preferenda are interesting and helpful for local authorities, but I am very sceptical regarding possibilities to reinvent democracy especially on national and international levels.
Downfall of democracy is a fact and democracy simply cannot be reinvented, restored revitalised or unlock because of two core reasons:
a) The “marriage of convenience” between power of money and political power systematically destroys democracy and apparently there is no prospective for divorce.
b) Representative democracy has limitations, which make it already inadequate to increased complexity of modern society.
Briefly – so far are known only two decision-making mechanisms: individual and collective, respectively – two fundamental forms of governing – autocracy and democracy. All well known forms of governing are derivates of those two basic forms, reflecting concrete historical and political situations. However the autocracy is typical for relatively simple Agrarian societies; the representative democracy (collective decision-making mechanism) is typical for more complicated Industrial societies.
Although Industrial society is more complicated compare with Agrarian society, it is “one-dimensional” because dominated today politico-economic system capitalism is based on “one dimension” – profit. Forthcoming future “post-industrial” (or Humanitarian) society will be “multidimensional”, taking into account not simply economic growth, but moral values among many others. Therefore nowadays representative democracy not surprisingly become increasingly inadequate to emerged complexity of modern society. Former beauty queen who transformed world from sleepy to digital village now is an old frail lady already suffering from dementia and nobody could cure her. She will pass away together with existed politico-economic system, as autocracy disappeared together with Agrarian society.
So, as was mentioned above any stage of Social evolution: Agrarian or Industrial society has its own specific decision-making mechanism reflecting complexity of society: individual resp. collective. Therefore the future Humanitarian society, where economy will be based on moral values instead of profit, needs qualitatively different decision-making mechanism. In my view this is collaborative mechanism. So, if something needs to be discussed, this is – how “collaborative democracy” will look like, operate and how collective or “representative” democracy will be transformed into “collaborative” and why “collaborative democracy” is higher form of democracy compare with collective?
Modern society is in a process of creation of social self-consciousness, which will replace currently domination of political social consciousness and reshape society in unpredictable way
Any self-organised formation can be defined as system. Best example is Universe. Starting with Big Bang as chaos of particles it gradually formed Galaxies and Solar systems. For 3.5 bn years the planet Earth, through self-organisation of “chemical soup” created most primitive living organisms. They can be considered as living systems. So, physical form of self-organisation “grows up” to biological form of self-organisation, i.e. inanimate matter created animate matter, which in fact is appearance of Biological Evolution. The living systems are self-reproductive, i.e. self-organisation reaches a level of self-reproduction. Therefore the biological evolution is a new; more complex form of self-organisation. For about another 3.5 bn years the simple forms of live developed: nerve system, central nerve system and eventually human mind. This is new turning point of self-organisation – emergence of rational systems and fundamentally different form of self-organisation – Social Evolution. There are only two such systems – human being as individual and society as a group of individuals. Both systems have a mind & reason, respectively – individual and social consciousness.
The core of self-organisation is information, which is fundamental property of matter on same status as motion, space and time. In fact evolution at al levels: physical, biological and social is an evolution of information, from pattern to gene and from gene to knowledge. The knowledge is consciousness information. The engine of society is verification of knowledge.
Most amazing, incredible and intriguing thing of self-organization and evolution in general is that there is no need of creator, intelligent designer or whatsoever. It is simply moving matter and self-organized information, which create marvellous structures called: Universe, living and rational systems. Only time scale is incomprehensible for our mind.
Social being and Social consciousness
As a living and rational system society contain two sub-systems – social being and social consciousness. Social being is “living” part of society, representing “physiology” of the system and securing physical survival of society – economy. Social consciousness represents reason and social mind. It is the “contents” of information: believes, myths, aesthetical views, religion ideas, philosophy, science, moral values etc. Both sub-systems are interconnected with multiple positive – and negative feedbacks. Understandably they evolve in parallel passing through several levels of increased complexity known as socio-economic systems (slavery, feudalism and capitalism) and dominated form of social consciousness (mythological consciousness, religious consciousness (polytheism & monotheism), political consciousness. The parallel and interconnections between evolutions of both sub-systems is obvious.
The mechanism of Social Evolution is very simple. It is a string of repeated cycles started with idea generated in right times and finished with destruction (negation) of this idea. However this controversial process brings society to new level of complexity. The cycle of development passes trough eight critical changes:
- Emergence of radical new ideas. New ideas appear in times of perils. They are fundamentally new approach offering non-standard solution of currently ongoing social situation. The ideas come from freethinkers and “critical mass” of very few people planted these ideas in the public domain triggering changes in the social consciousness.
- Institutionalisation of the idea. At certain level of development the new ideas are institutionalised. It makes the ideas structure determinated factor, therefore extremely powerful tool for social changes.
- Creation of Hierarchy. The institutionalisation creates hierarchical structure of official institutions and officials, opening door for “practical” people who joint the movement because of offered opportunities. This is subjective process of recruitment of decision-makers or ruling elite.
- Changes in social being. Newly created social environment change social being (economy, welfare etc.) according to the vision of ruling elite, changing society accordingly.
- Corruption of institutions and officials. Due to emerging contradictions and conflict of interests, officials and decision-makers become corrupted servicing their own interest instead the system as a whole.
- Self-protection. To secure and prolong its privileges, the ruling elites set up special institutions to control the rest of society.
- Downfall. The created hierarchy and decisions made in favour of ruling elite, lead to corruption, which undermine moral values and sooner or later trigger process of self-destruction (negation) of this idea. Entire socio-economic system is under treat and the resistance of ruling elite for radical changes plunge society into “dark ages”.
- Transition to new social system. Newly achieved complexity of society insists new more adequate decision-making mechanism, economy and moral values. Society needs new ideas to motivate social consciousness for qualitative (revolutionary) changes. However those times of perils provoke new ideas and new cycle is going to start again. Eventually the existed hierarchy has been destroyed and new economy, moral values and decision-making mechanism established.
The first stage present changes in social consciousness and can be defined as Cultural Revolution. The second change is revolution in social being. The rest of changes are lifespan, boom and bust of newly created stage of Social Evolution. This cycle could be monitored again and again throughout history.
Emerging and downfall of Christianity is an example for replacement of polytheism with monotheism. This is Cultural Revolution, because lead to qualitative changes in social consciousness, which thereafter lead to Economic Revolution or replacement of slavery with feudalism. Not surprisingly Church as Institution becomes corrupted; created Sent Inquisition to protect its integrity and eventually plunged society into dark ages.
Emerging and downfall of nowadays Financial Capitalism is an example of transition from money-driven to moral based society. The capitalism started with Cultural Revolution or changes in social consciousness during Italian Renaissance passed trough period of French Enlightenment, which transformed dominated monotheistic social consciousness with secular or to be more precise with domination of political social consciousness. Newly emerged social consciousness initiate Economic Revolution, which eventually replaced land based economic system (feudalism) with money based economic system (capitalism). Political social consciousness also re-invented democracy as completely different decision-making mechanism, compare with long-lasted autocracy. In that way the process of institutionalisation was completed. During the last two hundred years the capitalism created hierarchy of self-made capitalists, which gradually turned into hierarchy of money-masters. This hierarchy steadily monopolize decision-making mechanism destroying democracy, restricted social liberties and plunge society into nowadays political mess and uncertainty, which perhaps one day will be considered as “political dark ages”. Such a downfall is not surprising, because modern social consciousness is obsessed of money as medieval consciousness was obsessed with Havens.
Appearance and downfall of communism and fascism are very edifying examples of unsuccessful attempt to reshape existed socio-economic system with pre-designed men-made models. They both passed trough above mentioned cycle of changes, created hierarchy of party’s bureaucrats and collapsed infamously, simply because socio-economic systems are result of objective process of accumulation and verification of knowledge; they are very complex strictures and cannot be pre-designed by human mind, according to assumed principles as economic equality or national superiority.
It is important to comprehend that as a system society cannot be artificially pre-designed and any such attempt is doomed and with terrible consequences for society. The subjective factor including ruling elite could make numerous of quantitative changes, but qualitative leaps to new socio-economic system is prerogative of objective laws. Therefore the artificially designed New World Order, which nowadays politicians and power elite offer as solution of emerging global problems is simply impossible to be implemented.
As was mentioned above there are only two rational systems – human being and society, respectively – individual consciousness and social consciousness. Apparently same similarities between both forms of consciousness are very likely to exist. There are some evidences about symmetry between phylogenesis and ontogenesis. According to Ernst Haeckel, the ontogenesis is a brief and rapid recapitulation of the phylogenesis.  Dr. Spock also said: “Each child as he develops is retracing the whole history of mankind, physically and spiritually, step by step. A baby starts off in the womb as a single tiny cell, just the way the first living thing appeared in the ocean. Weeks later, as he lies in the amniotic fluid of the womb, he has gills like a fish”. So if such similarities exist for physiological development this law of evolution could be expected for psychological development of both rational systems as well. For instance Ken Wilber in his book, A Brief History of Everything, suggests that cultures evolved consciousness following a similar path that children mature through, from magical thinking to mythical and ultimately objective thinking, and for some, holistic thought.
In fact similarities between individual and social consciousness are overwhelming: perceptions, emotions, memory, thinking, behaviour, even pathologies are comparable.  Keeping in mind emergence and development of individual consciousness it is possible to predict with high degree of probability the next level of evolution of social consciousness. This upcoming step is -
Emergence of social self-consciousness and transition of society from “puberty to adulthood”
So far social consciousness evolved from: mythological, religious (polytheism & monotheism) and nowadays dominated political social consciousness.
Those levels of development resemble emergence and development of individual consciousness up to emergence of individual self-consciousness during late teens. The self-consciousness or “knowing yourself” is a crucial and critical period of transition from puberty to adulthood. Recently emergence of social self-consciousness or understanding that we are all in one boat and society is a single organism is a sign this process is already underway. The engine of this process is Globalisation of society especially during last few decades.
If emergence of social self-consciousness is comparable with the emergence of individual self-consciousness, this comparison could produce a rough idea about the “age” of our society. Recently the emerged global self-consciousness is a sign of transition from youth to mature age; hence our civilization is still in its “teens”. This means humanity is in the middle of the road of its evolution, still very young and there are plenty to explore ahead. This is also qualitative leap in social evolution and can be considered as Cultural Revolution which inevitably will lead to dramatic changes in social being as sub-system.
Perhaps most important upcoming change is replacement of money with knowledge as fundamental values. This seems understandable. Money is a bloodstream of economy and base of capitalism as economic system. However knowledge is the bloodstream of society as a whole, i.e. bloodstream for both sub-systems, therefore more important for sustainable development and surviving of society compare with money.
The second crucial change is adopting of new decision-making mechanism. Democracy, general election and voting system on all levels is a collective decision-making mechanism. It works satisfactory today, for resolving relatively simple national and regional problems, but will be insufficient in resolving global problems. This is so, because global problems are very complex, few people have sufficient knowledge to comprehend and make decisions. Global problems are like scientific problems, which are solved by verification of hypothesis. Apparently voting system in such situations is meaningless. Most likely social self-consciousness will form something as
Virtual brain and Global mind
Imagine a network of experts related to one particular problem across the globe, collaborating in an attempt to elaborate solution in form of hypothesis, which will be tested in real life to proof its validity. This job actually is very similar to collaboration of several authors in writing an article in Wikipedia or another wiki site. Apparently any particular problem will form a specific network of experts contributing to find right solution. The experts will act as “brain cells” and created networks will resemble something as virtual brain. The function of this virtual mind could be considered as Global mind.
The virtual brain and global mind is collaborative decision-making mechanism which exclude voting system by definition. It is next and higher level of democracy, because all decisions will be made in favour of society as a whole not particular privileged group of people. Emergence of virtual brain and global mind is embodiment of social self-consciousness into society as a single organism. It is Cultural Revolution, which inevitably will result in dramatic changes in both sub-systems of society. Nobody could predict how future society will look like and how will work, because the future of society will entirely depend on solutions made by global mind.
- No doubt if Germany was succeeded to wine WWII, the fascism would collapse thereafter as communism did due to same reasons.
- Ernst Haeckel, Riddle of the Universe at the Close of the Nineteenth Century. 1899.
- Dr. Benjamin Spock, Baby and Child Care, 1957, p. 223.
- Ken Wilber, A Brief History of Everything, pp 330, Shambhala; 2 edition, 2001.
- A new interdisciplinary formal science “Social Psychopathology” is needed to research pathological deviation of social consciousness.
Forthcoming transition from capitalism to “post-industrial” society is two folded revolution leading to: a) Replacement of dominated political form of social consciousness with domination of moral form of social consciousness and b) Replacement of “free-market” economy with knowledge based economy
Society is a living and rational system composed by two subsystems: social being and social consciousness. In applied sciences they are known as economic and culture. Qualitative changes in both subsystems could be considered as revolutions. The revolutions are most dramatic changes in human history. Economic revolutions lead to replacement of socio-economic systems. First such revolution was Agrarian, which took place 10000 years ago and most recent – Industrial revolution few centuries ago. The Cultural revolutions lead to replacement of dominated form of social consciousness: from mythological to religious (polytheism & monotheism); to currently dominated politics. Social Evolution is a process of “amalgamation” of components of both subsystems. The final outcome is well-known socio-economic systems: slavery, feudalism and capitalism. In modern time — utopian project communism and dystopias like fascism and so-called New World Order.
Economy and Culture present objective and subjective factor in Social Evolution. Apparently both subsystems are intertwined & internally related and any changes in economic lead to the changes in cultural subsystem and vice versa. Therefore the parallel between economic stages and level of social consciousness is obvious. The mechanics of interaction is interesting and edifying. Subjective factor or social consciousness has two important layers – ruling élite and freethinkers. The ruling élite include the most important official decision-makers. The freethinkers are unofficial, elusive group of people representing the rest of society. In time of peace and prosperity they form and influence to a great extent public opinion, and behaviour. In time of perils they recruit rebels, freedom fighters and dissidents. The ruling élite make their decisions laws, the freethinkers value morality – unwritten laws of social sustainability. Ultimately, the Social Evolution is a clash between objective and subjective factors and social revolutions periodically “correct” the mistakes and ambitions of subjective factor. This peculiarity of Social Evolution is crucial to comprehend the function of objective and subjective components throughout history, Modern society and more importantly to foresee forthcoming changes.
In the past cultural revolutions precede economic revolutions with centuries. For instance emerging of Christianity is a cultural revolution, which replaced existed polytheism with monotheism, contributed to collapse of Roman Empire and eventually prepared society for transition from slavery to feudalism. The role of newly born Church as institution is controversial. It makes Christianity global and powerful religion. In long run however obsessed with Heavens Christianity gradually degenerate from peaceful religion to Saint Inquisition and eventually – plunged society into religious Dark Ages.
Italian Renaissance and French Enlightenment turned attention of humanity from Heavens to Earth. These changes of social perceptions make French Revolution and transition from feudalism to capitalism possible; replaced religion with politics as dominant form of social consciousness and eventually give birth to modern democracy. The democracy is balance of powers. It is collective decision-making mechanism, which involve general elections and elaborated voting system.
Nowadays changes in social being and social consciousness are more complicate due to complexity of society and accelerated speed of Social Evolution. They are near simultaneous processes and very often difficult to be distinguished from each other. Unsurprisingly studying society, most of the researches described ongoing processes selectively from economic or from cultural perspective only, instead to analyse dialectic between them or at least to take into account interactions between both subsystems. This approach inevitably leads to so-called “in-the-box” thinking.
Modern society is on the brink of transition in social consciousness from domination of politics to domination of moral, respectively transition in economy from Industrial (capitalism) to “post-industrial” (post-capitalism) society and there is a lot of misunderstandings.
During its existence as economy the capitalism evolve enormously from a simple entrepreneurship to multinational corporations. The capitalism today creates colossal wealth. Privatisation of Central banking system made “invisible hand of free-market” visible for very few people. This is turning point in modern capitalism. Replacing objective self-regulation of economy in particular and society in general with subjective control of economy and society make possible collectively created wealth to be redistributed to the hands of very few oligarchs. Stock Market is a mechanism for redistribution of created wealth and do not contribute to social prosperity and growth. The side effect of that dodgy act is – misery, outcast, drugs abuse, organised crime, corruption, deception, greed, cynicism, media manipulation and hypocrisy in unimaginable scale. Ultimately, financial capitalism creates hierarchy of “self-made” money-masters, posing as permanent unelected government and pretending for world dominance.
The mechanics of financial capitalism is simple. Society create wealth, financial system (Stock Market) redistribute these resources to the pockets of very few; accumulated money are transformed into political power and returned back to society in form of corruption, destroying democracy and oiling the propaganda machine. Apparently this system does not serve humanity, therefore it is doomed.
Social consciousness was changes as well. Unsurprisingly it is under control due to fearsome propaganda and deliberately manipulations about ongoing process called Globalisation. Money controlled American’ stile of “democracy” (i.e. corporatocracy) made general elections and voting system farce. Politics as dominated form of social consciousness is in disarray and decline. Political parties are near identical. There is no “left” and “right” wings any more. Politicians are considered by many international polls as most corrupted part of society. There is no trace from politicians of extraordinary abilities like Founding Fathers of the United States, Disraeli, Gladstone among many others, servicing their nations according broadly accepted moral values and political ideas. Nowadays politicians are bureaucrats, mediocre minds, corrupted and manipulative people working for themselves. Just look around. Both political parties and politicians are divided between sponsors and voters. That “split of personality” is near pathological. Global politics is most destructive force on Earth. The general elections are meaninglessness. Politics today lead society inevitably to political Dark Ages.
So, as obsessed with Heavens Saint Inquisition destroyed Christianity, obsessed with money modern financial capitalism destroys dominated form of social consciousness and lead society to moral crisis. This crisis originates in a long-lasting flirt between power of money and political power. Unfortunate marriage between both powers gives birth to financial capitalism, which at the beginning abandoned geographically based colonial system, replacing this barbaric system with more sophisticated financial imperialism. Later on created multinational corporations and Sock Exchange, secured total control of society and finally elaborated sophisticated and evil plan to fix this system as New World Order. Now money are not simply economic tool, they are lever for control of politico-economic system and world spread religion.
Modern society is gravely ill. It suffers from “cancer of morality”, which destroys very fabric of society and inevitably lead to radical changes in both subsystems – transition from Modern society to “post-capitalist” society and this process is underway. In fact there are two processes –
Globalisation and Globalism
Terms “globalisation” and “globalism” sound similar, but they have completely different meanings and disambiguation is crucial to comprehend Modern society. The globalisation is natural process of evolution of society starting with Agrarian revolution an assimilation of thousand tribes into two hundred nations and nowadays unification of those nations in single social organism known as humankind. This is entirely objective course of Social Evolution. The globalism is an attempt from power élite to manipulate deliberately this process of integration and create social-economic system working in favour of money-masters, which is pure subjective project. Therefore globalism is just one more “ism” or another name of carefully mastered New World Order.
Apparently there is a contradiction between globalisation and globalism. However dramatic clashes between objective laws and subjective ambitions of ruling elites run like a scarlet connecting threat through history. The differences come from level of complexity of society and peculiarities of subjective factor or mindset of ruling elites. So, which process – globalisation or globalism will prevail eventually?
Theoretically there are two alternatives – society will transit smoothly, peacefully and successfully from “Industrial” to “Post-industrial” structure according to objective laws of Social Evolution or alternatively – New World Order will put under control the rest of the population according to the already elaborated plan. No doubt there is a room for a lot of speculations, but history teaches us that:
- Objective laws of Social Evolution are more powerful compare with subjective ambitions and aspiration of ruling elites. Nowadays power élite is not an exception.
- Ruling elites become increasingly inadequate to new reality, which is suicidal reflex.
- All ruling elites have been swept out of Social Evolution in times of perils and replaced with new one more adequate to realities.
- Society is extremely complex system and cannot be pre-designed by human mind. Throughout history from Plato’s Republic to Orwell’s Big brother society, could be counted around 50 man-made projects called utopias or dystopias. No one was implemented. Therefore, as men-made project the New World Order is doomed.
- Unfortunately the mindset of rulings elites always has been inadequate during times of qualitative changes. Therefore possibilities the modern power élite to trigger major disaster with terrible consequences, including outbreak of nuclear holocaust is very high. Such unfortunate even could destroy part of society or even humanity as a whole.
After Wall Street Capitalism – What and How?
Eventually current corrupted financial capitalism as form of socio-economic and political system (corporatocracy) will collapse as all artificially created structures. Nowadays politician’s mantra is “There Is No Alternative”. However it is a modern myth that liberal capitalism is the “end of history” and if communism is not an alternative to capitalism, hence there is no alternative to capitalism at all. This is profoundly naïve if not stupid view. Nothing last forever and evolution always has an alternative.
For good or bad human mind cannot see deep in the future, but in our case it is not necessary. In eighteen century nobody had clear understanding how future capitalism will look like and how emerging democracy will work; not to say how unfortunate marriage between money and political power will destroy democracy to level of plutocracy. Once again – society is very complex system and cannot be pre-designed, it just happened. Therefore the future “post-capitalist” society could be outlined only in very general terms:
- Money and decision-making process will be separated in principle.
- Economy will be knowledge based, not profit-maker. “Free-market” will serve society instead to be master.
- Redistribution of created wealth will be redirected to society itself, instead to the pockets of few oligarchs.
- All natural and created resources will be controlled by society.
- Dominated form of social consciousness – political will be replaced by domination of moral social consciousness. Hence political parties and leaders gradually will disappear as medieval religious orders and half-literate monks.
- Collective decision-making mechanism will be “upgraded” to collaborative, which is higher form of democracy.
- Society will be self-governing system without institutionalised ruling élite. Nowadays power élite will disappear as aristocracy of eighteen century.
- New élite will be knowledgeable people.
So, how current corrupted politico-economic system called financial (or Wall Street) capitalism will transit to post-capitalist society is a speculative question, although some lessons from history are clear. The collapses of Roman Empire and recent collapse of communism is a blueprint for destruction of unbalanced powers. Those are not only economic blunders; those are destruction of social consciousness, moral degradation, which lead inevitably to radical changes in both subsystems – economy and social consciousness or to Economic and Cultural revolutions. The most fundamental changes are presented in the mechanism of their interaction:
- Ruling elites tend to conquer society and modify in a way to serve their own interest making decision in favour of themselves, instead of society as a whole. However increased complexity of society insists changes, which contradict to ruler’s interest.
- Mindset of ruling elites become increasingly inadequate to the level of already achieved complexity of society. Behaviour of the ruling élite destroys morality and push society into “dark ages”.
- Only solution is Cultural Revolution, which change social perceptions and values to more adequate to the level of social development. Normally this is replacement of existed dominated form of social consciousness with new more relevant one.
- Cultural Revolution provokes Economic Revolution, which replace existed ruling élite with new one, more adequate to new realities.
Most influential theory of economic revolutions is based on K. Marx ideas of class straggle and working class as an engine of social revolutions and “gravedigger”  of capitalism. Russian revolution makes this view more visible but more controversial, distorted and misrepresented due to Lenin’s theory.
Cultural revolutions are another matter. They are triggered by “critical mass” of freethinkers and in this case “class division” is not so important factor. (Buda was prince, Jesus – carpenter). For instance Christianity has been initiated by “critical mass” of 12 disciples. For three hundred years Christianity grows, destroyed polytheism, laid foundation of monotheism and contributed to collapse of Roman Empire. In fact set of tem moral values known as “Ten Commandments” transformed polytheism to monotheism. “Critical mass” of dozen Italian artists (Renaissance) and dozen of French philosophers (French Enlightenment) “enlightened” social perception, replaced domination of religious form of social consciousness with domination of political form of social consciousness and inspired leaders for French Revolution. Once again entire philosophy of changes is concentrated in one principle – separation of powers (executive, a legislature, and a judiciary) and three moral values: Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité. “Critical mass” of very few Russian dissidents has shown the ugly face of totalitarian system and contributed enormously to recent collapse of communism.
All artificially or men-created projects like communism and fascism have been elaborated with ambition to rule the world at least 1000 years. It is pure irony of fate that they ended infamously with destruction of their creators – the ruling élite. The agenda of New World Order is set up in same way by greedy, egocentric and corrupted sociopaths. It is an attempt society to be divided into “patricians” and digitally controlled slaves, creating Roman Empire in 21st century. As a men-made construction like communism and fascism the New World Order is simply weapon for self-destruction of ruling élite. The communism has a life spam of 75 years, the fascism just 12, the New World Order most likely is to be born dead.
“Division of labour” between objective and subjective factors in Social Evolution is simple. The objective factor create the new socio-economic systems, the subjective factors just trigger this process outlining the new moral values and principles of society. If ruling élite pre-design new social system, for sure it is a weapon for self-destruction.
The logic of Social Evolution suggests that radical or revolutionary changes in society started with changes in social consciousness, triggered by freethinkers. The world is ruled by creative ideas. Therefore forthcoming revolution is primary Cultural by nature and need only two little steps: a) “critical mass” of very few freethinkers to collaborate in outlining basic principles and moral values for new society, and b) planted these values in the public domain “enlightening”  social consciousness, nothing more. The rest of the story is a chain of domino effect changes known as Economic revolution (not necessary bloody uprising) or replacement of one socio-economic system with another. Simply this is a course of Social Evolution.
1. Today 2/3 of all economic growth went to top 1%. The top 1% of wealth holders owns 41% of all the assets in the US alone while the bottom 40% own absolutely nothing. Equality is not the point. Some differences are necessary for healthy competition and motivation, but the gap between reach and poor, which feudalise society, is out of question.
2. Perhaps Marx will be astonished to realise that nowadays “gravediggers” of capitalism is a power élite instead of working class!? However the ruling elites of all times eventually destroyed themselves. That happened in Roman Empire, Absolute monarchies and recently totalitarian communist’ system. This is so because society is extremely complex system, comparable only with human brain. The wisdom of Mother Nature is unquestionable and beyond doubt. If she created human brain as heterarchical structure, society and economy should be restructured from hierarchy to heterarchy.
3. According to Kant “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity”. (Immanuel Kant - An Answer to the Question: “What is Enlightenment?” a philosophical essay, 1784. http://philosophic.li/kant/what_is_enlightenment/). Only difference between eighteen century “self-imposed immaturity” and twenty-first century “self-imposed immaturity” is that in the first case immaturity is due to obsession of society with Heavens and in second case – obsession with money.
Society is “a living organism” – it evolves becoming more complicated and complex. Throughout history thousands tribes have been “melted” into two hundred nations. Now those nations are in a process of unification called globalisation, creating truly single social organism. Complexity of modern society is comparable only with the complexity of human brain. So, could future society be organised in a way resembling the structure and functions of human brain?
Both society and human brain make decisions. Becoming more complex, society change its decision-making mechanism from autocracy (single ruler: king, emperor etc.) to democracy, which is collective decision-making mechanism. The last one includes voting system and final decisions are made in favour of majority. Human brain works in different way. To make a decision most “competent” brain cells are associated and collaborate in an attempt to find a workable hypothesis, which is verified in real practice. There is no voting system at all. This is collaborative decision-making mechanism.
In modern society there are clear indications for moving from collective to collaborative decision-making mechanism.
- Perhaps Internet, which was born twenty years ago, is the first significant change in this direction. The Internet is something like global “nerve system”, connecting all human beings in just one network. However the Internet is still not a “brain”. It is a predisposition, facilitating further structural changes in society resembling human brain.
- The second such change is emerging of discussion forums. Specially designed software facilitates global communication among people sharing similar interests. These communications resemble associations among brain cells exchanging information.
- The third change is a boom of social networks. Also specialised platforms facilitate not only communications but social activities like dating, entertainment, professional actions etc globally. Social network services resemble specialised areas of human brain.
- Forth change is creation of repository resembling human memory preserving data for generation to come. A good examples of such repository is www.archive.org, which keep records of websites from Internet and “Google Books Library Project”, which is an effort to scan and make searchable the collections of several major research libraries. (See http://books.google.com/ and http://books.google.com/googlebooks/partners.html
- Perhaps the most significant such change for the time being is wiki movement. Best known wiki based collaborative project is Wikipedia. Thousands of people across the world collaborate to select and organise existed knowledge, creating cyclopaedia, which look a lot like the memory of mankind. Wikipedians (wiki collaborators) work as “brain cells”, resembling processing power of human brain and cognitive functions of human mind. Currently there are around 3000 websites based on collaborative MediaWiki platform (see www.wikiindex.org for last updates), which are truly up-and-coming virtual global brain.
- The next level in development of modern society is emerging of collaborative decision-making networks (CDMNs). As a platform they are still in infancy, available for limited corporative projects. Nevertheless emerging of collaborative platforms and decision-making mechanism is a core in transforming society from hierarchical to heterarchical structure resembling virtual global mind. (See www.netsmind.org as a flavour of collaborative decision-making network).
Collaborative decision-making mechanism is not entirely new phenomenon. Scientific knowledge is build up through collaboration among scientist in an attempt to find solutions of scientific problems. To do that, the scientists do not vote; they elaborate hypotheses, which are verified through experiments. The final solution is established truth. Only difference is that scientific collaboration is based on printing press as a platform until CDMNs are based on digital platform like MediaWiki and decisions could be made globally in real time.
As was mentioned above, the CDMNs are still in infancy. At the first place it is necessary to upgrade collaborative software like MediaWiki adapting to necessity of decision-making process: templates for two, three and even more alternative feasible models of decisions etc. Secondly CDMNs need to grow up to level of “critical mass” to become fully functional mechanism. Perhaps some of existed discussion forums and think-thanks will go online, creating CDMNs in an attempt to solve one particular social problem.
In short term CDMNs could act as a jury in jury trail system, confirming which decisions should be implemented. In long term CDMNs will gain “self-consciousness” or will become fully functional global “brain and mind”. As a result CDMNs will act as “global mind” taking most important decisions on all levels: local, national, regional and global. For long period of time collective (institutional) and collaborative (self-selected and truly independent) decision-making mechanisms will work in parallel supplementing each other. So, if collective decision-making mechanism is a foundation of democracy, “upgrading” to collaborative decision-making mechanism should be considered as higher level of democracy. At this point society will become self-governing, which is qualitative different from self-organisation of society as a living and rational system.
Perhaps in very distant future people will be divided not depending on how much they take from society, but how they contribute to society – as “brain cells” or as “somatic cells”. Who knows?
London, December 2009
- Collabocracy — Collaborative Intelligence and Governance of Globalised Society
- The New Paradigm of Social Evolution: Modern Society between Hope and Tragedy
- Collaborative Democracy
- The New Paradigm of Social Evolution in a Nutshell
- America, the fragile empire
- Collaborative Democracy
- “We, The People” (Developing a new democracy)
- Society as Living and Rational System
- Economic and Cultural Revolutions
- Emerging of global mind – new trend of social evolution
- They’ve Seen the Future and Dislike the Present
- Challenges and Solutions of Modern Society