Social cohesion

Field of action 1

Achieving social cohesion

Ensuring cohesion in a period of need for global, existential change is an immense challenge. Unlike e.g. the → Neolithic transformation (Sedentism of the human species) or the → industrial revolution, the current period is characterized by preserving the planet earth system and its natural processes in order to ensure the future of the human species.

The many ways to solve the problem involve enormous risks and, at the same time, the promise "on this journey together ... to leave nobody behind" (preamble to the UN Agenda 2030).

It is indisputable: every change directly affects the adaptability of humans as an organism, individual and social being. It is no longer about moderating classical antipodes or conflicts of the social market economy (work/capital, wealthy/unwealthy, access to political will formation/exclusion etc.), but about overcoming them. It's all about developing concrete new application models for the "glue" that keeps society together.

Social cohesion is the success factor for sustainable development. A → comprehensive approach to sustainable development provides the framework for this in the future. A transformation in which nobody is to be left behind can only take place relatively evenly taking into account different distances, different means of transport or resources, and different durations of time.

However, if one sees necessary transformation only in the ecological field, it is not considered that society sees itself confronted with other major transformations around the world which are also challenging:

  • Digitization, which not only questions paid work as an organizational principle, but fundamentally changes the nature of the communication necessary for social integrity;
  • the associated change in the working environment as a whole, which also supports the trend toward individualization (for example: “digital nomads”);
  • the inversion of the neolithic transformation associated with nomadism in the working environment, which has the potential to change society;
  • the increasing individualization / isolation that has been progressing since the end of the seventies, in which autonomy as a consumer characteristic has long since become an instrument of marketing;
  • Migration as a mass movement, which is not a new phenomenon, but because of its generally structural changing potential for social, economic and political systems appears to be particularly serious.

What does this mean for social cohesion?

Issac Newton has postulated that the law of gravitation and described it as "attraction" that masses have on each other. But he remained in the nebulous about what this attraction triggers: it holds the universe together, although it is constantly expanding and immense forces acting on the system.

One thing is certain: the larger the mass, the greater the attraction it exerts on other masses. In other words, the more attractive an object or idea is, the more binding effect it has on others.

But what is the attractor in a dynamic system like society? Is there even one, or do several attractors compete with each other, leading to competing forms of cohesion? What is society? Is there one global society (that is, the community of all people) or do societies compete with each other and ultimately lead to competing forms of humanity?

Social cohesion

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