Lancefield Theory – a new theory of social interaction
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Julian Hart firstname.lastname@example.org
The proposed theory of social interaction was formulated by the author because of aperception that existing interpretations of sustainable development have little, if any,intellectual credibility. This led the author on a journey of philosophical discovery,which first produced a new way of appreciating the evolution of cities and civilisationsand was then seen to have wider application. What began as an innocentinvestigation into constructs for sustainable indicators for cities morphed into a newtheory of human development.This booklet will seek to set out this new theory through the lens of the human worldand how it describes the process of societal development. Justification for the validityof the theory of social interaction will be provided. The new construct will then begeneralised to the natural world to achieve a general theory of evolution.
This theory of social interaction suggests that the growth and development of cities (asan example system within the universe) can best be described through the continuousinterplay of five identifiable and quite distinct and observable social processes. Thesemacroscopic processes originate at the microscopic level from individual humansinteracting as they seek to satisfy their personal Needs to survive and thrive. Scaledup, the macroscopic phenomena represent the processes of Birth, Growth, Health(health maintenance), Adaptation and Transformation of cities. All five processes arepositive feedback systems. All five processes are continually operating within humansociety, to greater or lesser degrees; the extent to which any particular process isapparent at a particular point in time will strongly influence the direction of development of any particular society. The five processes create opposing tensionswithin society, such that when all five are functioning in equal measure development or evolution is a progressive, fairly gradual process. If, or when, any individual processaccelerates faster than the other processes, then human societies can very quicklybecome unbalanced in development and rapidly move down a path of self-destruction.Each social process is pure, where the real life we experience represents a complexinterplay of each pure phenomenon. We experience the influence of these socialprocesses in a variety of ways, including how we are each stimulated to prioritisefulfilment of our personal Needs (becoming materialistic, a workaholic, a religiouszealot or addicted to an iPhone) or in the choices we make to achieve a work-lifebalance. For reasons, which will become apparent, our experience of these fiveprocesses is only now, in modern democratic societies, becoming objectified andthereby more easily observable.
The Birth Process
In civilisation, the Birth Process drives the human activity of trade. It initially arisesfrom our fundamental daily material needs (food and water), extending in modernsociety to all our material desires. It can most readily be associated with the politicalideology of liberalism. As people are driven to interact in material exchanges, thisaffects in a deep way how they behave, how they see others and themselves, howthey perceive space and time and what they think. The Birth Process drivesindividualism and desire for freedom of behaviour and a strong focus on the present.The process acts to tear society apart. From tribal systems to modern bureaucracies,the Birth Process operates to atomise society, breaking apart social structures anderasing social boundaries. It has also been the driver behind Modernity: increasingrationality in human society. Its logical extreme is anarchy. It operates by forever creating new possibilities, insinuating competition and opportunism, wherever cooperation has a hold. It manifests as the process of material entropy in humansociety.
The Growth Process
The Growth Process can most easily be associated with the formation and expansionof bureaucratic systems, noting the tendency of the latter for inexorable growth. Itcreates rigid social structure and through this provides human societies with the abilityto build physical structures. In its pure form the Growth Process represents simplereplication of structure: another brick on the wall, another identical car produced fromthe manufacturing line, another identikit role created in society. It is a process, whichis driven by people seeking safety and security, to ensure that their material needs willcontinue to be available tomorrow (in the immediate future) as well as today. Counter-intuitively this process inculcates in human society a total focus on the past, seeking toextend and perpetuate agreeable trends and the status quo: extending the securityand predictability of the known past into the near future. The Growth Process canmost readily be associated with the ideologies of socialism and capitalism (these aredifferent expressions of the same underlying process). The Growth Process has alsobeen the driving force behind ever-increasing division of labour. When allowed to spin
Civilisation has arisen because of the emergence and on-goingexistence of cities.Cities and thence civilisations have progressed as a result of thecontinuous interplay between five fundamental social processes.These processes of human development represent the processes of Birth, Growth, Health, Adaptation and Transformation of cities