This article was written by tovarisch A. G. Dovgan in 2005. From what it sounds it is a follow-up on publications of comrade Gulenko and most of the text in quotes is from Gulenko's work. I've translated parts 1-4 and 6 and skipped parts 5 and 7 as they didn't sound very interesting.
"Left/right" dichotomy is also known as process/result and has been described in Gulenko's article on cognitive styles as evolution/involution.
Part One: "Two vectors of social progress"
1. Evolution and involution as two vectors of social progress.
The founder of Socionics, Aushra Augustinavichiute, introduced the concept of social progress as the essence of the functioning of the collective mind of the socion. According to her opinion, "every type carries out its own part of the social request - the social function of its own intellect."
"The four rings of the social request are a simple and reliable system for converting the needs and concerns of all types into the system of social requests - this is the engine of progress, that manifests in emergence of new ideas and their subsequent implementation into reality" (A.A. "The theory of intertype relations").
The four rings of social progress can be divided into two parts - "right" and "left" or rings of "evolution" and "involution" that separate the dual dyads within each quadra. The "right" evolutionary direction of social request is characterized by movement from 1st to 4th quadra, in the left involutionary direction - from 4th to 1st quadra. The right ring of progress realizes the main direction of social development, while the left ring corrects this process and creates variants of social growth.
Common approaches to the understanding of the two directions of social progress as a process of evolution and involution are described in the V.V. Gulenko's "On the Waves of Aging and Renewal: Progress orientation in combination with Jungian characteristics" 07.01.1996, Kiev. He examines the concept of evolution and involution in several ways.
1. In general philosophical terms:
2. In biological terms:"Evolution reflects ontogenesis - that is, the deployment of existing capacity; involution - epigenesis, the emergence of new forms, folding, accumulation and storing of the energy, leading to sudden bursts of new life. Evolution unfolds the spiral of development into a straight line, defining its horizontal trajectory. Involution to the contrary winds this spiral, thus encoding new frontiers of development - its vertical trajectory. Evolutionary development is characterized by smoothness and uniformity. Involutionary development is intermittent and irregular."
Evolution and involution reflect two sides of the Darwin's law of natural selection.
3. In cybernetic terms:"The emergence of mutations is nothing else but involution, the dominance of left forms. Their selection or reinforcement in the process of adaptation corresponding to the evolution, the predominance of right forms."
Left types disturb the homeostasis, and restoring it is responsibility of the right types. Victory of one of these directions leads to certain death. Such deaths will be different. "Right" death comes from the gradual cooling, fading, falling into old age. "Left" death is quick, it comes from overheating, oversaturation of the organism leading to an explosion, the overabundance of youth."
Thus, to summarize and supplement the above statements, the two directions of development can be described as follows."Evolution, or a circular progression, corresponds to a negative feedback, and involution - to positive. Involution leads to unstable exponential growth. Evolution leads to stabilization of the parameters vital to life.
"Right" progress means preservation and repeatability. Over time it gradually fades because such development represents aging, gradual deterioration. There is a loss of energy, but accumulation of more and more information. Involution ... occurs as a sharp jolt; steep change, sharp phase transition. In other words, the movement from old to new, rejuvenation, revitalization. ... Involution winds into a coil, concentrating the energy required for sudden push. This accumulation of energy is proportional to the loss of information resources of the system."
Evolutionary development takes place gradually and is characterized by increasing complexity of the social systems, transfer of energy of people and natural resources into information and its reification amidst the prosperity of civilization.
Involutionary development proceeds rapidly and irregularly. It is characterized by mutations, jumps, simplification and reorganization of the social system, winding of social information and the release of social energy. It is the movement in reverse, from artificial civilization to the natural environment.
Evolutionary progress, passing the stages of childhood and adolescence, leads to a highly developed society that is overloaded with information. This movement proceeds through violent stages that waste of energy and eventually to the slow fading amidst the excess of information and culture. The evolutionary development of a human being in its hypertrophied form leads to the appearance of "homo-computerus" possessing massive brain but an atrophied body, living in a completely artificial technologically processed and modified environment. Information processes of such person are so complicated (due to the need to control such overly complicated style of life) that their management takes up a lion's share of this person's time and energy.
Involutionary path goes in the opposite direction, from old age to young, from death to rebirth. This is the path of rejuvenation, regeneration, stripping of information of society and release of social energy. This is the path bath from society burdened and overloaded with information and complexities into "society of energy". Involutionary progress leads to simplification of life but an excess of vital energy, the restoration of harmony with the natural environment. In its hypertrophied form it leads to conversion of civilized society back to more primitive, traditional forms.
The evolutionary development of society is particularly important in the early stages, when it is necessary to ensure rapid growth, progress and increasing complexity of social systems. Involutionary development is corrective - it returns to the society to the peak of its productivity. Its value is especially important when one wants to reform society, clear out the debris of accumulated problems, make the overly complicated ineffective systems become manageable once again, i.e. for preventing premature aging of society.
Lets call the state where social system and individuals exist in a balanced state with respect to information and energy as "optimal". This state corresponds to the transition phase between youth and maturity. It represents blending of the peak of the vital forces with social productivity. At the 2002 conference, V.V. Gulenko has stated that in the quadra progression one can notice a prolonged struggle between 2nd and 3rd quadra, which take turns to displace each other in the struggle for power. This phenomenon reflects the self-correcting mechanism of society aimed at extending the optimal phase. During this phase there are periodic returns from the 3rd quadra of maturity to the 2nd quadra of youth - the process of involution. Thus the alternation of the processes of evolution and involution are necessary for the maintenance of society at its optimum. The evolution guides society along the path of progress, while involution prevents its premature aging.
The evolutionary direction of development (conversion of energy into information) dominates and according to the law of entropy of energy it wins in the end. Then society leaves the pulsating phase of struggle between the central quadras and slides into prosperous extinguishment in phase of the 4th quadra, which can last a very long time in its intact relic state, until in enough energy is accumulated in involutionary processes to start a new life cycle.
2. Differences between left and right types.
The evolutionary/involutionary orientation of types is an important defining factor in their styles of thought and behavior. Lets consider the differences between evolutionary (right) and involutionary (left) types at four levels: physical, psychological, intellectual and social.
2.1. Physical level.
2.1.1. Orientation of activity towards process or result.
2.1.2. Rate of activity.Left types can produce results basing on poorly functioning process. They start from larger parts and leave smaller parts for the later. Right types excel at coordinating and fine-tuning of the processes. While working they are scrupulous. They work through material carefully, taking into consideration all the details.
2.2. Psychological level.For the right types there is characteristic tendency for smoothness and consistency, for the left types - sharpness, on-off action, as well as changes to new occupations.
2.2.1. Priorities in interpersonal communication.
2.2.2. Features of their inner world.Manifestations of negative personality traits when communication distances are large and positive traits at short distances are characteristic of involutionary types. The reverse is true for the evolutionary types. Left types thus more accommodating in close-range communication, while right types are more accommodating at a distance.
In my opinion, the psychology of left and right types differs in level of development and orientation with respect to conscious and unconscious.Inner world of left types is arranged simpler than that of the right types. It contains less controversy and is thus more integrated and harmonious. However, such a distribution of psychological "charge" is compensated by opposite properties of their environment. Environment that surrounds left types is usually complicated and ambiguous. Their living conditions are often unstable and unpredictable. Permanently residing in zones of conflict and frequent changes in priorities does not deter left types, but conversely, it is their preferred environment. Right types can normally exist only if their environment is simple and unambiguous and prevents sudden changes.
Right types have a better developed conscious framework, greater complexity of mental processes, thoughts, behavior, and more complexities in their social rituals. They focus on maintenance of reputation, which determines the particular significance of right type in complicated hierarchies of modern society. Right types are, however, more internally conflicted with their unconscious, which often leads to discharge of the conflict in a way of various psycho-social excesses that involve large numbers of other right types, as well as to cooling of the relationships between right types at close psychological distances.
Left types have a simple and natural conscious framework. They are more in harmony with the unconscious than right types. Left types behavior and thinking is more simple and natural. This makes left type generally more harmonious and content, as well as prone to avoid participation in mass movements and excesses. However, this simplicity in conscious framework makes left type less adaptable to the complexities of life in modern society, to elaborate collective rituals in professional and public spheres. They compensate for this by adapting well to coordinated work within small groups.
2.3. Intellectual level.
Right types think in greater complexity and detail, which makes their thought process slower and more energy-consuming. However, their intellectual products are well thought out in intended direction. The strength of the right thinking is in its artificial refinement and thoroughness. The disadvantage is the slower processing, delayed delivery of results, as well as "tunnel vision" - while studying the details of a particular case, right types can lose sight of the broader perspective. Voluminous supercomplex writing and productions are result of the focused work of the minds of right types, which are the engines of mental progress. They spend a lot of effort on this process, arriving at excellent results.Left types start from the general and progress towards the specifics. Right types start from specifics and progress towards the general. These two information paths in formal logic are called deduction and induction. These differences in thinking have a visible impact on activities such as reading books, writing articles, and public speaking. Involutionary types have a tendency to start reading books from the end, first inspect the overall findings, end results, and only then to trace how the author arrived there. When an involutionary type states his thoughts, he is more comfortable doing the presentation by first stating the general principles and resulting patterns, and only after proceeding to explain details and give specific examples. Evolutionary type is inclined to perceive and present information exactly in the opposite way. He is more comfortable reading a book at it was written without jumping ahead. When evolutionary type acts, he first provides details, starting axioms, evidence at hand, and only then, towards the end he formulates final conclusions.
Left types are inclined to simplify the information. Their thinking is quick and provides a raw product that needs further refinement. The strength of left thinking is in the natural simplicity, the generalized full-scope view of the problems and quick delivery of results. Its disadvantages are excessive conciseness of presentation of information, as well as inattention to details that may be crucial to the case. Thinking of the best representatives of the left types has brilliant simplicity, completeness and clarity. It winds information, grasping the main aspects of understanding and controlling the situation, achieving rapid results with simple methods.
2.4. Social level.
2.4.2. Working in groups.At this level, the difference between left and right types can be described simply as "nature - civilization." Nature is uncivilized: it contains no state-honored traditions, laws, philosophies and religions. Civilization is unnatural: morality professed by a civilized society, cannot be derived from laws of nature that essentially boil down to a struggle for existence. Left types are closer to living and modeling such natural existence, and right type - to civilized society.
Right type thus gravitate to work in large organizations in which positive relationships with employees of other departments and divisions can offset the tougher close range communication within their small group, as well as frequent dissonance and competition between departments. Left types gravitate towards well-coordinated work within smaller groups where work and communication are not strictly regulated, where working hours are flexible and there is greater freedom of self-expression.Due to the fact that involutors communicate negatively on foreign territory, it is difficult for them to unite into larger groups. Negative attitude toward strangers does not allow them to form larger groups. They have a tendency to work in small groups where there is room for informal communication. By contrast, evolutionary types work well in organized large groups. However, working in small groups is difficult to them because upon closing distance in communication they become more intolerant.
The differences in underlying psychology and cognitive styles of right and left types often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts, where the trend is to displace left types from convoluted large organizations and public management at the highest level. In my opinion, left types only land into such positions when a need to simplify and reorganize arises, when overly elaborate processes start costing in efficiency of organizations and society.
3. Distinguishing characteristics of right and left directions of progress and their settings within the structure of society.
Right-progress reflects the movement in society at macro-level, at the level of large organizations. It is characterized by smooth step-wise development, a selection from numerous mutations and innovations those most suitable for mass replication for the whole of society. Of the many models of development right types mark the most prominent ones, politically reinforce them and put them into consistently implementation. Right progress reflects the cyclical movement from 1st to 4th quadra as the main program of the evolutionary development of society. Left progress, to the contrary, is the movement within society at micro levels. It is characterized by abrupt, uneven development, innovations and permutations. Left progress is the movement from 4th to 1st quadra. It serves as an internal correction of the evolutionary development. If the process of involution knocks the system out of equilibrium, there exists a risk of damage from overcharging. To counter this, society includes a powerful stabilizing mechanism of evolution.
In society the evolutionary vector is the dominant one. In terms of socionic this can be explained by the following.
First, the differences between left and right types as was discussed above. Right types are directed at work in large groups, left types - in small groups. Due to their orientation at complexity of thought and behavior in social rituals, right types perform better than left types at management of overly-complicated processes of social management at the macro level.
Second, V.V. Gulenko expressed empirically supported idea of the existence of central (2nd and 3rd quadra) and peripheral (1st and 4th quadra) types, according to which society is dominated by the central types. Indeed, according to our observations, these types are the most common and visible ones on the social level, while presence of left types in comparison is much lower.
The dominance of right types can be explained not only simply by superiority in their numbers and complexity of their organizations. V.V. Gulenko has also proposed an idea about the presence of a type that gets pushes out within the struggle for existence between the central quadra (2nd and 3rd) - the left introverted type. In the 2nd quadra, the displaced type is the IEI, who is a peacemaker and harmonizer within its militant quadra. In the third quadra, the displaced type is the ESI, who restrains the pragmatic onslaughts of others types of its quadra by moral objections. Thus in the composition of the right types the central types are fully represented - EIE, LSI, SEE, ILI. Among left types the central "combat" group is represented only by two types - SLE and LIE, while both left introvert types become displaced.
This tendency for right types to predominate was also noticed by other authors. A.V. Boukalov in his work on the relations between perinatal Grof matrices and worldviews of the types ("On the mechanism of formation of functions of informational metabolism in the process of formation of an individual") writes that within the context of the political struggle in society the political arena is often held by two types, EIE and LSI, the struggle of which eventually ends with the victory of the LSI.
This is exactly what we can see happening on the political scene of the modern Ukraine. Viktor Yushchenko (LSI) and Yulia Tymoshenko (EIE) are now the leaders of political Olympus, as the left types such as Yanukovych and Poroshenko (both SLEs) were gradually displaced from central positions as soon as the crisis stage was over. This I see mostly as the result of left type being orientated at operating in small groups, as well as the simplicity of their thought and behavior and unwillingness to delve deeply and respond adequately to the complexities of political life, and inability to effectively manage complicated processes of social development in the quiet periods of history.Essentially (and this is a global problem of socio-political value) this raises a question of what kind of people are suited for high-ranking positions. There is no doubt that when it comes to imposing limits, coercion against the individual, even if for "his own good," the administrative system and "correctional camps," we are talking about the representatives of the ? quadra. It is important to know that in a group composed from competing representatives of this quadra, the dyad that wins is LSI-EIE, eliminating the corrective dyad SLE-IEI. Within this dyad the winner is LSI, a type prone to dictatorship. To this form of control another type is also predisposed, LII, but in another form.
However, left types are called to the social Olympus in times of crisis, when it is necessary to reform the overly complicated and ineffective processes or in the face of danger in times of war. This is why Vladimir Gulenko in the theory of ekfinal groups called the central left types the group of reforms, the right central - the group of repair of social processes.
4. Social and psychological meaning of relations of request and revision [benefit and supervision]
The founder of Socionics, Aushra Augustinavichiute, introduced the concept of social progress as a key concept and the very essence of functioning of the collective mind of the socion, which forms a complete over-organism or a unit of social intelligence, being the highest form of organization of psychic energy, the energy unit of humanity, which consists of the sum of the sixteen Socionics types and relations between them. Socionics also generates according to Aushra new branch of social science - "sotsiomatika", that examines the social structure of society and intertype relationships.
According to Aushra, "every type of intelligence does its part of the social request - the social function of its own intellect." This socioprogress she relates to the transfer of the momentum within the rings of benefit from benefactor to the beneficiary, as well as with the control of the fulfillment of the request by relations of revision.
Beneficiary perceives the momentum of the benefactor and strives to solve the problems that were formulated by the benefactor. Revisor impedes the revisee and the benefactor from getting close, making the revisee realize this request in society rather than in dyad of request. Relations of benefit are described by Aushra as mysterious relation of hypnosis while revision - as terrible relations of psychological repression. V.V. Gulenko has formulated the essence of request and revision relations differently: social request as a transfer of the energy pulse or inclusion into work and revision as information transfer and shutdown from work, the correction by revisor of the behavior of revisee.
The essential social value of relations of benefit/request lies in activating effect that the benefactor has on beneficiary, a forced inclusion in socially meaningful activities and in informational imitation by the benefactor of the beneficiary that allows for the quadra progression to happen.
The essential social value of relations of revision/supervision lies on one hand in the correction of the fulfillment of the request by the supervisor and in suppression of inadequate behavior of the revisee, and on the other hand in assisting supervisee in resolving problems that are too difficult to him to solve.
In my opinion, the informational and energy transactions should both be considered.
Social request provides the energy transfer from the benefactor to the beneficiary, unilateral unconscious programming by the benefactor of the activities of the beneficiary, including him into work. Benefactor creatively and suggestively influences the beneficiary (transaction between functions 2 and 5), pushing on the behaviorist energy lever that works according to the principle of "stimulus-response" (transaction between 1st and 8th functions), thus activating work of the vital ring of beneficiary. Beneficiary automatically tries to realize the programming that was passed onto him by benefactor.
While energy moves from benefactor to beneficiary, information travels in the opposite direction. Benefactor inspects abilities of the beneficiary and in some time tries to imitate them. Beneficiary thus activates the benefactor (transaction from 1st to 6th function) transferring over the information about creative methods of action (transaction f2->f7) that extend and widen narrow standards of the benefactor in the aspects of 7th function, as well as give a simpler but more adequate program of behavior for benefactor's 4th function (transaction from 7th to 4th function).
Thus in the ring of benefit there is one-sided automatic unwinding of the energy on account of benefactor exerting influence on behavioral lever of beneficiary f1->f8 (in quasi-identical relations this energy unwinding is mutual, the request is sent both ways).
Revision or social control transfers information from revisor to revisee, enabling the movement of information along the mental ring. Revisor transfers information from 1st function to the weak 4th function of revisee, and receives information reinforcement of its 2nd function. At the same time the energy is switched off, which manifests as demoralization of the revisee as revisor shuts off the revisee (f1->f8). Revisee unconsciously influences the revisor (f8->f5) and offers an acceptable program (f7->f8). Revisor from one hand corrects inadequate behavior of the revisee and from the other hand offers support in revisee's inadequate 4th function.
Thus in rings of benefit and revision the energy and information are moving in different directions. In relations of request/benefit, the energy is transferred from beneficiary to benefactor, forming a chain of one-sided activation, while in relations of revision the energy moves from revisee to revisor, forming one-sided chain of protection, when revisor catches the flag that the revisee is no longer able to carry forward.
At the same time, information is moving in the opposite direction. In relations of request/benefit, information moves from beneficiary to the benefator. In this sense, what occurs is called "reverse request" (term introduced by Gulenko), the main social attribute of which is imitation, due to which the values of one quadra are transferred to the next one within society or organization. For example, an EIE benefactor will imitate an SEE beneficiary, losing its ideological angle and becoming infused by values of freedom and prosperity. LSI benefactor will imitate an ILI, become more cautious, skeptical, pragmatic.
The main part of the transaction of "reverse request" is in transfer from 2nd to 7th function. Beneficiary creatively shows the benefactor examples of new kind of behavior. 7th function is normative, it accrues the knowledge and know-how of others, adjusts values, it also possesses dual type of thinking.
In relations of revision, information flows from revisor to revisee (transfer from f2->f1 and f1->f4). This information is received well by the revisee due to common style of thinking and is transferred further down the revision chain.
Energy exchange in relations of revision flows smoothly when there is one-sided chain of assistance. However, if one tracks the direction of assistance that was provided then the concept of "reverse revision" should be considered. In this type of revision, revisee incites revisor into action by demonstrating its weakness. Revisor then grabs the flag from his hands and helps revisee solve the problems pertaining to his 4th function.
It can be said, that introduction of new quadra values (movement of information) happens in the direction of the psychologically weaker dyad with the energy support of the benefactor and the informational correction of the revisor. Psychologically stronger dyad as if passes on the torch of new goals and values to the psychologically weaker recipients. However on energetic plane, the reverse exchange happens when the stronger dyad replaces the weak dyad when it encounters unsolvable problems. It must be taken into account that on social level it is the central quadras that dominate (2nd and 3rd) while peripheral quadras often perform supporting roles.
Description of social roles of right and left types by V.V. Gulenko
Armorers - Left introverted types who tighten the spring of socio-progress, they extract the energy needed for forward movement and supply it (arm) the follow-up group with everything that is needed for a breakthrough.
Fighters - Left extroverted types, the most active, energetic, and determined in terms of finding new potential. They provide for a powerful burst in energy that was concentrated by the previous group of armorers.
Surfers - Right extraverts, they are carried to the top and surf the previous tumultuous wave of social progress. They do not extract energy, neither do they carry it, but they know how to channel it into the right direction. Among them most often one can find preachers of ideologies aimed at explaining mass discontent, or politicians that rose to their positions due to their skill being able to talk representing the masses, nations or particular layers of society.
Evacuators - Right introverts, they dissipate the energy of social movements, clear out the territory for future events. Their distinctive trait - desire to suppress any emotional outbursts, smooth out any critical periods.
6. Progress orientations in business. Distinguishing characteristics of left and right teams.
6.1 Characteristics of involutionary types and "left" organizations.
Thinking of left types, both dynamic synergetic and static holographic, gravitates towards simplicity, brevity and haste. In behavior and decision making left types are prompt and oriented at getting the result quickly. They prefer to work in spurts, with frequent turns and switches between activities, at times returning back in order to improve upon their results. Distinct periods of ups and downs can be seen in their work, periods of rapid expenditure of energy and resources and subsequent re-accumulation. This is more acceptalbe for business practices that are tolerant of uneven activity.
Left types are most accommodating at close distances and more intolerant of having to work at greater distances, therefore they prefer to work in small groups and small organizations where they can keep up favorable relations with members of their team. In these groups they go by simple and efficient schemes that are devoid of extraneous complexities. They are inclines to simplifying their activities and winding up the information. Groups composed of left types are abundant in energy which they freely put to use towards group projects.
The simplicity of activities of left groups and speed with which they process information makes them flexible and readily responsive to outside changes. The disadvantages of this kind of simplicity is that there is certain primitivity to the group structure and business processes, use of simple tools and technologies, which at times produces mediocre results.
6.2 Characteristics of evolutionary types and "right" organizations.
Thinking of right types, both dynamic dialectic and static causal-deterministic, gravitates towards complexity, thoroughness, attention to detail and therefore requires more time to achieve results. Their behavior and decisions are relatively unhurried, focused on the process, taking into account all the subtleties of the situation. Teams composed of right types work more smoothly, consistently and evenly, spending energy and resources in a planned manner, avoiding work overloads. This is more acceptable to businesses that rely on complex organization and detailed planning.
The right types more accommodating at distances and less tolerant at proximity. Therefore they tend to work best in large groups and organizations, where reputation is maintained and relative softness with other teams but more strict relations are permitted within them. Large organizations of right type are characterized by multi-level hierarchical organizational structure and operating procedures, large scale operations that require efforts of many people, putting forth result of collective work.
The disadvantages of such organization is that they suffer from excessive formalization and bureaucratization that renders them inflexible. There is delay in response time to the changing external environment, repression of creative energy of workers and freedom of expression. More competitive relations within teams can also lead to internal competition and intrigues, which undermine effectiveness and productivity.