Not in a sentient/self-embodied sense, but I believe it is highly-probable that certain people or groups within what we think of as society do strongly-influence or actually direct it's path. And define it's destinations.
This is not in some vague paranoid Illuminati sense, I mean through the ownership of key society itself: via group self-perception and definition.
And I do mean distinctly, quite separately from core societal history being just happenchance random descents of parallel & intersecting meritocracies over time.
Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.