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Chapter One: The Search for a Pragmatic Utopia

Section 4: Stability--Diachronic


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"Podolyanka", a Russian Dance performed by Lysaya Dance Ensemble for the Russian Festival at the Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, California, on June 14, 1998. Dance stars Alisa Robin Burton (eavesdropping in back).



The second type of stability is diachronic -- in other words, inter-generational. The society must be able to preserve itself by socializing its children to become adults who will participate in the society. For example, a repressive regime might develop classroom routines that are so rigidly structured that children's motivations are not tapped and so they fail to learn enough to operate the society competently -- the social organization then disintegrates.



Consider an example at the humanist extreme based on the assumption of the inherent goodness of humankind. The educational methods are laissez faire since they believe children will blossom into loving adults if uncorrupted by authority. If in fact the results of such methods are aggressive and undisciplined children who do not tend to form the social consciousness necessary to maintain a humanistic society, disintegration prevails again.



The challenge for diachronic stability is to design an educational system that will provide new generations compatible with the society. As with the valley and ridge, stability does not imply that the system must be stagnant. There is room for further development, but the basic structural integrity of the society must be maintained through the process of growth.







Book Contents

Transcultural Friendship: Our Political Future




Chapter 1 Contents

The Search for a Pragmatic Utopia

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The Evolution of Societal Structures

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Stability -- Synchronic



Stability -- Diachronic

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Utopian "Good"