I presented my most complete statement to date on a complexity theory of power at the 2014 International Political Science Association meeting in Montreal. It is entitled “Grounding Political Science in the Physical World.” Following is the final paragraph of the paper. To view the entire paper, click here.
A British website called Non-Equilibrium Social Science (2014) is a good indicator of what we can expect to hear more of as complexity science makes inroads into social and political science. But a nonequilibrium approach will do little good if it does not also get to the roots of how power imposed presses individuals, groups and sometimes entire nations toward a stifling and asphyxiating equilibrium. If in this century we succeed in building a nonequilibrium political science that illuminates these debilitating effects of power, then I think we will look back and see that 20th century political science was insufficiently grounded in physical reality, that it did not help us understand that the virtual mechanization of human relationships is not only an abuse of power but a physical disorder. A physically-integrated political science that aligns the human passion for freedom with the indeterminism at the heart of matter can hopefully set us on the path to building genuinely self-organizing social, political and economic structures. In learning how to exercise power with not over others, we can integrate ourselves with the self-organizing pulse of nature.