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Sustainable policy #34

Power (Ta Chuang)

Metaphors: Power of the great / Invigorating power


Social A sustainable policy cycle of superior values may acquire great strength and run the risk of depending upon that strength alone. True power is only exhibited when that strength is used in the service of a higher cause.

Sub-conditions:

1. If the sustainable policy cycle attempts to use its strength from an inferior position it courts disaster. (Resulting in: Endurance).

2. As resistance breaks down, the sustainable policy cycle may easily become self-confident and lose the advantage of balanced use of its force. (Resulting in: Prosperity).

3. The sustainable policy cycle should avoid displays of power for their own sake, especially because of the complications to which they lead. (Resulting in: Elective affinity).

4. When all resistance disappears, the sustainable policy cycle is free to use all its powers, although the less this is apparent the greater its effectiveness. (Resulting in: Peace).

5. When all resistance has disappeared, it is no longer desirable for the sustainable policy cycle to act forcefully and decisively. (Resulting in: Resolution).

6. The sustainable policy cycle should discontinue its initiative if, having proceeded too far in its actions, it encounters complications which hinder any further action. (Resulting in: Wealth).

Transformation sequence Power cannot be restrained indefinitely, hence progressive expansion occurs. (Resulting in: Progress).


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

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