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Sustainable policy #29

Persistence (K'an)

Metaphors: Abyss / Gorge / Unavoidable danger


Social A sustainable policy cycle may succeed through persisting in its course of action, responding appropriately to difficulties as they emerge. In this way the difficulties may subsequently be used as a form of protection.

Sub-conditions:

1. The sustainable policy cycle should avoid adapting permanently to dangers for this may prevent it from functioning appropriately in a normal environment. (Resulting in: Limitation).

2. When faced with danger, the sustainable policy cycle should assess the situation and act with caution. (Resulting in: Solidarity).

3. In certain dangerous circumstances, inaction is preferable to action which may aggravate the situation for the sustainable policy cycle. (Resulting in: Basic need).

4. In times of danger, the sustainable policy cycle can usefully base its relationships on simplicity of substance rather than on complex forms of protocol. (Resulting in: Adversity).

5. Danger will be increased if the sustainable policy cycle has ambitions beyond its capacities and the opportunities of the moment. (Resulting in: Controlled threat).

6. If the sustainable policy cycle becomes confused in its strategy in a highly dangerous situation, it is unlikely that this can be immediately remedied. (Resulting in: Barrier dissolution).

Transformation sequence Persistence is only effective if there are normative constraints. (Resulting in: Normative constraint).


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

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