Your Better Self > Communal Existence > Not Social Development

This is Not Social Change

Potential for Ambiguity

This framework considers how you strive to «create a better communal life» apart from any dedicated role dealing with social change that you may hold.

Such roles do exist in business, social programs, government agencies, and charitable organizations. However, they demand a different mindset. «Create a better communal existence» may seem very close to improve your society or change your community or upgrade your business model, or even design social programs. After all, there would be few people involved in social developments who did not imagine they were working to create a better world. And they may well have been. Just not quite as imagined in this framework.

US President Johnson's Great Society War on Poverty, which poverty won easily, is a good example. It is essential to recognize that, however, well-meaning everyone working on such programs is, such social change has rather little relationship to the inner personal-spiritual phenomena that are specified in this framework.

Society is Controlled by its Unique Values

Social development occurs within society. It is determined and controlled by society's values. To understand the goals and methods of such programs you must understand how values and purposes function. The relevant THEE frameworks have been developed in detail within Working with Values (1995), and the Chapters will be posted on the website in early 2013.

Values are dominated by groups, and projects of any size are determined and run by groups. A full exposition is not possible here, but you can get some idea via the framework for Realizing Values in Society shown in this diagram:

Better viewing: narrow or close left navigation column; use browser zoom if needed.

It is evident that The Citizenry (en masse), The Government, Regulatory Authorities, and Culture play a major part in determining how even the most visionary social development is organized, regulated and pursued.

Ethical Rules: A Special Variety of Value

The above THEE framework of purpose does not specify any particular value or any particular purpose. It leaves the freedom and the responsibility to the social group and its members. While THEE is directive in regard to specifying requirements for being human (within the Root Complex), it is wholly neutral in regard to societal and personal choices (within the Primary Hierarchies).

Social change is a matter of society's dominant values. Each community, indeed every social group of any sort, is built around specific values (Ch.5, Working with Values). We recognize the values and groups that surround us as a social milieu that is operative regardless of any personal preoccupation with goodness or any wish to create a better world. Clarifying how the various frameworks of purpose and its derivatives are used by a society is a major exercise.
ClosedClick to see an outline diagram further down the page.

Note that there are special sorts of value called ethical rules-PH"6 and ethical authorities-sPH"6 that are required in any society. These values are nested within the Legitimist Approach to Making an Ethical Choice-PH'6L6, which itself is a nested hierarchy within Value systems-PH6L6. These values, being strongly identity-defining, are far more resistant to change than those found at lower levels in the Primary Hierarchy-PH6.

The Primal Injunctions are in formal terms a special sort of ethical maxim-PH"6L5 much like be honest or tell the truth. While many maxims could be universal, that is not necessary: e.g. some societies are oriented to indirect communications, and avoid telling the truth to spare any hurt.

Because the Injunctions are quintessentially universal, i.e. crossing all societies and applying to humanity generally, they might be better categorized as ethical absolutes-PH"6L7.

You Determine Humanity

This framework for a better communal existence and the various frameworks relevant to the practical development of society and organizational life both use a similar dynamic duality: the individual v the group. However, when the dynamic is applied in societal-organizational matters, it is evident that the individual perspective is dominant at the lower level (L3), while the group perspective is dominant at the higher levels (L5 & L6).

So you can make a considerable difference to the more concrete and definite choices in everyday social life, while the group asserts control over the overarching system that determines identity, culture, structure or grand strategy. These are real constraints: sometimes crushing freedom and justice, and applying coercive measures to prevent new values from taking root. Even when constraints are less grotesque, they may still be harmful and seemingly unnecessary.

The first response to inhumane oppression is to focus on what makes for a worthwhile communal existence where you will see that the reverse situation applies. Here your social milieu necessarily dominates your awareness at the lower level (L3) so that any injustice or evils in situations come to the forefront of attention. Then, in regard to the higher levels (L5 & L6) dealing with creativity and ethics, you, and you alone, can and must dominate.

Of course, this is not enough, and so: Closedthe next two frameworks: producing goodness and bringing goodness to life, derived from the Primal Injunctions, require our attention.

Originally posted: 31-Jan-2013

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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