Part 3: Why do we need a new history?

Decentralisation of power, or hierarchical fractionalism

Puistokonsertti Reposaaressa.
Written by Editors

We use the new concept of hierarchical fractionalism to describe the way in which a viable human society is organised. According to this view, “hierarchy” is to be understood essentially as an instrument; and fractionalism as an end in itself, a basic purpose: the most important task of “leadership” is to ensure that power is decentralised to a basic level so that basic units can maintain their independence.

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Human society, just like any single human community, cannot be organised without some kind of hierarchy or centralised leadership. The importance of centralised administration and tiered power structures is emphasised if the community is any broader or its tasks more demanding.

However, human communities are also characterised by their individuals’ intellectual and moral independence. Human communities always tend to divide into freely operating subdivisions that are independent of the centre and can decide on their own matters.

Dialectically, the more that global power structures are being formed as humanity becomes more united, the more important it is to maintain the ideologico-political independence of the lower levels (nation-states, and inside of them, local levels and basic communities).

This kind of organisation describes well, for example, hunter-gatherer tribes or peaceful pre-historical civilisations. Hierarchical fractionalism is also the form of organisation for the global society of the future. The dismantling of class societies begins with the decentralisation of power.

As social classes were formed, the basic human units lost their economic, political, and ideological independence. This was actualised very dramatically, for example, in Mesopotamia when the first empire-building city-states were formed. That is when the individual’s alienation from oneself, one’s work, and from society began. The same development continued both in capitalist societies after the industrial revolution and in socialist societies, where the major means of production were socialised.

Under the circumstances of the information technology revolution, individuals are drawn even more fiercely from their mental roots. Basic human communities established on locality, family relationships, and industries are losing their meaning and, at the same time, losing the last opportunity to decide on their own matters. The change is, evidently, irreversible. But the IT revolution provides whole new kinds of influencing options for creating new types of basic human communities.

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He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.

Basic human communities

People can never truly escape their biology. Therefore, every person ultimately wants to live within a circle of acquaintances, where roughly everyone knows each other and can view and value each other as holistic personalities.

People create themselves both as individuals, and as a species. Human individuals want to decide on their own matters. The most important thing for individuals is their relationships with other people.

In human communities, the struggle for power is a struggle for “recognition”. Individuals can pursue ethical authority by approaching conflicts of interest deliberately and objectively or by creating false self-images and gaining superiority over their fellow human beings through power play, slandering, and scheming. Human nature has the ability for both. Individuals always struggle between those two attitudes, both in societal life and in their personal daily lives.

Human individuals manifest their personalities best when they can “deliver justice” in a personal circle of acquaintances. Feelings of benevolence, sympathy, and antipathy are (self-)critically assessed when they are related to the requirements of objective justice, commonly agreed values and rules.

People can be true to their nature when they can cultivate their basic characteristic, their sense of justice in personal contexts. That is real human growth.

The development of a new society is achieved both by traditional societal and political actions, as well as by constructing new types of basic human communities. The latter is more important.

The tendency to develop social classes is also characteristic of societal evolution. Resisting such a trend, that is, the oppression of one group by another, is the eternal task of humanity in all human societies on all planets throughout the universe.

FEATURED IMAGE
Puistokonsertti Reposaaressa.

Concert in a park in Reposaari, Pori, a few years ago. PHOTO: © New History Association.

OUR VIEW: Humanity first! Towards an ethical civilization.

PART 3. WHY DO WE NEED A NEW HISTORY?

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