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The Society of Humankind

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ESSAYS

on

The Society of HumanKind

POLITICS

SUMMARY

A potential for conflict between the Society and politicians is identified and discussed. The general principles on which any such conflict should be resolved is then set out.

The Society of HumanKind is a world-wide organisation based on local groups and communities. As such it has many parallels with the political structure of our world. Although the Discourse of the first founding book, 'Foundations', makes it clear that the Society cannot replace, and therefore should not seek to supplant, those political institutions, it does not go on to discuss the relationship between the two. It is as well to take the opportunity to make some comment on that question in these Essays. If neglected it may provide a fertile source for conflict and misunderstanding.

The potential for conflict arises from an overlap between the area of interest of the Society and that of politicians. Both politicians and the Society have an abiding concern with the structure of our social order, in how we maintain stable co-operative social relationships and cope with the problems of balancing group and individual interests; long and short term objectives; order and liberty, and the host of other conflicts which the communal habits of our species generate.

However, the shared interest of the Society and politicians can never result in their developing a common view of these problems, because they approach that shared ground from totally different directions. The emergence of the Aim, Duty and Responsibility of the Society owes nothing to the political ambition to reform or restructure our social relations. Those three statements are solely an attempt to set out a meaning and purpose of our lives that does not depend on any belief in God, his competitors, or any other form of predestination for humanity.

The differences between the Society and politicians can be summarised. The Society is concerned with the outcome of our social structures, and the processes and relationships derived from them, rather than their form. Whereas for the politician form is likely to be of much more importance, and may indeed be the prime concern. It may, for instance, be of burning importance to a politician that our social system and structures should conform to some political theory or principle (free enterprise, democracy, socialism, etc.). To the Society however, all that matters is the effect of the system; does it provide a safe and stable environment for our infinite survival, and allow for our progress?

The reason for the interest of the Society and politicians in our social life may be different, but the impulse to intervene is common. Herein lays the source of potential conflict. Politicians may wish to change a well-established and stable social system because they disagree with the form of its structure. The Society however, would oppose that action as an unnecessary disturbance of our social order whose benefits are hardly ever likely to justify the risk. Indeed, almost as a general rule, the impulse of the politician is to innovate and change, while the Society will tend toward restraint and conservation.

Many possible conflicts of this type may therefore be imagined. Yet they must all be resolved since the Society cannot allow itself to become a source of friction or division within our species. Which gives a clue to the inevitable

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