Order and Disorder

We seem to be failing in our quest to identify a secure basis for social decision-making. Where we find a basis for decision-making, we also find rigidity that threatens to crush social innovation. Where we allow change, we also allow the possibility of abuse of privilege.

If we cannot formulate rules, then we cannot avoid the need to focus attention on the management of society. Part of life involves investing emotional and physical energy in solving problems that really shouldn't have to concern us, and may appear to be none of our business. If this is inevitable, how best are we to discharge our responsibility?

All of the social standards we have discussed thus far are attempts to define processes for guiding personal conduct in a social setting. Good and evil draws upon history. Right and wrong is an informal process for correcting behavior. Legal codes are a process for evolving social practice in a controlled manner.

If none of these suffice, an alternative is to formulate a strategy to assure that we are required to allocate our attention only to substantial social problems. If we cannot agree on standards of action, perhaps we can agree upon standards of conduct. We might like to see a gradual and intensifying change in behavior as a society becomes less and less functional. Conversely, the provision of services should be almost invisible to us as society improves.