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.
Pandemics health, economic, and environmental
While social alchemy has many dimensions such as political, cultural, geographical, and economical, aspects of its social perception binds these elements 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.
A pandemic is usual seen as epidemic that spreads beyond its regular area of infection.
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.
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 industrialist and so called third world countries short sided energy development policies learned mostly from colonist forces has clearly led to the wide world spread of global warming and it’s harmful pact of earth biosphere. It is the biosphere and our ecosphere upon which our human immunity is dependent whether we have the perception to realize it or not.
Productive and responsible social alchemy grasps interdependence of social, cultural, and environmental system. The lack of awareness and misuse of these relationship have plagued mankind though out human history. The Black Plague or the Great Depression were both events 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 negative social alchemy: socially, environmentally, and culturally. Sometimes this is called struggle for control of nature verse nurture, traditions, religions, genetic and DNA manipulation.
In the the end, how do humans avoid fostering destructive tracts like institutional narcissism or some of excessive hedonistic traits? Sumerian, Egyptian and Greek all had embedded aspect of cultural behavioral manipulation in some some form or another and the seed can still be found today. The concept of supreme leaders, slaves, type of gender relationship and the use of natural resources are all avtive of passive social alchemy.
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 the long term impact of 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 conceptual relation is taught is primary school usual relates to biology or ecosystems in America.
While many of the details of what Interdependent Living Systems are may be forgotten, their essence may be maintain just like religious or cultural ideas. All these primary perceptional way of seeing self and others can last long term with just occasional creative reinforcement.
Some elements are presented 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.