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Deep Social Structure of SPHERONS’ Harmony: Copernican Revolution of Sociology in the XXI Century

Prof Leo M. Semashko, Ph.D

Founding President, Global Harmony Association (GHA) since 2005;
GHA Honorary President since 2016;
State Councilor of St. Petersburg;

Philosopher, Sociologist and Peacemaker from Harmony;

Author of more than 400 scientific publications, including 18 books in 1-12 languages;
Author of Tetrism as the unity of Tetraphilosophy and Tetrasociology – science of social harmony, global peace and harmonious civilization;

Director: Tetrasociology Public Institute, Russia;
Director, GHA Web portal “Peace from Harmony”: http://peacefromharmony.org;

Initiator, Manager, Coauthor and Editor in Chief of the book project “Global Peace Science” (GPS).

Mikhail Kovalevsky
(1851-1916) is the first Russian sociologist who proclaimed the need for pluralism in sociology and criticized monism in a whole, Marxist materialistic/economic monism in particular. He wisely characterized it as a “
fatal mistake” and “naive simplification” [1]. This was fully proved by whole practice of the 20th century and the collapse of Marxism with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Monism does not allow sociology to find deep, stable at all times, social structure that defines the social world/reality as such. It was not found until now, but it has several approximations. One of the most promising of them is tetrasociology, developing since 1976 under the original name of “system-spheral approach” or “spheral approach” [2].

The discovery of a deep social structure as structure of the universal harmonious classes of the population – SPHERONS employed in four spheres of social production, which determine invariant social reality (social) at all times, the first time it became possible into tetrasociology [2]. Tetrasociology expresses four-dimensional pluralistic social philosophy, on the foundations of which is built the science of social harmony, harmonious civilization and global peace. Discovering SPHERONS in tetrasociology is based on the axiom of social harmony and the three fundamental facts of social cognition.

Axiom of social harmony: The harmonious existence of a society in any place and at any time is defined by the measure in proportion of four necessary and sufficient social resources: People (P), Information (I), Organizations (O) and Things (T). (Things are any material benefits and services). In the acronym: P-I-O-T, or: PIOT [3].

The first fact and achievement is the discovery of the four spheres of society or social production, which belongs to Karl Marx in “German Ideology“, 1845 [4].

The second fact and achievement is the discovery of vital employment, self-production, autopoiesis, which belongs to Humberto Maturana and Francisco Varela (1973) [5], which was introduced in sociology by Nicholas Luhmann in 1990 [6]. They proved that property, power, religion and the like attributes are its special cases.

The third fact and achievement is the creation of the first in sociology system theory of “structural functionalism” of four “societal subsystems” or spheres and related “societal communities” by great American sociologist- theorist Talcott Parsons in 1937-1978, which was developed by Alvin Toffler, Pierre Bourdieu and some other theorists [7].

But this theory of high universal explanation of social reality was rejected by industrial sociology after Parsons’ death (1978). About this well-known British sociologist Margaret Archer wrote: “From the 1970s on wards there was a steady abandonment of ‘systematic sociology’… Generically, the majority of today’s social theory has no resources with which to conceive of a robust civil society and a real civil economy… With Marxism dead, so was the power to conceive of a better future attained through social conflict. With Parsons in demise, so died any serious concern with social integration and ‘the problem of social order’” [8].

The combination of these key facts and achievements of social knowledge in Tetrasociology led to the discovery of SPHERONS [2; 3; 7]. SPHERONS are the large groups of people of entire population, which differ in their life and labor employment in the four spheres of production (it is why they are called SPHERONS) continuously reproducing the four necessary and sufficient resources of society and human – resources of PIOT in their infinite historical variety. Therefore, they are also necessary and sufficient. Deep social structure of SPHERONS is soft, associated with the transitions in time from one life employment to another. SPHERONS are harmonious classes of the population, ensuring social peace from harmony, because the reproduction of resources can only be in harmony and peace, which exclude violence, struggle and war of PARTONS – private, local and historically transient antagonistic groups, classes, nations in terms of tetrasociology [9, Chapter 1]. Any conflict and war between them on any grounds of partial property, wealth, income, etc. are only a special case of internal social harmony of SPHERONS. SPHERONS are the eternal actors, the heart, the engine and the genome of the society and its global peace. These are they key functions, attributes, meaning and significance disclosed in tetrasociological paradigm. SPHERONS are represented in all social institutions and at all levels from the global to the individual and family [9].

Let us compare tetrasociology with its origins. Marx discovered the four spheres of social production but he not knew autopoiesis. Maturana discovered autopoiesis but he not knew of the production’s spheres. Parsons discovered/created a four-dimensional societal system of structural functionalism but he not knew the Maturana’s discovery and ignored the discovery of Marx. Tetrasociology and its Global Peace Science (GPS) integrated their achievements in the discovery of the four eternal universal SPHERONS employed in four spheres of production. SPHERONS constitute the social genome of humanity and determine his life in peace from harmony [9, Chapter 1; 10].

At the level of humanity of its deep social structure of SPHERONS in the corresponding tetrasociological terminology is expressed as follows:

  1. SPHERON-1 (P1) is employed in Sociosphere, object and product of which are PEOPLE (P)
  2. SPHERON-2 (P2) is employed in Infosphere, object and product of which is INFORMATION (I)
  3. SPHERON-3 (P3) is employed in Orgsphere, object and product of which are ORGANIZATIONS (O)
  4. SPHERON-4 (P4) is employed in Technoecosphere, object and product of which are THINGS (T)


POPULATION, PEOPLE (P) = P1 + P2 + P3 + P4

The empirical basis of the theory SPHERONS in tetrasociology is Statistics. The size of each SPHERON of humanity today may be hypothetically determined by the pattern of their statistical proportion for Russia 2010 calculated in the GPS Chapter 2 [9]. The number of Russian SPHERONS in millions and in percentage to the total population (rounded):

SOCIOSPHERON = 85 million or 59.4%
INFOSPHERON = 4 million or 2.8%
ORGSPHERON = 10.8 million or 7.5%
TECHNOSPHERON = 41 million or 28, 6%
Statistical error = 2.3 million or 1.6%

The size of humanity’s SPHERONS in 2011 ($ 7 billion) in this proportion is:

SOCIOSPHERON = 59.4% = 4.2 billion
INFOSPHERON = 2.8% = 0.2 billion
ORGSPHERON = 7.5% = 0.5 billion
TECHNOSPHERON = 28, 6% = 2 billion
Statistical error = 1.6% = 0.1 billion.

It is obvious that such an extrapolation of proportions of one country to the whole of humanity is rough but the other does not exist today. The proportions of sizes of SPHERONS in each country and each region are very different. However, it is immutable fact that if SPHERONS could be calculated for the one country, they can be calculated in the same manner for any other country. This global statistics is an empirical foundation for global sociology of SPHERONS.

Logic and ontology of SPHERONS:
They are simple and indisputable
. If we recognize the reality of the four necessary and sufficient spheres of social production, which continually produce four necessary and sufficient for the life of society and every individual PIOT resources, we have to recognize the reality of the four necessary and sufficient SPHERONS employed in the spheres of production. The spheres of production cannot exist and be real without SPHERONS. This is a simple truth that no one has ever denied. But it is deeply hidden under a thick cover of the historical fragmentation and endless cultural diversity of quality and graduation of the spheral objects (spheres, spheral resources and SPHERONS). Therefore, it has been available only in the late 20th and early 21st century, in tetrasociology. This is the Copernican revolution of sociology, its transition from the private and temporary sociologies of PARTONS to fundamental sociology of SPHERONS.


  1. Kovalevsky M.M. Sociology. – M., 1910. Vol.2. – P. 19; He. Modern Sociologists. SPb. 1905. – P. 8, 14, etc. in Russian;
  2. Semashko Leo (1992) Sphere Approach: Philosophy, Democracy, Market and Human. St.-Petersburg, 368 p. (in Russian); He. (2000). Tetrasociology as the Revolution of Social Thinking, the Way of Harmony and Prosperity. St.-Petersburg, 168 p. (in Russian); He. (2001). Tetrasociology as Sociology of Four Measurements. To the problem statement // Sociological studies. 2001, №9, p. 20-28; He. (2002) Tetrasociology: Responses to Challenges. St.-Petersburg State Polytechnic University (in Russian and English), 158 p.
  3. Semashko Leo (2012. The ABC of Harmony for World Peace, Harmonious Civilization and Tetranet Thinking.  Together with the GHA 75 coauthors from 26 countries. Joint publication of GHA and IASE University, India. Global Textbook. GHA 34th Project. First published in English in India, New Delhi, Doosra Mat Prakashan, 2012, pages ~334. ISBN – 978-81-923108-6-2
  4. Marx, K. and Engels, F. Works. Edition 2. GPI – Volume 3 – Moscow, 1955. – P. 15-62.
  5. Maturana H., Varela F. Autopoiesis: the organization of the living (1973) // Maturana H., Varela F. Autopoiesis and Cognition. – Boston, 1980. – P. 63–134
  6. Luhmann, Nicolas (2007) Introduction to Systems Theory. – M.: Publishing House – “Logos”
  7. Parsons, Talcott (1975), “The Present Status of ‘Structural-Functional’ Theory in Sociology”, Social Systems and The Evolution of Action Theory, New York: The Free Press
    Parsons, Talcott (2007) American Society: A Theory of Societal Community. Paradigm Publishers. See the chapter on American history.
    Semashko Leo (1999) Sociology for Pragmatists. Part 1 – St. Petersburg. – S.148-157. Analysis of the theories of Parsons. Toffler, Bourdieu and the like.
  8. Archer, Margaret (2010) The Current Crisis: Consequences Of Neglecting The Four Key Principles Of Catholic Social Doctrine: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=438
  9. Semashko, Leo and 174 coauthors from 34 countries.  Global Peace Science or Peaceloveology, Peacescience: First Common Good and Human Right, Revolution of Social Sciences, Creating Peace from SPHERONS’ Harmony and Nonviolent Victory of Peace over War in XXI Century. – Smaran Publication, New Delhi. 2016. – 616 p.
  10. Semashko, Leo (2016) SPHERONS of Harmony: Copernican Revolution of Peacebuilding and Civilization. Synopsis: http://peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=423    




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