This article is a continuation of a previous article called Psychology, History, and Society so the reader need to be familiar with the terms infantile personality and human nature. I intend to look at what makes a society regress and what would make a society progress ďforeverĒ. I will in particular look at Western civilization since that is the culture I have a deeper understanding of.
When I say progress, I mean increased happiness for the majority of individuals. With a society I mean a group of people speaking the same language and obeying the same law. This would mean that a society is what we call a nation-state today with the exception that a common culture is not a requirement in order to be defined as a society.
The reason a common language is an important part of what makes up a society is because a language restricts the thought process. In that way a language creates conformity in the thought process of the individuals that make up that society. A law that applies to all individuals is needed in order to make it possible to form a group.
I will outline how I see societyís historical development based on that the will to respect (power) has been the determining factor for history up to this point of time. Initially society would have been a tribe. The head of the tribe would have been the law and the medicine man would be a person with infantile personality. Evolution starts with that the medicine man tries to gain influence and respect in the tribe (society). This will lead to the development of religion, which is in the hands of individuals with infantile personality. Now you can replace the head of the tribe with the law of religion and still have a society. So suddenly right and wrong is no longer in the hands of one individual, but rather a group of intellectuals who has a great learning capacity for facts, that is individualsí with infantile personality. This formalisation of the law opens the door to power for people with infantile personality. Suddenly the head of the tribe is forced to work together with individuals having infantile personality. Now the individual with infantile personality can get influence in areas outside of his sphere of power (the law). The basic idea is if you donít listen to what I got to say Iím going to make your life difficult. The problem is that if you listen to what a person with infantile personality says itís impossible to argue against it since he got a superior intellect. This means you will have to do what he says or you would act irrational. What happens next is that the leaders of society start behaving like individuals with infantile personality. So the individual with infantile personality is dominant from an evolutionary standpoint. His behaviour permeates the whole society. From this we understand that individuals with infantile personality have controlled society from the time religion was introduced. Religion makes it possible to merge a larger group of people and control them. Lets stop at this point of evolution and look at Egypt.
Egypt society 3000 BC can be characterised as a very dualistic society from every aspect. This is as I have argued earlier a symptomatic way of thinking that characterise individuals with infantile personality. So this dualism is evidence for the dominating role individuals with infantile personality has in society. It looks like reality was based on religion. This means the culture is based on religion. Itís my understanding that the Egyptian society beat religion to death. When you cannot develop a thought process any further you get stagnation in a society, but at that point people suddenly can devote their time to increase their power. This concentration of power to a few individuals will cause internal tension that will rip society apart. This breakdown of society is a necessary process in order for society to rebuild itself in a direction that is more fertile. The Egyptians kept trying to rebuild society without making any changes in the thought process. It kept falling apart.
This is an outline to what happens with every society that stagnates and where people are selfish. This is one way of saying that communism is an illusion. Today in China they believe that incorporating capitalism is going to make society vigorous. Dictatorships with capitalism are nothing new. They fail every time, just like communism.
From the Greek culture we have philosophy, which is an attempt to understand some part of reality. Philosophy turns into science when observable facts confirm theories. Actually one could say a science go through three stages. First it organise knowledge in a systematic way. Secondly it forms theories that explain the systematized information. Thirdly it develops theories that connect with other sciences. We also have democracy and its institutions from the Greek culture. From the Jewish culture we have religion, Christianity. So in western societies we have three major ideas that come together. Within western society we have given birth to the idea of capitalism, which is a product of philosophy. We also have science which gives us an idea about how reality works.
We see that societies where selfishness is a natural part of society fall apart when there is stagnation due to internal tension created by the will to power. This means that if a society is at its peak and has developed its culture to the fullest than it needs to make its individuals unselfish. The intelligent way to be unselfish is called to have morality. Socrates showed the people of Athens that having morality was the progression needed in Greek society in order to keep evolving. The Greeks did not hear Socrates and they went into regression.
Adopting morality opens the door to a new and more intense kind of love for couples. There will be more happiness in a society where people have morality. Morality also opens the door to Christian love. The kind of love Jesus taught us to have for each other. These are the obvious consequences of changing to having morality. If this is the effect of having morality there will be no one who desires power for its own sake, but rather as a necessary evil to be able to improve our world. Morality as such removes the mechanism that destroys societies that are stagnant. What kind of an expression love will take on a social scale is a really interesting question.
The most important component is democracy. The key here is to never define any version of democracy as final. Democracy must always be open to change according to the will of the majority.
Capitalism is a brilliant concept that has to be able to adapt to the will of democracy.
There is always room for philosophy. It invigorates any culture. To understand reality is desirable especially if people have morality and want to use knowledge to further other peopleís happiness and not their own interests. Suddenly knowledge isnít power, rather the key to happiness. What might this not give birth to. Imagine the new thought processes that open up with having morality. Itís just staggering. Perhaps philosophy can best be described as the idea of ideas. A mature idea that concerns some aspect of reality is known as science. This would make psychology the science of ideas.
Christianity will slowly become an accepted part of history and people will understand the New Testament. This will make religion into reality and not a philosophy. We know God exist or whatever we choose to call Him.
Science is the child of philosophy and gives us an idea of how reality works.
This means that Western civilization is based on four major ideas besides science and that is religion, philosophy, democracy, and capitalism. This would make philosophy the mother of all ideas.
What looks interesting in looking upon these components is that it might be possible to remove the level need for security in the human nature. This opens up the possibility for a whole new set of behaviours (thoughts) to develop. We are now talking about unconscious models that are holistic. It takes time to develop them and they are extremely powerful since they combine emotions from several instincts. This would open up the door to emotions we canít imagine today. This is how it looks to me. There are no guarantees we do the right thing, but our Western civilization bids us to embrace morality. My feeling is that this will work out fine. I believe we are opening a door with unlimited possibilities.
Why do I believe itís going to be possible to remove the level of need for security? When we as a people can agree that we have material abundance, we love our children unconditionally, everyone belongs and so on. Than it will become reality. Reality has no emotions attached to it so the unconscious can just put this level away and free up space in human nature. Society could than sit down and discuss how to fill the new level of self-realization, which used to be the level of philosophical insight. Quiet interesting, but it will not be a problem for yet another couple of hundred years. Well, who knows?
Societies that stagnate are torn apart by individuals who try to increase their power. An indication of that this is approaching might be the divorce rate, since I claim that the family is society in miniature. This is caused by the will to power. Soviet Union might be a good example in modern history. Itís my understanding that Nature has been working on how to get past this bump in the road. The solution is called having morality and was presented to us by Socrates. It looks like Nature originally presented us to Jesus suggesting that this is what we can become. Having morality opens the door to behaviours such as those shown to us by Jesus. My theory says that Nature evolves with us. This is my way of saying that we might evolve past the idea of Jesus. My personal view is that having morality is the good life. That is all a human being needs to be happy. To me it looks like the limitations for evolution goes from being the will to respect (power) to purely physical limitations of what the brain can do to make us happy when we choose morality.