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Citizens and Societies




One of the cancers, or at least one of the plagues that affect our capacity to solve the problems that we have in our societies is the absence of clear, clean and precise definitions. 


Hence to facilitate the dialogues in this community and help us find solutions, please remember that these are the definitions that the facilitators will use to help facilitate the dialogues.


Thank you for your cooperation.


Societally yours,


Denis Pageau

Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO)
Lead Facilitator (LF)




Societies are organizations. To be more precise, societies are associations. These associations belong to all citizens that live inside its boundaries. 

There are three level of societies:


1 - local: a village or a city,

2 - national: a country, 
3 - intermediary: a state, a province, a department, etc.


As I am building the community, I will be including an explainer video that will explain how societies evolved since we adopted a sedentary lifestyle around 12000 years ago. 




An organization is a regrouping of people who work together directly or indirectly, often hierarchically, and who use resources to produce a product or offer a service.


We use the word organization to simplify our conversation. Hence it is easier to say that the Red Cross is an organization than to say:


The Red Cross is a regrouping of people who work together directly or indirectly, in a hierarchically fashion, and who use resources to collect and distribute blood. 


The problem is that when we use shortcuts like this one, we sometimes suffer from reification; we start to think that this concept is alive. Hence, for us to better understand the societies we live in and find better solutions, it is important that we remember that organizations, which includes societies, are not entities, but a group of people who work together. Change the way they work, you will change the outcome.





As with the word organization, the word system is a shortcut that also suffers from reification. In reality when we use the word system what we are saying is that there are laws, formal or not, regulations, procedures, etc., that forces us to learn, share and repeate  a set, or sets, of  behaviours.


For example, when we talk about the capitalist system, what we are really saying is that:


there are laws, formal or not, regulations, procedures, etc., that forces us to learn, share and repeat a set of  behaviours as we try to meet our indivdual, socal an societal needs, which may be real or not.


If we talk about our educational system, what we are really saying is that:


there are laws, formal or not, regulations, procedures, etc., that forces us to learn, share and repeat a set, or sets, of  behaviours as we try to facilitate the development of our children as well as their social and societal integration. 


Understanding that systems are learned, shared and repeated behaviours which are created and cultivated by laws, regulations, procedures, etc., helps us pinpoint which laws, regulations, procedures, etc., needs to be changed. 




Reification is a psychological process by which we give life to something that is not alive. For example, we often say that societies or organizations whould do this or do that as if they were entities who possess a will of their own. Of course they don't. Please read the definition of organization and system to better understand.




A citizen is someone who lives inside the boundary of a society. As citizens we are coowners of the three levels of society we live; thus local, national and intermediary.





Since citizens are coowners of the societies they live in, citizenship must be viewed as a form of profession. Societalogically speaking, citizenship is actually our first profession. 


As I am building the community I will be including an explainer video that will explain the competences we must acquire to become a competent citizen which helps us become more competent towards:


- ourselves (personal competences),

- others (social competences),
- the collectivity (societal competences). 


Increasing our level of competences is important because the more competent citizens are the better the societies.





Social Order


We all want to live in a society that has a certain social order, but what is social order?


Social order comes from a process where we identify the things we can and the things we can't do; we thus create a list of the actions that are acceptable and those that are unacceptable.


The more we accept this list, the better the social order will be. The acceptability of this list is affected by the way it affects our liberty and freedom which are two different concepts.


This understanding is also important. Without this we can't build better societies. 






Freedom is an index that reflects the level of conflicts in a society. In order to build better societies, we need to distinguish between two types of freedom:


  • solitary freedom, a level of freedom that affects solitary animals, and
  • solidary freedom, a level of freedom that affects social animals.

Of course to develop better societies, we need to make sure that the social order we propose is compatible with our solidary freedom.  






Liberty is different than Freedom.


Liberty is a process by which we receive the permission to do the actions that are acceptable, as defined by the social order.


For example, in most countries driving a car is part of the acceptable action list. However, depending on the country you live in the process by which you receive permission to drive is different. Hence certain requirements must be met. These requirements may be associated with age, knowledge of the rules and regulations or driving skills. 


In many societies, social order permits citizens to become an electrician, a mechanic, an engineer, a doctor, etc., but in order to do so they need to prove that they have the knowledge and skills to become one.


In order to build better societies, we must make sure that the requirements to receive permisssions does not negatively affect our level of freedom. 




For social order, freedom and liberty to be sustainable, our individual, group and collective actions, must create an equilibrium which facilitates the:


1 - development as well as the social and societal integration of citizens,

2 - development and functioning of our societies, and the
3 - development and functioning of our governments.


The most performing societies are the societies that are able to achieve this equilibrium.





SOCIETALogy is a neologism that links together the words societal and logy. 


Societal = societas, association and logy = to study.


Hence, societalogy is a new management science that studies societies as organizations.




In order to facilitate constructive, positive and respcetful definitions, we need to use these definitions. It is the only way we can move forward and solve the problems faced by our societies.  


How to be read.

  1. Use our definitions
  2. Use simple words
  3. Use small sentences
  4. Share one idea per small paragraph. 
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