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Sustainable policy #33

Withdrawal (Tun)

Metaphors: Retreat / Retiring / Seclusion


Social A sustainable policy cycle may usefully withdraw when faced with opposing forces favoured by the current circumstances of society. For the retreat to be constructive it should be carried out with acts of resistance which prepare the way for later counter-movement.

Sub-conditions:

1. The retreating sustainable policy cycle should not take any initiative if it is in immediate contact with the opposing forces. (Resulting in: Fellowship).

2. Those of inferior values may maintain such close contact with the sustainable policy cycle that they are successful in achieving superior goals. (Resulting in: Encounter).

3. The sustainable policy cycle may only achieve the freedom to retreat by taking responsibility for those who would otherwise prevent it, but this course carries its own risks. (Resulting in: Stagnation).

4. The sustainable policy cycle of superior values adapts easily and harmoniously to the process of retreat from those of inferior values who degenerate when deprived of such guidance. (Resulting in: Development).

5. The sustainable policy cycle must judge the time for retreat correctly, and act firmly, or else run the risk of unpleasant discussion of irrelevant matters. (Resulting in: Marginality).

6. Once the sustainable policy cycle has ceased to identify with the prevailing conditions it acquires the ability to act fully in following the most appropriate line of retreat. (Resulting in: Influence).

Transformation sequence Withdrawal cannot continue indefinitely, hence power becomes evident. (Resulting in: Power).


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

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