Social Disorder as a Social Good

Jon Marshall


In complex systems, disorder and order are interrelated, so that disorder can be an inevitable consequence of ordering. Often this disorder can be disruptive, but sometimes it can be beneficial. Different social groups will argue over what they consider to be disordered, so that naming of something as ‘disorder’ is often a political action. However, although people may not agree on what disorder is, almost everyone agrees that it is bad. This primarily theoretical sketch explores the inevitability of disorder arising from ordering systems and argues that a representative democracy has to tolerate disorder so as to function.


social disorder; social theory; politics; administration

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