The origins of social alchemy can be found in key places and periods of world history. Its form, function and impact on living interacting systems is constantly changing.
While social alchemy has many dimensions such as political, cultural, geographical, and economical, aspects of its social perception binds these elements together and others together.
The health pandemic known as Covid-19, that spread all over the world from late 2019 on, is a example of how human behavior whether intentionally or not can impact the human condition and therefore social change.
Pandemics health, economic, and environmental
A pandemic is usual seen as epidemic that spreads beyond its regular area of infection.
Social Pandemic: A social example of this is when one nation state has a very high level of economic poverty and it creates a perception of pending a economic pandemic being created by near states. This can be seen as social policy when one country closes it physical border to reduce the chance of poor migrants entering and not having economic meaning to support themselves. This same strategy has been used to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the winter of 2020.
Environmental Pandemic: Barry Commoner and others describe trends in industrial over use of fossil fuel around the world in the 1980s and the possible impact of human health and the environment. The cause and effect relationship was clear of the misuse dangerous energy sources. The unenlightened industrial and so called third world countries short sided energy development policies has clearly led to the world spread of global warming and it’s harmful pact of earth biosphere. It is the biosphere and our ecophere upon which our human immunity is dependent.
Productive and responsible social alchemy grasps interdependence of social, cultural, and environmental system. The lack of awareness and misuse of these relationship have plague mankind though out human history. The Black Plague or the Great Depression were both event to some extent caused by a lack of understanding the independence living systems or corruption of such knowledge.
Some will say that hedonism is primary part of the human condition. In reality it is primary part of human interaction programming or element of social alchemy: socially, environmentally, and culturally. Sometimes this is called nature verse nurture, tradition, religion, genetic and DNA manipulation. In the the end how do humans avoid the fostering itself destructive tracts like institutional narcissism or some of excessive hedonistic traits of Sumerian, Egyptian and Greek that are embedded in some cultural around world?
In there time, some powerful social alchemists, politicians and religious leaders did not and could not see the parasitic relationships they were creating to the environment and long term social structure they were creating. Then again others though they were immune actions that they were taking. Alexander the Great could not have imaged that biology would kill him, and not a glorious death in battle.
Interdependent Living Systems
One key part of social alchemy which often forgotten, marginalized, over simplified and just abused are independent living systems. All living things exist in relationship to other living and none things things in various ways. These relationships can be simple, complex and rather creative. In grade school students may learn about symbiosis and competition as basic independence living system. This concept is when taught is primary school usual relates to biology or ecosystems.
Some elements taught in the context of Interdependent Living Systems studying: Living Things and Their Environments
- Mutualism: in this relationship both living this benefit from a relationship.
- Commensalism: In this relationship one or more organism clearly benefits from the relationship, but other do not, nor are they harmed.
- Parasitism: In this relationship one or more organism clearly benefits from the relationship, the other living things are harmed.
Human Social Interdependent Living Systems
There are various western concepts human interdependence. The Social Interdependence notions may be the basic ones which lead to other dependencies.
Another way of viewing this is variation of general systems theory.