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Functionalist Approach

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The Difference between Unicist Binary Actions (UBAs) and Manipulative Binary Actions (MBAs)

The Unicist Strategy is a value adding strategy while manipulation is its anti-concept that is driven by the need to control the environment to obtain benefits. Therefore, manipulative actions are the anticoncept of unicist binary actions. While the manipulative binary actions aim at controlling the environment, the unicist binary actions aim at generating added value. This is the difference between MBAs and UBAs.

Unicist Binary Actions

Double Dialectical Behavior is natural and “automatic” in any complex adaptive system. Perhaps it needs to be clarified that adaptive systems are those that are dominantly feedback dependent.

The discovery of the structure of the concepts that underlies these systems allowed understanding how these binary actions drive the evolution of such systems.  The use of unicist logic allowed defining, designing and using unicist binary actions to implement adaptive strategies.

Unicist binary actions integrate the actor with two synchronized actions including, on the one hand, the maximal strategy to foster growth and, on the other hand, the minimum strategy to ensure survival.

Unicist binary actions respond to the needs of the nature of what is being managed and therefore generate no reactions. The value generated by these binary actions demonstrates their functionality.

Binary actions are not such, but manipulations, when they are used to profit from the environment. Generating value and profiting from the counterpart is the pathway of unicist binary actions.

Manipulative Binary Actions

Manipulations are non-conscious actions to control the environment and obtain benefits at the expense of others. The manipulations of children are a paradigmatic example.

While the purpose of manipulations is to profit from the environment, the purpose of unicist binary actions is to add value to the environment. That is why manipulations are the anti-concept of unicist strategy and its binary actions. .

Manipulations are sustained by the needs of the environment and are catalyzed by exposing the weaknesses that are implicit in the strengths of the counterpart.

The binary actions developed by manipulators are:

Manipulative Binary Action 1

MBA Type 1a) – Exposing the implicit weaknesses of the counterpart as real weaknesses.

MBA Type 1b) – Making an implicit or explicit ambiguous promise of satisfying the needs of the counterpart.

Manipulative Binary Action 2

MBA Type 2a) – Trying to appropriate value based on fallacious justifications.

MBA Type 2b) – Exerting power by attacking the implicit weaknesses of the counterpart until the value is appropriated.

The manipulation process doesn’t fail when the intuition of the manipulator allowed discovering the needs and the implicit weaknesses of the counterpart and the manipulator has the necessary energy to pursue until the benefit has been obtained.

There are adults who have the habit of manipulating and others who have the addiction of doing so. None of these people can use a strategic approach or use unicist binary actions to add value to the environment, because they understand that the value is added at their expense. The origin of the habits and addictions can be found in their early education.

Manipulators build all the fallacies that are needed to justify their actions. Therefore, exposing manipulators is meaningless. They just need to be ignored or left aside. Nevertheless, they generate conflicts in the environments in which they participate.

It has to be considered that manipulations are extremely effective in the social field and might become installed in the fallacious myths of a culture, diminishing the capacity for generating value in an environment.


Manipulative Binary Actions are dysfunctional because they don’t generate added value and therefore are not adaptive actions but over-adaptive actions of individuals to take advantage of the environment.

Working with adaptive systems and environments requires developing synchronized Unicist Binary Actions that include maximal strategy actions to grow and minimum strategy actions to ensure results.

Peter Belohlavek

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute has been, since 1976, the pioneer in complexity science research where the Unicist Evolutionary Approach was developed.