This treatise came into existence between 1979 and 1984 as a critique of and alternative approach to the Marxist-Leninist philosophy. It is presented here in its nearly unchanged original. This may help to explain some surprises in the preface as well as at several points in the text.
Societal problems consistently require new conceptual approaches. In my view, these can only originate from the applied sciences at this point in time. Religions and ideologies are obsolete, having failed often enough. They might serve as an instrument of wielding power but they are not suitable for a conscious democratic evolution.
The demand for researching the societal evolution and creating a conscious awareness of it is one of the points emphasized in this work. It has not lost its topicality, not after having overcome Stalinism, either. The problems which communism originally set out to solve are still there, and they increase in intensity again.
As the approach is held very general, only oriented to the flow of information, the resulting considerations should be universally valid. I am convinced that the approach chosen here is the only correct one, and that only the intensive research of evolutionary processes will yield adequate solutions. For this purpose, we cannot resort to Darwin´s theories as toolkit. Darwin is the crystallization core for a science of the evolution of large systems. As was shown in the treatise, Darwin only describes the beginning and the passive part. It was shown that one could open up a new world therefrom – a world which society would desperately need for its orientation. A homogeneous interpretation of the beginning of the evolution of biological systems all the way to contests/conflicts between societies is capable of fulfilling that task. Here we also have sensible research targets for biology – which hasn't really progressed beyond Darwin up to now.
For this purpose, the mental blockade of a perceived contradiction between evolution and entropy has to be overcome. The chances to do so are now better than 20 years ago. If we are the result of evolution, then this took place in accordance with the increase in entropy – or another mechanism will be found. The second facet of the principle of entropy specified here, the general evolutionary criterion, solves this contradiction – which possibly only seems to exist – for biology and a general systems theory.
Approaching the nature of information is extremely difficult. This is the only way to explain why there haven't been any advancements in the direction indicated here. Up to now, cybernetics only dealt with concrete control loops and not with large systems. It is not aware of any relationships to biology and social sciences, either. This might possibly change. What would be needed for that purpose is to break free from the classical concept of information, or to complement that concept.
The vocabulary of concepts used in this field poses a certain problem. What is being expounded in this treatise collides with established concepts here and there. Basically, this cannot be avoided unless one consistently wants to invent new names for concepts.
Due to these problems, the first approach of this treatise was abandoned around 1983, and the vocabulary of concepts was structured in a new unit of time. Concepts are subject to change and evolution as well.
I believe it has been shown in a comprehensive way that this approach is feasible. I do hope that the suggestions will be picked up soon. Likewise, I always appreciate feedback from readers. Just drop an e-mail message at email@example.com. Please indicate the subject matter with “BoS” (Battle of Systems) to facilitate filtering.
Rosslau, Germany, April 2005