The deepest trends of
notion of New Stage Revolution rests on the
emergence of several factors. Probably, the main
one is the process of unbending.
By process of
unbending, I mean the process of growing state of
independence from nonmaterial determinants. This
process seems to have four stages.
first stage, humans are not aware of the existence
of nonmaterial factors (see below *) that shape their way of
life and work. They consider their convictions,
their signs of identity, their beliefs and in
general the culture in which they are submerged,
as something which is an inseparable part of
themselves. The feel they are "that". If
they perceive some parts of their nonmaterial
resources as external, they tend to consider them
as something sacred and pertaining to a
attempts to modify any portion of the nonmaterial
baggage is perceived here as a grave threat to
what is considered to be holy and, sometimes, a
menace to a sense of survival.
In the first
stage, men and women feel free to choose but in
fact they basically are not their own masters.
They live within rigid cultural constrains
second stage, men and women know that their
actions are affected by opinions, ways of
understanding, social norms and other cultural
principles and social conventions and structures.
They know, for instance, that their convictions are
probably relative and they can understand that
they would have other convictions under other
are also able to make some theoretical
speculations about moral and ethical issues, but
they are incapable of liberating themselves from
the influence of their own nonmaterial resources.
We see here a
form of fatalism that impedes the effective
adoption of different nonmaterial tools. They will
perceive such a change as too thrilling or embarrassing
to be undertaken. In other cases, such changes
would be construed as a rejection of what they
have always been.
Any change on
trivial grounds, such as the modification of their
professional skills, for instance, may represent
too difficult a decision to be taken. Any change
in the way they think or in the convictions they
hold may be sensed as a lack of honesty or a reproachable
lack of character. A more substantive change, such
the hypothetical genetic manipulation of her or
his own genoma will be judged as absolutely unacceptable.
third stage, nonmaterial resources are clearly
experienced as external objects which can be used
or abandoned. They cease to be understood as an
inseparable part of oneself. They are perceived as
tools and the assessment of their value is
according to their function which depends, in the
last instance, on the kind of intended activity to
be undertaken or the sort of experience one is
this stage, people wonder whether a particular
nonmaterial resource fits the course of the action
they want to engage in or the direction they are
intending to go on.
At the third
stage, organizations, like individuals, begin to
wonder what the nonmaterial resources used by
their members should be.
Access to the
third stage is always achieved via the second one,
so the knowledge of nonmaterial resources is still
precarious. One knows that nonmaterial resources
exist, but the understanding of how they work,
what they exactly are, and to what extend they
influence action still remain to be fully
At this point,
one begins to wish to understand one's nonmaterial
resources and to model the mechanisms which play
some role in their functioning. The need to
reshape nonmaterial resources or to build better
ones also begins to be strongly felt. In other
words, at the third stage, humans feel the need
for nonmaterial engineering.
Once humans pass
into the fourth stage, a huge quantity of new
problems will emerge to be understood, traced and
solved. Problems like the change form a particular
formal set to another will be faced. The adherence
of nonmaterials to men and women is more insidious
the longer has been the time that people have been
exposed to their influence.
the fourth stage, what one sense is the need to
develop procedures that shorten the time required
to free oneself from old nonmaterial objects and
to reduce the time demanded to adopt the new ones.
It becomes clearer that one's own strength,
relevance and capability for survival depends very
closely on the control one has over one's own
In the fourth
stage, any nonmaterial set is not considered as a
definitive end. Here, existence is perceived as a
constant movement, a never ending transition from
one formal set to another, implying not only the
reshaping of nonmaterials but the creation of new
nonmaterials to be successively adopted, used and
humans have experienced in such crude manner the
creation of nonmaterial reality, because such
operations imply a journey deep into the unknown.
At the fourth stage, changes in human nature
become conceivable and free men from the
constrains that confine them to their original
cultural and biological condition.
(*) By nonmaterial
I mean all formal forces that shape or drive human action. These
include all kinds of social and cultural forms, such as mental
maps, norms, beliefs, paradigms, algorithms, and all sort of
procedures and conventions, all kind of cultural patterns,
ideologies, cognitive structures, professional skills, fashions,
economic and social structures, social institutions and any other
kinds of formal apparatus that affect, enforce or shape human