This actually is a comment on a Peter Turchin post on institutions.
First of all I want to mention the new look of his social evolution forum. Looks great though I miss a little bit the sobriety of a scientific publication. Looks rather like a glossy newspaper.
Anyway, remarkable is his scientific thoughts slowly approach Fauceir Theory. Institutions are mere fauceirs, and comparing them with software, another typical fauceir, is just abstracting those analogies that make a fauceir a fauceir. Fauceirs are essential to describe evolution scientifically.
While in the realm of biological evolution it is still possible to get the big picture of evolution without fauceir because
(1) there are only a few fauceirs and you can name them personally,
(2) clades, biotopes and environments are relative stable and comparable in their influences on evolution.
This, however, is no longer true in the realm of social evolution. The main actors, such as laws, education, institutions, economic enterprises, change rapidly and so does their impact on evolution. They do so as pieces of software—the analogy is striking—which grow into one or several new projects. That dynamic process requires these fauceirs to be frequently re-evaluated.
In the majority of scientific literature, those evaluations of actors are made from the perspective of the government. Peter Turchin’s blog is no exception, and this comes as no surprise because most scientists are paid by the government. They work in governmentally supported institutions after all, but that makes those scientists dependable and ideologically imprinted and their work tainted.
In my recent post I demonstrated that a government is but an other actor in social evolution, so evaluating and defining social fauceirs from a state’s perspective only can lead to inconsistencies and even dangerous ideological flaws as we’ve seen with the propagation of war, for instance.
Hope this post helps a little bit further to open eyes.
This work by Paul Netman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Fauceir theory is developed and © by Mato Nagel and available at www.fauceir.org.