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Evolution of the Mankind and Social Management

Evolution of the Mankind and Social Management

Опубликовано в журнале "Менеджмент в России и за рубежом" №6 год - 2003

Khachaturov A.,
Belkovsky A.

Данная статья доступна на русском языке.

Development of the society at the present stage requires elaboration of a coherent approach to economic, social and environmental problems. Accordingly, a new concept of management to integrate all the modern approaches and systems is also needed. In modern management concepts of the XX century, the century of Hi Tech, are getting replaced with those of the High Human Technology Time.
The focus of modern management is the man considered as “a basis for the organization, its main value and the source of its prosperity” [1]. Researchers and experts of management traditionally pay great attention to social and psychological aspects of governance, health care issues, estimation of the conformity of man’s intellectual and physical capabilities with the roles he is to play. But unfortunately, these anthropological characteristics (which include both social and psychological, and gender, and genetic parameters) are considered separately. Consequently, there arises a conflict because overestimated elements interfere with understanding of the whole. In fact, to understand and develop in the right way the strategy of management it should be realized, that one of the main objects of management, the man, is constantly changing, evolving. Underestimation of the actually ongoing process of microevolution, which was not over either 30 or 12 thousand years ago, is methodologically wrong.
Man is the creator of the age of technological adaptation, during which he created by means of management the technosphere, that is, a metaecological system applied to the biosphere. And the human species is likely to get out of the natural environment’s control. However, analysis of the current situation results in less optimistic conclusions. Quasi-permissibility, loss of understanding of our dependence on external conditions and resources may be costly for us, because it will certainly bring about conflict with the natural environment, which can by now be so sharp to threaten elimination of the biological species Homo sapiens. Anthropogenic impact on the nature gave rise to the need for urgent, comprehensive and long-term measures to solve the problem of man’s survival, which does not infringe interests of other species and further generations.
Modern management is not a separate discipline but an interdisciplinary field of knowledge. Management accumulates achievements of government and economic theories, of marketing, sociology, psychology, cybernetics, theory of information, system theory, synergetics and other sciences. Now it is time to engage in the sphere of managers’ interests also all the range of anthropological aspects. Some of them, practically not taken into account nowadays, will be discussed in this article.
For over two million years living environment enabled the humanity as a species (homo sapiens) to increase its number and expand its habitat. It shows snowballing growth there and seems to thrive no matter what. Because of such sate of affairs many people including policy makers get the illusion that there are, of course, technogenic problems (ozone holes or the greenhouse effect), but they can be solved by using methods of the same origin. From the standpoint of ethics many of us feel sorry that diversity of living is disappearing, but competitive fighting is a phenomenon that is tough and even cruel. By contrast, lack of energy production, perhaps, can cause collapse and deserves a strategic consideration, while problems of environmental change are at best secondary and at worst unimportant against strategic changes in the energy balance of the mankind. Despite being sketchy, such position is recognizable, common and existent and it must be reckoned with. It has only one drawback: it is false. We will try to clarify the factual knowledge of this falsehood.
According to the systems concept relationships between humanity and environment can be regarded as “co-evolution”. Alteration of the habitat resulted from human or other impact   causes in turn phenotypic changes in man. Some of the altered phenotypes (more fitted) give a great number of progenies who enter into reproduction chain. So functions the “ecological” information channel “man-environment” creating the effect of a “genetic drift”. In parallel with it genotypes undergo non-directional changes resulting from mutations. All this leads to changes in the gene pool (“evolutional” information channel). For most of the time the species Homo sapiens exists the rate of such changes was not great for two reasons. First, the force of human impact on the environment was relatively moderate due to both small species biomass as regard to biomass of the biosphere and low extent of energy exchange between humanity and the environment. Secondly, the genus Homo is marked out from other biological objects for wide using of cultural mechanisms that minimize negative feedback from the environment through "environmental" channel. This results in evolutionary changes of the in the gene pool partially being replaced by a modification of the meme pool (array of information transmitted non-genetically). Culture has become a kind of a buffer between man and his habitat [2].
The presence of this buffer and overestimation of its abilities in the XIX and especially in the XX century gave rise to the idea that human evolution was damping and evolutionary processes were shifting to the social sphere. Meanwhile both global evolutionary processes in the mankind uncovered in the course of researches and rare papers describing and explaining them appeared to be out of consideration despite the fact that some of those papers were written by leading scientists. A typical example is the fate of the monograph by N. Bystrov “Man in his Past, Present and Future” [3] or of a series of papers by V. Geodakyan [4,5,6] on problems of sexual dichronomorphism. At the same time, ideas about the possibility of successful “co-evolution of man and the biosphere resulting in formation of the noosphere” began to dominate [7]. It is the model that forecasts of further development of the mankind are based on. They are reflected in governmental directions, regional and industrial business plans.
Nevertheless, the presence of at least two phenomena of evolutional nature, actually and directly observed, causes us to interpret the situation the mankind is now in as much more serious and threatening to humanity as a species.
According to the theory of evolution, sexual dimorphism for a series of characters present in modern humanity is the evidence of evolution of Homo sapiens in these characters. Sexual dimorphism in all populations of modern humanity is a true and actually observed phenomenon. Our statement applies to countries of both the “golden billion” and the “third world”, as from the standpoint of evolutionary process the humanity is biologically uniform.
Since the end of the XVIII century (or, according to some sources, even earlier) in the scientific literature there has been documented [8,9,10,11] and analyzed two biological processes actually occurring in human populations, namely acceleration (enhancement of physical and physiological development, most notably sexual maturation of children and adolescents, decreased term of reaching a definitive (i.e., typical for an adult) body size and secular trend (increase of the overall size of the human body, extension of reproductive period, maintaining of ability to work in older age, increase of mean lifetime due to elongation of the second half of the generative and of the whole post-generative periods; most thoroughly studied dynamics of human height shows, that for male Caucasians aged 20-25 the latter increased 8 cm at average). Interestingly, worldwide expansion of acceleration process is geographically parallel (with a time lag of 2-4 generations, taking genetic generation term as 23-25 years) to intensification of the impact on the environment (in other words, of economic development). The processes concerned were first stated to occur (beginning of the XIX century) in Great Britain. In most European countries (first of North, then of South Europe) acceleration has been observed since the middle of the XIX century. At the same time the process started in the north part of the USA. In the beginning of the XX century the process of acceleration involved Eastern Europe (including Russia) and Australia, and in the middle of the century it was time for Asia (primarily Japan and South-East Asia).
Now there is an intensive acceleration of Africa's population. As a result, the average age of the first ovulation decreased from 16,6-17,5 to 12,5-13 years and continues to fall (though with less intensity than in the middle of the XX century). It is indicative, that in the same geographic region acceleration involved first urban and then rural population (again, the parallel with the intensification of economic development strikes the eye). Attempts to explain acceleration only by improved living standards are wide open to criticism, as the phenomenon of deceleration of development (retardation), observed during both World Wars, reduces the increase rate of characteristic values of only 10-15% [11]. This observation proves conclusively, that it is impossible to explain acceleration just by phenotype response to changes in the environment, and causes to suggest, that  genotypic, evolutionary changes take place [9]. A valid reason to regard acceleration as a reflection of human evolution (and besides as an evolutionary young process) is acceleration rate, which is higher for men than for women entirely due to the rule of sexual dichronomorphism.
From the standpoint of anthropology both earlier sexual development and later climax (for example, age 48-50 versus former 40-45) is the increase of reproductive period allotted to a species. Besides, early entry into reproductive process reduces the possibility that a species will not leave posterity, that is, will not reproduce a part of the genome. Such a response is biologically adequate in case of habitat deterioration or, and that is the same thing, of intensification of environmental impact on the population. The rate of acceleration process clearly demonstrates high velocity of Homo sapiens habitat degradation (which coincides in time and space to economic development) and equally the high biological flexibility of man.
For the authors there would seem to be nothing to worry about, if the evolutionary change rates of a species and habitat are mutually adequate (co-evolution?!). But the matter is complicated by a certain inconsistency of evolution of transmission of cultural information (the meme pool) and observed evolution of transmission of biological information (the gene pool).
It is well known that the primary way of the meme pool transfer is across every other generation (from grandparents to grandchildren). The childhood elongation trend, observed in the anthropogenesis, is the one that provides an opportunity to increase transmission of non-genetic information. The same opportunity is ensured by exclusion of older generation out of reproduction process. In times preceding the modern age evolution mechanisms of the gene pool and meme pool were consistent, that is, were co-evolutionary indeed. That was the cause of outstanding prosperity of our biological species. In the age we are contemporary with evolutionary trends began to contradict one another. The seemingly adequate biological response turns out to be detrimental to the most important adaptation of species to the environment. Put simply, biologically man has less time and fewer opportunities to support cultural continuity. And this is an objective fact, independent of our reckoning.
On the other hand, sociologists and psychologists are of the same mind that social childhood keeps extending and the time of getting independence (both economic and social) is now about 30 years for men and 25 years for women. Moreover, it is seems threatening that the earlier physiological readiness for procreation (childbearing) surpasses the so-called social maturity, that is, ability and social readiness to support and provide for one’s children. Such a mismatch (known and attainted as infantilism) on the one hand gives rise to a lot of social problems, particularly of managerial character, and on the other demonstrates the need to resolve the contradiction “man-environment”.
We can ascertain that the environment (nature, biosphere) that seemed defeated and conquered has addressed us a challenge found in ourselves. If we disregard it, it may result in extinction of the humanity or its main part, because our customary adaptive mechanism cannot be used in its former standard form anymore. It is clear that in the situation described old models of social management, that is, sets of general and special patterns of management of society and its individual units, are not only inadequate but even dangerous [12]. “When the winds of change blows, build a windmills and not a windbreak!”, Mao Zedong said.
We must recognize that “private” crises (social, economic and environmental) already perceived by the mankind are just demonstrations of its systemic crisis as a species, which was in turn caused, as paradoxical as it sounds, by humanity management crises from the biosphere.
As to the basis of social, economic and environmental crises persistently accompanying the  so-called progress, it is moral and spiritual crisis caused by the fact, that moral behavior principles are formed slowly and gradually in the course of cultural exchange under the influence of changing living conditions and tend to lag behind those changes. Moral behavior is determined above all by a set of goals that humanity intends to achieve. Therefore, there is a conclusion suggesting itself: it's time to change the development paradigm of the mankind as a society and as a species.
In the book “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” Adam Smith wrote that “every individual ... generally does not intend to promote social benefit and is not aware of how he contributes to it. It is his own benefit he has in mind”. Today this approach has no right to exist. It is necessary to give market-based approaches environmental orientation, since targeting just on social utility without regard to the interests of the environment leads over the long term to destruction of humanity as a species.
The world around us is changing at an alarming rate, these changes are getting irreversible, people’s perceptions are transforming as well as their view of life and, consequently, the character of their expectations, needs and goals. The only way the new goals can be realized is by new approaches to social management, which should become a mediator, actively involved into formation of feedback links to the environment necessary for survival of the mankind .
The mankind is no longer able to follow the path of trial and error. “What has been will be again, what has been done before will be done again, and there is nothing new under the sun” – it was said in the book of Ecclesiastes thousands of years ago, but we keep falling into the same trap, inventing the wheel and arguing about the obvious. And again we cannot escape the natural conclusion that something is wrong with the meme pool communication procedure.
In the current situation (habitat is irreversibly changed, biological evolution of the mankind caused by these changes is in progress) we can influence only the meme pool evolution mechanism. Thus, humanity is actually forced to reconsider drastically its consumption pattern. It means that the lion's share of resources should be devoted to communication of cultural information, that is, to education.
If we consider management as general and rather common characteristic that covers both biological and social forms of motion, then when working out of development strategies for large social systems, such as countries, regions, multinational companies, one should take into account the inevitable change in our biological species resulting from our technogenic activity.
Society cannot afford to reduce production (who and on whose account would feed the human race then?) and now it is clear to everyone that it is impossible to develop absolutely waste-free technologies and that no nature conservation can compensate completely for anthropogenic impact on the environment. Consequently, we must revise root and branch the attitude towards education (as a way to transfer the meme pool) and agree, that it is not only reproduction of labor resources but also and above all conservation of the human species. Thus, strategic plans of any large company or any local authority should consider the need for a permanent increase in resources devoted to educational purposes. It is the respective tax policy of governments that can provide wide implementation of such strategies in business practices.
One must find an opportunity to invest in education many times more funds than 5% of GDP. It is a serious management problem, and most of us will die if it is not solved.

1. Vikhansky O.  A Textbook on Strategic management.  – M., Gardarica, 1998.
2. Belkovsky A., Chernosvitov P. The Human Culture: an Unpromising Variety? The Man, #6, 1996.
3. Bystrov N. Man in his Past, Present and Future. M., Moscow Society of Naturalists Press, 1956.
4. Geodakyan V. On the Structure of Evolving Systems. Problems of Cybernetics. M.,1972, #25.
5. Geodakyan V. Sexual Dimorphism. Biological Journal of Armenia. 1986, #39.
6.Geodakyan V. The Theory of Sex Differentiation in Man's Problems. Man in Sciences (collected book). M., Nauka, 1989.
7.  Moiseev N. The Man and the Noosphere. M., 1990.
8.  Miklashevskaya N., Solov'eva V., Godina E. Growth Processes in Children and Adolescents. M., 1988.
9.  Tanner J.M. Education and Physical Growth. University of London Press, 1961.
10. Vlastovsky V. Acceleration and Child Development. M., 1976
11. Morphology of Man (edited by Chtetsova V., Nikityuk B.). M., Moscow State University Press, 1990
12. Mamardashvili M. Consciousness and Civilization. Man in Sciences (collected book). M., Nauka, 1989

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