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Sustainable policy #14

Wealth (Ta Yu)

Metaphors: Possession in great measure / Great possessing


Social A sustainable policy cycle may acquire a position of power in relation to the strong by acting disinterestedly with a low profile. In this way wealth is appropriately administered in a graceful and controlled manner.

Sub-conditions:

1. The sustainable policy cycle can avoid the temptation of wealth only by developing an awareness of the many difficulties to be overcome and of the possibilities of mistakes in its use. (Resulting in: Cultural heritage).

2. The sustainable policy cycle should delegate responsibility in order to ensure that the resources at its disposal are used most effectively in new undertakings. (Resulting in: Normative constraint).

3. The sustainable policy cycle is most successful when it seeks to place itself and the wealth it has acquired at the service of a higher cause, or of society as a whole, rather than vainly attempting to maintain a hold on it for itself. (Resulting in: Opposition).

4. The sustainable policy cycle should carefully distinguish its own position from that of the strong with whom it is in contact, in order to avoid the dangers of vying with them and thus jeopardizing the very basis of its power. (Resulting in: Conservation).

5. Even when the benevolent action of the sustainable policy cycle succeeds in attracting support based solely on unaffected sincerity, the tendency for insolence to emerge must be kept in check through the strength of dignity. (Resulting in: Creativity).

6. When at the height of its power, the sustainable policy cycle can best enhance the value of its position by cultivating an unassuming attitude and honouring values which transcend the mundane affairs of society. (Resulting in: Power).

Transformation sequence To retain valuable possessions, the amount should be modest and the attitude unpretentious. (Resulting in: Unpretentiousness).


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Earlier version in 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986).

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