K. De GREENE proposes this specific use of the concept of order parameter to living and specially to human systems. He explains: "When applied to complex living systems, order parameter describes the evolutionary waxing and waning of the system. The order parameter is a macroscopic collective field, emergent at critical points out of myriad interactions at the microlevel. The order parameter expresses stochastic generation of the new (structural change) and deterministic maintainance of the now established (structural constancy). The emergence of the order parameter represents a great loss of degrees of freedom at the microlevel; microlevel behavior now becomes Slaved to the order parameter. Human languages, the great theistic religions, political belief systems, economic belief systems, and scientific/societal belief systems like the Newtonian paradigm are example of order parameters" (1994, p.12).
De GREENE offers a very interesting table of characteristics of Societal Order Parameter in human societies comprising ways of values creation and transformations, social learning, social bifurcations, and long-wave cycle structure (p.13).
The German systemist N. LUHMANN offers a similar view of the dominance of the social system, whose intrinsic global logic overwhelms the individuals. As resumed by M.C. JACKSON: "Humanity is dragged in the wake of the system. Individual hopes and aspirations simply respond to the system's needs, and consensus is engineered to improve the system's functioning. Even internal dissension, strikes and conflict represent the system readjusting to increase its viability and effectiveness" (1992, p.33).
The progressive destruction-absorbtion of small archaic societies by and within great cultures seems to be another similar phenomenon, in this case also favoring global efficiency and internal differentiation to the detriment of lesser social units. Inefficient gigantism does however lurk.
Societal order parameters can also be observed in animal societies, specially but not exclusively in social insects.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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