Change and the Establishment

There are a few laws of nature that seem to be quite universal even applicable to social systems.  A body in motion will remain in motion unless other forces change its speed and direction.  Any force will result in an equal and opposing force.  The Establishment or status quo is like a body in fixed motion.  It maintains the same social heading.  Change is like a Force that tries to oppose a body fixed in motion (the Establishment).  Such fixed motion establishments will exert an equal force against change to maintain its social heading.

Change generally happens incrementally such as with the LGBT rights movement due to the enormous energy in resources needed to make dramatic changes to the establishment unless a large explosion of energy such as a revolution or drastic change in the law redirects the social fabric of the establishment.  This was what brought change in equal rights for Blacks in education and other things in the United States while backlash from White supremacist fought hard to maintain the status quo.  After such events these new benchmarks eventually becomes part of the Establishment until the next change came along some time later.  But sudden change does not allow everyone to naturally evolve to the new order of things so even though Black Americans and other minorities now have legal rights to equality there still exist people who have not socially transition to the newer order of things.  Such changes take time but at least Black citizens now have legal recourse if they are done an injustice and as time goes on their social acceptance will become the accepted norm.

The world has become a social experiment due to accelerated social changes resulting from scientific and technological advances as will as new ideologies.  This is especially true in new and emerging countries such as China where dramatic sweeping social reforms have taken place in a very short time historically.  In the case of China this social experiment continues to take place as the communist government continues to embrace capitalism with relatively little violence due to a very strong central government and military presence.

Before the industrial revolution social changes gradually evolved unless a war resulted in the conquest of a country and new social orders imposed upon the defeated.  Usually the next generations did essentially the same things as the previous with occasional minor adjustments as people slowly evolved new variations to old skills.  With the advent of the industrial revolution and mass production using new technology the process of developing even newer technologies exploded.  One discovery or invention quickly led to another and the world changed forever.  But this has produce a backlash effect where there are large groups of people who simply resist such rapid changes.  Because of the rapidity of change many unforeseen consequences festered and eventually surfaced.  Pollution and greenhouse gases is one example that festered for over a century before it started to rapidly surface and become more evident in the last 25 years as glaciers rapidly receded globally and pollutions started taking a toll on health.

Change is inevitable.  The technology Genie is out of the bottle and cannot be placed back in.  So regardless of the attempts of conservatives to stop progress, the most they can do is to slightly slow it down.  They are not entirely wrong to want to slow down progress.  It was the way of man for hundreds of thousands of years before the industrialist revolution just about 200 years ago took hold.   Rapid change is disruptive and painful for many.  It means quickly adjusting to social changes which are a consequence of new technologies and ideologies.  Older people have more difficulty with new technological and social change than younger people but it is somewhat disruptive to everyone.  Change is also not always for the better.  Change brings side-effects just as medications do.  Hopefully these side-effects are manageable and less consequential than the intended object of change.

We can only hope that man will acquire the wisdom to do the right things in the long term but history has not shown man capable of much wisdom.  He keeps on making the same or similar mistakes over and over again.  Wisdom hasn’t been our strong suit.  We can only hope the patterns of history will change for the better.  In the mean time we must put up with such things as opposing political parties and ideologies digging in their heals in Congress resulting in nothing substantial happening in government.

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