Rather than looking at the cultural memes as discrete stages in either human development or cultural evolution, consider the diversity of human collectivities as constellations — constellations of geo-sociospace, technologies, and economies– interacting together within a greater dynamic whole– the realm of human action. At the micro scale, in the level of its own internal processes, any particular constellation could be seen as emerging through adaptive dynamics between the three-fold domains constituting human action, those we have identified as geo-sociospatial, technological and economic. From the macro level view, these micro level processes are seen to give way to discrete spheres of appearances(the collectives commonly referred to as “red” or “blue”, “orange”etc…) that emerge through micro-macro-level adaptive interactions within the whole of human action.
For example, at the micro level 1) each constellation creates specific kind of spaces of appearances for subjects to emerge as subjects, who share a specific array of geo-social spatial orientations; and 2) each constellation creates specific kinds of enduring technologies; and 3) each constellation creates specific kinds of economic systems in inter-action and exchange. Each micro-scale constellation can be thought of having a unique “shape” with repsect to coordinates that specify the geo-sociospatial, technological and economic dimensions that give the constellation its unique “collective action shape.”
Constellations may be internally robust at the micro level, but need to be adaptively suited to emerge as a sphere of appearance at the macro level, much the same way as as individual subjects emerge qua subjectsat the level of the polis. A constellation might be internally adaptive with respect to its own members — a necessary bu tnot sufficient condition for its emergence to the macro level; since for a constellation to emerge at the macro level, its internal dynamics must also have some pre-adaptive capacities to adapt to the macro-level environment– selection pressures that operated among all spheres inter-acting at the macro level.
At the meta level, viewing the whole that is all of collective human action, the individual spheres of appearance give way to a meta-level system, which itself might be considered to have a certain dynamic shape that fluctuates in time, determined by the particular array of geo-sociospatial, technological and economic dimensions that have aggregated from each of the spheres of appearances whose dynamics are sufficiently adapted to contribute at this level. Viewed in this way, collectivities, constellations, spheres of appearance, as well as the sum total realm of human action, are seen as autopoietic, dynamically adapative systems whose enfolded components are actors in a collective field which is an enfoldment of geo-sociospace, technologies, and economies. In later posts I will show that these aspects of that collective “field” arise from certain types of collective action logics operating in a dynamic adaptive system.