At the risk of oversimplification, one may say that the coordinated actions of societies are directed largely toward one or the other of two basic goals.  First and foremost, they are directed toward the maintenance of the political status quo within the group.  Since perfect stability or equilibrium is impossible, this goal might better be described as the minimization of the rate of internal political change. This manifests itself in various ways, but particularly in the development of the machinery of state and other agencies and instruments of social control, in the great concern for law and order which every society's leaders express, and in the cultivation of political ideologies which justify the status quo.  It is also seen in the universal concern of societies and their leaders with defense against foreign aggression (1966, p.41-42).

The second basic goal of societies is the maximization of production and the resources on which production depends.  Sometimes this has been sought by efforts to promote technological advance; more often it has been through war and conquest (1966, p.42).