Posts Tagged ‘Good’

The Forces Will Not Wait

September 17, 2009

The Forces Will Not Wait

Few things are either all good or all bad–they are often both. A strength often masks a weakness. A mountainous strength causes an abysmal weakness elsewhere.

One is reminded of the physical law that for every force, there is an equivalent and opposite force. Could this law manifest itself in the psychology of individuals and groups of individuals?

In individual affairs, the logician is often poor at matters of the heart. Those who are ruled by their emotions are frequently impaired by their illogical approaches to problems.

Perhaps this same difficulty can be seen in the methods of modern social sciences.

The “true” social scientist must refrain from taking or advocating action until the action is totally analyzed, its consequences completely understood, and it is tested in conditions which successively approximate the real world.

Social science, which is so strong at leisurely analysis , is frozen in the face of a demand for rapid adaptation. Like the once exquisite dinosaur, social science is presently mired in its own methodological tar pit.

Clearly, it is time to consider what it is we think we have learned after one-hundred years of analysis; it is time to integrate this information into a logical whole; and it is time to quickly make the best social adaptations available at this point in our evolution.

Let us beware of too much analysis and too much cautious vacillation. Individuals who over-indulge in these cognitive modes are frequently diagnosed as suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I believe the same diagnosis can be made of societies that behave in similarly incompetent and self-defeating ways.

The first concrete fact to remember is that individual species that cannot manage to rear healthy and effective children to adulthood will not survive.

The second concrete fact to remember is that individual societies that cannot manage to rear healthy and effective children to adulthood will not survive.

The forces of natural selection that determine the evolution and life-span of America will watch, but they will not wait.

Billy Budd, 1989

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