Emergence of self-regulation (5): Concluding remarks

The framework I presented in this series of articles needs further research. In this chapter I discuss some observations.

The self-organised finite-time singularity dynamic that was accompanied by four accelerating war cycles (1495-1945) is an emergent dynamic – an emergent property – of the System. Apart from the fact that a critical mass must be ‘created’, at the basis of this self-regulating macro dynamic lies (1) the urge to survive of the parts of the System (human beings and the communities they form), (2) the multitude of micro- interactions this results in, (3) simple physical laws that apply to the tensions – the energy – that is produced in the process, and (4) mechanisms that enable the accumulation of tensions, a prerequisite for the System to become critical, produce a systemic war, and to implement an upgraded international order. By means of the emergent dynamic – the finite-time singularity dynamic and war cycles that accompanied it – the System could regulate its energy-state. This regulation ensured the ‘optimal’ survival of communities in the anarchistic System. I assume that a number of factors determine what optimal is, including: The positions of power and influence of communities/states in the System; in network terminology: The centrality states acquire in the network of states and issues, and their potential to ‘mobilise’ and deploy destructive energy.

A multitude of micro-interactions at an individual level, with the objective to ensure individual survival, resulted in a self-organised macro-dynamic at system-level that optimised/facilitated the collective survival of communities in the System.

The moment the finite-time singularity dynamic reached the singularity in finite time – when in 1939, the System reached the critical connectivity threshold and produced infinite amounts of tensions the System could no longer regulate – the System produced a phase transition, that resulted in the implementation of dedicated hierarchies that transcended state structures; in other words, in a next level of social integration and expansion.

Energy regulation is the purpose/function of the emergent self-reinforcing finite-time singularity dynamic that was accompanied by four accelerating war cycles (1495-1945), a next level of social integration and expansion – dedicated hierarchies in Europe that transcend state-structures and a first international order at a global scale of the System – is the outcome.

Emergent order is about (1) harnessing tensions – using energy – as ‘dictated’ by physical laws and mechanisms, and (2) the use of existing structures, that function as ‘crystallisation points’ for the next level of order (complexity).

As I explained, the sum of the efforts of individual human beings to fulfil their basic requirements (in order to survive), ‘adds up’ to an emergent mechanism that is instrumental in the regulation of the energy-state of the System, at a macro level. The emergent outcome is obviously much more than just the sum of the parts: Physical laws (“… free energy will be used to upgrade the order of a system, to allow for a lower energy-state”) and a number of mechanisms (the number of degrees of freedom of the System (determining the nature of its dynamics), and the network-effect (enabling accumulation)) are responsible for shaping the emergent self-regulating dynamic, and its properties (see figure 6).

This raises the question what actually is added to the next levels of order, from individual human beings to states (communities), and the emergent macro regulatory mechanism their interactions produces? The regulatory dynamic was unintentionally (and until now unknowingly) accomplished through self-organisation. The urge to survive off individual human beings scaled-up to the urge to survive of communities (states) and was embedded in the emerging regulatory dynamic. Survival of communities served the survival needs of its members. The emergent regulatory dynamic added to the complexity of the System, and ‘levelled’ the path to integration and further cooperation. Through the implementation of non-anarchistic structures, the security-dilemma was neutralised. The increasing intrusiveness of successive international orders shows that security increasingly became a basic requirement that could only be achieved through integration. The transition from emergent regulation to deliberate human-controlled regulation of the energy state of the System, enabled more cooperation in other domains, and contributed to the fulfilment of basic requirements and overall well-being, by creating new opportunities for the exploitation of economies of scale and scope.

Another question is what anarchy actually is from a physics perspective: A system that can produce tensions – charge itself – through the interactions between its components (human beings and communities/states). Consequently, physical laws also apply to social systems; tension is (potential) energy. Human beings and social systems are able to design and implement rules – within the framework of physical laws – that define the nature (anarchistic/non-anarchistic) of the System.

Anarchistic systems – contrary to non-anarchistic systems – produce tensions, that cannot deliberately be controlled by its ‘members’, because of the absence of an integrative structure. States/communities charge an anarchistic system, and create gradients the System will ‘solve’, to become ‘tension neutral’ again. A gradient exists in the System when destructive energy potentials (representations of tension) are unevenly distributed; a difference in destructive energy potential generates a force that neutralizes (balances) the tensions in the System. Tensions are released from the System – neutralised – through the destruction of issues that function as ‘crystallization points’ of tensions.

In non-anarchistic systems, the use of destructive energy is controlled by their integrative structures (the dedicated hierarchy) that are imposed. Use of destructive energy – violence – is no longer necessary, and comes instead at a risk (disqualification by the integrative structure). The moment a dedicated hierarchy is imposed the members of the System become encapsulated in a new order.

The complete paper can be downloaded on the website.