The Evolution of Complexity - Abstracts.

Globalisation and the evolution of human society.

By Adesina Wasiu Raifu

  • Dept. of Manuf. Engineering
  • Technical university of Budapest
  • Tel.: + 36 30 404 944

  • Abstract:

    The increase in interaction through ever improving communication system within the past two centuries has brought various communities and societies ever so close together. Even advanced communication systems developed during the past decades are now linking our world into what has been appropriately described as "global village" leading to increased intellectual , economic and social interaction towards global integration. Now the neural system of a global society is being formed but the questions remains as to what impact this pace of Globalisation will have on the evolution of human society in the future. Can the stability be maintained at this pace of development?

    In the past various forms of societies and communities had developed and existed, some in total isolation. The diversity and novelty in the forms of these society may or may not have constituted in their survival or their extinction. But with the improvement in communication infrastructure leading to increased interaction between societies, there is a trend towards a meta-system transition to a global society. While the transition is desirable, as attested by developments in science technology, trade etc. the fact that systems at individual and societal level on the hierarchy display instabilities of their own leaves much question open about the pace and stability of such integration. It will be appropriate to look at each of this level in order to see how these instabilities will affect a global society.

    An individual as an element of a society is constrained by his values and his environment. In order to become an integral part of his society, he will have to compromise his values and autonomy to match the need of his society. However this will require that the individual is aware of his own need and that of his society and has will (as a form of control) to make compromises between the two. Here is the first danger, today a majority of the world population leaves under basic existential level which invariably impose on them mentally and physically leaving them no time to acquire the necessary awareness. This lack of awareness is the greatest source of human calamity today, the least of human calamities are caused by natural disaster which would have been understandable, many more are caused by man to harm himself or his environment (inclusive of his fellow men). This is a sign of madness which as Koestler puts it is an indication of imbalance in man as a product of evolution. This couple with the fact that every man's model of the world is shaped by his experience and level of exposure to his environment (to wit there as many world as there are many heads in existence) manifests in instabilities in the level on the hierarchy: different human societies.

    The interdependency of human beings on each other necessitated the formation of human societies constrained by the environment and aggregate of values and abilities of individuals in such an environment culminating in various form of culture and tradition. The instability observed at individual level also appear at this level necessitating the need for some sort of control (law and government) in other to maintain stability within such a society. Over the course of human history various form of societies have come and gone each experimenting with various laws and government system. Even as witness today, evolution at this level is still much at work at this level in order to find a more better form of government and social order. Now then, globalisation will imply the integration of various form of societies each with its own different value, law, government and instabilities.

    While the initial condition for meta-system transition such as globalisation to occur, i.e. the existence of adequate energy, material and information channeling links between its main organs is being achieved day by day by technology, there is much doubt as to whether the control necessary to maintain the stability of such a system will ever be met. This will require that the systems below cede control to the ones at higher levels and evolve to match constraints imposed by above hierarchical control, to promote the stability of the system, while still maintaining certain level of autonomy and diversity necessary for continuous evolution.

    Without doubt the formation of a global society is a high stake for the human society because there is fear that the diversity and novelty required for continuous evolution may be lost. It will leave human race with a no other, the realization that the failure of global society may spell doom and mortality for the whole of human race (as presented by the possibility of total obliteration by atomic bombs during the "cold war") may lead to much effort to integrate and make it work leading to internal balance in control and stability. The maintenance of certain amount of autonomy at all levels in order to sustain novelty and diversity will be the key to the evolution of human society in the future.

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