The principle is alive

In the course of evolution, more and more existential conditions are wandering into the system as system functions. Its adaptive function, usually realized passively via selection, is then actively implemented by the system. For the system this means higher evolutionary speed resulting in a good flexibility due to an active reaction to environmental changes. In order to correctly implement these functions which the system can realize now, additional information from the criterion is required: what system reaction at what time and in what situation?

Consequently, the adoption of functions forces the system to adopt the related control information from the criterion, leading to a continuous adoption of the evolutionary criterion. The criterion under which the system evolves is thus projected into it as an image, it becomes its working principle. If we examine a longer period of time it becomes clear that the criterion, via the evolutionary material, becomes independent in this way.

The criterion as sum total of all evolutionary conditions is projected as an image onto the evolutionary material. These conditions, however, are being projected in a highly active way. They turn into system functions, into an active unit more and more integrating the system/environment conditions into its control processes. Looking at it vice versa, everything which constitutes a cybernetic system was present in the evolutionary criterion as well. The criterion under which the system evolves is therefore crucial for nature and character of the system.

In the course of its evolution, each organized higher-level system will integrate information into its system functions which, apart from mere environmental conditions and reactions to it, also takes its own influence exerted upon the environment into consideration. In short, it is forced to incorporate the system/environment relationships into the system reactions and thus into its theory. Along this way of self-awareness, each higher-level cybernetic system inevitably arrives at what we call "consciousness". This process of evolving consciousness can thus be expected, as a basic principle, from any system at a certain evolutionary level, independent from whether it is a biological, a technical, or a societal system. Evolving consciousness is a continuous process, the beginnings of which - from a biological point of view - are rooted in systems at a rather low evolutionary level. A cybernetic system exists only due to the order picked up by it. At the lowest level, it starts with the smallest building blocks the system is composed of. The next higher level is made up of these building blocks, and in turn it merely constitutes the building blocks for the next higher level above it. In this way, individual structures, proven and tested, combine to result in large systems. The reason is not just that a large system, in its complicated structure, cannot evolve in a single part because a large system allows for many more combinations than a subsystem does, which results in a smaller amount of information per feedback signal from the environment; much rather, the reason is that a hierarchical system has to cope with a significantly smaller number of information flows in the control center. Besides, hierarchical systems are more flexible because sub-functions can be utilized for different tasks and purposes. Possibly it is also due to the fact that the evolutionary criterion of nature itself, and/or its effective projection onto the evolutionary material, is structured in a hierarchical order.

The information pickup from the criterion turns the system into its product. Ultimately, its behavior is predetermined by the criterion as well. Thus, the life of biological systems is merely the sum total of information picked up from the criterion nature, starting with basic biochemical structures all the way to living organisms, their behavior, and the societies they form. At this time, these represent the highest level of organization storing experiential data from the environment.

For this reason, the criterion is the source of the entire system that has evolved. It transforms into the shapeable evolutionary material, awakens up to life, and becomes the living principle.

Evolution does not just have a changing but also a stabilizing character. The basic principle of its function is adaption. Whether a system will evolve in a certain direction, or whether it is being stabilized once it has arrived in some sort of blind alley, a local optimum, an ecological niche, depends upon the criterion. The stabilizing character shows up in a particularly glaring way once a system has internalized its evolutionary criterion to such a degree that it itself increasingly determines its further path of evolution. More and more, the criterion became the working principle of the system. This principle governs all expressions of the system, it constitutes the life of the system. In the following, it shall be tried to highlight this stabilizing feature in the case of social groups.

If a system, due to its evolutionary level, is able to actively intervene into its organizational structure and its environment, the environmental pressure to adapt diminishes. The system will try to actively adapt via self-organization and/or to adapt its environment to itself. The flow of information starts to run in reverse. The adaption of the system to the environment slows down in dimensions allowing the adaption of the environment to the system.

In the course of evolution of a community, its members turn into carriers of its principle. This principle determines how the group will behave towards the environment. The group is able to survive several of its members´ generations without substantially changing its character, its principle. The members are carriers of the principle, but this principle exists at a super-individual level and can survive its carriers.

However, there is more it can do. It can subjugate its carriers, resulting in the incredible situation that members of the community become carriers of their own apparatus of suppression, turning into cogwheels within the mechanism which is exploiting the community.

The process of the evolutionary criterion of a cybernetic system making itself independent as its working principle reaches so far that it exists completely independent from its elements which merely serve as repository or executive organs.

If a criterion, as working principle of the system, becomes independent to such a degree that all evolutionary pressure significantly diminishes, then the result is increased stability. The system itself determines its evolutionary conditions. Despite diminishing evolutionary pressure it does not diverge! The unbelievable complacency of some social groups is the unmistakable indicator for this process.

By reason of their membership, members of social groups become carriers of the principle of this system, and/or it was only possible for them to become members in the first place if they were carrier of features corresponding to the selection criterion. This second contingency of transfer of the principle onto the members is a filtering function. The group selects members according to certain criteria. This filtering provides for the adaption of the members to the group. In the case of hierarchical organization of the group, this takes place at each level, resulting in a significant increase in effectiveness of the group. The only members reaching higher positions are those loyal and faithful to the system. For the group, this guarantees a protection against intruders who are not sufficiently carrying the group´s connective features within themselves, and who would jeopardize the group to the point of disintegration.

It is plausible that the social groups that prevail and win recognition are those that adopt these fundamentals most strongly. Whether it is a golf club selecting its members according to their position in society, whether it is a caste one is born into, or whether it is an army drilling its soldiers hard - it doesn't make a difference; protecting the group from infiltration of dissidents is an important function. If this filter fails the existence of the community is at stake. The sharp selection taking place in hierarchically organized groups primarily serves the purpose of providing the group with members displaying leadership qualities. If a member has already been promoted several times, or if it has distinguished itself in accordance with the group's objectives, then this is almost always an indicator of high loyalty to the system. Consequently, this member will have a stabilizing effect on the group and can be deployed for executive functions. This holds true for a cardinal just as it does for an army general, a political fat cat, or a Mafia boss. The difficulties police forces encounter when trying to infiltrate organized crime syndicates are well known because in this case crime is the legitimative factor.

On the one hand, this selection principle "welding" the group together and protecting it represents an advantage; on the other hand, it deprives the group almost totally of its adaptability. This loss can endanger the group's existence! If the stability results in advantages for the group then this is not a matter to laugh about for the environment, that is the other part of society. This is proven by groups exploiting and suppressing others. Example: for centuries, priest castes were able to claim compensation from society because the selection principle provided for "eternal life" and took over shielding against the environment so that secrets were protected and assaults from the public had to fail in the first place. The intrusion of foreigners into such a group can be very difficult and time-consuming, and the danger of manipulating those people is high.

When groups of this nature select executives this results in the most severe repercussions for mankind. When the selection criteria are things like loyalty to the system, the ability to assert oneself, and skilled intrigue instead of expert knowledge and competence, no one needs to wonder when the top, that is the end of the filter, is exclusively occupied by intriguers or dim-witted deadheads loyal to the system, suppressing and exploiting society. Consequently, it is the peak of idiocy to punish people of this nature in the case of failure or breakdown because it is not their fault; much rather, the selection criteria are responsible for this situation. Hence, the only thing going to the root of social ills and grievances are interventions into the selection criteria and avoidance of political and ideological inbreeding; these are the sole guarantors of success.

When a fiscal system for a society is devised, it is imperative to take these considerations into account. The state apparatus itself needs a certain stability because the adaption is supposed to take a different path! Public officials are only supposed to implement laws. They must not exert an influence of their own upon society or the structure of the state apparatus which is not derived by their capacity as citizen. In no case should there be a clique of public officials appearing in society as a self-contained group. If the evolutionary criterion is being determined by a group within society, for example a political party, one has to bear and live with all the disadvantages of such kind of filtering. In a political party within which there is only a path across all hierarchy levels one has to be content with a compromise between adaptability and stability. Democratic centralism attempts to combine both advantages within itself. For the above-mentioned reasons however, the pendulum swing is always in the direction of stability, that is centralism. Consequently, a society needs a separate adaptive function by all means. A filter cannot take on both functions! In principle, this holds true for parliamentary democracy as well, although in this case the parties should be forced to adapt via the mechanism of elections. However, this enforcement is not sufficient: prior to elections, politicians pledge to do almost everything - and then everything still takes the usual routine course. All the elections can do in this case is to prevent that the governing party will amalgamate too heavily with the state apparatus which would result in a complete "short-circuit" of both basic functions.

All these considerations lead us to the conclusion that grouping and factionalism can inflict severe damage to a society. The only function such filters are useful for in society is the provision of public officials for the state apparatus. In this case the selection criteria should be law-abidingness, incorruptness, etc. There is no demand that the public official waive the right to an own opinion; much rather, the demand is that he act in accordance with the laws´ objectives, and that he will enforce his requests for changes in society only with those means available to him as citizen.

The old demand for separation of legislative and executive powers can be well understood and justified, considering the information exchange of society with the environment and in between internal groups.

Of essential nature is also the realization that the conditions under which a system evolves will determine the result of this process. Laws constitute a significant part of the evolutionary criteria for the further course of a society. This has to be taken into consideration during legislation, otherwise the evolutionary material named "society", dodging force and coercion, will unearth the opposite of that which the legislator wanted to effect in good faith.

In contrast to an organized group, an anonymous crowd of people constitutes a system which is not capable of coordinated conduct. At this level, it is missing the information processing mechanisms which are the sole guarantor for a tactically and strategically intelligent coordination of activities. It is only capable of registering and processing a few temporarily effective facts, and of expressing a certain emotion. Opinions and moods latently existing in the crowd are amplified because each member feels confirmed in his opinion by the other members in the crowd. At this point we can already see that the crowd can only perceive and register a few simple facts and coherences. This co-resonance factor brought about by transfer of certain moods also explains the sudden outbreak of a "mob" when a larger crowd of people comes together to protest against the same issue. Consequently, the conduct of such a crowd is always related to the mood which is temporarily being amplified. Facts, coherences, and opinions for which no sufficient amplification can be achieved cannot be expressed.

If the communication channels of this crowd are being cut or interrupted the basis for a transfer and amplification of certain moods has been removed, and that particular group returns to the state of a will-less crowd. Groups which represent certain interests within a society are subject to the same fate as well. The control of a population´s communications options and its freedom of opinion and assembly are therefore important means for suppressive forms of government of disciplining masses.

The primordial principle of life, information reception, leads to the situation that a mass of individuals not capable of expressing a will of their own evolves to a society, a complex cybernetic system capable of further information reception, evolution, and coordinated activities.

The criterion which turned active contains all system expressions we refer to as "life". It is not the evolutionary process, not the evolutionary material which constitutes life. The existential conditions of nature become life. The criterion having made itself independent is life. The principle is alive!