The Question of Morality

Under functional differentiation, we have many codes without a middle ground; they are digital rather than analog. These codes serve to make improbable communication more probable. These codes are associated with symbolically generalized communication media, the purpose of which is to make improbable communication, understood broadly, more probable.

Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and social system change

Modern, functionally differentiated society is not held together by moral consensus, shared values, or shared goals. Modern society is far too complex for that. Instead, modern global society is “held together,” or reproduced from moment to moment, by a division of labor on a large scale. That is to say, post-eighteenth-century global society has divided the labor of society into operationally autonomous social systems known as the economy, the law, politics, education, science, art, mass media, and healthcare. Just as an organization or business operates based on a division of labor, global society has created its own division of labor. Moreover, this division of labor was never actually planned by anyone—it has emerged through evolution—and it’s beyond the control of human beings, organizations, or governments.

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