Cultures, as well as countries, are formed by the emergence of value systems (social stages) in the response to life conditions. Such complex adaptive intelligences form the glue that bonds a group together, defines who they are as a people, and reflects the place on the planet they inhabit. These cultural waves, much like the Russian dolls (a doll embedded within a doll embedded within a doll) have formed, over time, into unique mixtures and blends of instructional and survival codes, myths of origin, artistic forms, life styles, and senses of community. While they are all legitimate expressions of the human experience, they are not "equal" in their capacities to deal with complex problems in society.
Source: Stages of Social Development: http://spiraldynamics.net/DrDonBeck/essays/stages_of_social_development.htm
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