In moving beyond pluralistic relativism, what is required is some appropriate pattern whereby answer domains can be interrelated. The number-pattern of sets outlined in the previous section is one approach to this.
Policy Alternation for Development
To avoid creating the impression that this amounts to pluralist relativism, it is necessary to clarify some constraints which counteract such a condition before taking the argument a step further. Ranges of possible constraints have been explored in an earlier paper (22). At this point it is appropriate to list the following:
The difficulty in taking the argument further lies in the manner in which conventional notions of method are undermined beyond this point. Basically acceptable methods are associated with particular domains or groups of domains. Attempts to apply a given method to "all" domains are only possible if the method is used to pre-define many domains as "irrelevant". Methods as answers, or as aspects of an answer, are thus subject to the limitations noted earlier.
It is convenient to designate as a "domain" that subset of the space of psycho-social communication within which questions of a particular type maintain their credibility for sufficient time to sustain a discourse. If Attali's lead is to be pursued, the nature of such domains needs to be clarified.
Attali argues that three theories open the way to an analysis of the production and circulation of meaning in an organisation (5, pp. 207-208). The theories converge and give the following. An organisation exists:
The restrictive nature of a particular form of accumulation also affects the kinds of answers sought to the problems arising from that accumulation process. Answers tend to focus on changing the pattern of accumulation or eliminating it altogether. The focus of attention is however limited to the level of accumulation at which the problems are currently most evident. Answers tend not to be sensitive to what is accumulated through promulgation and implementation of the favoured answer.
There would seem to be a vital connection between human development, social development, need satisfaction, and accumulation. This can be represented by Diagram 1.
These relationships are more clearly seen in three dimensions as expressed by the tetrahedron in Diagram 2a. Note that this may be usefully skewed to indicate distorted relationships between the different processes, or limiting cases where one is identified with another.
It is not solely at the level of material phenomena that an appropriate meta-answer can be usefully sought. Somehow the relationship between answers at all levels must be examined more creatively. It is a "New International Conceptual Order" that is required as a basis for any effective New International Economic Order. All the unsatisfactory material processes for which an NIEO-type response is sought are a rather pale reflection of equivalent conceptual processes which continually reinforce them and undermine remedial action in any context.
In attempting to understand better how individuals and social groups accumulate the significance they associate with their particular answers, it is appropriate to look at critical analyses of the well-documented capital accumulation process. This should provide further insights and clues for the pursuit of the enquiry into the characteristics of a desirable meta-answer. The task is therefore to "decodify" such analyses, using them as a model to understand accumulation processes in general rather than as limited to economic processes in the narrow material sense.
If "an answer" is sought for the current global condition, and one is urgently needed, it would seem that great care is required to avoid falling into the trap of formulating answers whose nature forces them to compete in the unending, and essentially inhumane, "gladiatorial combats" of the "answer arena", in an effort to attract the temporary support of fickle "spectators" partly inspired by novelty. This does not mean looking for a semi-secret answer only meaningful to those initiated into a particular elite group (cf.
As pointed out at the beginning, society does not lack for answers to its current difficulties. The problem lies in the limited constituencies to which such answers appeal. It is useful to look at answers as products,or visible manifestations of on accumulation process. Answers tend to emerge from ordered accumulations of information. The amount of information effectively entering any such accumulation process is necessarily limited because of limitations on human processing capacity. This does not mean that the information arises from a limited geographical region.