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Sociophysics & Sociocybernetics: An Essay on the Natural Roots & Limits of Political Control


Sociophysics & Sociocybernetics: An Essay on the Natural Roots & Limits of Political Control

Arnopoulos, Paris (2001) Sociophysics & Sociocybernetics: An Essay on the Natural Roots & Limits of Political Control. In: Sociocybernetics : complexity, autopoiesis, and observation of social systems. Greenwood Press, Westport, Conn., pp. 17-40. ISBN 0313314187

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One of the critical problems of sociocybernetics is to determine the necessity, possibility and desirability of social control by political institutions. This conundrum has been tackled repeatedly in history with various responses; some of which have been tried and failed, while others are still going on locally and temporally. Although the problems of social control is pervading and continuing, changing circumstances make all solutions parochial and ephemeral at best.

On this assumption, the question is how much further can this issue be pursued in a more general or theoretical manner. Given the complexity, extensity and intensity of contemporary social systems, can some general sociocybernetic principles be found to apply here and now, as well as everywhere and always?

It is fortunate that recent scientific discoveries give new insights to old puzzles. The latest advances of General Systems, Complexity, Quantum, and Chaos Theories emphasize the multiplicity of reality and thereby show great promise for various social applications. Combining these theories, this paper will apply the Sociophysics paradigm, which is particularly suitable here because it renders explicit the already implicit metaphors and fundamental isometries between the natural and social sciences, thus contributing to their mutual consolidation and convergence.

The central hypothesis here is that some measure of social control is necessary, possible and desirable; so the practical question becomes when, where and how it can be optimized. On the thesis that complex natural and cultural systems are difficult to know and understand, trying to manipulate them is precarious; so any attempt to control them must be thought and carried out in conformity with nature: humbly, carefully and responsibly.

Under the circumstances, human interference with fragile or chaotic systems found in both nature and culture, should be based on the principles of minimizing environmental disturbance and maximizing holistic balance. The best policy would then seem to be choosing a post modern sociocybernetic strategy, which approaches a golden mean between the libertarian and totalitarian extremes

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Book Section
Authors:Arnopoulos, Paris
ID Code:983192
Deposited On:06 Nov 2017 18:41
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56


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