Book Three in the
The people who have tried to change the form of, or reform, human societies in the past have started in the wrong place: They saw the horrible things going on around them. They thought that these abominations had to be eliminated. They didn’t have anything to replace them. They didn’t even appear to think about what would replace them. Even Karl Marx, who devoted enormous amounts of time to the issue of societal change, had no idea what kind of societies should replace the societies we have.
These people just saw the horrors. They thought that nothing could be worse. They decided they needed to start by destroying everything. Destroy the power bases, kill all of the people with power, destroy every structure they could find.
Then, wait. Something else would come to exist. Whatever it was, it couldn’t be worse than the society that it replaced.
There is another way to look at societal change.
It is not as easy or emotionally satisfying as the standard method, but it has a real advantage: if done properly, it can lead to gradual and non-violent change that move the people of the world toward better conditions of existence each year that passes. It can work.
You may call the standard method ‘the easy but ineffective way.’ Kill everyone and destroy everything, then hope for the best. It doesn’t require any thought, any knowledge of science or mathematics, or even any knowledge of the other ways that humans can organize their existence. It doesn’t require any planning or intellectual analysis. It is almost perfect, with only one flaw: it doesn’t work.
The other option is considerably more difficult. You can start with an analysis of the circumstances that created the society that doesn’t meet the needs of the people in it. You can figure out how this society came to be and why the people who made it created its structures. You can analyze other societies that people had in history to figure out how they work and how all of the societies that you know are possible—because they existed—work.
Then, you can use an understanding of what has been to work out what could be. You can figure out the different building blocks that were put together to make the societies that existed in the past and the different ways these blocks can be assembled to create different societies. You can work through the options to find the ones that are best able to meet the needs of the human race. You can analyze this society in detail to figure out exactly how it differs from the society that can’t meet the needs of the people. You can work through the technical details to create a plan to get from the place in time where we are at to the place in time that would put us into the better societies.
Forensic history and possible societies go through this process. The third book in the series, reforming societies, deals with overcoming the obstacles and solving the technical problems needed to cause societies to evolve from one form to another. The hardest problem involves something I call ‘changing the game.’ You and I and everyone alive depends on the operation of the societies we were born into to meet our needs. Practical societal change must alter the ‘game’ of existence in ways that allow it to continued to be played under the old rules until the new rules are in place. Popular societal change will require more than this: the rule changes will have to bring benefits to every group of people involved at every step of the transition.
Reforming Societies looks at the idea of societal change from a new perspective. We were gifted with great intellects. We have the ability to use them for more than just figuring out ways to build better weapons. We can use our intellects to help us work through the technical realities of societies and create plans for workable societal change.