Problems with "the social" are emergent properties of the social1. Since they are properties, we're unlikely to fix them on a grander scale. You aren't so much "fixing" these problems, anyways: You suppress them (which isn't meant to suggest that that's always a bad thing). But suppression is work, takes infrastructure. The bigger the social structure you try to keep "in order" (like a gardener) the bigger the work. This is why suppression only works for self selected (or lucky), small groups with aligned interests and supporting structures (resources, established processes, a shared and actively maintained history2, …). Teams, clubs, activist and research groups, etc. have the best chances to successfully suppress some of the more nastier but nonetheless naturally occurring characteristics of the social. It really is a jungle out there.


  1. "the social" as opposed to the "the cultural" puts the focus on the interactions of and within collectives of actors (whereas the cultural is more concerned with learned and taught behaviors); it's meant to suggest that these interactions lead to emergent properties, some good, some bad. And it emphasizes the universal validity of this, instead of claiming that this is only true in certain cultures. ↩︎

  2. "a shared and actively maintained history" could also be a new history in the making. I realize that it could be read as xenophobic. What I meant is that you share and build a common mythology and a common set of values. This is where culture comes in. ↩︎