A Reconsideration of the Systems Theory for the Study of Political Development and Social Change


(1).. ". ". A. ,. 11. A Reconsideraf:i()n of .th~ . Systems ... of Political' ·Development and Social Change. .Theory for the ,Study; ...... by Joseph P. L. Jiang. .>. I. IntrQduetion. Political development, as an aspect of societal change, is nothing novel • .Society is always. on, the move,' pulsating' with ..actiqns, interactions, emotions,. ,~ndri~uals:. Change, at the highest level of generalbation, is. b~t. a function of. . time; nothing is permanent upder the sun. But whil~ change is umversal, its rate and nature vary. More pertinently, human beings have rarely fQrmed the same ideas about it. At the most elementary level of consciousness, ·as among . the most primitive men and very young children, change was barely noticed. . , A more sophisticated way was to conceive' it .as going in-cycles: days, seasons, years, and millennia. Only when the social order seriously jolted the mental J .. ima~e. men had of. ~heir. social reality, was change seen as moving away from. the primordial towards the unknown. Then it was. ,th~ught. of as degeneratiop. rather than development. This was so because when men first becl:).me -capable .of eXtending the domain of their consciousness from 'the immediate present, L. .e., prolonging their mental life, the eyes. were directed towards the past, his­. to~ical or mystical, rather than towards the future, which was generally' equated. ."with chaos. Thus, when Confucius and Mencius viewed with alarm the socio­ political changes of their times, they' tried. to lead' their followers 'back to the ,·'-ancient golden ages of Emperors Yao and Shun. Similarly, the Republic of Plato •. ... i. - 43­.

(2) /. has been interpreted as a grand scheme to arrest all change. While socio-political change. is. not a new phenomenon, its tempo in recent times may rightfully be termed spectacular. The initial moving forces of this new phenomenon in the Afro-Asian continents were> largely exogenous, 1. .e., they :were due to. themilit~ry. and "economic encro,achmen,ts, direct colonization,. i~eas. and institutions from the West. An accompanyi'Qg. and the transplanting of. factor was the tremendous technol(!)gical innovations made in the last one hUI)­ dred years, particularly in the techniques of transportation and )communication as the vehicles of ideas: ideologies, problems; aspirations and frustrations. Inso­ far as more and more people of the world are·coming to share the same ideas, problems and aspirations, a world culture is said to be.'emerging. The dimensions of change in the contemporary worldcanJ)e brieflysltetched as follo'Ys:. ." 1. Spcial-cutural change: weakening orbreaJ.9ng. urbanlzatl~,. do~. of trW-tiona} ties,. population increase, literaey, agrariaJ;l refonn, mass media, military. conscription, instability afinstitutit'ms. 2.. Economic change:teehn.,legicalinnovation, industrialization, mark;etiza­ , ". tion, income redistribution, wag"e-earning as the main source of income, emplo),,­. .. meQt problems, new transportation facilities. 3.. Ideological change: materialism, nationalism, equalitarianism, -democracy,. socialism, welfae state, planned ecmtomy, planned family, ·rising expectations." 4. Political change: independeJl:ce~ r~volutions, elections, street demonstra­ tions,~trade UInons, political party work, military rule, discontinuity Qf political. leadership,1 Confronted· witb this kaleiscopic picture,~ Western social scientists of the traditional school,with their habit of definitional approaches; their tendency to .. ". /. ;.:. reify society as something apart frCJm its human components, and with an undue.

(3) emphasiS.. on the values of social stability and -institutional . . .control . mecl#anisIils, ,. \. generally ill equipped with conceptual:tools to deal with social change. of them ta~e refuge in piec'emeal descriptions, their adjectives heavily of ethnocentrism. Some write with the .obvious intent of proselytizing •. r. • -. ). _. ~,. Afro-Asian leaders ont'(} their .side in thEr Cold .'WARIP. ,. War~. Or they mumble the. thing is going to pieces. One Am.erican professorh8.s <:~aracerized the. ~ltUCil.lUll. ~'politized. in rthe new nations as. despair".. l. The most sophisticated and cOplprehensive conceptual framework adapted. "study social and political development up to date is unquestionably the . . . Parsogian theory, with its structural-functional analysis, concepts of . ·systems , ,and outputs, boundarymaintepance, ecology, and pattern variables.e .. . that . all viable political systems have . to perform certain minimal functions.' the systems theorists try to identify the structures---patterns of , behavior-that purport to perform them. Comparison is then made of.tbe kind aM degree of differentiation of the structures, the styles of. per~ormanee,and,. possibly, of effectiveness and/or efficiency'of performance. Fully differentiated may also be t!ftught of as subsystems within the larger system, e. .structures . , g~, politics or government may be regarded as.asubsytem when' it is separated .. ­. ,from familial, religipus, economic' considerations and other societal spheres• . Within the government itself, the legislature,· the bureaucracies, and the judiciary constitute, further subsystems.· How well the boundaries of the various subsys­ tems '. are defined and maintained· is a mark of the strength of the structural . differentiation,; and provides another important basis for comparison. Functions .. .:j. thentselves are classified as to whether the. conseq~ences. are beneficial to the. 's,atems (eufunctional) or , disruptive (dysfunctional). The viability of a system .' . . \ requires that eufunctions generally prevail over dysfunctions. In the efforts to arrive at more objective grounds for comparative, -45-:0. ".

(4) government, the. conttibutions of the Parsoniao systems theory are certainly , oot to ,be ,slighted.. For the purpose of studying social change and political. development, however, the systems theory, in 'tits present formulation. at least, has' .bee~ subject to some quite seyere· criticisms. LThe first ,criticism levied agaiostthe systems theory is that it tends. i. to neglect or slight the individual .menings of ,society .. The '$ystems theory is based on the analogy of biological organism, and 'suffers the' defects derived therefrom .. The constituent elements ofa biological system have nO'- meanings ". exc~pt thos~. •. •. I. of the whole and perform no' functions except for the. sa~e. of the. whole. The (constituents of a society, on 'the other,hand, are free thi~king agents, who interprete the world around them, both physical and social, and form their own values and sentiments about it. The; assumption that social relations, can, be -explained perception the . . and understood . . apart from 'the . ' of the reality of . . I individuals must pe rejected. An insight into how the images of the world are fOr,IIled and 4()wdo they change is the first step i,n the study of social change , and .politi<:aldevelopmen~. Images of tl1e reality, which are the mainsprings of conscious human actions, include symbolization of experience, rationalization of events .by myths or discursive reasoning, ordering of ends and means, and, norms and qlles. Perhaps it is .unfair -to .say, that. P~rsons. and Merton have .omitted these important· concepts. ,. But ,until recently, few of those political scientists. ~ho. have been influenced _. by' Parsons and Merton have given adequate attentiori to this . ,side of the coin in,.their exercises of struciural-functional analysis .. This omission surely looks ' •. ~. "". I .. I. •. pax:adoxical, insofar as their own subject matter-politics-is primarily a strug-. gle foJ." men's minds in the determinatioI) of goals and means, i. e., deals mostly with mental images rather. than mechanical products. . \', 2. ,A possible expl'asatioD of 1f,b.e paradox is the tendency.. of. the political J ,".

(5) ~CD'fUiU5. deni~:' -'.'. to 'overemphasize institutional' control mechanisms. ·It 'cannot be. most. '\. ,. ". A ·. ,. ~. -. . -.. social relations are differentiated i, hIerarchical forms~ with attendant . -. .. '. \. ~tutlOnal i rules, and that· political organizations, especially, are very powerful,. inStrumentalities of c,ontrol. It should also be born. in .govern. behav-iorandinstif~tions. that objectffy. mi~d,. the~e. however, that rules. .rules are ultimately. on sets of ~assumptionsabout 'life and reality,which are not wholly subject ~. .. -. I. '~te~ml. .!. .. I. control. .. In the more settled societies, where. a similarity. ot. fun-:... >. :damental mental images of the participants can be more or less assumed,. it is nerhans not too unrealistic to;start analysis from the structural or institutional. ,'But in places where the situation is in a flux, where few ideas and norms held, in commen, where externally imposed rules do not necessarily connote' respect~d. in the environment, structural-functionalism is apt to put the. Institutional rules, moreover, eveIl if they are expressions of group idealism " ..",lIuumy,. may at somepoiptbecome too restrictive and cease to be meaningful. ,those who first supported them. All ·institutional rules facilitate development. :SOme specific spheres, but also foreclose· other possibiliUes of discovery. In . ,sense; they limit the scope of creativity and restrict the speed of social 1i¥;c)Umge. S. N:;. Eisenstadt expresses, this idea very well when he points out: fEaCh :institution tends. to develop; specific. -. tendencies toward de-differentiation,.. o,rthe· constriction of theriew potentialities for further development~ One spher.e. may;: attempt, to. e:iominate others coercively. by {estricting an.d regimenting. ,tendencies toward autonomy.". s,. ­. The present systems theory fails to accommodate the reality of conflict. :At.mSlC. assumption of the' systems theory is thf relative stability of the systems·. and. complimentarity of structures and functions, and the ,equivalence of to produce .Qutpm,t,s. ,.f.-'. wha~. is termed equilibrium., In this. -·47'-·. inpu~s .. conl'leptual.

(6) scheme, what fails' to contribute to the system maintenance is regarded as a dysf",nction. Like the notion of evil in the Aristotelean philosophy, it has no intririsic being, but is viewed primarily as the corruption of a function. For example, while sex is fqnctional to the. c~inuation. ,. overs~. of the society, ,. and undersex would be dysfunctional. This position would be tenable, however, ,. '. only if there were one singular structure in the society. AD the cansequences that helped to maintam the structure would be eufunctional; all those that tended to 4istllpt Itdysfullctional. But few sO¢ieties are single-structural. ':(hen the ". eufunction or eufunctions of one structure may be dysfunctional for other!). The outputs of one subsystem do not always constitute the inputs of another; they can 'also be stumbling blocks. Different structures or subsystems may also, and usually do, compete for the same inputs. Thus social confliet 1S a very real experience, and cannot be explained away by the mere assumption of dys­ functions. The :Marxi§t writers have long recognized the'reality and importance of social conflict, and have elaborated on it. as, the main agent ,of social change and revolution. But for their. mat~ria1istic. pteoccupation,., they .would have hit the ­ target. Conflict may arise from many causes other than material class interests, /. or from ideas that are merely disg.uises. of them. Tlifi} organized. ,s~ial. life of. man tra~scends .purely biologlcalor:physical determi~s and. cannot fnn.ction, apartfromtIte communally recognizecimeaings and values. Conflict arises when different Vie:wsof life andspeietYJead toincomptible modes of communal life,.. or. when.established-thstitutional rules no longer express the; images of reality, t:r. ·':i_.'f{~:.:. when exogenously imposed rules fail to elicit the sympathy of the par-ticipants. ,. '. When. any view of reality or soCial image claims a greater comprehensiveness than can possIbly be maintained, coflict is due to arise... 40. 4i \ The present ,formulatiOn 01 systems theory, Jeaves out history and time. I. I. '. •. -48­.

(7) The neglect of history and time in systematic sociology is weU known,lI and .it probably results from' a) the t!aditional' Misunderstanding of the notion of change,and b) a tendency to abstrqCt the pe~ulia.r' characteristics ofa single , ' , , ' , .I ' culture-mostly' westerncultute..:-and' 'posit them as universal categories. The fir~t is a niistake' of theasur,ing change in tetms 'of' differences of tW1) states of affairs~' while it' should in fact be tho~ght of as a' tontinuous flow !. ~. ,. ... or unfolding of events. The second is evinced by those ahistorical, acultural' recommendations of developmental actions, prepared by the so-called experts for ,tte non-western societies. The influence of. t~e. machine calture, in whicn'. I. technical performance and functi~ns, are the supreme considerations, further accentuate this ate~poial ethnocentrism. '. A plea. for the inclusion of hlstory in the study of society, however, is not. •. .:<!,-,'. thE; same as for the abandonment of generalizations in favor of mere description , .J. of. ~hat. happened in the past. A realistic sociology I we want to emphasize,. ,. ,. must pay attention to 'at least the following: a) There must be a closer rela­ tionship between constructs and reality. Concepts should derive their meaning , . , . and justification not from a tpeoretical system which is accorded an ontological . ,. ,. .. ~'. validity of. iis...own. should be. dir~~'ted:' to. but from, the realm of concrete history. b) More emphasis explain hoW the forces. of a. society work and change,. and leiS on what they ar~. To be closer to the historical process, many terms :; . . in thestock-iIi--trade of the social sciences, such as fendalism, bureaucracy, .'. -. -,. \. political development etc. probably should be used only as adjectives to denote. var~able' forces, pre~nant. defi~ite. and never as. stages of things. c) As society is always. with humaQ, meanings, which are. antecede~t. de~ived. at least partially from an. tradition, the notion of ecology which has been much, emphasized in. the social sociences recently should be revised to include temporal as- well as ,. ~. ;.. spati~l d'imensions. 'In every case' study and in .making generaiizations, care must -49'­.

(8) be. ta~en. to show what elements of the past actually continue to mold the emo­. tions, expectations, ways of thinking and goal-setting of a people. The notion of time is more difficult, and its fun elaboration probably falls \ I. t. ". outside the scope of the social . sciences .proper. A development-oriented theory . .. has, however,. fo. recognise, the fol,jO-wing two important facts: a) Cha,nge and. time are intrinsically inseparable. Abstraction of the one ,without the other'is apt to le.ad ;toserious thoretical difficulties and to distorted notions about human sooiety-=-.the. ~ost. extreme and the best known example of which was the Pla­. tonic attempt to arrest all change. Timeless and changeless developmental models are impossible utopias, but unfortunately often prove to be strong tempta­ tions for armchair savants. b). Man'~. conception of time is'anintrinsicelement. of his total image of reality, and plays an extremely important part in socioI. _. ". cultural behavior. ,Some people have argued that. diffe~ent. conceptions of time. may help to speed up or retard the dvelopmentaf process of a society.6 5) .The structural-functional approach fails to .provide adequate' explanations ,. I. {. of the cau~es of change. Assuming that an agreement on the minimal functions of social or political systems can be secured and that there is similar agreement on definition/definitions of development based on. t~e. degree of structural dif­. able to compare ferentiation and/or other structural characteristics, we .might be . ~. a number of societies and point out the relative position of each society in a ' scafeof. development. This in itself would. undoubted1y~8titute. a' great ac~eve- '. ment if it could be carried :out stJccessfully. " this feat, we would have before us 'only. But even' if we could complete. cI series of. still pictures8 (what is. called comparative statics in Economics), leaving the most important question· yet to be answered: Why one society is more developed than the other. The ,. '. ". ,. .-. .. introduction of the notions. of moving equilibrium and dysfunctions, does not basically solve the pr()blem. Wha~ causes the equilibrium to move and dysfunc­. -50­.

(9) tions to appear? And at different rates?Anc:\. what are the 'potentialities of ;the different systems under study? In which direetions are they going or :. I. li1~ely. ' ,. , togo? Undoubtedly these are the more important and more relevant questions , tO,ask than the mere ability'to: make; 8~ticcompar'iso~s~They cannot be answered without a close scrutiny of the- hisfDricat.~nd socio-PQIitical forces .. 'working in each soc,iety,'as' well as a careful look at the individual . ,. "~. '. participa~ts. ,at' their personal level.. II. Actions, Sentiments and Cognitions Notwithstanding the preceding criticisms, we still believe a systems framework, looldng at the totality of human interactions, is best adept to the study of social change ane political development.' It can do so if it can/first, explain the complex. --:. , ' ". ,. 'relationships between individual actions' and sentiments on the one hand and institutional, patterns and norms on the other; second, enumerate all factors' that ',tend to alter such relationships; and, third, specify the more salient features. in the environment that may one' way or another affect such relationships. " : At the same time, it must' 'be remembered that social systems rarely. if t;-,. ever, possess clear and stable boundaries. Individuals usually participate in ,. I. ,many systems,wltich often interrelate and interact with each other in many " complex ways. Neither tlie funttioris nor the structures of a system are nece­ ,ssarily consistent. A system often maintains apparently contradictory structures, the resolution of' which may' become one oiits' most important characteristies. Furtherm'9re, a systems analysis will always have to begin with individual men,. who should be. treated' as the fundamental parts of the relationships. In the. following pages an attemp will be made to illustrate.th.e more salient charac- . teristics of social systems. Logically, I shall proceed with individual actions, .. cognitions and sentiments; then.. the patterns of actions. Dr structures and their ,. consequences or functions; and finally, the ways both of these' affect the tela­. -51­.

(10) tive stability and change of a sQcialsystem. The basic units .of a sQcial organisatiQn are always the individual peQple, whQ mQre .often than nQt participate in more than .one QrganizatiQn, the sizes .of which vary frQm small primary grQUps t.o mQdern giant natiQnal/states. TQ say ~. that an individual is a member .of an QrganizatiQn means; among .other things, that SQme of his actions interact with those of .other individuals in the same , '. \ .organization. The interactiQn .of peQple with .one another in definite ways is , the primary meaning of .organization. Not all interactiQns, for example a. chance meeting .or a street mob, constitute an .organization. Only thQse interactions that take place habitually and consciously in a patterned way constitute an .organization. The frequency of interactions varies greatly frQm one QrganizatiQn to another, for example, from almost daily I(1eeting with members .of the family to weekly church meeting tQ, for some peQple, once a year payment of taxes t~ the state. By frequency of interactions is meant the actual number .of times . . , . ~,. interactions take place. Anoth~r, variable is intensity; by which is meant the . .. /. .. degree .of affectiQn invQlved in any such interactiQn. The more often the peQple \. ,<'. interact the mQre they tend tQ like each .other; and the more they like. ea~h. .other, the mQre often they will interact. Individuals participate in an organizatiQn and interact _with its. .oth~r. members. in definite ways that are habitually repeated and recQgnizable. The tQtality, of such actions and, interactiQns performed in an called a role.. Qrgani~~ion. by one individual is ,. It is thus more useful to think .of an .organization as, consisting. of a multiplicity .of rQles than .of individual persons, whQ usually perfQrm many, .other rQles in .other organizatiQns.RQles are learned and pubHclyrecQgnized. Some rQles can be assumed and then drQPped quite easily, e. g.",ad hoc chair- , . ,/ , manship in a meeting, while others last a nu~ber .of years, e., g.t studentship., SQme roles are learned . and become almost. .. pe~maner:tt1>!'. attached tQ the,.

(11) pers.ons wh.o acquired them,e. g., priesth.ood. .We may refer t.o ",sucp r.olesas. I. , iwquired statipns. I use the w.ord, Hacquired"tb distinguish them fr.om th.ose ,. stati.ons int.o which individuals are born; e.' g., a member .of Chang family .or .of the Britishr.oyalty. Let us c.all thialatter.categ{)ry ascribed stations. R.oles, acquired stations, and ascribed stations . all refer t.o patterns .of S.oci­ , .allY recOgnizable behavi.or, and all are basic units .of s.ocial systems. But they. .. als.o differ in many imp.ortant aspects. First, in term .of .duration, it is . .obvious ,.. ,that stati.ons last much longer than .ordinary r.oles. Sec.ondly, individuals generally' "experience much m.ore pers.onal trauma ib changing statiQns than in changing . their roles. 'Thirdly, while bQth statiQns and r.oles inv.olve setiments and values , since' they' all.refer tQ human behavior, there ·isgenerally a deeper attachment tQstations,' both ascribed and acquired, than to .ordinary· roles. This fact par­ dially' explains why stations last IQnger arid why it is mQre traumatic tQ change. 'tliem.. "All societies, eit,het"· traditiQnal .or mQdern, cQnsist .of a cQmbinati.onQf ~. ascribed stati.ons,' :acquired statiQns,and r.oles. A CQmm.o!) hYP.othesis .of the. .. : social sciences is that traditi.onal. societies cQnsist mQstly.of ascribed statiQns, while acquired stations and rQles prevail in mQdern societies. It is further supP.osed that duriIlg' the process .of mQdernizatiQn mQre and mQre acquired 'stations may be cQnverted. in~o. roles. For example, studentship in respect to. teachers in. traditiQnal China was considered alife--long statiQn. N.oW it has become simply a r.ole. Such' gradual cQnvertiQn .of statiQns intQ rQles is to faci­ litate social m.obility. and, tQ create new patterns .of behavior that are desired. HQwever, .one wQnders whether this prQcess can go .on indefinitely withQut deleteri.ous effects fQr the integration of the system. Stati.ons, as we have seen, carry mQre sentiments and values than rQles. Replacement .of the fQrmer by the latter is therefQre due to. 'wea~en. the affectiQnal b.ond that binds the system. \-53­. ".. I.

(12) together unless some new oases of integration are found tn' time ana accepted. Roles are patterns of behavior. A multiplicity of roles interacting in definite ways is called a structure. A structute ,consists, therefore, of at. least two 'separate roles, usually many. Allltorial class, for exampte, is a structure in /'. that it cot;1,sists of a person acting the role of instructor and of a number of other persons acting the roles 'of students, interacting 'With each other in definite and recognizable ways. Most' social structures, especially the larger and more complex ones,are f j. differentiated into hierarchical forms, involving command-obedience or superor­ dinate-subordinate relationships. ' The reasons. fo~the. .. \. '. necessity of hierarc:;hical. forms in humanorgaQizations have already been discussed by a number of social scientists. 9 We only wish to point out the fact that , definite relationships among. rples beyond a certain number simply cannot be maintained without coordination that can only be secured through centralized command. Besides hierarchical authority and in fact more basiC thah it, structures are secured by norms . and' rules.' Norms refer to the fundamental precepts of behavior and are expressions of collective values held by the participants of the system. Rules refer to the more detailed regulations set down by the hierarchical authtfrity. Individuals act and interact to. promo~e. certain values,defined as the desir-'. able things in life. These range from esthetic appreciation of arts and religious enlightenment to purely t;nateriat well-being and pOlitical power. Values are !. .. 'enmeshed in general existential beliefs about life, time and the world, and together with these define the d,\siiable, pet"missible, tolerable, and prohibited kinds. of behavior for the actors. Thus the foundations of an action system are the cognitions and sentiments of the individuals that together form the subjec­ tive orientations that give rise'to patterns of. actions and evaluate them. Insofar as historical and other environmental factors 'have helped.to shape a common _.,-54A~-.

(13) menta.l attitudes and norms among the actors of a system, we may refer' a~culture. within the total: culture of a society, we may speak of a civic. a political culture, or an administrative culture, depending on which ,. ,,'. -,. . or subsystems- we want to study.. 'A cul~~t:e maY be said to r~ula~ive. consistr of all the cognitions,' sentiments, values. norms of tbe members of a system or. a sub~ystelt1. It, does. not. atante~, however, that tbe desired norms and standards wili always "be faith:". observed in behavioral pattern!3.Let us refer to the abstract norms and lDirations as the ideal patterns of a culture, and to the actually observed o."~17if\r MttArT'lQ. as its actual patterns. The degree of'. discr~pancy. between the ideal. and the actual patterns of'~ culture is a question th~ requires empirical to answer. We may, however" hypothesize that the greater the degree between the two, the more the system will be loaded with. ~nson~ a!ld the greater the impetus to change. If tbi's is so, it then follows. we may. ~xpect. to find this discrepancy to be generally greater in ;transi­. societies than in relatively stable societies, either traditional or modern. . We still lack a complete and. satisfactory categorization of the most impor­. elements of culturelhat have to be taken into a~count in the study of . systems. Howeve~, we may genenilize from the work of Lucian W~ Pye .his colleagues in their book, Political Culture and Political Devetopment, and !1UizQ'est that the following· items be used as broad outlines in either making a map for classifying different' :e(t!jiParative {.':... cultur~. or as a general guide in. ~ ,'~"':t :::i':.'. i::etplicating a particular culture. lndividual self-awareness as a person; bliefs in individual rights and tltirations; strength of self identity and the possibility to improve through one's efforts status in life; feeling and basis of security; concepts of good life;. -55 ­.

(14) degree of contentment and bases of. cont~ntment;. personal success; experiences and bases of making. motivatiQn aq,d criteria of decisions~. B) Relation of the self tootber individuals and image of the society;. ,. ,. '. bases of affiliation, cooperation and discri~ination in group life; conceptions . of human nature in general, and 'of other role-players, e. g., the politicians, the bureaucrats etc., aqd,,. i~. * -. particular, of one's own) superiors "and subordil)ates; ,. concept of goqd faith and willingness to trust other people, especially strangers; :. i,_. ._. ,. ,. ;. )'. ,. '. ,»!' affectional ijientification with the system; nature of authority, bases of 'legitimate ;" . ,. .~.. ,. '. '. ,. ,. -. ,. ". ~. authority and procedures for conflict resolution; willil)gness to contribute to the maintenance of the system and expectations of its performances ,and distribu:. I',,' , " ." ,;'~hange. ". tion of the outputs; means and way.s of making adjustments and. ". w~e~~ernature. C) Relation to Ilature and the physical environment; ., ,. ,. ,:')','. is. ,:. ",. conceived as friendly, or malign, or as a neutral and manipulable given; suppli­ cant, accommodationalist or Promethean attitudes. tow~rqs. nat,ure; optimistic and. pessimistic fatalism; nature and strength of' ~upernatur~l be,~efs~,., D) Conceptions of time; degr~e of "wareness of Jime as a, s~arce resource express~. to be used in a planned way; degree of exactitude in measuring and -. ;. ,. time-whether in Vague, seasonal or in, small and thinks. pri~arHy. ex~ting. units;,. wheth~r. ';:. one. in terms of past, or of the present, or of the future.11. Three further questions have to be asked, in mapping out -the four dimen:­ ';,. ". ,;. sions of culture sketched abQve: I): Degree of commitment.....Naturally not all beliefs and values are:held with equal strenght and conviction. Some enjoy , long historical backipg, while others are half-understood and half-digested slogans, ahd. stil1~others. may simply. be paraphrased ideologies recently imported from abroad. Degree of commitment to the existing culture implies:the degree of convertibility of the present beliefs '". I. •. !,,". :',. system to some other, and the degiee of opportunism in upholding the' integrity -56 ­.

(15) (present, system when challenged,. ~oth. with important consequences for. ~r. easily changeable. Furthermore,. rJgid, stable, to a culture is not at indicatehlcr~;lsi~. that. al~. A. stationary, and one should watch for the. commitment to. so~e. peli,et.s and/or weakening. of ambivalence--,-.Not all cognitioris and sentim¥J}.ts a people .. ... logically and necessarily consistent or complemet;ltal to eac,h other.. t'.mure: .. ~re. /. lJOt;)~ample,. a man may cherish the merit system and yet believe in doing. I.~, favors for relatives and friends; Or one may want the government to ". .~()..yid~ ~at}ts. '~'r. >- {. more services and yet be unwilling to pay for" them. Often a nation. to preserve its. -. t~asured -. tradition and to modernize at the same time.. ,. .. ". ,. ~ $uch cases of ambivalence, th~ researcher. h~~ to, enquire which orienta­. t~Es:~repri~ary aQd .are manifested in . actual be)mvior;, which are generally ~ld in latency and expressing mere wishes; and whether logica.lly, inconsistent ,. OOIm.s. are held in perfect fusion, tolerable co-existence, or in open conflic.t. One .. ". ~~also - ...• '.'. ','. ... to" ask whether the individuals or groups involved are aware of such .. '. aU::lJ\,.C. p?~y ~ve. ,. and conflict; how do th~y solve it or propose to solve it; whether'. .worked out a hierarchy of values or are resorting mainly to rationli­. and self-deceptions. Finally, one has to investigate the effects of such . fPlllivalence on pel'soality development and the degree of cultural commitment ~t. r,e{erred to. ,. f<.. ,III) .~,".~. Degree of. homogeJ1eity~Not. all individuals of a system are .,committed. tl\e same degree to the principal orientations of its. i~vergence,. cult~re.. Whenever such. or, gap appears among clearly identifiable subgroups, i. e., not·. ~ply the diviants, we would have to krlow on what particular things they .' . . -\ ,cliffer; and what are the lines of the cleasvage; whether they are religious, .'. "~,. '. regional, elite vs. the mass, or the, urbanite vs, the rural' folk. It is also / ~. 57-. ..

(16) - imp1,rlant to lQlow to what' extent the people involved are conscious of the gap and whether'the actual gap and/or the awareness of it impede the unity of the system; whether they wailt to closs the gap; who want to close it' and who. .. ,. .. resist it, how. ur~eI)tly. and strongly, and by what measures.. The foregoing represents a. prelimenary sketch of the more important ele.:.. ments of culture th,at may be useful as a guide in studYing 'an action system or in ma19ng. comparis~. among several system. Needless to say a lot depends. in concrete circumstances on the insight' and ingenuity 'of the researcher to briI)g out the most relevant aspects of any particular system under investigation and to present them in an interrelated and meaningful manner. An outstanding example of achievement in this respect is Professor Jose V. Abueva's study" of .. .. .. the Philippine administrative culture, as it was based on an intimate kpowledge of the operations 'of. the system and on a systematic analysis of the responses. .. of a group of mid-level civil servants ,. ~o. 12 a prescribed questionaire. '. Finally, ~few words on'the actors seem pertinent here~ AlmOnd and Verba. .. have distinguished among the actors o£ apolitical, system according to those with participant orientations and roles, and those with subject orientations and v-. roles. 1S. Examples of the former are voting and participation ill public affairs. and other direct political activities, and of the latter are observation of laws, is paying .taxes.and , a general feeling of loyalty. A third category of the actors . termed the' parochial, who, as they are primarily oriented toa smalter subsystem (usually ascriptive), can be said to subsist only at the periphery of the general system. The, main purpose of their maldng this theoretical distinction seems to be to lay down the subjective conditions for, and to pr¥ict the feasibility Of; a democratic polity: The. enterprise is .certainly relevant to the study of polltical development. , Another' distinction of tile actors in some systems, e. g., governmental. -58'­. '.

(17) ~cies,. is between those wno work. general public or the lUi.. vil' A oand. di~ctly. c~ientele.. within them, i... ~.,. the employees,. H'lsofar as the former contribute their. the latter their support, monetary or otherwise, to the continued. 'eXistence; of the system, botlicanrightfully be' said 'to be participants. But it is evident that the natures of their- respe(;tive 'conmb~~ons and activities are It is thus permissible to speak of/the former as ~nternal or. 'HtnmecUate participants and of the latter as external participants. On the other -. ;;~,. ;. ,~... I. insofar as they all are affected by the patterned activities, of the system,. they are subjects. a~. well. It is easy to see that the re.iationship between par­. '"ticipants and subjects is a reciprocal one. We may say they constitute two sides ,.~f:the. same coin. IJI. Strue~re8. and Functions. A multiplicity of roles interactihg in definite ways we have called astructur7J.. ;'A structure that is valued and stable is referred to as an institution. Evidently, ,not all institutions enjoy the same amount of esteem and stability withil} the \'wider social system. We may employ the term' institutionalization as a variable to, compare different structures in the continuum of from near zero stability to . , ',. maXimum stability, or alternatively, as the process whereby organization and proceduresacqriite value and stability. The two are evidently related. Samuel. 'P: Huntington has argued that the level of institutionalization of any particular , ork'anisation or procedure can be measured by such criteria as its adaptability, 'chronological and generational age, complexity, autonomy, and coherence. 14o A ~structure that has long been in existence, has weathered manY crises, and is. fai'Cly complex, is more an institutiop than a newly 'set ~ ~nd structurally unsophisticated establishment. Other useful distinctions of structures" based on the cognitions of the people, that have been briefly mentioned by Fred W. Riggs in a recent essay are offical -'- 59 ­.

(18) and unofficial, formal and informal, and legal and illegaI.15. To. be short.. official structures are those patterns of action carried out by governmental. agencies. especially the bureaucracy. Other structures are. unofficial. Formal structures are those patterns of action that are prescribed in charts and governed by laws and regulatfns but do not necessarily have the force of the government behind them. Thus, for example. a private firm, families, interest. groups,as well as goverl)mental bureaucracies, are all formal structures. ThOSe' patterns. of behavior ,that depart from the formal plan of an organization are informal. 16 Some ,informal structures are permitted by formal norms. while others are liot. The former are legal, e. g., a ,friendship clique, and the latter illegal, e. g., , , a criminal gang; Finally, there are some activities that are not even recognized. These are not structures. In passing, it is interesting to note that the range of attention of the political scientists has expanded over the years from official structures only (government institutions), to include other formal structures (political parties and interest groups), and eventually also informal stauctures ,. that are legal (voting studies and research on organizational behavior), but not yet or 0111y minimally to illegal structures (e. g., corruption). The consequences of the patterns of behavior, i. e., of structures or institu­ tions, on the participants themselves, on otIler structures, or on the general environment, are known as functions. Let us call those functions that relate, to other. ~tructures and the general environment 'transactions. These often involve power relationships', i. e., the ability to' either manipulcJ,te other stnictures or to modify and change the environment. A structure that is more often manipulated o,r influenced by, ,ather than .can manipulate or influence, the actions of other structures is clearly in a subordinate position. We may' thus sp,eak of a of. st~ctures,. hi~rarchy. in quite similar -way as we mentioned earlier the hierarchy of, . roles within·a structure. Wemayhypoihesize that official strqctures are generally .. I.

(19) ... higher up in this. hierarchy than mD-official,and formal structures than informal . ones. With respect to the general environment, we may speak of the level of. autonomy or discretion as a variable to indicate the freedom of a structure from environmental constraiDtSjor' obversely, tlle <.tapacity of a structure to .. ~.. modify or change tne' 'environment. Riggs postulates that the autonomy. of a system, in the sense just mentioned" constitutes. the essential;meaning . of deve­ 10pment.17 The consequences of! a structure in respect to its actors' or participants may be classified as either legitimate and satisfactory, or illegitimate. and;. un'sastisfactory, as they are adjudged by the norms and expectations 'of tha ' latter: Structures that perform legitimate and satisfactory'functions are stable, . while those whose functions are persistently adjudged as illegitimate and unsa­ ,tisfactory by the participants are unstable. Legitimate and satisfactory conse­ quences, insofar as they enhance the survival value of the structure, or better the system, are known as eufunctions. Illegitimate and unsastifactorycol'ise­ quences are dysfunctional. But although. l~gitimacy. and satisfactions aTe related. variables, they are not inseparable. Of this more will be said close to the end of next section. '. .. /. We now' come to the more' general term system, which we use to include the structures, their actors, and their functions .. We also posit the environment of a system as consisting of all the 'factors, physical and humen (cultural),' that one way or another affect its patterns of action, or are affected by' them, or both, but do not directly form part of the patterns. In actual situations, nee­ dless to say, it may at times be difficult to make a cut-and-dry distinction between some 'environmental factors and the intrinsic' elements of a system. But this should not distract the usefulness of the distinction in an analytic !. scheme,in the 'saine' way as the difficuly of spedfyiJ;lg a particular object red. -61­. t.

(20) or orange does -notqiminis4 the usefulness and validity of defining these two colors. A classical debate in system analysis, particularly in political science, is whether to emphasize structures or functions. Lately, the adherents of func­. tionalism seem to be in the ascendency. The dichotomy is a geneuine one only,. however. if. stru~turesare. tak;en to mean exclusively official and formal struc­. tures, as defined above. Should the analysis be .extended to include informal. and even illegal structures, the problem'should disappear. Structures are actual. , patterns of beha~ior; functions their consequ~nces. The two are' interlocked and. should be ~tudied together in close connection. Of the. functions, a distinction already mentioned is that between the eufunc­. tional and the dysfunctional, according to whether they contribute to or diminish the survival value of the system.i Another principal' distinction much in vogue is that oetween. thespe~ific. multipl~city. and diffuse functions a a. rel~tive. and the diffuse. Specific functions affect only one of values. No need to stress, -this again is. measurement insofar as the functions of any 'large system or sub­. system are more likely than· not to affect more than one single value. Corresponding to the degree of specificity of their functions, structures have. •. been classified along a scale of differentiation according to the number of values tak;en into consideration in the patterning of behavior. This variable has been greatly ;elaborated on lately by a number of. scholars as--the principal criterion '. >. ~.. • '.. .". , '. .. ­. of the development of social.systems. While agreeing to it as probably to be the most , important and useful variable in analysing structures, we like to point out ' . . that stru~turescan also be classified alo~ a number' of other criter~ that s~ould. not be omi~ted for the purpose~ of comparative study. .These may be .. related to the main critedon of differe~tiation,_ as in fact they are, but they should be made more expiicit and may, prove more belpful than the generalized. ..;., 62.­.

(21) ;~~ept. ofdifferntiation for comparative study. Let us look at some of these ;.. ,;,. .. I). Hierarchy: we mentionedl:!adier that some roles are arranged'ln rela.. . tlonships- of superordination and ~ubordination to each other, i. e., in a hierarchical Others may stand. together without sucb relationships. we can then PU::il.UJ.l:ll.t:. a scale of hierarchy from zero that we may term polyharchy to the. ,maximum where every role stands on top of another. Examples of polybarchical ...........h,.."'''. are not many and are mostly confined to very small groups. The' social. ::,rtnthroP910gist .E. R. Leach gave suchan example when he described'the gumlao or-ganizations among the Kachin Hill tribes in northern· Burma where all members J. ,. .. '. '. roles of a village ideally 'stand in perfect equality.i8 The maximum degree ''OfhierarcQY where every role stands on top of another is probably too compli­ .cated and uneconomical fqr' human organizations, bilt in the hierarchy of the <SUeIs, .according to t'he Catholic theology, each. individual aI;lgel is supposed Most actual social organizations fall to''be a species and in;l grade by himself. , ... ". '. of the continuum that may tentatively be termed. .Tbe first step of hierarchization in 'political societies, Riggs postulates, is cases more than one , head organized in a 'tbe>appearance of a head, or in some . ., I coQegiate body, which acts as the. highest coordinating auth<?rity. The role of the headship may be established in permanent and hereditary,or in temporary ~,'. '. _.. .-. ,. -. ".. ,-..-. ". -:. /7". pnd situational basis. Higher up, in the process ofhierarchization th~ head will .'/ , '. ,,~. bave.a number of agents to help him carry o,ut his decisions. When the agents th~mselves are. arranged into different grades or. tiers and entrusted witb specific. areas of responsibilities, a bureaucracy emerges, which in. itself isa continuous . I ~pl'ocess, as it varies from simple to complex cbaracteristics. 19 In sbort, 'there "is need for an agreed segmented scale to designate the different degrees of -63 ­.

(22) \. structural hie~archlzaiion. We invite refinement to the following semi"':'pyramid"al diagram \vhich shows the possible segmentations of the chief hierarchical charac­ teristics of all structures.. ~------~------~B--------C~------D~--~~Y Diagram I: The Process of structural. hierachizatio~. In diagram I, X and Y stand at the opposite extremes of a continuum of. .. ". structural hierarchization. X represents the zero point "where perfect "equality" /'). prevails among the memberso{the organization, namely ap61yharchY. Y repre­ sents the opposite where every role is "hierarchisized" . Between these two extremes wherein most actual social organizations fellI, A represents the stage where there is only a head or a leader. B is" the stage where the head has appointed' some agents to assist him while C and D designate the stages where the heads have relatively simple and uni-tiered, or relatively complex, multi­ tiered a~d\ differentiated; bureaucracies respecti~elY. The foregoing shows the degree of hie~rchiz.ation of roles' within a single system.. We. have also mentioped earlier that systems themselves are invoi~ed -in ". ". relationjl'fips of\supetordination and su?ordination to each other. Thus instutlying < . .. ' ". •. •. •. *. any concrete system, it is important to note not only its interal hierarchical characteristics, but also to place it in ,relation to 'other systems,· to· see· ~hether .. -64­.

(23) it stands in. 8' su~rordibate. or subordinate position. A subordiBate system is. often, referred to as a subsystem, and ,generally'enjoys less autonomy and 'power tbMl the general system.. '". ,. II)' Distribution of power: Somewhat different -from, albeit related to, , 1 '. ,. , bietarchization is the variable or power distribution. With 'two structures of the .'. ,. ,. s~me liierarchical shape and arrangemets, the patterns of power d:istiibutiop. may yet be different in some of the following aspects: the ways in ~hich the heads and other hierarchical occupants ~re chosen and made responsible, the extent to which the opinions and desires of the subjects are communicated and taken into account in making decisions, the degrees of specificity of responsibi- , Hties defined for eac::h role' in the hierarchy, the extent to whic::h responsibilities are delegated to the lower echelons, the weight of control and severity of sanctions, and so on. Approximately,' we may say that while the variable of , , qierarchization describes the sha1?e of the PYJamid and the llumber of successive ,. I. grades, the variable of power distribution, attempts'to measure the strength of the links among the different units of hierarchy. What the men in the streets call democracy and authoritarianism-totalitarianism of institutions comes close to what. r have. in mind here, but I prefer to ,use the terms centralization and. dispersal of power to describe the polar' extremes of thisvariable. Again, we I. have to think of it as a continuum, with actual :organizations ranging all the , t ' ,way from the' dispersed' to the centraiiz~d,btlt rarely at the two poles. Toma~e the above distinction clearer, let us cite an example from the. classical Chinese history. Hierarchization of a bureaucratic type bagan to emerge within tlie various. prinCipalities at the end of the Warring States period from ,. .. abOut the siXtli' century B. C. onwards. The First Emperor, Ch'in Shih:"huang­ 'ti, when successful in conquering. all the' other states, and. wanting toi~stitute. a unif'ied bureaucratiC hit~rarchy' for' all of China, had to apply the most :ruthl~ss '. -65­. 'j.

(24) ,. metn04.- ot power centralism. But when his' dynasty waS' overthrown,' ~be Han' emperors, while wise enough to keep most of his bureaucratic institutions bureaucrati~. intact, had to relax the reins ·of power. Many. units of high and. ·low in the hierarchy came to share t..Jte power, and responsibilities of making \. -decisions. Imperial Chjna was not in fact....always as ceI!tralized as some people ,. ~. have thought it was until. after the Sung period when it, made a sharp turn 'towarqs centralism again, though the hierarchical structures. remai~ed. basically.. the same throughout the whole period since the First Emperor had instituted them. III) Resource-utilization. All organizations draw sustenance from the envi­ ronment, physical and social, and the ways they do so, tbough may be J;'egarded as somewhat extenal to the systems, do nevertheless greatly affect their internal .. '. .. i. ,. •. structural arrangements. Thus we may study how' the different social systems, . . '. ,. say, the pastoral, the agricultural, and the industrial, utilize their environmental' resources, and speculate on the structural ,characteristics of tbese systems. I. Tentatively, we may bypothesize, first, that the way a system uti,lizes its , resources' is a function of its power over the environment, or reversely, its relative freedom from environmental constraints. This aspect has been well illustrated,by J. H. Steward in his -anthropological study of the Great Basin Indian~.. Steward believes technical problems associated with physical survival I. needs necessarily influence social structure. ~ determine the level of socio­ .. .. cultpral integration)'-!). Secondly, a sy~tem's power or freedom depends upon,. among other things, the degree of differentiation and cohesiveness of its struc-· tures. Differentiation. allows' more kinds 'of activities than before, that" when, . coordInated, ,become a powerful weapon to attack the env'ironment., 'Thu~ the nature and amount of. available resources in the environment and the structUral arrangements of the system come \,oto close reciprocal interaction, and tbe ways ' -66 ­.

(25) ,the-resources are utilized give a good indlcation of the nature pi the structures. IV), Size and Age. The size of a structure is generally neglected in systems analysis~. It must nevertheless be con~ideredan'important variable.' It is common. .knowledge, for example,tbat. ~be 'proeess of·'structural differentiation and ;bierarchisatiOIi cannot~lgo 'far'if tliestructtire is too small. Also, a smaller · structure, other things 'being equal, is probably less stable and more 'easily changeable than a bigger one. If we apply the degree of. diffrenti~tion. as the. criterion of' development, a smaller sturcture will have then both advantages' · and disadvantages. Its chief advantage consists of the fact that it can be mani­ '~ulated. and changed more easily and possibly' with less trauma. On-the other ,. .. band, it will also suffer from the inherent limitations imposed by its small. size. For example, the process of hierarchization and differentiation in those. tiny states which have become'iridependef.!t recently simply cannot proceed as. . . far as is possible for other bigger countries. Age is also a significant variable in that all large and complex organiza-, \. 'tions take time to build up and stabilize the internal and "And, once these have been. establis~ed. ext~rnal. procedures.. and existed for some time, they tend to. acquier a rationale of their ow):'!. and become more and more difficult to change · as time passes by. In ,tQis respect,· Samuel P. Huntington has made "distinction between chronological and generational age. 21. a useful. The former is simply. a, function, of tilne, of the nu~6erof months and years an 'institution has existed.. 'He. postulates that the possibility of an organization of one hundered years old. to survive one additional year is perhaps one hundered times greater than the possibility that an organization one year old will survive one additional year. When 'if structure has existed for ,a lorig period of time and is deeply entrenched. 'in ,the: sentiments and cognitions of the participants, it becomes a treasured tttii:Jition, and generally will not be changed without many efforts and much. -67.;.... ...

(26) trau1.lla. Generational age measures the number of successive generations of. the tbat has been carried on,for sev.eral \ / generations can be assumed to be' more stable than a structure that is still principal. actors of a system. A.. manned by its first generation. stur~ture. runner~. By this criterion, the democratic polities. of, say, the philippines ·would be, other things. being equal, .more. s~able. than. ,. t~at. of Indi~.or Malaysia for the simple. fact that t;be time!!! it has witnessed. peaceful transfer of power outnumber the same in Ipdia or. ,Malaysia. Most of the. t~tructural. variables discussed so far are iQterrelated, and. together they are related to the chief. varia~le. of differentiation. For differen­. tiation to proceed, for example, the structure needs to be of a certain size, activities have to be coordinated through hierarchical principles, and PQwer cannot be too dispersed. The ways the resources of a system are utilized can be thought of as the effect of these structural characteristics combined, but th~y also affect as the parametric forces the. str.J,lCture itself. However, as .tqe. correlation is never one hunderd percent, it is still necessary to itwestigate eacq of. these variables separately for. t~~. purposes of comparative analysis. Finally,. we. have to justify why we make all these distinctions. for, as the philosophers are wont to say, being is not to be multiplied without necessity., We do so because they all intimately affect the stability systems~,. ~:nd. change potential of social. To this subject the discussion now tqrns ..-. IV. Balancing, Equilibrium, and Change. In a very disfinguished 'article, the sociologist Gideon Sjober-g :propagates the notion of contradictory functional requ!rements in social .systems •. 1;le begins with the observatipn that all. ~ocial. systems are subject to basic instabilities. and internal.conflict.. His explanation i~that ;some of. the: ;~un9:tip~l. requirements, .~. I. -63;.,... -­. ':, I. c..

(27) :(or imperatives) within ,a system might be not compatible and that the struc­ turalarrangements that have developed to \neet these requirements would be, I. ·~~.herefore,. necessarily mutually antagonistic. Nonetheless,. i~. many cases, these. ,'contradictory structures are' essential for the maintenance of the system.. 22. While agreeing with his basic observations and sympathizing with his efforts to infuse some dynamism into the c1assicsystems theory, one still wonders whether Professor Sjoberg's theoretical formulation is a teleological one. One may legitimately ask, fQr example,. whether all antagonistic structures are desi­ gned with purpose to meet the requirements of contradictory funtions,' or nether they may not have come together in a system to perform one and the. .. same function, instead of' confradictory functions. In short, if one wants to . study structural characteristics, one may as well start directly with the struc­ .. tures,and does not have to complicate the matter by. first positing,the functional •. iI'. requirments.. Also, in expounding his theory, Professor Sjoberg·. seems to have stopped a ;step short of the point where it can be fruitfully· applied to explain the relative \. stability and change tendencies of a system, For the theory to be operationally , fruitful, it should distinguish, among· other thiQgs, the relative degrees, or even kinds, of antagonism of structures, and clarify how the different kinds of , antagonistic strilcturesarebel6 together and how tbey operate within a social system. Let me put down my own speculations on this very important matter. Just as individuals incorporate in their sentiments and cognitions many inconsistences, such as the sense of finitude and pride, commitment and feedom, spititfal needs and material desires, superego and ·libido, and so on, social systems often labor under inconsistent values and structures. And the larger. imd more complex the 'systems ate, the greater the number of suchincompa­ ". -69·­.

(28) tiblevalues and structures. Examples ceme in tens, but let· me cite a few at '.. randem. The· Chinese imperial bureaucracy since the Han tirries had incerperated, .. ,. and eperated through, a symbiesis ef two. evertly antagenistc pelitical phileso­ phies: the humanitarian Cenfucianism and the scheel ef Fa er pewer pelitics/~8 The Thai seciety is said to. have been. characterized by beth ,hierarchism s~rong. and a. sense of individualism. 24 And in the United States ef America,. the ideal of equalitarianism and human dignity stands side by side with discri­ minatery practices against the Negroes and ether racial minorities. Here we like to. take a step back befere preceeding further, and cautien the readers that not all oppesite structures are necessarily antagenistic er are antagenistic to. the, same degree. As a 'matter of fact, they ,may be supplemental to. eacQ ether, e. g., the'. opposite sexes in thefam:ily and.the multifarious occupatiens in tQe . \. ~eciety.. In many cases antagenistic, structures do. not. as. claimed by Pref~sor Sjoberg, fulfill' centradictory' functio~al requirements, but < . supplement each ether in performing the same :function. This idea is mest vividly 'depicted in the classical .Chinese philosephy of Yin and Yang, that sees all things and systems ascemposed ef diverse and oppesite. principles~. harmen­. iously balanced together to. make the whole viable. This idea prebably still. ,. merits serious censideration. Also, values and structures may sometimes be made'te appear mere incempatible than they.in:fact are, simply because men, in their reasening and abstracting. p~ecess,. tend to. see 'and emphasize only ene. aspect ef the reality. Thus, ene may righfully .wonder whether the pelitical doctrines ef. Cenfucianism and Legalism were really a~ dtastically incempatible as seme theerists have expeunded. This is net to. negate er minimize the fact, however, that 'truly ,incpmpa­ tible values and structures are eften incerperated into. the same secial. system~.. In all such cases the system concern&d will have to. solve the cenflict, and the -70~..,.,. ,.

(29) a svstem balances the incompatible. ~trilctures. together ,cQnstitute manY'. most important characteristics. The' pdssible ways this is done are toe to catalogue. The f!)llowing are giveu only as· illustrati~ns. The latency-ascendency circle. A very common way in which incom­ . values and structures 'are held together in a .system'is. for one, of them be held in lateney whlIe the other is on the ascent. Which structure shines , ,. 'th~moment depends less on human design than on a combination ofa number. environmental factors~ which may change again and reverse the order of the • Often such contradictory structures subsist in an antagonistic symbiosis, 'the continuous predominance-of one structure may not only destroy the but. brea~. down the very basis of the symbiosis. In a tradi)ional society;. ~Jjftt......... the external interference can be supposed to be minimal, two such prin­. contradictory sructures may come into ascendericy and latency in' tum,. ',nd the social system appears to move in a cycle. Needless to say, the system ;~ars. more. st~~le. when one of the structure is in the relative ascendency. when it is on the way dowI,1 and its ascendent position is being replaced tJte opposite structure. But in no case can a' social system be regarded as stable, sillce the contradictory structures' on which it rests caiUlot '.{)e 'Supposed to be unchanging: Diagram II illustrates this point.. ,. .,. ",. ~~. , .... ", ~. ,, ",. o. '" '". ~. ~. '" ",. :rime sequence.. -71~--. ;'. ,. ",. ", (,. ", ",. X. '" '". "" p. .. """. " " ", ". Q.. Diagram n: Appearance of . relative stabic­ lity of systems organized on two contradic­ tory stuctural principles..

(30) \ In the above diagram A and B represent two principal opposite structures of a social system. They may move along the parameter of ascendency and latency in either direction, but usually not simultaneously in the same direction., . The diagram indicates that when either of .them is in relative ascendency and the other :in relative latency, as,in points M, 0 and Q, the system appears relatively stabl~.1;lut when,' ~ne structure .is sliding down and the other is ascendiag, as in points Nand P,' the system will suffer ,greater tension, and will have an unstable, even chaotic, appearance. The Kachin villagers of highland Burma, according to E.R. Leach.25recogni~e only two contrasting principles for the political organization of their villages. The gumsa conceive of themseles ,as ,being ruled by chiefs who are members'of an hereditary aristocracy; the gumlaorepudiate all.notions of hereditary class difference and rank. The two are represented in Kachin thinkillg as fundamex,tally 9Ppo~ed. modes ,of I?rganisation, and tend to. regard, each other as traditional. enemies. Yet both are consistent with" the . general $et of cultural· trappiI!is that are identified as Kachin, and hence ought to be thought to belong, to the same system. A1t~ough tpe 'principles of organisatiop are drastically distinct, il}divi.... dual villages' have in mythological and historical times. switched from one type L~chexplains,. of organization to another like in a pendulum. This. happens,. because neither the gwnsa nor the gumlao structures are absolute, both contain tAe germ of the· opposite principle, and are inherently unstable, In anecessarilysimplifed way,' the. historian~. Franz Micha:el attempted to ". explain· the famoue cyclical changes of dynasties in"China through their 'int~rnal structural mstability.26 Briefly, the bureaucratic empire was conceived of being based ona symbiosis of the ·central governmet,represented by. the. emperor,:and. the landed gentry which supplied the administrative personnel. The basis of 'the was primarily an agrarian society, while imperial power was .land tax, as China . I' .,-" 72 ­ ,. /.

(31) the basis of the gentry's power was its privileged posifionof tax. exemption .. ... 'rlle,two were mutually supportive, but al,o involved inherent f,irst signs of the. weak~ning. confl~ct.. At the. of tlieceI.1tJ.:al,Power, the gentry began to accumulate /'. its Awn land holdings, ,and ,thus" increasec1 the tax burden of the poor. When ~ nahlral c~18mity intervened at this ,q'.itical '-stage, the balance.might .. I. -break, and· the' poor rebeL" As the chaos spread, the ,. need for;. the "proteCtion. of. the.ir property might induce some .gentry members to 'giv.e, support to a il~ndit lea~er;. who, if successful, would, establish a new dynasty and impose. ..stricterc{)ntJ;oIover the gentry. After a-, number of gener(,ltions, the process ,Iitcpeflted" ' ''In.the case under review, the emperor's power and the gentry's intersts. ,', ~~~re"evidently not, of the same order,.¥ the·l~ter had always'to be thought of as. . ·&ubsidiary anQ.c1ependent on .the former. The gentry's interests could never, go. ,. up too far in the latency-ascendency axis for a long time. (Should this., happ.en, ,t~·character , -.~. ',-. a,feu~listic. of the empire woufd have been' substantially, altered and become ­ '. - . '. state,j. e" the bureaucratic system wou!d. h~vecollapsed. for good.). , '~r; were they recognized by the participants,themselves as' drastically opposed ~.. in the case of ,the Kachin village organization Nevertheless, the, facts that. .tAA1 w~re ~~te. involved in an antagonistic symbiosis, that they tended to varyin. :direction ,on. theascendency-lat~ncy a~isj. and, that inbalance between. I. '. :the, tw.Q tended to cause the, society, to move in a cyclical fashi.on, appear ·tobe ,-;" II), The mediating. fa~tors.. Two or .more antagonistic structures are often. of mediating, factors, so. ,, bddtogether in the same social system through a number . '.. ,. that direct confrontation between them is lessened, submerged, or, avoiOed. If. tM,~,Xtre:me. r~i~¥~teO). eff.ects of either structure are thereby extenuated or even neutralized,. may escape the tendencies of. cyc1jc~l. ..,... 73­ \. fluctuations discussed above,. I.

(32) and. app~ar. pretty stable.. . We mentioned earlier that the Thai society contains within its,elf both stropg individualism and explicit hierarchical stratification, which are apparently inco­ nsistent. How'the two are reconciled and made to function in the same society . has been described in a superbly perceptive way by Professor william J. Siffin in a recent book, The ThaiBureaucracy.t7 First, he says, contradictory values can flourish together as long as they are not commonly called upon at the same time, in the same type of situation, as the criteria for inducing or assessing behavior. In the Thai. case, stress on hierarchical status and individualism are buf­ fered furthermore by two prominent features of the society: a loose structuring, or high degree of permissivity of the social system, and the shallow paternalism in the reciprocal relationships among. superiors~nd. subordinates. 'F,he two are. interrelated. and together ,are related to t'Qe deeply internalized tenets of tlie Therevada Buddhism. Looseness of the SOCial structure suggests' a .certain separateness the man and the. system,' 'wherein. individual. self-defense. betw~en. mechariism. may operate to minimize the full impact of the hierachicalauthority. At the same time, although a superior's relationships with his subordinates may be broad and wide, social norms require that he be protective and permissive. --He may demand outer deference and receive it. But as this is onl1 attansitory world, and as final salvation is each individuars own 'r.eSponsibility, a good' superior should also respect the personal autonomy of his subordinates,. and avoid interferring too much in their private life. Thus in a very subtle way, ,. social. hierat~bization. in Thailand has proceeded to a great extent without. destroying the individual sense of integrity and autonomy. A corollary is ,PertiI}ent here. It is easy to see that the chance that allta­. ." gonistic structures' will' be bu.ffered pnd ameliorated by "some intermediary. I.

(33) \. proportionate~y. greater inqigger, decentralized, and relatively. ldifferentiated systems than in opposite casea. This fact explains partially, other comple~. equal, why ~tonoinOUS. multi structured systems -with a number of. subsystems are generally more stable than small and simple systems.. /. (. I. IIl)/ ·Ratioalization ·and suppression. Rationalisation .is here taken to mean . 'process of explaining away a not very pleasant fact by arguments that rational but are actually' irrational. It is a very c~mmOn ,self.:,.defense :flC\;uumsm, enabling i:me to preserve personality integrity (and, alas, personal atRnity) in face of conflicting values and actions. Like color glasses, it presents . th.e. subjec only those aspects of the situation that fit together and sijunts that logical analysis will reveal incongruent. It makes possible for one ..~shout: "Go to hell, Nigger" , on the way to the Sunday church service YWtthout a pinch on the conscience. Inconsistences of social structures are often ~. .. 'tovere<l up by rationalizations in similar way. This is not' to say, however, that. .. .. such'self-justifying acts are expressed on the conscious. level. formulated in .,. "". j. mailY words. More often· than not they are only implicit, lingering in ·the. nebulous domain of the subconscious. But the fact that they are there can often. eaSily be inferred from the How long a system is. actio~s. a~le. and occasional pronouncements of the actors.. to hold together conflicting structures through. the use of rationalisation depends on many factors, inCluding the nature of the. "conflict, the hierarchical positions of the strlictures.concerned, the extent to. "~hich they' are broug.ht out to the open,. the strength and resilieacyof the. subordinate structure; and other outside influences.. In tbe process, some con.,.. .. fIicts may be resolved in an enlightened and'logical way, while others intensified .. into violent struggles. But that social system will continue to seek temporary " balance among old and new antagonistic structures by rationalization seems to be a fact of life.. -75 -­. •.

(34) FinaHy,in treating antagonistic structures that come within the same system,. .. theposssibility that one structure may suppress another should not be over- '. ,. looked.' Suppression can, and often does, take place when two antagonistic structures begin to accelerate in the latency-ascendency cycle, when a structure. feels itself threatened by a former subordinate structure or tries to prevent the emergence of a new structure, and when the usual, symbiosis is believed to be no longer logic~l or necessary. A structure can suppress another by outlawing it. tbrough'legi~lative. acts, by social discriminatory plactices, by physical force,. or byariy other means presently at its commancl. It can use, to borrow'soIne felicitous terms from an organization. thebrist,28 either coercive assets, utili-­ tarim assets, normative assets, or any combination of the three. Some suppressive actions are used only to keep down an antagonistic structure i1) itsplace,while in other cases the aim is not less than its total elimination from the system. Whether, a.' structure will' be completely eliminated by ,force seems to depend less on its own strength-it counts, of course-:-than on whether substitute structures can, and soon enough, be f~und to provide the functions which it used to perform. Take an example. The symbiosis prevailing in many developing areas between the political elites and the. pariah entrepreneurs ha~. weakened considerably in recent times. In many cases, however,pariah. entrepreneurship is still.tolerated, ,though subjected ,to increasing, harassments, because it is found still profitable to the burgeoning national elites, and because suitable substitutes fail to develop as quickly as wereexpeced. 29 In those cases where it was forcibly, expunged, like in Turkey in the 1920's and in Indopesia in this decade, the econ9mic systems seem to have suffere4 considerably. The whole mechmism of suppression -and reaction is too complicated to allow detailed analysis within the limits of spac'e available. Suffice· it to say that as the structures that are. b~ing. .. suppressed geperally 00 not. -7&­. ta~e. their.

(35) 10tIlying low, a system will experience: more or less tension proportionate to. •. the violence of suppression taking plaCl:e w4hin it, and that it is lik,ely to change in face of high tensions. There is no way to: tell, however, in which direction it will change, because old and conservati:vestructures as well as. new . forces may resort to suppressive tactics and there is no· way to predict which . will come out triumphant; , we have discussed at some length the various ways by w·hich· different, ,. even antagonistic, structures can be held together· in· a social system. Insofar f. .. as the structures, are accommodated iil such ways that the system appears relatively stable, we may ,say that they are balanced. No social system, of course, is absolutely stable. But we may argue thatin'most traditional ;systems, change generally. iilvoled only a rearranging of old structures, and didn ot ' include essentially' new types of' behavior patterns. These did not appear unless there occurred also some disturbingly new forces in the environment, eitIter . endogenous or exogenous in origin. , ' As to. the stability potential of the different kinds of structures studied. . above, it is easy to see, first, that structur.s of considerable size and age would. be more stable than' smaller and newer ·ones. We may further hypothesize that. those structures which are relatively high in the scale of hierarchization and. able to effectively utiliZE: the environmentat., resources are more diffiauIt" to'. , '. dislodge.. The question of comparing differentiated and ,undifferentiated' structures in. this'respect is more difficult to answer. My. hypotb~8i$ 't ; '-' '. ~ ,"". is. that if the enviroment. remains relatively. constant, a differentiated structure should be more powerful and stable; first, because it has been developed to deal Jith one· particular aspect of the environment, and hence more efficiently; secondly, because it' has, cu'ltivated a quasi-organic interrelationship with other structures as to; become -7~-··. ~.

(36) almost. iridispensable: But should the environment change drastically, a highly differentiated, structure may become more vhlnerable in the sense that its continued existence has come to depend on larger and specific inputs, and on relationships with other structures and the general environment that have become so delicately complicated as to ,be able t()bear much disturbance. An undiffer­. ... entiated structure, on the other hand, tends to be less stringent on its input , '. .. requirements, and can still develop new capabilities in the direction more con­ .geneous to the new environment. In other words, a highly differentiated and hierar­ chi sized structure is apt to respond to the ~ challeoges of the new enviroqment with stereotyped reactions that are effective only in the old environment, while . an undifferentiated structure may be more open and adaptable. A handy illustra­ tion would be the tardiness and clumsiness of the imperial Chi,nese bureaucratic system in meeting in time the western challenges, itself being finally swept away by the new tide. Or take the analogy of man, one of. the. structurally most differentiated and powerful animals, who can only survive, however, within' very narrow limits of the environmental conditions, and is less able than many. -,. of the less differentiated organisms to. withstand great geological and climatic .. fluctuations. Waivingsucb drastic changes in the environment, however, we still like to think that structural differentiation is normally a source of greater power and stabilty.. ••. The' preceding discussion deals specifically ~ith the balancing of different types of structures, with the view to study how a system maintains itsstabi.,-, lity arid what makes it change. With the same objective in . mind, -we .now ,. turn to a more detailed analysis of functions. Since G. \A. Almond first -propagated it, a widely accepted assumption' ,. 10 - contemporary I. /. -78.. ~. functionalist.





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