Thursday, December 18, 2014

Grand strategy and social evolution: implications from the TIMN framework (plus a postscript about Cuba)

[UPDATE — January 28, 2015: Be advised that I've grown increasingly displeased with this post. It has too many shortcomings. I’m going to leave it up for now, since its theme — that thinking about grand strategy would benefit from better thinking about social evolution — is a worthy theme to raise. But the parts about TIMN’s implications need a much clearer, more thorough write-up. So if you read this post, please regard it as a very tentative draft, in need of much improvement, that I hope to replace before too long.]

Grand strategies tend to rest on judgments about social evolution — who is gaining strength, progressing faster, posing new challenges, etc. Thus, what a grand strategist thinks — or fails in thinking — about social evolution can make a decisive difference.

Yet, grand strategy and social evolution are rarely paired for their relatedness. Instead, grand strategists tend to think grandly about strategy — but only selectively and piece-meal about political, economic, military, and other aspects of progress (and regress), at home and abroad.

Examples of ideas that connect grand strategy with social evolution via one aspect or another include containment theory in the 1950s, modernization theory in the 1960s, and democratic enlargement in the 1990s. Also, in the 1990s two ideas that touch on social evolution — the “end of history” and the “clash of civilizations” — gained influence among strategists. In the 2000s, however, grand strategic thinking about the “war on terrorism” became notable for its presumptuous naiveté about imposing democratic evolution in strife-torn societies, as seen in U.S. policies in Iraq.

Today, I see more fretting about grand strategy — what it means, how to do it — than ever before (as attested by postings at Infinity Journal, Small Wars, War on the Rocks, and Zenpundit). Grand strategy appears to be up for grabs. At the same time, I never see social evolution explicitly considered in connection to grand strategy — only those selected aspects about political, economic, and social development. I suppose that’s understandable: Unlike grand strategy, social evolution is an unpopular concept. In academia, it’s been on the outs for decades, though scholarly books — e.g., Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel (1999), and Frank Fukuyama's, The Origins of Political Order (2010) — occasionally come to the fore. A few online sites — notably, Social Evolution Forum, and The P2P Foundation — discuss theories about long-range social-evolution, but they rarely take note of grand strategy.

Thus, there are few formal choices available for grand strategists to consider if they want to be explicit and comprehensive about long-range social evolution. The established practice is to draw from here and there about this and that kind of development.

TIMN’s advantages for grand strategy

My purpose with this post is to note that the nascent TIMN framework about social evolution (tribes + institutions + markets + networks) may have advantages for grand strategy, several (but not all) of which may be as follows:

— TIMN recognizes the crucial importance of the tribal form and its bright sides (e.g., family, community) for all societies and their prospects for progressive evolution. TIMN also explains the dark tribalism so rampant in many regions, and the difficulty of getting beyond it.

— TIMN recognizes the importance of strong hierarchical institutions (e.g., good government, professional militaries) that depend on meritocracy and law more than patrimonialism and corruption, which are often holdovers from the tribal form. TIMN also implies balancing state and other sectors (e.g., business, civil society), so that power and control are distributed to benefit a system and its people as a whole.

— TIMN recognizes the importance of developing strong open market systems, relatively free of government interference. TIMN also recognizes that a market system is essential for liberal democracy. But TIMN doesn't necessarily imply American-style capitalism; nor does it mean that opening up to foreign investment by major corporations will necessarily lead to a free fair market system. TIMN cautions that the latter, in a context of authoritarian rule, may result in fascism more than capitalism.

— TIMN views the rise of networked information-age civil-society NGOs and other non-state actors as harbingers of the rise of the next form of organization that promises to reshape social evolution: the +N network form. Power is migrating to actors who are organizationally and philosophically suited to this form. TIMN maintains that the rise of a new form will create a new sector, but I remain uncertain what a +N sector will be all about — only that it will exert significantly different influences from the established public (+I) and private (+M) sectors.

Overall, then, TIMN is consistent with liberal democracy being history's most advanced system to date. But it implies that, as the network form takes hold, democracy may look substantially different in the future. Moreover, TIMN allows for major variations as well as other outcomes, in accordance with local approaches to each TIMN form. The optimal outcome for one society (say, the United States) may be significantly different for another (say, Singapore), largely because of their differing local approaches to the TIMN forms, their combination and progression.

TIMN as a way to assess a society for strategic purposes

A full-fledged methodology for applying TIMN is still to be developed. But even at this nascent stage it offers a promising way to think about trends in particular societies that may interest strategists.

For example, consider Russia and China from a TIMN viewpoint: Russia remains unable to get the market (+M) form right. That’s partly because Russia is so committed to the hierarchical institutional (+I) form. To compensate, Russia is increasingly reverting to tribe-like (T) practices, while suppressing social activists who represent information-age network (+N) activities. These are not good signs that Russia will progress in TIMN terms.

In contrast, China has adopted (and adapted) the market form rather effectively, though far from fully. China also seems capable of further progress in TIMN terms, without necessarily reverting to tribe-like xenophobia, or crushing all networked civil-society actors. Unlike Russia, China is on its way to becoming a full-fledged triformist (T+I+M) society, though probably not a liberal democracy. Thus TIMN helps show that China poses different challenges from Russia, with different implications for grand strategy.

While grand strategy normally focuses on what’s going on abroad, the strategist always takes into account what’s going on at home. Conditions here in America should not be omitted from a strategist’s calculus. TIMN indicates that America is starting to evolve beyond its triformist (T+I+M) system, in order to become a quadriformist (T+I+M+N) society. If so, +N forces will ultimately lead to a vast reshaping and rebalancing of the entire American system. Meanwhile, this evolutionary shift explains some of the turbulence America has been experiencing at home and abroad. Indeed, our society is thoroughly out-of-balance in TIMN terms: Venomous political tribalisms keep growing. Our government institutions are fraught. And our market system is increasingly distorted. Moreover, +N forces in civil society are still feeling their way, with difficulty. And there’d be many more points to make if I were trying to do a full TIMN profile.

My TIMN view — yours may differ — is that America’s strength is more limited and fragile than we know. Strategists should be concerned about TIMN conditions and trends at home as they ponder options abroad.

TIMN and U.S. options for grand strategy

TIMN does not imply any single grand strategy. But it may help assess why some options are inadvisable, and suggest some options that have not surfaced much.

I’ve not given this section much prior thought — indeed, this post is rather impromptu — but it seems to me that two kinds of strategies are inadvisable for the United States from a TIMN standpoint in the current environment. One is energetic pro-democracy activism, the other is tight-border isolationism:
• TIMN cautions against the exportability of U.S. models to make others “more like us” — especially if it is accompanied by a preachy meddlesome evangelism. Promoting democracy is a worthy endeavor, but it should be kept within pragmatic limits, for it’s likely to violate one TIMN principle or another if it is made the driving impulse of U.S. strategy. After all, a belief in American exceptionalism (which TIMN accepts) should make a strategist wary of trying to remodel others’ societies along American lines.
• TIMN also seems to mean that tight-bordered isolationism is inadvisable, especially for a triform society in the throes of change into a quadriform society. For one thing, isolationism tends to foster reactionary tribalisms (and vice-versa). For another, the further a society proceeds along the TIMN progression, the more its actors need and seek external connections — long the case with +M actors, and potentially more so for emerging +N actors who can be assets for U.S. strategy. Isolationism would retard and distort America’s prospects for continued evolution along TIMN lines.
A grand-strategy option that looks potentially compatible with TIMN is “forward partnering” — Frank Hoffman’s idea synthesizing other options (here and here). It’s mainly about military (especially naval) strategy, but it’s proposed with a keen awareness of new limitations on U.S. power at home and abroad, and it’s directed at achieving a circumspect partnering with allies:
“In sum, a strategy of forward partnering reassures allies and builds up partners, with limited footprint and maximum freedom of maneuver. … To the degree practicable, U.S. involvement will be devoted to collective efforts of prevention and the maintenance of the international system via an array of formal and informal partnerships.” (source)
Even though his proposal barely touches on aspects of social evolution apart from China’s rise, I sense they could be added in without much effort.

As for TIMN’s own implications for grand strategy, so far I have come up with only one idea to suggest: accommodational positioning — an awkward name, but the best I can do for now. The key is giving a TIMN-related meaning to accommodation: Here it does not simply mean accommodation between U.S. actors and whoever else is involved; it means accommodation by all actors to a higher set of organizational principles that have philosophical principles embedded within them — namely, TIMN. (Thus, meta-accommodational or meta-positioning might be more accurate, but also more awkward.)

TIMN is not sufficiently developed to serve as a blueprint for grand strategy, but it still offers some tentative guidelines that seem worth considering. I limit my remarks to sketching what the above concept — accommodational positioning — might mean in dealing with partners and rivals who are amenable to relations.
— First of all, TIMN points immediately to the importance of recognizing all expressions of the tribal form: e.g., conditions at family and community levels (including health, education, and welfare), trends in ethnic and national identities (including nationalism and patriotism), along with the influential roles that patrimonialism (including nepotism and cronyism) may play in local institutions and markets. There are many instances of U.S strategy neglecting the roles of the tribal form; using TIMN can help correct that shortcoming.
— Accommodational positioning may mean caution about promoting democracy as a priority, depending on circumstances. In general, the more democracy can be properly promoted, the better. But hammering for a society to open its party system and hold free elections as a condition for U.S. attention may also prove inadvisable, especially if a society is not well along the TIMN progression to having professional government institutions and a well-functioning market system. If a society is sorely lacking in such preconditions, a push to democratize may have counter-productive dysfunctional effects. If it is important for U.S. strategy to promote reforms, it may be wiser to focus on helping to improve the performance of local institutions (e.g., civil service) and markets (e.g., for credit) than pressing for democracy immediately.
— Accommodative positioning would seek to engage a range of civil-society actors, especially those that are organized into influential information-age networks and thus seem to represent the rise of the +N form. This may prove particularly important, but also difficult, if a target society is lacking or resistant in this regard.
The points above proceed form by form. A few points that span all four TIMN forms should also be noted: Accommodative positioning would mean working across all forms to improve organizational readiness in ways that have philosophical import. It would mean creating plans, programs, and other measures that engage all sectors of a society, not just government. It would create complex coordination issues that will make some actors uneasy about assuring central control, but it must be made clear that creating conditions for progress à la TIMN depends as much, if not more, on decontrol, as I’ve discussed elsewhere.

What I have in mind for accommodative meta-positioning, then, is a world and a strategy that is still suited to hard-power realpolitik, but is also increasingly subject to soft-power noopolitik (nöospolitik), particularly where success depends on non-governmental and governmental actors working together. In light of such complexity, perhaps what Paul Van Riper describes as the “systemic approach to operational design” could be helpful (source).

One further concern: TIMN implies a need for new kinds of expertise. Implementing a grand strategy often requires the creation of an array of supportive political, economic, military, and other plans and programs, led by experts from established political, economic, military and other such disciplines. However, if TIMN were developed as a basis for strategy, the expertise would need to be about the dynamics of tribes, institutions, markets, and networks. That’s a rather different set of categories for defining expertise; such specializations don’t quite match the established disciplines. This could lead to difficult lengthy learning experiences.

Postscript about yesterday's shift in U.S. policy toward Cuba

As I was finishing this post, news broke yesterday about the U.S. policy changes toward Cuba. A quick mention seems appropriate for the following reasons: The U.S. government, and presumably an array of business and civil-society actors, have just embarked on a process that might be suited to a strategy of accommodative positioning, even though Cuba’s leadership doesn’t want to countenance evolving a +M society at present. Meanwhile, this new rapprochement may serve to keep other powers (Russia? China?) from trying to use Cuba for their version of Hoffman’s forward partnering.

There’s little reason to be optimistic that Cuba’s fidelistas and raulistas can be convinced of the benefits of decontrol to create a market system. Here’s why, according to what I wrote five years ago in a TIMN analysis of Castro’s Cuba:
“In sum, Fidel Castro remains committed to a theory of social evolution that is fundamentally erroneous. He is not entirely wrong to rail against the evils of capitalism — it can have detrimental effects, and what’s happening in the United States today provides new evidence. But by failing to see that the market system is essential for continued social evolution, and by not figuring out how to make it apply in a balanced, positive way in Cuba — even so that it deserves a name other than capitalism — he keeps Cuba’s potential arrested in an evolutionary cul-de-sac of his own fabrication.
“Eventually a breakout will occur. Odds are, a multitude of U.S. actors will then rush ahead with their usual patterns about promoting democracy and freedom, including free enterprise. But if the objective is to see Cuba turn into a balanced T+I+M system, new kinds of advice and assistance may be needed. The United States has policies and strategies for promoting capitalism — basically saying, open your markets, and we will come. But do we really have adequate policies and strategies for building a properly free, fair market system? I gather not, for that’s never been as major a goal as promoting capitalism. It’s time to rethink. Otherwise, assuming that the post-Fidel regime endures, the model it prefers next may be a mild kind of fascism rather than a potential liberal democracy.” (source)
This does not mean I am opposed to the shift in U.S. policy. It may well work to our benefit, but for it to do so, we will need a wary strategy akin to accommodational positioning à la TIMN. Onward we go.

* * * * *

Addendum: “A sound theory of social evolution would be handy to have.”

The text above offers some recent thoughts about grand strategy. Here’s an earlier statement — an except from In Search Of How Societies Work: Tribes—The First and Forever Form (2006) — that raises some similar points. Though this statement is directed at U.S. policies and programs rather than grand strategy per se.
“There is never a bad time — and now seems a fine time — to inquire anew into how societies evolve. The world is in awful flux, and debates keep sharpening across national, cultural, and other divides regarding what progress means. There is continual talk that the information age will remake the world and propel societies up the ladder of progress; yet the gaps between the most-developed and least-developed societies are larger than ever. Many people want better lives; but while some aim to advance in a secular, liberal, Western sense, others would rather back up, cleanse, and restart their societies, with a religion as their guide. Meanwhile, much of the world remains mired in ancient tribal dynamics; only a part of the world has succeeded in developing modern, complex societies — or so it seems.
“A sound theory of social evolution would be handy to have. Although there are philosophers and social scientists who question whether evolution has brought real progress to humanity, U.S. policymakers and strategists operate on assumptions that societies based on political democracy, market economies, and independent civil societies are better — more advanced, civilized, peaceful, stable, productive, equitable, and responsible — than other societies. And, indeed, many foreign policy problems facing Washington concern one aspect or another of social evolution — such as how to keep former communist countries on democratic paths, how to sustain economic liberalization in Asian and Latin American nations where elites may prefer cronyism to capitalism, how to motivate tribal systems in Africa and the Middle East to modernize, and how to deal with ethnic conflicts in places that lack professional states and may be under the sway of criminal clans. In addition, assumptions about social evolution lie behind both international and U.S. assistance programs, which are supposed to lift people out of poverty, diminish the lures of crime and terrorism, create middle classes, and put all on paths to freedom and prosperity.
“But are such assumptions valid? What are the keys to social evolution?” (p.7)


Endnote: First-time readers unfamiliar with TIMN are advised to look at a briefing-style video, two blog posts, my original RAND paper, and a follow-up paper. Here are the URLs:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A depiction of space-time-action analysis (STA) in six slides — plus an addendum of revelatory quotes



The purpose of this post is to offer a depiction of my view of STA. The post also depicts the space, time, and action views I’ve found in writings I’ve reviewed lately — as I presume they may be depicted in a similar way for comparison purposes.

The genesis of my depiction dates from a briefing I started to draft in 2009, but never completed. Hopefully, offering this set of draft slides today can help convey STA at a glance.

This post’s placement here is temporary. After I finish an upcoming series on a writing about action orientations — meaning I’ve finished reviewing a book about each STA orientation — I’ll delete this post and reissue it in a subsequent position, amended to include a new slide about the action-oriented book.

I could have waited until then before publishing this preliminary post. But rather than let it sit idly on my computer for what may be few months, I’d rather put this version out now, out of place, with a hope that it will help as an evolving visual aid for conveying and clarifying STA.

Speaking of readers, my ongoing series of posts about STA appears to be of little interest so far. Posts about TIMN remain of greater interest, and I intend to return to writing about TIMN, for there is still a lot to be said. But for now, onward with STA — so that at least its rudiments are laid out better here.

* * * * *

This post presumes a passing familiarity with the STA framework. Otherwise, read here first.

What I do here is let circles correspond to the three cognitive domains: space, time, action. Sizes indicate relative emphasis. Locations — e.g., separations, overlaps — indicate relative interactions, or their absence.

All diagrams are preliminary and impressionistic on my part. Your view may differ — in which case, feel free to redraw, or suggest that I redraw.

Slide 1: Many (most?) discussions I’ve seen over the years about space, time, and action factors are reflected in the diagram on the left, where space and time factors are discussed for their effects on activities, or action, which is broadly defined to cover all sorts of thinking and doing. But, though not entirely wrong, that approach ultimately misleads, for it makes action too much of a dependent variable.

The depiction on the right shows what STA looks like to me. Notice that all three circles — space, time, and action — are treated as independent but interactive variables, roughly equal in size and location, with complex overlaps. It’s basically a Venn diagram. It makes “thinking and doing” — not vague “action” — the dependent variable. And as I’ve argued in various writings, it’s a more accurate way to depict and assess cognition. This kind of diagram also offers a basis for comparisons, as in the next few slides.

Slide 2: While Henri Lefebvre’s The Production of Space ([1974] 1991) focuses on space, he devotes major attention to time as well. He does not write about action, but his treatment of “strategy” is somewhat cognate. (source: three blog posts, beginning here)

Hence, the largest circle is about space. Time merits a rather large circle too. And the space and time circles deserve a strong overlap. Lefebvre’s treatment of action/strategy figures less by comparison — so I’ve rendered it with the smallest circle and least overlap.

Slide 3: This slide depicts what I conclude from my reading of Philip Zimbardo & John Boyd’s The Time Paradox (2008). The largest circle by far must go to time. (source: three blog posts, plus a fourth in progress, starting here)

As for action, they emphasize the importance of “control” and “efficacy” as cognates. So it merits a medium-size circle. But their discussion tends to embed and suborn control within their treatment of time. Thus, in my assessment, the action circle ends up almost entirely engulfed within the time circle.

I spotted no discussion of space as a distinct cognitive domain, only scattered disparate references to various spatial elements (e.g., perceptions about self-worth, family, or government). Hence, I’ve drawn the space circle quite small and placed it almost entirely outside (though maybe it too belongs inside).

Slide 4: This slide is here as a temporary place marker until I have the material to fill it out. I’m pretty sure the book I will use is Alberto Bandura’s Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control (1997), since it appears to discuss psychological efficacy in a manner that matches what I think action means in the STA framework.

Other choices might be grand theories of social action — e.g., by sociologists Talcott Parsons, Anthony Giddens, or Manuel Castells. They refer heavily to space and time factors. But they also use broader definitions of action than I think is best for developing STA at this point.

Another option might be a history of the Western concept of “progress” and its associations with space, time, and action innovations. Or a writing, perhaps by an anthropologist, about differences between Western and Asian ways of thought. But right now, I’d rather work with a writing of a more theoretical and psychological bent, like Bandura’s book.

Slide 5: This slide recapitulates my sense of what STA mindframe analysis looks like, ideally. All three of STA’s cognitive domains are identified. And they’re weighted equally, as are their overlaps. What is presumably a cognitive/cultural “sweet spot” lies at the core in the middle.

Of course, this depiction leaves open questions about the content of each domain, as well as about indicators and measures for each, and for their overlaps and interactions. Identifying those remains a challenge.

Moreover, this depiction is about what a comprehensive STA analysis should look like, ideally inquiring into all areas. The depiction may also represent what an actual mind (or culture) should look like, at its best: developed, balanced, and attentive in all three cognitive domains.

Yet, in reality, many minds and cultures do not conform to this idealized depiction — e.g., they may be more emphatic in one area, less so in another. If so, then the diagram would have to be redrawn to display that particular mind or culture. Which would then offer a basis for making comparisons, as I’ve tentatively done with the books reviewed above. And offering a method for depicting an ideal and making comparisons seems worthwhile to me, as a way to advance STA.

Slide 6: I’ve already written a variety of posts (starting here and here) claiming that all minds and cultures rest on space-time-action principles — indeed, that space-time-action orientations lie at the core of cognition and culture. Theorizing about this is the main purpose of STA.

STA also offers a way to understand evolutionary progress and regress, be that in the form of personal or social evolution. All such evolution depends on STA conditions. Jean Piaget’s writings about the cognitive growth of children speaks to this, and so do Zimbardo & Boyd’s writings about cognitive therapy for adolescents and adults. As for social evolution à la TIMN, I’ve previously indicated that the each TIMN form depends on different STA orientations (e.g., see sidebar and table titled “TIMN vis à vis STA” here). More could be done with this.

Furthermore, STA may provide a fresh way to think about strategy and tactics. Strategy is traditionally treated, particularly in the military world, as the art of relating ends, ways, and means — and sometimes, mostly in the business world, as the art of positioning. STA implies that strategy is the art of positioning for spatial, temporal, and actional advantages, in light of one’s ends, ways, and means. To design a strategy, STA implies making a comprehensive examination of space, time, and action factors as a set. Don’t just focus on time and space — as some strategic analysis seems to do — assuming that should determine action.

I remain convinced that STA could help with analyzing terrorist and other radical mindsets. Many terrorism analysts emphasize grand concepts — e.g., humiliation, alienation — but they could do better by digging into terrorists’ space, time, and action orientations. However, when analysts do so, most emphasize STA’s time and/or action orientations — yet it’s terrorists’ space orientations that may be more crucial. STA urges a comprehensive approach. (I’ve already written various posts about this, and I’ll elaborate further in my next post about Zimbardo & Boyd’s time-perspective theory.)

Finally, whenever I occasionally read about the prospects for cognition and consciousness in artificial intelligence (AI), I wonder how much that will may depend on the development of devices to generate space, time, and action senses. For example, isn’t the Google self-driving car a set of technologies — sensors, modules, algorithms — for just that? I’ve never seen AI discussed in anything like STA terms; but I’ve long mused that doing so could prove useful.

I hope this sketchy outline helps. Onward.

* * * * *

Addendum: Scholarly quotes about the importance of people’s STA orientations

While I was refining the foregoing slides and text, I noticed various scholarly quotes I’d kept for old drafts about STA. These quotes might clutter the trim briefing-style post above. But they speak pointedly to the ideas behind STA. And they may help convey and clarify STA for some readers. So I’m providing a selection here, eleven in number. I’ve used a few in prior posts, but they’re worth repeating.

On space: These two quotes — the first from Michel Foucault, the next from Manuel Castells — speak to the importance of space orientations.
• “The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity; we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. … when our experience of the world is less that of a long life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and intersections with its own skein.” (From Michel Foucault, “Of Other Space,” in Diacritics, Spring 1986, p. 24)
• “I shall then synthesize the observed tendencies under a new spatial logic that I label space of flows. I shall oppose to such logic the historically rooted spatial organization of our common experience: the space of places.” (From Manuel Castells, The Rise of the Network Society, 1996, p. 378)

On time: Here are three quotes about the significance of time orientations — one each from Karl Mannheim, Florence Kluckhon, and Fred Polak. The statements by Kluckhon and Polak represent the kind of background that I’d wish Zimbardo & Boyd’s book had included.
• “[T]he innermost structure of the mentality of a group can never be as clearly grasped as when we attempt to understand its conception of time in the light of its hopes, yearning, and purposes. On the basis of these purposes and expectations, a given mentality orders not merely future events, but also the past.” (From Karl Mannheim, Ideology and Utopia, 1936, p. 209)
• “Obviously all societies at all times must cope with all three time problems; all must have their conceptions of the Past, the Present, and the Future. Where societies differ is in the rank-order emphasis they give to each, and a very great deal can be told about the particular society being studied, much about the direction of change within it can be predicted, if one knows what that rank order is. Spengler, greatly impressed by the significance of the time orientation, made this statement in his Decline of the West: ‘It is by the meaning that it intuitively attaches to time that one culture is differentiated from another.’” (From Florence Kluckhohn, “Some Reflections on the nature of cultural integration and change,” in Tiryakian, ed., 1963, p. 224)
• “[Man's] image of the future is his propelling power. … [T]he rise and fall of images of the future precedes or accompanies the rise and fall of cultures. As long as a society's image is positive and flourishing, the flower of culture is in full bloom. Once the image begins to decay and lose its vitality, however, the culture does not long survive.” (From Fred Polak, The Image of the Future, [1955] 1973, p. 5, 19)

On action: That man has power to affect things, that progress is feasible, that social action can work — that human agency and efficacy matter — is a separate belief, not derived from space-time beliefs. This point shines in the following two quotes — one from Leonard Doob, the other from Alberto Bandura:
• “Basic to all such thinking …. must also be the belief that men themselves — not their ancestors, not fate, not nature, not other men — are able to control their own destinies. … for men everywhere are not likely to seek change unless they believe that change is possible.” (From Leonard Doob, Becoming More Civilized, 1960, p. ??)
• “This change in human self-conception and the view of life from supernatural control to personal control ushered in a major shift in causal thinking, and the new enlightenment rapidly expanded the exercise of human power over more and more domains.” (From Alberto Bandura, Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, 1997, p. 1)

On space and time together: Of the three STA orientations, space and time are the two that usually get combined and discussed together. The following quotes — one from Lewis Mumford, the next from Daniel Boorstin — illustrate this:
• “[N]o two cultures live conceptually in the same kind of time and space. … [E]ach culture believes that every other kind of space and time is an approximation to or perversion of the real space and time in which it lives.” (Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization, 1932, p. 18)
• “[T]he compass provided a worldwide absolute for space comparable to that which the mechanical clock and the uniform hour provided for time. … When you moved any great distance from your home out into the uncharted great oceans, you could not know precisely where you were unless you had a way of finding precisely when you were.” (From Daniel Boorstin, The Discoverers, 1983, pp. 219-220)

On space, time, and action as a set: Finally, as intimations of STA, here are revelatory quotes — one from Sheldon Wolin, the next from Bruno Latour — that urge treating space-time-action as a triad.
• “Every political theory that has aimed at a measure of comprehensiveness has adopted some implicit or explicit proposition about “time,” “space,” “reality,” or “energy.” Although most of these are the traditional categories of metaphysicians, the political theorist does not state his propositions or formulate his concepts in the same manner as a metaphysician. … Rather, the political theorist has used synonyms; instead of political space he may have written about the city, the state, or the nation; instead of time, he may have referred to history or tradition; instead of energy, he may have spoken about power. The complex of these categories we can call a political metaphysic.” (From Sheldon Wolin, Politics and Vision, 1960, pp. 15-16)
• “Fourth, to talk like the semioticians, there is always simultaneously at work in each account, a shift in space, a shift in time, and a shift in actor or actant, the last of these always forgotten in philosophical or psychological discussions. … We should not speak of time, space, and actant but rather of temporalization, spatialization, actantialization (the words are horrible) or, more elegantly of timing, spacing, acting.” (From Bruno Latour, “Trains of Thought: Piaget, Formalism, and The Fifth Dimension,” in Common Knowledge, Winter 1997, pp. 178–9)

Bruno Latour!? I normally find his writing incomprehensible. Evidently I must reconsider.