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Sustainable policy #36

Decline (Ming Yi)

Metaphors: Darkening of the light / Hiding brightness


Social In adverse circumstances a sustainable policy cycle should not reveal the values it holds and thus provoke opposition. Rather it should appear to accept the prevailing standards and mode of behaviour whenever this is necessary.

Sub-conditions:

1. Faced with opposition, the sustainable policy cycle may limit its objectives but will nevertheless face continuing opposition if it remains true to its principles. (Resulting in: Unpretentiousness).

2. Although handicapped by opposing forces, the sustainable policy cycle may concentrate beneficially on assisting others who are also at risk. (Resulting in: Peace).

3. In the process of establishing a new order, the sustainable policy cycle may contain the initiator of the opposition, but premature consolidation of such a victory should be carried out with caution if the habits of the old order have become too well-entrenched. (Resulting in: Recovery).

4. The sustainable policy cycle may be able to avoid being drawn into disaster by being well informed concerning the intentions of the initiator of the opposition. (Resulting in: Prosperity).

5. If the sustainable policy cycle is obliged to remain under the influence of the opposing forces, it can only survive intact through the exercise of dissimulation and considerable caution. (Resulting in: Accomplishment).

6. The forces in opposition to the sustainable policy cycle of superior values turn upon themselves at the height of their power and cause their own destruction. (Resulting in: Style).

Transformation sequence Decline eventually necessitates a withdrawal into a community context. (Resulting in: Community).


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

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