Chapter 9


Total Environment

and Man


Panta Rhei. (Everything flows.)

Heraclitus of Ephesus


In the past chapters we have looked at man as the component; the society or the group as the context; values, norms, symbols and their social patterns and dimensions as the content; and the whole as a dynamic and fermenting socio-political flux. Within this flux an individual's entire life experience and social impact may be but an incident, a component of the current that carries it. The impetus of innovators who brave the prevailing norms may be felt only if and when, more or less belatedly, their impact gains momentum and magnitude. More generally speaking, it is the whole composite of each now generation, itself ever-changing, which, while submitting to the social flux that has gone before it and will continue after it, constitutes the texture of that flux and shapes its course. For example, within a continuum of fermentations and dynamics, John Locke's philosophy of natural rights, long after it had been developed in England, found favorable ground in America, influencing people like Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton and Madison; and, combined with the aftermath of the Franco-British Seven Years War and other parameters, helped bring about the American Revolution. As Scott points out:


The reasons for Locke's great vogue in the New World are not hard to find. His analysis began with the state of nature, and although Locke sometimes treated this simply as a convenient way of explaining the basis for political obligation rather than as a historical fact, in America it looked remarkably like a description of reality. Did not a kind of natural law prevail in the wilderness and on the frontier before the formal institutions of government could be set up? And if Americans were dissatisfied, could they not go elsewhere as Locke had said? Locke spoke in terms of the social contract by which men assembled and created a government, and had not the idea of compact played an important part in the colonies from the beginning?[1]


The example poses the problem of the confines and definition of the sociopolitical flux. In our illustration we can detect distant dimensions which seem to have affected the social currents and conditions prevailing at the time of the American revolution. That Locke's natural rights philosophy, influenced by European realities rather remotely connected with the American colonies, could inspire the revolutionaries a century later (partly because of their territorial and geographic outlooks) leads us to the evident conclusion that the social flux does not flow in a vacuum. It is not "a river without bottom and without banks and flowing without assignable forces in a direction one cannot define."[2] It flows within an environment. This environment, as our example implies, is shaped not only by interpenetrations, intertwinings, shadings and fadings of different social currents into one another, but also by other environmental factors giving different social currents their particular characteristics. In other words, the environment we are talking about is that totality within which the social flux flows and from which it draws its substance.


Indeed, man has forever looked into this total environment (of which he himself is a part) to find clues to explain himself and his society and to seek inspiration for his social, economic and political organization. Before considering the "social flux" proper, then, we will need to take a look at the other phenomena the total environment engenders--that is, those which man, within the limits of his perceptions and conceptions, has distinguished. In that total environment man has established that trees and animals grow--therefore it is organic; that crystals form and planetary systems revolve--thus it is systematic; and that as the organic grows and the systematic evolves and revolves, time passes--thus it is temporal. As man circumscribes phenomena to perceive an environment, he consequently assumes a "beyond environment" embracing the circumscribed. If we want our total environment to be total, we must consider it as well. Thus, the total environment, in temporal and spatial sense (beyond life and stars), extends to eternity and infinity and endows man's conception with metaphysical, spiritual and supernatural dimensions.


Man has used these various conceptions of the total environment to find his place within it. By analogizing or incorporating himself into certain aspects of his total environment, or by analyzing and manipulating them, man has elaborated organic, systematic, historical or spiritual rationales for economic, social and political action and organization. While we present the picture as a whole, different schools of thought, depending on their times, places and social conditions, have emphasized parts of this totality as decisive in shaping man and his society. By looking at the social flux from various points of view, we may be able to identify better the various parameters of the total environment. In some cases we will not go into detail, as we can draw on what we have already covered. We will distinguish between those approaches which have used the phenomena of the total environment mainly to explain man and society, and those which have used them as blueprints for social organization. Of course, it should be borne in mind that the two aspects of explaining and advancing theories for the organization of man and society are intertwined, and our compartmentation exists only for the sake of clarity.


I. Man Explained


Man the Organic Product


Some thinkers, from Aristotle through Montesquieu and up to contemporary social scientists such as Toynbee, have attributed a considerable role to the natural environment in shaping human character and society. While human character and social structures eventually reflect one another, among the theories advanced we can discern, at one level, those focusing on the biological impact of nature on human characteristics and, at another level, those emphasizing the influence of climate and geography on social structures.


For Aristotle, the people of the cold climate (those of the north) were courageous but had little intelligence and talent; therefore they could maintain their freedom but could not govern their neighbors. Those of the south were more intelligent and artistic but not courageous; therefore they were subject to domination by a few masters.[3]  Climate, he contended, thus influences human characteristics, which in turn lend themselves to particular forms of government. Twenty centuries later Montesquieu advanced a similar theory, devoting most of the third part of his L'Esprit des Lois to analyzing the effects of climate on the political cultures of different nations. Observing that temperature influenced the human organism, he found that the cold climate invigorated men but reduced their passions, while the hot climate rendered them lazy and fainthearted but passionate and temperamental.  Montesquieu then concluded that the political consequences of climate would be that the Northerners, who had more courage and perseverance, would tend towards greater liberty and consensual forms of government, while the Southerners, because of their laziness, inconsistencies, cowardice and temperamentality, would be more prone to tyranny and eventual subordination and slavery.[4]


More recently, similar theories with different degrees of determinism have been developed. By the end of the nineteenth century, the organic relationship between man and nature had been more "scientifically" distinguished into two components: racial characteristics, and what can be labeled "geo-social" and "geo-political" determinism, i.e., the effects of the natural environment on social and political institutions. Of course, the racial and geo-socio-political aspects intertwine, but different emphases can be discerned. We have already referred to some of the racial theories, notably in our discussions of National Socialism in Chapter Five and of reference groups in Chapter Eight.- Here we will consider some of the more singular geopolitical theories.


In 1897, Friedrich Ratzel, professor at the University of Munich, attributed to man a "sense of space," an organic potential which some people possessed more than others and which, combined with their geographical situation and the space they occupied, determined their political supremacy.[5]  His was one of the theories which flourished in the Western world at the turn of the century under the impetus of economic and political expansions and imperial rivalries.[6]  In the United States, Huntington theorized that the great empires in the Middle East had declined because their natural environment gradually died out. He used his theory for general historical analysis and explained the rise and fall of great empires on the basis of climatic fluctuations.[7]  He also placed all the highly developed countries within the latitudes at 350 N. and 700 N., which he identified as the "very high energy" region.[8]


In a lecture entitled "The Geographical Pivot of History," delivered in 1904, the British geographer Mackinder emphasized Eurasia as a center and generator of power.[9]  He elaborated a theory on the relationship between geography and politics. Distinguishing between sea- and land-based powers, he envisioned a "world island" comprising the land mass of Africa, Asia and Europe with a "heartland" located in the Russian part of Eastern Europe and Northwestern Asia. This heartland, because of its population and raw material and its inaccessibility to sea powers--located in what he identified as "rimlands"-had such potential for growth that whoever controlled it could control the "world island" and hence the destiny of the world.[10]


The concepts formulated by Ratzel, Mackinder and other political geographers have had considerable impact on political thinking and policy-making in the twentieth century. In Germany, Major General Karl Haushofer, well versed in the theories of Ratzel and Mackinder and borrowing the term "geopolitics" from the Swedish scholar Rudolf Kjellen, founded the Institute for Geopolitics in Munich in 1922. He came in contact with Hitler in 1924 through Rudolf Hess--who had been Haushofer's aide-de-camp in World War I--and, despite his Jewish wife, was highly esteemed by Hitler, who after accession to power gave Haushofer facilities to expand his Institute and substantiate the Third Reich's claims to Lebensraum.[11]


Traces of Ratzel's Raumsinn (sense of space) theory are found in the French geographer Jean Brunhes' theory on the confrontation between the nomadic and sedentary people, where the former, of necessity and because of their mobility, developed a sense of strategy permitting them to dominate their fellow men.[12]  Wittfogel explains the despotic forms of government in Asia on the basis of the water supply in what he calls the hydraulic societies. According to this theory,


Above the level of an extractive subsistence economy, beyond the influence of strong centers of rainfall agriculture, and below the level of a property-based industrial civilization, reacting specifically to the water-deficient landscape, moves toward a specific hydraulic order of life.[13]


Here, the opportunity for despotism arises, and those who control the water supply control the political complex.


Beyond the deterministic concepts establishing strict and direct organic relationship between man and his environment, other approaches (at times labeled "possibilism," in contradistinction to "determinism") have suggested interaction between man and the natural environment within a range of possibilities offered by the geographical setting, among which and within those limits man can choose. Further along the line human geography took a broader approach to the impact of the natural environment and geography on man, considering them only as integral dimensions of the social sciences and taking into account social evolutions and cross-cultural interpenetrations.[14]  Thus, the theories on the effect of the natural environment, climate and geography have evolved from the extremes of geopolitics and environmental determinism to possibilism, and the more moderate approaches of human geography.


Man the System


At the systematic end of the spectrum man, having perceived how nature puts things together, and having himself put things together in the systematic and mechanical sense, has tried to understand himself and his relationship to his environment on similar terms.  Already in ancient Greece, the "physicist" philosophers, such as Democritus, had tried to give a mechanical explanation of natural phenomena. In the seventeenth century, Descartes and Hobbes used scientific methods to understand and explain human behavior and society. Hobbes opens his Leviathan with the following words:


Nature (the Art whereby God hath made and governes the World) is by the Art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an Artificiall Animal. For seeing life is but a motion of Limbs, the begining whereof is in some principall part within; why may we not say, that all Automata (Engines that move themselves by springs and wheeles as doth a watch) have an artificiall life? For what is the Heart, but a Spring; and the Nerves, but so many Strings; and the Joynts, but so many Wheeles, giving motion to the whole Body, such as was intended by the Artificer? Art goes yet further, imitating that Rationall and most excellent Worke of Nature, Man. For by Art is created that great LEVIATHAN called a C0MM0N-WEALTH or STATE, (in Latine CIVITAS) which is but an Artificiall Man; though of greater stature and strength than the Naturall, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which, the Soveraignty is an Artificiall Soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body; The Magistrates, and other Officers of Judicature and Execution, artificiall Joynts; Reward and Punishment (by which fastned to the seate of the Soveraignty, every joynt and member is moved to performe his duty) are the Nerves, that do the same in the Body Naturall.[15]


In the efforts to apply science to society as a system, we may recognize three dimensions. First is the driving inspiration to assimilate man and his society to a system which, like other structures--organic, mechanic or inorganic--may be analyzed. Second, if this process did work, it would imply that man and his society are systems whose mechanisms can be analyzed empirically. Third, if man and his society were systems, then, like other systems, they could have potentials for rearrangement and further system-building (which we shall discuss in the next section). In our age of science and technology, this systematic approach has been in great vogue. Analogies to mechanical processes have permitted the development of methods for analyzing social structures.[16]  Explaining his cybernetics system of analysis, Norbert Wiener wrote:


The existence of Social Science is based on the ability to treat a social group as an organization and not as an agglomeration. Communication is the-cement that makes organisations. Communication alone enables a group to think together, to see together, and to act together. All sociology requires the understanding of communication.


What is true for the unity of a group of people, is equally true for the individual integrity of each person. The various elements which make up each personality are in continual communication with each other and affect each other through control mechanisms which themselves have the nature of communication.


Certain aspects of the theory of communication have been considered by the engineer. While human and social communication are extremely complicated in comparison to the existing patterns of machine communication, they are subject to the same grammar; and this grammar has received its highest technical development when applied to the simpler content of the machine.[17]


The analogy between men and machines implied empirical analyses, experimentation and quantification of human behavior and social structures, opening new methodological avenues. If man were a system, then if properly measured he could be understood and acted upon.[18]  Thus, mathematics is applied to the analysis of human behavior, as in game theories and simulations. Furthermore, general theories with structural-functional approaches, such as those of Talcott Parsons, have been advanced regarding the social system. The new approaches have had significant impact on the course of the social sciences. Parsons, for example, defining his social system, points out that:


...a social system is only one of three aspects of the structuring of a completely concrete system of social action. The other two are the personality systems of the individual actors and the cultural system which is built into their action. Each of the three must be considered to be an independent focus of the organization of the elements of the action system in the sense that no one of them is theoretically reducible to terms of one or a combination of the other two. Each is indispensable to the other two in the sense that without personalities and culture there would be no social system and so on around the roster of logical possibilities. But this interdependence and interpenetration is a very different matter from reducibility, which would mean that the important properties and processes of one class of system could be theoretically derived from our theoretical knowledge of one or both of the other two. The action frame of reference is common to all three and this fact makes certain "transformations" between them possible. But on the level of theory here attempted they do not constitute a single system, however this might turn out to be on some other theoretical level.


Almost another way of making this point is to say that on the present level of theoretical systematization our dynamic knowledge of action-processes is fragmentary. Because of this we are forced to use these types of empirical system, descriptively presented in terms of a frame of reference, as an indispensable point of reference. In relation to this point of reference we conceive dynamic processes as "mechanisms" which influence the "functioning" of the system. The descriptive presentation of the empirical system must be made in terms of a set of "structural" categories, into which the appropriate "motivational" constructs necessary to constitute a usable knowledge of mechanisms are fitted.[19]


We have quoted this long excerpt in order not to betray Parsons' thoughts. His Social System should be understood in the light of his structural functional approach, with all the qualifications he attaches to it. However, the view he depicts can, if fragmented, lead to misconceptions and faulty conclusions--that is, if the approach, without consideration of its underlying limitations, were applied to the sub-systems of the social system. Indeed, this has been done in some of the systematic approaches to politics. It is a little like applying the metaphor of a car to the human body, analogizing the fuel tank as the stomach, the engine as the heart and the wheels as the feet, then losing sight of the general sense of the analogy and looking for one particular instrument in the stomach identifiable as a fuel gauge. More pertinent to our subject here, it is like trying to explain the government in a country without knowing its economic philosophy or traditional values. Methods of research may also become a handicap. Simulation, for example, is useful for getting an idea about the actual situation, but it is not the real situation. A maneuver is not a war.[20]  The Game Theory, while it surely helps the understanding of possible outcomes of conflicts, competitions and bargains, indicates only possible outcomes, and only part of them at that, mostly in static frameworks, because to be mathematically plausible, it conceives of players as rational systems--rational according to the rationale of the game-builder.[21]


Man the Historical Product


The temporal or historical dimension is ever present even where immutable natural laws or systematic processes are emphasized. As we pointed out, the organic grows and the systematic evolves. We are considering here, then, only the tendencies of some schools of thought to emphasize man's temporal environment to degrees which may blur the other dimensions of the social flux. Many thinkers have tried to read into the history of mankind a pattern explaining man's evolution and destiny. Although the term "historical determinism" evokes the Hegelian/Marxian schools of thought, the idea to conceive of man and his society as bound to the temporal continuum has been with man ever since recorded history--often, of course, intermingled with the spiritual dimension. Some political cultures, such as the Chinese, have been structured for millennia on historical terms.[22]  In the West, already in the second century B. C., the Roman, historian Polybius depicted in his Universal History the rise and fall of systems of government as a cyclical recurrence. Nineteen centuries later his countryman Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) in his The New Science (1725 and 1744) saw in the historical process the law of ebb and flow which moves man and his society through progress and regression. This theory inspired the Enlightenment philosophers like Condorcet to develop their ideas of progress. Thinkers like Condorcet or Auguste Comte fitted their systems within the mold of a temporal background and recognized stages in the development of mankind.


The role of the temporal environment as the decisive factor in the human social evolution is the essential trait of the Hegelian philosophy. For Hegel (1770-1831) there existed a rationale in the historical development of society, where, through successive dialectical processes, man, as a component of the state, moved towards realizing the absolute Idea and Spirit. History contained the pattern; indeed, it was the pattern, the understanding of which could lead to objective standards of value. Marx adopted this theory of historical determinism but substituted matter for the Hegelian ideal and spiritual ultimate. Thus, Marxian historical determinism was materialistic. The materialistic conception of history unfolded for Marx five epochs: primitive communism, slavery, feudalism, capitalism and communism. While Marx's method was essentially empirical and systematic, and while the bulk of his research was oriented towards analyzing the social phenomena of his time, the historical method made it possible for him to conceive of the inevitability of the proletarian revolution. Towards the end of their lives, Marx and Engels, particularly the latter, did recognize that the historical processes were not as rigidly determined as they had assumed.[23]


Man the Spiritual Being


By the spiritual dimension, we mean those approaches which, in trying to identify man in relation to the total environment, have looked to that part lying beyond man's perception and extending to infinity--the cosmos. We saw earlier that man tends to resort to that layer of the environment when he finds himself helpless or uncomfortable in understanding his immediate environment. In the centuries when his main source of inspiration and speculation about the origin of his environment and himself was the supernatural, man conceived of himself as an image and an extension of that supernatural, and of his social environment as an arrangement by divine providence. The concept should not, however, be understood restrictively in terms of religion. The spiritual can also be moral without religious overtones, or metaphysical and supernatural without necessarily being moral. Thus, while spiritual approaches by St. Augustine (350-430) in his City of God (413-427) or St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) in the Summa Theologica were religious and supernatural, we also find spiritual dimensions in the theories of those who have leaned on the organic, systematic or temporal characteristics of the environment, such as Montesquieu, Descartes and Hegel. In fact, nearly all the applications of the beyond in the West since the Age of Enlightenment to explain man and his society have had some organic, systematic or historical (temporal) mold.[24]


Maybe one of the purest modern spiritual approaches (free from other dimensions) which can best illustrate our point is Friedrich Nietzsche's (18441900). His transvaluational philosophy takes man beyond the organic, systematic or historical, to the "will to power." In stating, that Nietzsche's philosophy illustrates our point, we are making it clear that we do not necessarily equate a spiritual approach with a religious or even a moral goal, as indeed the Nietzschean will transcends the organic-naturalistic, systematic-mechanistic, historical-temporal, and even moral premises. Posing the problem, Nietzsche writes:


Suppose nothing else were "given" as real except our world of desires and passions it not permitted to make the experiment and to ask the question whether this "given" would not be sufficient for also understanding... the so-called mechanistic (or "material") world? I mean holding the same rank of reality as our affect--as a more primitive form of the world of affects in which everything still lies contained in a powerful unity before it undergoes ramifications and developments in the organic process (and, as is only fair, also becomes tenderer and weaker)-as a kind of instinctive life in which all organic functions are still synthetically intertwined along with self-regulation, assimilation, nourishment, excretion, and metabolism--as a pre-form of life .


...The question is in the end whether we really recognize the will as efficient, whether we believe in the causality of the will has to risk the hypothesis whether will does not affect will wherever "effects" are recognized--and whether all mechanical occurrences are not, insofar as a force is active in them, will force, effects of will.


Suppose, finally, we succeeded in explaining our instinctive life as the development and ramification of one basic form of the will--namely, of the will to power, as my proposition has it; suppose all organic functions could be traced back to this will to power .... then one would have gained the right to determine all efficient force unequivocally as--will to power. The world viewed from inside, the world defined and determined according to its "intelligible character"--it would be "will to power" and nothing else.[25]


This will to power is the prime attribute of the superman whose consciousness of existence--his own above all--is the optimum condition for his highest and boldest spirituality. He is the redeeming man of great love and contempt, the creative spirit, the artist, the creator of values and hence their destroyer, because whoever of necessity creates, of necessity destroys.[26] The world of Nietzsche is the world of spirit, sublime: the will to power in which man and his total environment are one.


II. Man Organized


The organic, systematic, temporal and spiritual parameters of the total environment have different potentials as blueprints for social organization. Their potentials also depend on how they are envisioned by different schools of thought. Some of the approaches so far discussed, such as the geopolitical and the temporal (historical), tend to see the environment as actively influencing man and society, while the systematic approach perceives it as more passive, subject to analysis and manipulation. Where a parameter is considered actively influential and deterministic in shaping man's destiny, the approach to social organization may become fatalistic and/or dogmatic. For example, religions have preached spiritual determinism; political myths such as Nazism have used geopolitical determinism; and dogmatic communism has claimed historical determinism. Such approaches use their valuational premises as blueprints for their social organization. Of course, beyond their valuational fatalism and/or dogmatism, they also have, in different degrees, organic and systematic outlooks for explaining and organizing man and society. And those approaches capitalizing on organic and systematic parameters are not without valuational dimensions. But organic and systematic approaches, tending to consider man as having decisive impact on the environment, become less fatalistic and more pragmatic or rationalistic (although in their rationalism they may also tend towards dogmatism). The organic and the systematic approaches, drawing inspiration from modern sciences such as biology and physics to discover laws for human organization, have been the main thrust of social theories ever since the Age of Enlightenment.


Economic and Social "Natural Laws" and Survival of the Fittest


In France, François Quesnay (1694-1774), a medical doctor, physician to Madame de Pompadour, and agriculturalist, searched for eternal and natural laws of wealth similar to those of physics, independent of time, space and historical evolution. Finding agriculture the only productive source of wealth, while considering industry was sterile, he postulated an economy based on the free expansion of agriculture and criticized governmental policies that neglected it in favor of mercantilism and industrialization. His physiocratic school advocated that society should be left to its "natural" law, where not only would free economics take care of the production and distribution of wealth, but the rule of laissez-faire, laissez passer would adjust the course of society with the least governmental intervention. The society could take care of itself like an organism. Dupont de Nemours, another member of this school, addressed the sovereigns: "You will see how simple and easy the exercise of your sacred functions is, which consists principally in not hindering the good that is being done by itself and punishing, by the ministry and the magistrates, the small number of those who attempt at the property of others."[27]


These economic and social natural laws were further developed in England by Adam Smith (1723-1790). Exposed to the burgeoning industrial revolution in England, Smith was influenced not only by the physiocrats, but also by early Humean utilitarianism and Locke's concept of natural rights, the labor theory of value and the right to property. Smith revealed the basic principles of the division of labor and specialization and the essential role of capital in the development of a society. Although he recognized that the produce of labor rightly belonged to the laborer, he believed that if part of the worker's earnings were not held as rent, interest, profit, and savings, there would be no accumulation of capital for further economic development. Accumulation could best take place in a liberal economy where the capitalist, looking after his own interests, would invest and exploit his capital and the workers toward the growth of the nation's wealth. Although he conceded that division of labor and capitalism engendered certain premises incompatible with moral justice, he considered them part of the providential scheme and natural order which should not be tampered with-notably by the intervention of government.[28]


Smith's successors, in a more aggressive industrial environment rife with the inequities he had deplored, built those inequities into the capitalist formula and justified its natural development. Thomas Robert Malthus (17661836) stressed that with every increase in industrial production there would be a disproportionate geometric increase in population, while the means of subsistence could increase only arithmetically. He concluded that in an egalitarian system the end result would be general misery, but that if the social flux was left to its natural process, unimpeded by laws intended to maintain some financial equity (such as the English "poor laws" of 1562 assisting the dispossessed), then society would regulate itself. The regulatory process would come about because of the inequality of wealth: The liberal economy, by making life too difficult for the miserable masses whose wages maintained them at only a subsistence level, would discourage them from procreating. He argued that this was a natural process of social growth and decay similar to other organic processes in nature.[29]


David Ricardo (1772-1823) further developed the idea of a self-regulating liberal economy by emphasizing industrial capitalism and a market economy,



Labour, like all other things which are purchased and sold, and which may be increased or diminished in quantity, has its natural and its market price. The natural price of labour is that price which is necessary to enable the labourers, one with another, to subsist and perpetuate their race, without either increase or diminution.[30]


He noted, however, that while profit was the incentive for the accumulation and investment of capital, since the development of industrial production would result in an increase in population and hence an increase in the demands on naturally limited resources, the ultimate beneficiaries of industrial development would probably be the landlords. Ricardo did not advise measures to stop this trend, which he believed to inhere in the nature of things. He nevertheless deplored that it would sooner or later slow down the economy, although the leveling off could be postponed by further mechanization of industry and new methods of land exploitation.


These concepts of liberal economy advanced by the French physiocrats and British economists were based on the assumption that society, if left free from man-made regulatory processes disrupting its natural course, would, like other natural phenomena, best preserve its own well-being. As this natural process unfolded, it revealed inequality, struggle, challenge and competition among the members of the society, the rich and the poor, with the latter condemned to mere subsistence and the danger of perishing in unemployment, misery, famine and poor health. In the nineteenth century, with the advance of biology, further conclusions were drawn from these premises. Conceptualizing liberal economy in terms of biological evolution, Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) argued that as society evolved towards civilization, the process of competition should be free from interference, including public education, public sanitation or help to the poor, which postponed progress by permitting the unfit and vulnerable to survive. Thus, he justified a social order based on the survival of the fittest, similar to the organic process.[31]  "That there is a real analogy between an individual organism and a social organism," he argued, "becomes undeniable when certain necessities determining structure are seen to govern them in common."[32]  The concepts of struggle for survival and survival of the fittest have had far-reaching impacts on Western thought and social structure, notably in the United States where, as William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) put it, "The growth of a large business is merely the survival of the fittest."[33]  The combination of theories of capitalism and survival of the fittest is the moving force of American competitive free enterprise, still justifying great discrepancies in wealth and reluctantly accepting governmental regulation for social justice or economic planning.


Socio-Psychologically Arranged Contentment and Material Affluence


Concern for the scientific understanding of man and his society branched out in different directions. Already in the seventeenth century, ideas were developing about structuring man and his society as a system. Plato had long ago advocated that men be structured and conditioned to enjoy their appropriate stations. Modern advances in physics and other exact sciences made such processes seem plausible. These approaches centered mainly around three intertwined aspects of man's interaction with phenomena, namely, the socio-psychological conditioning of men, the systematic organization of society, and the materialistic exploitation of nature.


Claude Adrien Helvétius (1715-1771), one of the French philosophes, whose book De l'esprit (1758) was published at the same time as Quesnay's Tableau Economique, tried to make ethics a science similar to physics by postulating that man's only natural impulses are the physical sensations of pleasure and pain, which develop his self-love and are the source of all his virtues and vices. Unlike the physiocrats, he did not think that society should be left to the free play of mans self-interests. He observed that moral and behavioral patterns were inculcated through associations and learning. Asserting the equal intellectual potentials of men at birth, he concluded that social harmony required wise legislators to institute laws and structures which would reward with pleasure those acts in the public interest and punish with pain deviations from the social norms. Basically, Helvétius was advancing, without its laboratory accompaniments, psychological conditioning and reinforcement as advocated by modern psychologists such as B. F. Skinner. For Helvétius, as for Skinner, the issue of individual freedom did not arise, for properly conditioned members of society would not feel a need for freedom.[34]


 In the nearly two hundred years between Helvétius and Skinner, the idea of systematically conditioning the members of society was part of those philosophies treating the social order as a composite of systems to be rationally and functionally organized. Some of the early French socialists were the main precursors for this systematic organization. Franqois Noel Babeuf (17641797) envisioned a political system where all the citizens would be equal, would eat and dress alike--with only the sexes and the ages distinguished-and where children would be taken from their parents to be educated in the principles of equality. Only those who performed useful labor could participate in political life. The country would be divided into regions governed by elected and rotating officers who would be treated like ordinary citizens. The government would run industry and regulate the distribution of products.


In his Voyage to Icaria (1840), Etienne Cabet (1788-1856) depicted a country organized on the basis of the decimal system, its one hundred provinces each composed of ten communes with the capital cities in the middle of the provinces and the cities laid out symmetrically, where education, production and social life were scientifically organized under the direction of elected technocrats. Education began at the age of five and continued till seventeen for girls and eighteen for boys, after which boys and girls were assigned social tasks on the basis of aptitude. Cabet, who believed his system would soon become a reality, tried to organize a prototype for it in the United States, but his Icarian experiment in Nauvoo, Illinois, where he had gathered some 1,500 followers, failed, mainly because of bad management.


Other thinkers in the first half of the nineteenth century, such as Claude Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) and Charles Fourier (1772-1837) in France, and Robert Owen (1771-1858) in England, also advocated systems--albeit less strictly structured ones. Saint-Simon's advocacy of a "positive" examination of man and control of social behavior inspired his one-time secretary, Auguste Comte (1798-1857), to develop the science of society: sociology. Analyzing social structures, Comte discovered three stages in human development: first, the theological stage with the belief in the supernatural; second, the metaphysical, dominated by the power of abstraction, intellectual anarchy and a variety of doctrines; and third, positivism based on science, during which the society would be totally organized and dictatorially structured by the power-holders, mainly the intellectuals at the spiritual level and bankers and industrialists at the functional level. The main ingredients of Comte's positivism were order and progress. He wrote:


In Sociology, the correlation assumes this form: Order is the condition of all Progress; Progress is always the object of Order. Or, to penetrate the question still more deeply, Progress may be regarded simply as the development of Order; for the order of nature necessarily contains within itself the germ of all possible progress.[35]


Contemporary to these thinkers were Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They too looked at man and society scientifically to discover not only what the social system should be, but, they believed, what it will be. Before the final stage of communism, the members of the society had to be processed and conditioned by a dictatorship of the proletariat.


The idea of progress has, of course, been central to modern models for social organization. While the idea of progress after the Renaissance and the Reformation connoted both spiritual and material betterment of man, in the impressive strides of the industrial revolution material improvement came to overshadow spiritual dimensions. Already in the seventeenth century, Francis Bacon envisioned man as capable of controlling his environment. At the close of the eighteenth century, Condorcet forsaw, through the use of science, endless human progress, wherein disease, ignorance and inequalities could be vanquished.[36]  In the nineteenth century the idea that man could master and harness nature, i.e., condition nature rather than be conditioned by it, was firmly established in the materialist schools of thought and has since been the motivating philosophy of modern societies, whether of free enterprise or socialist conviction. Such ideas, in contrast to those which considered man organically dependent on his environment, postulate a systematic relationship between man and nature, in which man, by the proper and rational use of science and technology, can employ nature to overcome nature's handicaps. This approach has been particularly pronounced in Marxian materialism and Western theories of affluence and development after World War II.[37]  Recent awareness about the ecological backlash from excessive technological encroachments on nature, however, have revealed that man cannot systematically exploit Mother Earth on purely mechanical and technological bases.[38]  Thus, neither is the relationship of man to his natural environment totally organic, nor technologically and mechanically systematic. It seems, then, to be human. But what is human? Is the human not organic and systematic? To answer this question, we have to ponder further how man's perception and conception of the phenomena of the total environment have been used to understand human behavior and society.


III. Man the Central Science


While man tries to explain and organize himself and society organically, systematically, temporally or spiritually, we have seen that the study of man and society cannot be reduced to any single parameter. Even the schools of thought we have briefly reviewed, although emphasizing one or another aspect of man's relationship to his environment, have rarely confined themselves to their own main focus. While man may at times defy certain characterizations and encourage others, it is only by having a multiple yet balanced perspective that we can make sense of the complexity of the human phenomenon. Man is at once organic, systematic, temporal and spiritual.


Yet even by keeping all these dimensions in mind, we may distort the human phenomenon if we study him from all these angles subjectively. Man is all of these, yet he is none. Take the organic and the systematic. Man is organic, yet his metabolism does not function by simple organic processes. He does not always eat when he is hungry, sleep when he is sleepy, copulate when he is sexually aroused, or excrete when he needs to. He is conditioned --and he conditions himself--to attend to these organic needs and pleasures according to certain patterns of behavior in particular times and places. He even conditions other organisms--animal and vegetable--which come into contact with him (he "domesticates" and "cultivates" them). However, this does not mean that he is systematic in satisfying his needs. He is not always hungry when he sits at the table, he does not always go to sleep when he goes to bed, he is not always aroused when he lies beside his mate, and he does not necessarily feel like evacuating when he goes to the lavatory (otherwise he wouldn't need laxatives). He takes pills to force himself--or regulate himself--to do the things his organism does not want to or cannot do.


It is not, then, by applying "organisms" and "systems" in any strict sense to man that we will finally make sense of him. It is rather by understanding man and his place within his total environment, as he perceives and conceives it, that the organic, systematic, temporal and spiritual dimensions can be understood. For they are, in so far as man perceives and conceives them as he does, human inventions. Man makes not only God according to his own image, but also plants, machines and history. That plants are organic and stones are inorganic is a categorization within the limitations of human understanding; they may have common characteristics beyond human perception. To understand man and his relationship to his total environment, then, we should branch out from the "science of man" into the sciences that he has elaborated to understand his environment: from anthropology,[39] ethnology, archeology and history, to psychology, sociology, political science, human geography, branching into ethology, zoology, ecology, biology and botany, theology and thence astronomy, philosophy, mathematics, physics and so on. Let us take a quick glimpse, using this approach, to see whether we can single out any characteristics in the relationship of man with his total environment which could be useful for further analysis.


Primeval men often took themselves to be organic, to the point of attributing, anthropomorphically, their own characteristics to other organisms and objects, going so far as to believe in human-like souls for trees, animals, water, earth and sky--and then dealing with them on that basis by appropriate symbolism and rituals. By so doing, however, men distinguished themselves from other organisms by their potentials for thought and symbolism. Already in his gathering and hunting stages man ceased to behave by simple, natural, organic patterns. By manipulating nature (stone and wood), he invented tools for hunting. But above all, he soon exploited the natural sources of energy to supplement his own physiological potentials: he discovered fire. No other organic being, as far as man knows, makes energy beyond its own physiological potentials. By cooking his food he reduced his metabolic effort for digestion. He used fire to compensate for body temperature and thus made it possible to survive where he could not have lived otherwise. In the process, he became dependent and claimant on nature beyond the ecological balance. As he evolved he further manipulated nature. Bread replaced grass and leaves for the early socialized man, but it was still made of first-hand, natural components. The bread of modern man is made not only of flour, water, yeast and salt, but also of iron, rubber and oil (of the tractor) and, of course, insecticides, preservatives, artificial flavoring and coloring.


The human characteristics distinguishing man beyond the organic processes are, then, his potentials for manipulation of tools, production and exploitation of energy, and elaboration and transmission of symbols, not only among the contemporary conspecies but from generation to generation, resulting in storage and accumulation of knowledge. The interactions and evolutions of these capacities have brought about, in different stages, the complexities of human society--from stone scrapers to tractors, from wood fire to fossil fuel and atomic energy, and, as for symbols, from gestures and sounds to the whole array of languages, literature, music and social institutions.


Thus, from his organic relationships and potentials man has evolved towards systematization. A tractor is a mechanical system; so is the extraction of fossil fuel or nuclear energy and its consumption. Governments, banks, schools and theaters are also "systems." The latter, however, because composed of men, should be distinguished from the type of systems represented by tractors and nuclear accelerators. To operate his society and his mechanical systems, man has created human "systems." We may examine a machine as a system, but if we limit our examination of man's behavior and his social institutions to a systems analysis, we may not be asking all the questions and consequently not getting all the answers.[40]  So far, man has not been able to devise a foolproof process by which to make machines out of men, or to plant or grow men the way he plants trees and raises cows. The day he succeeds in doing so, men will be machines, vegetables and animals. In socio-political terms, he may want to build his institutions on the pattern of crystal-formations in nature. But he cannot do so, because his systematic thought and orderly action is conditioned by other more organic drives. If he is driven towards order and justice, he is also driven towards domination and challenge, comfort and fear, sex and food. And he satisfies these needs within his radius of understanding and identification, his affectional-functional dimensions, his values and other ponderables we have discussed.


Temporally, man and his society are part of a continuum. We emphasized earlier the importance of the sequence of events. There are certain events whose causal relationships are more probable. There is the likelihood, for example, of a baby boom after a war. But this is not a formula of historical determinism; many other conditions must be met before it can be validated. While many principles of Marxian social analyses were proven right, their predictions on the basis of historical determinism did not all materialize. The concept of sequence of events is more than a temporal and historical tandem. It does not refute the likelihood of certain causal relationships, but puts them in the context of other components of the social flux within the total environment. The inhabitants of Azerbaijan around the Caspian Sea knew about petroleum even before the time of Zoroaster, but they did not invent the combustion engine. The Chinese invented gunpowder, but not the shotgun. One is not predetermined to follow the other. Yet the sequence of events is valid in that the Western man had to know about powder before inventing a shotgun. And many other factors--scientific, technical and, indeed, social, economic, political, educational and religious--had to fill the gap between the knowledge of petroleum and its use in a combustion engine.


Spiritually, man has at times developed strong value systems based on his interaction with the beyond environment. And he has reaped their fruits, submitted to their influence for conditioning himself and organizing his society. Yet his godly pretentions have soon been worn down in combination with his organic, systematic (tendency to build systems like religious institutions, which eventually swell to turgescence--see The Epilogue) and temporal realities.


Man's being, within his social flux, within his total environment, is not then solely an organic growth, nor a systematic mechanism, nor a historically determined inevitability, nor a spiritual ordainment, but, to put it positively, a complex of causes and effects of all these dimensions. None of these factors is to be denied, and indeed we will make ample use of them in our analysis. But we have to be conscious that these parameters are "human realities," in that their perception and conception emanate from within man in the context of the total environment within which the social flux flows, of which it is a part and from which it receives its stuff. That stuff, by which human groups and societies are identified, and which gives their sociopolitical institutions their particular characteristics, we call culture. We need to look into it first before delving into the political phenomena it shapes and molds. We hope that our brief examination of culture in the following pages will lead us to identify its potential energy which serves as the raw material for socio-political behaviors, processes and structures.


IV. Culture


Culture implies caring for, nurturing, fostering. Agri-culture, for example, connotes not that we simply pick the fruits that grow wild but that we sow, raise and care for plants in order to reap their fruits. On the large scale, "culture" refers to the process through which man takes care of his environment. And man cares for his environment through his culture in order to take care of himself. In culture the man of drives; of social, affectional and functional behaviors; of interests and values; of beliefs, myths and ideologies; of choices and temperaments, shapes--and submits to--much of his environment. He does so by elaborating and transmitting symbols, storing and accumulating knowledge, developing and manipulating tools, and producing and exploiting energy. As Herskovits puts it, "Culture is the man-made part of the environment."[41]  Very few animals (we know only of ants and termites) consciously replant what they eat or grow herds of their prey. Above all, animals do not exploit nature's combustible energy. Man does all of these. Whereas an animal perishes if it outgrows its natural sources of livelihood, man can manipulate nature and not only delay his expiration, but (at least so he has often believed) actually improve his situation. Other organisms survive in different climatic conditions only by organic adaptation (true, sometimes with great versatility), but man manages to live where he could not otherwise have survived by exploiting nature's energy: from the skins of his prey to central heating and air conditioning.[42]


The possibility of extracting energy from nature beyond man's physiological potentials permits and induces men to stretch their wants beyond their needs (to eat more food than the body requires or to burn more fuel than is needed to survive the cold) and to expand their appetites and tastes for further cultivation, seeking, beyond bare survival, ever greater comfort. The degree to which they can do so depends on the extent to which they succeed in manipulating and exploiting energy, which obviously depends on the availability and accessibility of resources, the sequence of events, including, at certain crucial moments, the element of chance, as well as the appropriate social factors.


Human Energy and its Exploitation


Not the individual efforts of isolated men, but their social potentials to tap nature's energy resources, will develop a culture. While this statement implies a distinction between the aggregate of individual potentials and their integral social potentials, it also indicates another source of energy at man's disposal, namely, his interaction with his social context. This dimension relates directly to man's capacity for symbolic communication and accumulation of knowledge. Discovering how to increase the velocity of an arrow with a bow may result from one man's reflections, but he does not remain the only hunter in his group. He shows the others how to do it and they see how he does it, thus multiplying the group's potentials to exploit natural energy--provided, of course, that the others have both the capacity to learn and the strength to stretch a bow. In more sophisticated terms, the population of a given society is itself a source of energy; and its composition, size, and level of communicative and educational development are crucial to cultural evolution.


To identify population as an energy source reveals yet another crucial variable of cultural evolution: the ways human energy can be exploited and manipulated. We have discussed at length the relative variety of human characteristics, notably the different degrees of needs and wants and the intensity of various drives (particularly the domination drive) among the members of society. If men have potentials to locate and exploit energy, they will soon realize that one of the major sources of energy to exploit is human energy within the social context, which they can profitably combine with natural resources. Under different conditions, the combination of natural and human resources produces different cultural patterns. We noticed in Chapter Three, for example, that in a subsistence economy, not only was the possibility to exploit natural energy limited, but so was the exploitation of man by man, because of a lack of access to raw material and the impossibility of accumulating capital. On the other hand, in the early cumulative economies where wealth and certain raw materials were becoming available, man's access to mechanically generative sources of energy remained elementary. When circumstances enhanced the drives of some men for greater appetite, more comfort and power, they turned mainly to exploiting human energy.[43]  This evolution should be complemented by the ensuing functional differentiations and social hierarchies which shift and disrupt affectional relationships, making men use men for functional purposes without affectional considerations--see Chapter Three. Drawn to extremes, such exploitive developments led to slavery. Some have argued that class stratifications resulting in extremes of exploitation are possible within an integral social setting.[44] Others have advanced that extreme class stratifications have developed as a result of conquest. In the words of Oppenheimer: "The moment when first the conqueror spared his victim in order to exploit him in productive work was of incomparable historical importance. It gave birth to nation and state, to right and the higher economics."[45]  In either case, the social reality is the exploitation of man by man.


Cross-Cultural Fertilization


The argument that class stratification and human exploitation results from conquest implies conflict among alienated groups and suggests yet another crucial dimension of the total environment, namely, the intercourse among different cultural entities in the broad sense (and-not only in the situation of open conflict). Indeed, by adding the dimension of intercultural influences, clashes, penetrations and exchanges, we complete the picture of the spatial and temporal total environment within which a social flux is embedded, evolves and revolves.


Anthropologists have suggested traits of cultural interpenetrations based on archeological discoveries stretching from the upper paleolithic to early recorded history.[46]  In speaking of cultures, then, we should keep interpenetration in mind as a possible shaping factor. Although particular societies, interacting with their climatic and geographical environments, may have developed unique cultural patterns, it was not necessarily in total and perpetual isolation.[47]  On the other hand, similarities of certain- traits in different cultures do not always imply cultural interpenetration because, in the final analysis, man as a species has certain characteristics common to all men, and he copes with his environment within the range of his potentials to satisfy his drives. Thus, while each culture is unique (the degree of uniqueness distinguishing each from the others), cultures are alike in covering the range of human species-specifics.[48]  Their emphasis on particular aspects of life and the phenomena they cultivate make cultures unique and provide potentials for intercultural pollination.


However, while the diversity of cultures has been a main source of human enrichment, the very uniqueness of a culture, because it emphasizes particular aspects of life, handicaps its members from fully appreciating other cultures. Basically, man understands cultures in terms of his own--a fact corresponding broadly to the range of group identity discussed in Chapter Three. The two factors, cultural uniqueness and man's limited range of cultural identity, can lead, beyond free-flowing intercultural influences, to cultural interpenetrations caused by the compelling vigor of some cultures in particular times and places over others. This relates to group dynamics and interactions already covered, such as clashes and interpenetrations of adventurers and conservers. A culture may find attractive what another culture has and/or may consider itself superior, and consequently overpower the other culture. By doing so, it may create energy through intercultural potential differentials. Examples of this are the exploitation of India's manpower and natural resources by the British, or those of Venezuela (petroleum industry) and Central American countries (fruit industry) by the United States.


These, however, are material examples. When we talk about intragroup and intercultural exploitation and interaction of human energy, we imply all the parameters of the total environment:. organic, systematic, temporal and spiritual. From an evaluative point of view, in the long run, cultural vigor is more complex than material force. Christians did not take over Rome by the edge of the sword, and Gandhi's nonviolence was a powerful "weapon" in weakening the British hold over India. Vietnamese determination was decisive in the face of American might. Culture reflects the Bergsonian concept of duration--the continuous progression of the past gnawing into the future and swelling as it advances, the past in its entirety prolonged into the present and abiding there actual and acting.[49]  How a culture looks depends on how fast different currents within it move, and as they do what kind of energy they generate, how they generate it and exploit it. The examination of this process and its energy will lead us to power--the ingredient we are seeking in our quest to understand the socio-political complex.


Tradition, Transition and Modernity


The fact that cultures may be distinguished from one another by their emphases on different aspects of human existence, experience and interaction with the environment should, of course, be understood in its dynamic and fermenting sense. A culture is not static but ever evolving and becoming. No matter how conservatively maintained, because of its temporal dimension it remains a changing continuity. The prevailing tendency has been to identify cultures according to their disposition toward change and to classify them as traditional, modern or transitional (i.e., in the process of passing from one pattern to the other). The classification hinges not only on the amount and speed of change that occurs or is likely to occur within a culture or some of its aspects, but also on the approaches and attitudes within that culture towards change, i.e., to what extent innovations distinct and deviating from or modifying the set patterns are tolerated and admitted, and if they are allowed, whether they are deliberately sought.[50]


*      *      *


The process by which a culture maintains the ways of the past is its tradition (derived from the Latin verb tradere, which implies handing over -- in this context, from one generation to another). Tradition is ever-present in every culture, and, whether a man is conscious of it or not, it is a main ingredient of his identity. We do not always do things by conscious rationalization but often because others do them that way or because we are told to do so, and those who do so and tell us so are themselves doing and saying because others before them did. The degree to which customs, mores and habits handed down through the generations are followed distinguishes the traditional from the modern dimensions of cultures.


A culture or certain aspects of it may be considered traditional when it projects its continuation into the future along the lines of the past. The traditional attitude implies conservatism and the belief that what has stood the test of time should be maintained. Innovations that drastically depart from established patterns will not easily find their way into the cultural mainstream. Where they occur, they should be moderate--mostly modifications of existing patterns--and generally integrated without disruption. Maintenance of the prevailing norms and slowness of change favor the perpetuation and effectiveness of value systems. Normative continuity will also be conducive to deeper elaboration of symbols and rituals, at times beyond their functional premises. Values and symbolic systems are thus likely to become preponderant organizational fabrics for a traditional culture. The emphasis on continuity enhances the tendencies of value systems to stretch themselves to the spiritual beyond. Material existence, notably that of the members of the society, will be recognized and justified not so much at the individual level but as part of a traditionally and spiritually established continuum, usually complemented by a sphere beyond life where man's goals for betterment ,reside. This general pattern has, of course, varied. The Judeo-Christo-Islamic culture looked beyond life to heaven, the Hindu to reincarnation, the Chinese to the spirit of the ancestors to be joined after death. All imply strong normative patterns closely knit within the affectional and valuational which, you may recall, are deep-rooted in man's nonrational dimensions.


*      *      *


A modern culture, or the modern phase of a culture, as distinct from the slow-paced traditional culture, fluctuates and is subject and/or open to change. Modern, as distinct from traditional, is the contemporaneity of a culture. ("Modern" is derived from-the Latin word modo, which means "just now.") It is that which not only integrates innovation and change, but in many respects is oriented by them.


The men who, some ten thousand years ago, left their hunting and gathering habits and settled down to agriculture and animal husbandry were imbued with a modern approach, as were those who initiated urban civilization and organized cities, dug canals and built dams and dikes. However, such "modernizing" periods leveled off into long periods of tradition. In earlier times, change usually resulted from an accidental discovery or a deliberate search to solve a problem. Things changed when the prevailing patterns could not resist the impact of some innovation, whether in the modes of production and exploitation of energy, the spiritual premises or other environmental factors. Such change was more a consequence than an end in itself. Once it had taken place, the tendency was towards stabilization, bringing about a new traditional period to maintain the new social order.


To this tendency, the modern adds a recognition of change as desirable in itself--the acceptance of change as a social reality necessary for progress and cultural vitality. The idea of progress was a well-established Western social philosophy by the beginning of the nineteenth century. Its basic premise was to better man's lot through his interaction with his environment and to organize his economic, social and political activities for this purpose. In order to progress, one must accept the modification of the present into something different (and, one hopes better). Progress thus carries a valuational connotation and the potential to inspire value systems: it is the moving spirit of modernity.


The modern approach takes an empirical tack, wanting to know why things are done as they are and whether a method can be improved. Yet modernity, beyond rationales for change, which in social subjective terms should be change for the better, may become a pattern of behavior for satisfying man's drives for excitement, challenge and the search for the unknown, and may tend toward change for the sake of change. Modernity implies adventurer dispositions. While it presents the excitement and challenge of change, it does not, in all instances, provide the security present in the traditional continuity of the known. Thus, even if a culture is conscious of the change factor as essential for progress, it still tends to retain dimensions providing for the perpetuation of its social and political structures. For in its pure abstraction, modernity may defy continuity, some degree of which is essential to maintain a polity.


While versatility and openness to innovation are not necessarily the pattern of behavior of all who live in the modern Western world, they have been general enough since the Enlightenment to produce the characteristics usually associated with modernity, namely, advanced technology and industrialization, expansion of communications and mobility, development of education and hygiene, mass culture on the one hand and individualism on the other, private or state capitalistic or socialistic economies, and secular participatory or totalitarian social and political structures. None of these, however, are inclusive or exclusive characteristics of modernity. A pure model of modernity is an unrealistic abstraction. As some of the above qualifications reflect, modernity can at times present contradictory alternatives. Not all drives for modernity have automatically developed educational and medical systems, as the history of industrialization in nineteenth-century England attests. on the other hand, in some traditional cultures, such as that of pre-restoration Japan, education was highly popularized and developed.[51]  Development of education and hygiene should, however, characterize a modernizing pattern in the long run because, rationally speaking, by better education and better hygiene more skilled manpower can be made available for a developing industry and hence material progress. As technology develops, it produces means of communication--both for physical transportation and for information-and brings about movements of people and their concentration in industrial centers. This movement and propagation of information will make mass culture more likely, although its intensity will depend on the traditional components preceding modernization.[52]  At the same time, however, to the extent that the individual is made mobile and independent of tradition, given public education, and involved in impersonalized economic activities, he will tend toward individualism and may develop a taste for participatory and secular politics aid social institutions. Nevertheless, a different dosage of the same factors may result in a mass culture which, with the help of mass media, propaganda, control and regimentation, can bring about totalitarian social and political structures.[53]


*      *      *


The combination of traditional and modern characteristics within a culture may grow dissonant, depending on the level at which the technological and scientific changes, in relation to socio-political changes, are taking place. Such was the case of European cultures during the Renaissance and the Reformation, as we shall see in more detail in Chapter Eleven. More contemporary, however, are the Asian and African cultures. Because the European experience transformed European traditional patterns into the present modern social structures, it is generally believed that the non-Western countries currently undergoing social and cultural changes are passing through a transition which, as in Europe, will transform their traditional cultures into modern societies similar to those of Europe. Such an assumption, of course, needs qualification. Cultures have unique characteristics, and lump-summing them into categories--traditional, transitional and modern, implying a hierarchy from the former up to the latter--could be misleading.[54]  Some African and Asian countries whose cultural patterns (traditional until recently) have been disrupted under the impact of Western contacts and penetrations, and show symptoms which could be interpreted as transitional crises, are not necessarily moving towards "modernization." In some cases the per capita growth of the country does not keep up with its population growth, nor does its educational system grow fast enough to cope with its illiteracy problems or even to provide schooling for the growing school-age population. With their traditional socio-political patterns disrupted, these countries are given modern structures only in name and are run in reality by authoritarian and military rules which often mismanage their economy, causing balance of payment deficits and overextended international loans. Where such patterns persist, it will be difficult to project the country's future in terms of the modern evolution of the Western world.


Rather .than confining ourselves to the strict hierarchical categorization of cultures, we may better understand their nature and evolution if we bear in mind the total environmental concepts we have elaborated. As we noted, change may come about from within, a particular sector or subculture of a culture, or as a borrowing from the outside. The change caused through adaptation and borrowing will not necessarily involve the same development and consequences that the transplanted factors may have had in their original setting. That will depend on the similarity of the cultures involved, their stages of development and the nature of the transmitted factors. Even within similar cultures, similar innovative factors submit to each culture's uniqueness. Dissimilar cultures may absorb and mold certain borrowed factors beyond recognition. For example, the Christian rites, evocations and sublimations of some converted African tribes have very little in common with the Lutheran churches of Norway.


While some borrowed patterns serve more as frames or forms whose contents can be greatly changed when transplanted from one culture to another, there are other patterns whose forms and contents cannot easily be dissociated, and when implanted in a different culture they may change and revolutionize some of the culture's basic characteristics. The statement is, of course, relative, as every change in one aspect of a culture has repercussions in the other aspects. But relatively speaking, certain food habits or art forms from another culture may be less disruptive than new modes of production, exploitation of energy and economic distribution which, as pointed out earlier, are essential in shaping the social flux and concern those who control and organize the social, economic and political structures. By borrowing new methods in these areas, a culture may prepare for disruption of its prevailing social system and its cherished values, resulting in a cultural crisis which may even lead to revolution and the demise of its established socio-political controls and structures. The nineteenth-century Chinese believed that the technical know.-how of the West could be grafted onto their otherwise superior culture. But the Confucian "substance" the T'ung-chih restoration wanted to retain did not marry well wish the Western technological "functions" it wanted to adopt, and eventually the mismatch ended in the downfall of the traditional Chinese Empire.[55]  The Japanese, as of the start of the Meiji revolution in the nineteenth century, made greater concessions than the Chinese to the technological system which they found could not flourish in a culture run by feudal lords.[56]


In our examination of transition we have to envision cultures with their particular social, economic and political structures reflecting and reflected in their symbols, values, customs and habits, in given historical conjunctures and human-geographic positions. As they evolve, they submit to the influence of the cultures with which they come in contact; thus, their course depends not only on their own fermentations and dynamics but also on what happens to others and what others do. Traditional cultures which came under the aggressive impact of Western. cultures were not left alone to choose, assuming they desired it, their own mode of transition. Some traditional societies, impressed by Western technology, mistook it for Western culture.[57]  Where Western administrations were in control, particularly in the colonial and neocolonial contexts, exposure to Western culture was selective, involving largely the bureaucratic, commercial and military frameworks. Although in many cases those from the traditional society who were exposed were relatively few, because of the position and experience they gained under the Western impact, as either administrators, businessmen and military men or modern intelligentsia, they came to play substantial roles in the transition of their countries. The different combinations of these nuances of exposure, whether bureaucratic, commercial, military or intellectual (and in some cases religious, as a consequence of Western missionary efforts), have strongly influenced the way non-Western peoples have shaped their societies in the past few decades.[58]  The Indian, the Chinese, the Ugandan or the Saudi Arabian experiences of transition are each unique.


The transitional patterns reveal more dramatically the concepts of continuity and change as applied to traditional and modern cultures, and the pivotal role of power and politics in the evolution of cultures. At points of transition the crises may more brutally reveal the energy potentials within a culture providing the raw material for social and political organization. In the slow pace and established mores and institutions of traditional cultures or the functionally organized dynamics of modern patterns, many aspects of power may be taken for granted and may go unnoticed. When the socio-political flux passes through crises of transition, power sectors become more apparent and power positions sharpen. In this sense, the term "transition" has a broader connotation covering not a compartmented kind of culture, but the point at which the phenomenon of change intervenes in a given sector or sectors of a culture, whether its overall pattern is qualified as traditional, transitional or modern. In that perspective, we are in fact adding a dimension to our concept of change, namely that causing a culture to pass from one pattern to another. As distinct from the specific attitude towards change that was the criterion for distinguishing between traditional and modern cultures, transition from one to another implies a change of attitude towards change. In its attitude toward change, a modern culture has a continuity--a tradition, so to speak--to accept phenomena on empirical and rational bases and to organize itself "systematically." When a basically traditional culture moves towards modernity (or, for that matter, when a modern culture immerses itself in a traditional pattern) it changes its attitude towards change and thus disrupts its continuity.


The qualification of the even pace of tradition, the organized dynamics of modernity and the crises of transition may also provide perspective as to how power potentials are consumed in different cultural contexts. As long as the peasant tills the landlord's farm and the slave serves his master, believing in fate or divine providence, and as long as the worker on the assembly line punches the clock punctually and attends to his chores diligently, believing in progress and the virtues of competitive free enterprise or building communism, the power potentials of the culture carry the course of the socio­political flux. They may be "slower" or "faster" by certain criteria, but they are not disruptive. In transitional situations, whether dynastic con­flicts or religious reformation in a traditional pattern, or a social revolu­tion in a modern pattern, power sectors may mobilize against each other and cause the destruction, disturbance and disruption of some of the culture's power potentials. When the farmers revolt or the workers take to the streets to picket or strike, farms and factories remain empty. That is why those in control usually favor law and order. The disruption caused by transition may, however, in the long run, liberate and reveal new power potentials setting a culture on a new course and tempo.


*      *      *


As this chapter has unfolded, we have looked at man's total environment from within man rather than the other way around, recognizing his potentials for manipulation of tools, production and exploitation of energy, elaboration and transmission of symbols, and storage and accumulation of knowledge. Dif­ferent combinations and developments of these potentials and their inter­action with the organic, systematic, temporal and spiritual dimensions of the total environment brought forth what we identified as culture, which provides the stuff of the socio-political complex. Our examination of culture revealed, above all, the importance of the energy-generating process combining the exploitation of man by man--and by society--with that of the resources of the environment, and the tendencies towards different degrees of continuity and change in different cultures. These factors claim and complement each other, and understanding their complementarity can lead us to perceive the energy touched off within a culture as power: the raw material of the socio-political complex. For, as we have suggested, the whole pro­cess of maintaining continuity or bringing about change affects and holds on to the energy-generating processes. It is by molding the energy within a culture into socio-political power that both that power and the energy­-producing processes that support it can be perpetuated. No doubt all aspects of cultural endeavors, whether they involve turning sounds into music, iron ore into cars, stones into monuments, vegetables into soups, corporals into dictators or common citizens into presidents, are interrelated parts of a total energizing whole. But it is by recognizing and realizing how the energy with which the culture is pregnant emerges as power that we can best conceive of the fermentations and dynamics of the socio-political complex.


[1] Andrew M. Scott, Political Thought in America (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1959), p. 46. See also Louis Hartz, The Liberal Tradition in America (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1955), pp. 60-61.

[2] Henri Bergson, An Introduction to Metaphysics; The Creative Mind (Totowa, N. J.: Littlefield, Adams, 1965), p. 186.

[3] Aristotle, Politics, Bk. VII, Ch. vii.

[4] Montesquieu, L'Esprit des Lois (1748), Bks. XIV and XIX. For a critical discussion of these theories see, for example, Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1939, Ch. I; published in Italian in 1896 and 1923 as Elementa di Scienza Politica).

[5] Friedrich Ratzel, Politische Geographie (Munich: Oldenbourg, 1897, 2nd ed. 1903).

[6] Ratzel's theories can be traced back to earlier thoughts on the role of geographical factors in political power advanced by Americans such as Alfred T. Mahan, whose The Influence of Seapower Upon History (1897) had an impact on Ratzel's thoughts, notably on his conception of the relationship between sea power and power politics, which he expounded in The Sea as a Source of National Greatness (1900). Ratzel had received training in the United States, and his theory on space is not without resemblance to the American nineteenth-century creed of Manifest Destiny.  See Hans W. Weigert et al., Principles of Political Geography (New York: Appleton-Century, 1957), pp. 10-11; and Robert Strausz-Hupe, Geopolitics: The Struggle for Space and Power (New York: Putnam, 1942), p. 245.

[7] Ellsworth Huntington, The Pulse of Asia (Boston: Houghton, 1907); and his Palestine and Its Transformation (Boston: Houghton, 1911).

[8] Ellsworth Huntington, Civilization and Climate, 3rd ed., (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1924).

[9] Sir Halford J. Mackinder, "The Geographical Pivot of History," Geographical Journal, 23:421-444 (1904).

[10] Sir Halberd J. Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality (New York: Norton, 1962; first published in 1919). See the modified version of his theory in his article, "The Round World and the Winning of the Peace," Foreign Affairs, 21:595-605 (1943). For a critical discussion of Mackinder's theories, see N. J. Spykman, The Geography of Peace (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1944).

[11] Lebensraum literally means "room to live in," a claim advanced by Hitler for territorial expansion and control of raw material resources to make Germany self-sufficient. Haushofer's association with Hitler came to an end when Germany, against his advice, got involved in a war with the Soviet Union--with disastrous consequences.

[12] Jean Brunhes, Géographie Humaine, 4th ed., 3 vols. (Paris: Alcan, 1934).

[13] Karl A. Wittfogel, Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1957), p. 12.

[14] See, for example, P. Vidal de la Blache, Principles of Human Geography (London: Constable, 1926; originally published in French in 1922); and C. L. White and G. T. Renner, Human Geography: An Ecological Study of Society (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1948).

[15] Hobbes, Leviathan, Introduction

[16] For different treatments of the mechanical systematic approach, see Pareto, The Mind and Society; Parsons, The Social System; Pitrim A. Sorokin, Contemporary Sociological Theories (New York: Harper, 1928); and George C. Romans, The Human Group (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1950).

[17] Norbert Wiener, Communication (MIT Press, 1955), quoted in Kark W. Deutsch, The Nerves of Government (New York: Free Press, 1963), p. 77.

[18] See, for example, Abraham Kaplan, "Sociology Learns the Language of Mathematics," Commentary, 14:274-284 (1952).

[19] Parsons, The Social System, p. 6.

[20] On simulation see, for example, H. Goldhamer and H. Speier, "Some Observations on Political Gaming," World Politics, 12:71-83 (1959); H. Guetzkow, "A Use of Simulation in the Study of Inter-Nation Relations," Behavioral Science, July 1959, pp. 183-191; and John R. Raser, Simulation and Society: An Exploration of Scientific Gaming (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1969).

[21] On Game Theory see, for example, Anatol Rapoport and Carol Orwant, "Experimental Games: A Review," Behavioral Science, January 1962, pp, 1-37; and M. Shubik, ed., Game Theory and Related Approaches to Social Behavior (New York: Wiley, 1964).

[22] See, for example, Werner Eichhorn, Chinese Civilization (New York: Praeger, 1969), pp. 156-163.

[23] Philosophies emphasizing, to greater or lesser degrees, the temporal phenomena have been treated by some as "process philosophy."

See, for example, Douglas Browning, ed., Philosophers of Process (New York: Random House, 1965); and Walter Buckley, Sociology and Modern Systems Theory (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1967), notably pp. 17-23.

[24] See Raymond B. Cattell, A New Morality From Science: Beyondism (New York: Pergamon, 1972).

[25] Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (New York: Vintage, 1966; originally published in 1886), pp. 47-48.

[26] Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-1885), notably Part I, Sec. 15; and his Toward a Genealogy of Morals (1887).

[27] Quoted in Georges Weulersee, Le Mouvement Physiocratique en France de 1756-1770 (Paris: Alcan, 1910), II, 41. On the physiocratic school, see also Hector Denis, Histoire des Systèmes Economiques et Socialistes (Paris: Giard & Briere, 1904); Henry Higgs, The Physiocrats (New York: Macmillan, 1897); and Max Beer, An Inquiry into Physiocracy (London: Allen & Unwin, 1939).

[28] Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations (1776), notably the chapter, "Wages"; see also his The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), particularly Sec. III.

[29] Thomas Robert Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798).

[30] David Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, Ch. V., Vol. I of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1951), p. 93.

[31] Although the school of thought which developed along these lines came to be known as Social Darwinism, its main exponent, Herbert Spencer, had published his Social Statics, in which he developed his views on the evolutionary process of the human society, in 1850--nine years before Darwin's Origin of the Species.

[32] Herbert Spencer, The Study of Sociology (1873), Ch. 14.

[33] William Graham Sumner, Essays in Political and Social Science (New York: Holt, 1885), p. 85, See also Galbraith, The Affluent Society, Ch. V., Sec. iv.

[34] Claude Adrien Helvétius, De l'esprit (Essays on the Mind, 1758); and his De l'homme (A Treatise on Man); and B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity (New York: Knopf, 1971).

[35] Auguste Comte, Cours de Philosophie Positive (Course on Positive Philosophy, 1830-1842); A General View of Positivism, Ch. 2; also his Système de Politique Positive (System of Positive Polity, 1851-1854).

[36] Francis Bacon (1561-1626), notably his Novum Organum and The New Atlantis; and Marquis Antoine Nicholas de Condorcet (1743-1794), Sketch for a Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, notably the Tenth Stage of progress.

[37] See notably W. W. Rostow, The Process of Economic Growth, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1960); W. W. Rostow, "The Stages of Economic Growth," in Economic History Review, 12:1-16 (1959); John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1969); Herman Kahn and Anthony J. Wiener, The Year 2000 (New York: Macmillan, 1967); and Olaf Helmer, "Prospects of Technological Progress," in Alvin Toffler, ed., The Futurists (New York: Random House, 1972), pp. 151-159. For a recent Marxist exposition, see I. Bestuzhev-Lada, "Bourgeois 'Futurology' and the Future of Mankind," Reprints from the Soviet Press, 3 April 1970, reprinted in Toffler, The Futurists, pp. 194-210.

[38] See, for example, Jacques Ellul, The Technological Society (New York: Knopf, 1964; first published in French in 1954 as La Technique); Walt Anderson, ed., Politics and Environment (Pacific Palisades, Cal.: Goodyear, 1970); Kenneth Boulding, "The Economics of the Coming Spaceship," in Henry Jarrell ed., Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1966); Paul Ehrlich, "The Eco-Catastrophe!" Ramparts, September 1969, pp. 24-28; Howard T. Odum, Environment, Power and Society (New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1971); and Nathan Keyfitz, "World Resources and the World Middle Class," Scientific American, July 1976, pp. 28-35.

[39] In Greek "anthropology" means the science of man, but it has been reduced to designate rather broadly the study of cultures, and more restrictively the science of the exotic and the dead man. Had the term not been adulterated, it could easily have been used to cover the whole spectrum of social sciences. See, for example, Alfred I. Kroeber, Anthropology Today: An Encyclopedic Inventory (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1953), notably the Introduction, pp. xiii-xiv.

[40] For an interesting essay on the subject, see José Ortega y Gasset, "Man the Technician," in History as a System and Other Essays: Toward a Philosophy of History (New York: Norton, 1941, 1961), pp. 87-161.

[41] Melville J. Herskovits, Cultural Dynamics (New York: Knopf, 1964), p. 3. See also A. L. Kroeber and C. Kluckhorn, Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions (Cambridge, Mass: The Museum, 1952); and for a concept of culture in itself see Leslie A. White, The Concept of Cultural Systems, pp. 8 ff.

[42] The latter two, incidentally, help reduce man's susceptibility to climate, making the assertion that climate influences human characteristics less valid now than in the times of Aristotle and Montesquieu. With today's indoor climate-control devices, men in Colombo and Winnipeg can function in similar regulated environments.

[43] In fact, where cheap labor was available, it discouraged development of mechanical devices. As V. Gordon Childe points out, despite inventions which could be put at the service of agriculture and industry in ancient Greece, "landlords and capitalists preferred to invest their profits in living instruments rather than costly machines of wood: slaves were cheap."

What Happened in History, rev. ed. (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin, 1954), p. 253.

[44] See William C. MacLeod, The Origin of the State Reconsidered in the Light of the Data of Aboriginal North America (Philadelphia, 1924); and Robert H. Lowie, The Origin of the State (New York: Russell & Russell, 1962; first published in 1927), pp. 33 ff.

[45] Franz Oppenheimer, The State (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1914; first published in German in 1907), pp. 33 ff., notably p. 68; also Ludwig Gumplowicz, Outlines of Sociology (New York: Paine-Whitman, 1963; published in German, 2nd ed., 1905), pp. 192 ff.

[46] Reviewing the paleolithic tools and their improvements, Childe noted that in vast areas, from the Cape of Good Hope to the Mediterranean and from the Atlantic to India, the variations succeeded one another in the same order, and he pondered: "It looks as if some sort of intercourse were being maintained among the widely-scattered groups so that ideas were interchanged and technical experience was pooled."

Childe, What Happened in History, p. 32; see also p. 39.

[47] Recent archeological discoveries have revealed possibilities of contact between sedentary cultures of the Nile, Mesopotamia and Indus valleys. Experiments to retrace early sailings--such as Kon-Tiki in the Pacific and Ra in the Atlantic--have even tried to suggest possibilities of intercontinental cultural links.

[48] Wissler, in attempting to enumerate the different components of a culture, while not following quite the same pattern as we have developed in our past chapters, suggests more or less the same phenomena, ranging from speech, material traits, art, mythology, religion, family, social systems and property to government and war.

Clark Wissler, Man and Culture (New York: Crowell, 1923).

[49] Henry Bergson, Duration and Simultaneity (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965; first published in French in 1922); see also his Introduction to Metaphysics (Totowa, N. J.: Littlefield, Adams, 1965).

[50] For a discussion of the process of cultural change, see Gordon P. Murdock, "How Culture Changes," in Harry L. Shapiro, ed., Man, Culture and Society (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1956), pp. 247-260; and Alex Inkeles and David H. Smith Becoming Modern (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1974).

[51] See Ronald P. Dore, "The Legacy of Tokugawa Education," quoted in Robert E. Ward, "Political Modernization and Political Culture in Japan," World Politics, 15:575-576 (1963).

[52] See, for example, Marion J. Levy, Jr., Modernization and the Structure of Societies (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1966).

[53] For further readings on the issue see David E. Apter, ed., Political Change (London: Frank Cass, 1973).

[54] For a discussion of different political patterns on the road to modernization, see David E. Apter, The Politics of Modernization (Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1965); also his "Political Systems of Developmental Change," in Some Conceptual Approaches to the Study of Modernization (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968). See also Leonard Binder et al., eds., Crises and Sequences in Political Development (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1971), therein notably James S. Coleman's "The Development Syndrome: Differentiation-Equality-Capacity," pp. 73-100.

[55] On the T'ung-chih Restoration, see Mary C. Wright, The Last Stand of Chinese Conservatism (Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 1957).

[56] See, for example, Shibusawa Keizo, ed., Japanese Society in the Meiji Era (therein notably Ch. II by Okubo Toshiaki, "Change of Social Conditions"); Fujii Jintaro, ed., Outline of Japanese History in the Meiji Era, Centenary Council Series (Tokyo: Obunsha, 1958); and Masaaki Kosaka, "The Rebirth of Japan and the Impact of the West," in Guy S. Métraux and François Crouzet, eds., The New Asia: Readings in the History of Mankind (New York: Mentor, 1965), pp. 378-408.

[57] For examples of the Western culture and traditional background hinted at here, see Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York: Scribner's, 1930; first published in 1904-1905); and Jan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages (London: Arnold, 1924).

[58] See Jmaes S. Coleman, ed., Education and Political Development (Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press, 1965); and Harry J. Benda, "Non-Western Intelligentsia as Political Elites," Australian Journal of Politics and History, 6:205-218 (1960).