For some – for me - history is interesting to study in itself. But I think that the greatest importance in studying history is its relevancy of the past to the present. The contours of the different events we accept as a part of our modern world are in reality the outcroppings of layers laid down in the past. In A Preface to History Gustavson said it well. He said that history provides insights on how to respond to the changing conditions that we are experiencing today. What I will be doing here is using history to illustrate the basic concepts that I think are necessary to understand the fundamental dynamics of what is currently happening. This allows you the possibility to see the larger picture rather than just the superficiality of individual non-related events. In so doing, it removes much of the fear that is associated with the monumental change that we are just beginning to experience. It also empowers you to be an agent of change as well.
What Are Social Forces and What Causes Them?
Social forces are the collective energies of groups of people organized for a common purpose, starting with individual motivation coalescing into a collective manifestation of power. They generate dynamic energies in society and furnish the power that causes events to happen.
There are seven general types of social forces which generate dynamic energies in society: economic, religious, political, technological, ideological, social, and military. An eighth category is institutions themselves which I will discuss only briefly here.