Wholism, Synergy and Symbiosis

Wholism, Synergy and Symbiosis - by P.K.Odendaal - July 2015.

So I am again delving deeply into things sinister and profound. What do these three things have in common and how does it affect us? Superficially I think that they are all important to us, but somehow this generation has sold them down the river, when in fact they are crucial to our survival - individually or as a race.
There are at least three definitions of Wholism or Holism and the one that I will be using here is the philosophical and political one which states that the whole is stronger or better than the sum of its parts. The extra strength is not in this case because the parts are just fitted strongly together, but rather the notion that the whole takes on a life of its own as it applies to groups because of synergy. In a group almost all the individuals are stronger than what they are individually because of the synergy which can easily develop in such groups.


'No man is an island' goes the saying and it points to how our survival depends not only on us but also on other people. That is why we form groups, families and nations, because that enables us to live and survive when our enemies become too powerful for us or our resources get too limited for our existence. Conventional wisdom has it that small nations should have powerful allies like in an older brother.
The point is, however, that numbers or size do not count. No group can survive if there is no synergy in it, meaning that they should feel and think the same and then act in unison. If they are not the same, then the group will split up and probably form a competing group. In such an event they can still act together if there is some life-giving driving force that binds them together symbiotically, very vividly demonstrated by small fishes cleaning debris off big fishes which can swallow them in half a bite, but do not do that in lieu of the favour they have received. As long as they are beneficial to each other's existence then the symbiosis and peace will continue even if they are drastically different in size, purpose and ambition and even when they are enemies in an uneasy peace. One such an example is the symbiosis between capital and labour. It may also be compared to a host/parasite relationship which is good for both and if we really need to get technical it can be compared to a master/slave relationship, so beautifully exposed by Sartre.
All this is clear and common sense, but what is not so common sense is: what are the prerequisites for such a relationship or what are the necessary and sufficient conditions for these phenomena to work effectively or beneficially.
If we start at a group with the same aims and objectives, we find that they should be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind. We can then say that this like-mindedness is a necessary and sufficient condition for synergy to be manifested in the group. What about the other culprits - wholism and symbiosis? Are they a whole as is necessary for wholism? Yes. Can there be a parasitic relationship between individuals in this group? Yes.
Let us look at disparate groups who are of the same mind amongst themselves but widely divergent from another group. Can wholism and synergy reign between the groups? For sure not. What are the necessary and sufficient conditions for two such groups to cooperate and even if they are so divergent and even sometimes belligerent? We need a parasitic or master slave relationship between them. Symbiosis here is the necessary and sufficient ingredient.
And that brings me to my remark at the start. We have sold our long term survival down the river because we have dumped the concept of synergy, wholism and symbiosis and have exchanged that for individualism, self worship, own satisfaction and self reverence and own interest. It cannot work in the long term. Nations have lost their cohesion due to globalisation and cosmopolitance as well as human rights and classifying all drastically different people as being the same. There can be no synergy in such groups and nations.
Without me knowing it I have here stumbled upon the reason why people make war - be it groups, nations or groups of nations. Why are the residents of neighbouring towns enemies for life all over the world. They are both wholistic, both have synergy and both are in symbiosis in their own right - the baker delivers bread to the butcher who delivers meat to the baker and so on. The reason lies in the scarcity of resources. These two towns are almost identical in their makeup and vie for the same type of resources. There can be no synergy or symbiosis between them.
This concept pervades the whole planet and when two groups or two nations vie for the same resource then its war. I must confess that my model is not perfect, but I am sure my concepts are, and it will need somebody to construct a model of this to establish the critical mass of these three elements to determine when war is imminent.
Tolstoy asks the question why two battalions from different nations kill each other with canons whilst they do not even know each other and they have no ill will towards each other. The answer is that they are vying for the same resources and those resources are life threatening stuff. In fact, these days oil and religion have become the commodities of conflict.


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