Social Engineering (was: Different patriarchy Model)

Gerold Firl (
21 Dec 1994 16:37:34 -0800

In article <3cfbg4$> (PioneerTom) writes:

>examples of bad planning abound in recent history.

Right. It seems like every time we try to "improve" our culture, or some
other culture, we do more harm than good, no matter how well-intentioned.
Of course, I may be looking too short-term; consider the british ban on
slavery in the early 19th century. It caused enormous suffering in africa,
as the primary source of export revenue was suddenly eliminated, but in the
long run this must be seen as a positive example of social engineering.

A little closer to home, consider the american civil-rights reforms in the
60's. Thirty years later, american black culture has still not recovered,
and appears to continue a tailspin into dissolution. Perhaps this should be
interpreted as symptomatic of absorbtion, as black culture is integrated
into mainstream american culture, but it is still surprising to me that it
has taken such a destructive form. The amazing level of crime and personal
suffering within black culture, which appears to have been triggered by the
repeal of legal restrictions on black citizens, is a sobering example of
how delicate social stability can be, and how costly social instability can
be. Attempts to anticipate future problems, and head them off by
pre-emptive social engineering, must be undertaken very carefully, with
full cognisance of previous problems. Unfortunately the social sciences
seem very poorly prepared for predicting where and how such problems will

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf