Societies develop through stages of growth just as individuals do, and these stages in some ways parallel the stages of development of consciousness of an individual. Stages of social development include both the evolution of values and  development of knowledge. Human beings are born with instincts that are both fulfilled and restrained by social organization. For example, security is a basic need that causes an individual operating alone in a jungle (society, version 0.0) to constantly have to defend himself. However, if he belongs to a society that defends the entire society with a military and local police (society, version 1.0), the individual is both much more secure, but also restrained by limits to force he is allowed to use against others.

A comparison between individual stages and stages of social consciousness was developed in this post.

The chart below shows the stages of social development:

Stages of Society

Social Stage

Individual Counterpart

Political Structure


LLPH Version

State of Nature

Biological Impulses (Instinct)

Individual Strength

Gangs, Warlords, Mafia


Command Society

Child: Rules define boundaries

Military Rule

Babylonian Empire


Virtuous Society

Youth: Virtues define good behavior

Social Contract

Roman Republic


Principled Society

Science and Reason

Rational Principles

US Constitution


Integral Society

Mature Wisdom

Integral Institutions



Version 0.0 described what Thomas Hobbes called “the State of Nature.” At this stage people are guided by biological impulses, including mating, plunder, and fight or flight. The formation of clans is based on mating, while the formation of gangs is based on personal survival.

Version 1.0 is based on military conquest and imposition of conquerors rules and commands. Over time, laws develop that allow for happiness of the people, and therefore the stability of the regime. Hammurabi’s code, from which the Ten Commandments can be derived, is an example of a promulgated code that led to the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness by those under the king’s rule, while he is in power.

Version 2.0 is based on a social contract. This system is organized and agreed upon by members of a society. The classic example is the Twelve Tables of Rome, adopted by the Patricians (ruling class) and the Plebians (working class) after the workers went on a prolonged republic-wide work stoppage. This system provided life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for those party to the social contract.

Version 3.0 is based on rational and scientific principles that analyze the flow of power and create a constitutional rule of law to provide maximum freedom for people governed by the constitution. The early rational stage often finds faults with virtues or commands that fall outside the bounds of principles, rather than transcending and including them, which is an integral approach.

Version 4.0 is based on and integral view of a complex society in which rational and scientific principles lie behind a variety of political, economic, and cultural institutions that are an interrelated organic system. (Analogous to the interrelationship of organs in the human body).




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