Superorganism Development
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Human-based superorganisms have evolved from families to tribes to chiefdoms, and finally to nation-states. Co-evoloving within these structures, human organisms have become almost totally dependent for their existence on the benefits provided by living within a superorganism's internal environment. A nation-state provides its human citizens with order, protection, nourishment, learning, and work opportunities, as well as significant freedom of choice in how individual humans interact with that environment. This free-choice capability was created in tandem with the introduction of markets, which enabled larger numbers of citizens to join in resource distribution and sharing. From the superorganism's view, the variations provided by free-choice allow natural selection to take place within its organizational structure. The result is an ability by superorganisms to adapt their meme-based designs to their changing environments.


Beyond the Tribal Stage
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Extended families and isolated tribes were early forms of human-based superorganisms, that were limited to small geographical areas. The existence of a primitive superorganism emerged from the simple behavioral constraints that bound its component members together with group identity, cooperative effort, and common property.
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The tribal structure provided a basis for trust that involved simple cohesive interaction and sharing among its members. Other tribes were viewed as competition for resources and land, and little or no trade between tribes took place. These early superorganisms had relatively fixed structural designs that, like those of their human organism components, and tended not to change significantly within their lifespans. Actions of individual tribal members were highly predetermined, with little freedom of choice in deciding how they would live or what kind of work they would perform.
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For a superorganism to grow beyond this stage, members of different tribes had to learn to interact cooperatively, communicate, and share resources with each other. This wider cooperation began with the trading of goods between tribes, especially where each tribe had something unique to offer the other. In terms of superorganism structural development, the purpose of combining individual tribes was to extend governance control and the sharing of resources across a larger population and geographical area. Merging of tribes increased overall efficiency and provided greater opportunities for specialization of work in performing the superorganism’s life functions, strengthening the superorganism's ability to survive and adapt within its changing environment.
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Through this growth process, the superorganism expanded from tribe to chiefdom, to city-state, to nation-state. An underlying requirement for such broader levels of cooperation was the development of market infrastructures.
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Superorganisms Require Markets
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In this context, the term “market” is used to refer to any kind of free-trade mechanism that facilitates the operation of supply-and-demand across a population, both for the good of the superorganism and that of its component organisms. Development of broad markets provided the flexibility needed for a more complex nation-state superorganism to carry out its life functions and maintain homeostasis while interacting across a wider and more variable environment. Markets allowed component citizen organisms to individually make decisions, which collectively facilitated the efficient allocation of available superorganism resources.
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 Markets Are a Basic Part of a Nation-State's Governance Control.
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As superorganisms grew into nation-states, the structure of markets required further development of the superorganism's infrastructure. This included mechanisms to facilitate citizen participation, such as property ownership, mediums of exchange, and enforcement of agreed-upon trade contracts. Advancement of markets gradually replaced much of the direct governance control over both organization and citizen behavior with a more indirect, adaptive form of market control.
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Today's superorganisms include a wide variety of market types, such as goods, services, real estate, jobs, worker skills, and information. A key prerequisite for the functioning of these markets is freedom for both seller and buyer to make individual choices, where each can decide who they will trade with, and what terms they will require for an exchange.
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Markets Require Free Choice
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For a market exchange to take place, a decision has to be made by each of the participating parties. Deliberately or unconsciously, the seller needs to estimate the market value of his property, set an appropriate price, and establish his terms for an agreement. The buyer needs to determine his need for that kind of property, and its value to him in terms of price, schedule and other agreement terms.
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In a free market, each seller and buyer of a product is free to choose whatever price and terms he would like to achieve, but it will be the overall market conditions that determine whether or not such an exchange will take place. For most types of product or service, there will be alternative sellers and buyers competing for such an exchange. In most markets, this competition determines the current price and terms for any item. This fluctuates over time, according to supply and demand.
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 Nation-State Markets and Citizen Free Choice were Developed in Tandem.
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The development of markets as part of a superorganism's integral structure required that its component organisms have an ability to participate in voluntary trade exchanges by exercising the complex decision-making process of free choice. But the development of free choice capabilities by human organisms could not have occurred unless some degree of market infrastructure was already in place. This chicken-and-egg situation indicates that the development or both market and free-choice mechanisms had to proceed incrementally, in concert.
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Markets Underlie Information Sharing
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Today's markets encompass nearly everything involving a free-choice exchange transaction between two parties, either of which may be a citizen or an organization. Increasingly, many of these market exchanges consist entirely of information, facilitated by websites and other media. Information exchanges are a special kind of transaction that involves sharing rather than transfer-of-property. Although not always obvious, these transactions always incorporate a value-for-value exchange, either directly as in information-for-cash, or indirectly as in information-for-advertisement.

The contents of information shared in these exchanges are referred to as memes. This perspective highlights the connection between markets, social networks, and social organizations. A social group or community is identified by its culture, which can be thought of as a meme-pool. Taken on a national scale, it brings to light the increasing importance that markets play in a nation's culture, and how they impact the superorganism's design code.
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Humans Are Now Dependent Organisms
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Today, a human's view of the world is fundamentally governed by his emplacement as a dependent component who lives within a nation-state superorganism whose structure provides a protective and nourishing environment for its citizen organisms. From a human's view, this comprises most of the "external" world from which he learns and with which he interacts, as he develops into a worker within one of the nation-state's organization units.
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 Humans Live Within a Nation-State's Internal Environment. 
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At this stage of evolutionary development, the human species has evolved to become almost totally dependent for its existence on the benefits provided by living within a superorganism's internal environment. This structure provides humans with order, protection, and market structures that make available their nourishment, learning, work opportunities, and the sharing of information. From the superorganism's view, the variations provided by free-choice decisions allow natural selection to take place within its dynamic organizational structure. The result is the ability of superorganisms to adapt their meme-based designs to their changing environments.


Values and Belief Systems describes the structures that a human organism uses when making decisions about both known and unknown situations of his external environment.


©1995-2012 Ackley Associates   Last revised: 7/20/11
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