Cruelty can be described as well used (if it is permissible to say good words about something evil in itself) when it is performed all at once, for reasons of self-preservation; and when the acts are not repeated after that, but rather are turned as much as possible to the advantage of the subjects. Cruelty is badly used, when it is infrequent at first, but increases with time instead of diminishing.

The Prince

Acentered systems and hierarchies

Order, disorder, cruelty

The unconventional structure named Fondation Transcultura, created by Alain Le Pichon  based on a concept proposed by Anne Retel-Laurentin (1925-1983) and chaired by Umberto Eco (1932-2016), and at some point supported by the Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer, organized with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences a meeting in Beijing (march 3-6, 2007) to discuss the epistemological and ethical consequences of the concept of order, including in the domain of human rights.

Cruelty is invented by the weak to fend off the strong [analogous to poison], among highly related members of a particular population. The long term benefit is the building of barriers, leading to speciation. This is reflected in civil wars, such as what happened between 1944 and 1949 in Greece, or more recently in the Balkans. In biological terms this prevent pan-mixing, resulting in formation of recombinants of various types, that, although highly related to their origins, can easily mark themselves off, creating sub-populations. In terms of cultures, this is the way groups are created that invent a history that they do not wish to share with others, thereby creating efficient barriers to inter-cultural marriages. The closer the groups are, the more cruel they need to be to split from each other.

The text of the presentation Order, Disorder, Cruelty is in French, and the slides of the presentation are in English.