At the base of the social order are the core activities undertaken by individuals in their efforts to meet their needs and demands. Aggregated at the level of the state, the international system and the global context, the most fundamental individual needs and wants are driven by the quest for security and survival. This is consistent with tradition in international relations theory. But the view of the individual differs from that posited by convention for the First Image in International Relations theory.

Top begin with, lateral pressure theory sees the individual as an information processing and an energy using entity. Second, the theory is anchored in the assumption that homo individualis – in contrast to homo economicus and to homo politicus – is situated in an overarching social and natural, and now cyber, environment. Also it is at odds with the conventional view of economic man, the isolated individual entering an impersonal market at a particular point in time. Both the market and the polity are well understood with respect to properties and modes of behaviors, they retain an exclusively social view of man. Embedded in the interactive social, natural, and cyber domains, homo individualis is at once a economic, social or political man, even a homo cybericus  – depending on role and context at any point in time.