A subsystem can be more or less active, that is, it can participate more or less actively in the organization of the relationships that it entertains with other subsystems. One of the implications of this way of thinking is that the more complex a system, the more it has the capacity to rearrange its organization locally and globally. The mind of an individual, for example, is capable of important rearrangements if society affords it new information. A society can rearrange the relationship between citizens if the citizens can be convinced to do so. For Spinoza, these changes are only improvements if the complexity of social dynamics becomes closer to the dynamics of nature.8 At this level the philosopher and the scientist can enrich the social system in which they are a part.
To the extent that a system perceives and masters its capacity to change, in a similar manner, it can adapt itself profoundly to the laws of nature. For Spinoza, to understand the laws of nature (he does not believe it is possible to function outside of these laws) is to accept the inevitable. It is also to be able to learn to better use available resources. For example, democracy would be superior to tyranny for at least two reasons:
1. Individuals in a democratic society can more easily become active, and thus complex. This permits them to have a greater variety of relationships between them which makes possible a greater social complexity.
2. The greater complexity of democratic societies more easily promotes the activity of the citizens. It is therefore closer to the dynamics of nature.
A society that is maintained under the yoke of a tyranny allows for fewer combinations between citizens; therefore, it allows only for a restricted exploitation of the possibilities contained in a social system and within each of its citizens. In summary, tyranny has the tendency to reduce the functioning of a society to what the leaders have been able to imagine and conceptualize. On the other hand, democracy allows for a greater number of nonconscious regulations to be established, and it mobilizes a greater variety of individual forms of imagination.