Sociologists have designated as
social process a phased movement made by people in association. They stage forward or back between opposition and assimilation, only resting where their interests are served. Reviewed here is the thought of two dozen European or American writers on this self-movement of society. Linked then to Hobbes' understanding of order, it is seen to suggest a new formulation of the movement forward. That exhibits four phases: alliance, community, cooperation and government. Assertiveness and controlling norms both have scope in this progression, and self-interest is not denied but merged into the self-interest of one's enfolding groups. Evidences are drawn from the histories of England, France, the United States of America and Canada.