Politics > Spiral of Political Maturation > Review Political Maturation > The West: Past & Future

Maturation of Politics: Past & Future

Political development in Western Society mapped on the Spiral of growth with predictions for the future.

Political maturation appears to be part of something bigger: the maturation of consciousness within society. Societal evolution has its own natural flow, but it is also closely aligned to broader forces, which may inhibit and weaken development, or may provide impetus and opportunity.

The diagram provides a schematic account of political evolution in the West, and major factors that seem relevant now and in the future. Political life will never become easy—but when (not if) this Spiral trajectory is completed, Aristotle’s dream will have been fulfilled.

Politics commenced with government by traditional hierarchies (royalty, aristocracy, priesthood, military). They used force to collect taxes, maintain order, conduct wars and exploit the common people. This eventually generated social turmoil and, in many countries, a successful political revolution.

The Age of Enlightenment: A key factor in the psychological readiness for revolution was an outpouring of ideas in Europe during the 18th century. These ideas, about human liberty, authority in social life and the importance of reason, took possession of the people. The world was never the same again.

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, tells the same story of Cycle-1 progress and where the West is now—based on ordinary observations and an ethical common-sense. He naturally remains unaware of the existence of Cycle-2. The RSA is a mainstream establishment UK organization, so its public expression of these ideas suggests that Cycle-2 is not far away. Watch Matthew's 11 minute animated video courtesy of the RSA: it's well done and fun.

If you have grasped the Spiral development process, you are ready to continue to the next section of this Satellite, dealing with what determines political choices in practice, irrespective of the stage of political maturation.

Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 11-Apr-2014.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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