We explore in this book, as the title states, the idea of a synthesis beteen East and West. We are speaking of a synthesis in the classic Hegelian sense. According to Hegel, history proceeds in such a way that the given order of things (called the thesis) generates a counter-order (called the antithesis.) The counter-order represnts a reaction to the order in the way that a counter-culture, for example, represents a reaction to the prevailing culture. The counter-order represents a remedy and correction for ways in which the prevailing order is lacking although it too may be lacking in ways that the prevailing order is not. The synthesis represents a combination of thesis and antithesis in such a way as to transcend both while combining the good points of each and remedying the defects both of status quo and reaction.
Synergy represents a situation in which the parts of a system interact in such a way as to enhance both the situation of the individual parts and also the system as a whole. By social synergy we mean a situation in which individual human beings act togetther in concert in such a way as to improve the lot of each individual and, consequently, the state of society as a whole. A society with increased synergy is a society in which the social mechanisms have been greased so as to eliminate the friction encountered in a more primitive society with the dividend devolving equally to the individuals involved. Therefore, everyone is at least as well off in the higher synergy society as he or she would have been in the more primitive lower synergy society. Individual values are preserved. The idea that individuals acting in concert and cooperatively might be able to enhance even such areas as individual rights and freedoms beyond the level attainable when individuals act from individual considerations alone, might seem novel at first. However, individuals acting without social consideration may individually and as a whole wind up less well off due to the "friction" engendered when they bump up against one another, the "friction" engendered by competition and conflict. This friction represents a price that must be subtracted from whatever good an individual is able to produce on his own when operating under these circumstances. Greasing the social mechanism means eliminating to some extent the friction involved in a more primitive form of social organization with a resulting social and individual dividend.
In addition synergy means an additional dividend that comes about by virtue of the fact that when individuals act cooperatively and in concert, the results can be greater than the sum of the individual results even without friction. This occurs when there obtains a situation of social resonance analogous to the concept of resonance in physics and engineering. The definition of resonance in engineering terms is: the condition of a circuit with respect to a given frequency or the like in which the net reactance is a minimum and the current flow is a maximum. In other words when the frequency of the excitation is right, the output results are maximized for a given level of input. Translating this in terms of our analogy, we say that social synergy is a state in which the optimal social and individual results occur with the minumum input of energy. These results may include individual rights and freedoms, goods and services and the results of collective decision-makingi.e.the political process among others. Selecting the right frequency to produce resonance in physical terms is analogous to selecting the right societal mechanism to produce synergy in social terms. Thus the criteria for social synergy are based on individual values, on what's good for the individual and not on some criterion external to the individual which may produce a smooth running social mechanism at the individual's expense.
In what sense do we speak of a synthesis between East and West? We postulate that the Eastern or Communist bloc represents the antithesis to the thesis represented by the Western bloc or Capitalist nations. The conflict between these two blocs represents the tension between thesis and antithesis that results in a new idea, a synthesis, that incorporates the best aspects of each, rejects the negative aspects, and transcends both systems. We explore in this book a synthesis between East and West which preserves and enhances individual values, political, economic and social, while strengthening the social values of man's responsibility to his fellow man. In many ways, on the level of values, we don't find the East and West to be in conflict. Despite the assertion of Western values as something superior to the values held by the Eastern bloc, we find that at the values level, East and West are in essential agreement. So the synthesis we speak of does not occur on this level. Even on the political level, the value of both East and West is democracy. However, the present-day reality in both East and West leaves much to be desired. In this book we break theoretical ground which allows for an expansion of democracy that is equally applicable to East and West. An expansion of democracy in the world is desirable but it does not represent a synthesis. It is on the economic level that a true synthesis is likely to occur: a synthesis between capitalism and communism. The theoretical development that allows for an expansion of democracy also, when applied to the economic sphere, allows for a synthesis which suggests the development of a market-oriented economy responsive to individual demand in which each individual holds one and only one share of the economic power. Thus socialism is made responsive to individual demand and capitalism is converted from economic anarchy and aristocracy to economic democracy. A restoration to the individual of his functional prerogatives taken away by large-scale institutions in both East and West becomes possible. Power, both political and economic, is divided and maintained equally among all individuals so that the individual is empowered in his or her personal sphere and brought into balance with others in the sphere of collective decision-making.
As we approach the year 2000, the planet Earth is indeed at a crossroads in terms of its societal development. Two competing social systems, both to some extent in a state of decline, hold themselves up as models for the entire globe. Both seem to be exhausting themselves with problems inherent in the logical outworkings of their own dynamics as well as with internecine competition. A leap of faith and imagination is needed to resolve the internal contradictions of both systems, preserve the values and ideals of each and create a model in which peaceful cooperation among all individuals becomes the basis for mankind.