Water, dividing . . . Summer in North America.
Pondering the patterns of water in flowing movement is a good place
to consider our relationship with the natural world. How to create
order in the world is the basic question. And what is the nature of this
order? Is it the order of a bank or a military barracks, or that of forest
or stream? The key point is that it is up to us. We have to decide which
approach works best, and which world we want, both for ourselves
and for future generations.
On the difference between limit and control . . .
Control imposes order from without by projecting the predetermined
thought, conditioned by the past, of what should happen. The need to
control invariably increases as the disorderly, unexpected, side-effects of past
efforts accumulate, which results in ever-greater unnecessary difficulties
or complicatedness; In contrast, limit allows order to emerge from within
by determining only what at any given moment should not happen. Limit
is therefore open to the future and tends strongly towards ever-greater
Here is an example of how this works . . .
Corruption on the money markets?
a: The higher the degree of abstraction with which the
wealth produced by the many is represented, the more
likely this wealth will be hoarded and abused by a
b: Don't try to control the complex routes and byways
of currency. Rather, limit them—and strictly. With clear
stop signs, speed limits, and permissible directions
When the limits of a system are few, fair, and simple,
they will to a large extent, much like the movements
along actual physical roads, be self-regulating.
c: The main reason why clear limits of this kind are
so difficult to establish is that many in positions of
power profit greatly from the corruption.
If the roads were run by bandits, we wouldn't look
to the bandits to reform themselves. An independent
entity would have to draw up a new set of limits,
and then enforce them.
The key point is that because the limits are few, fair
and simple, they are known to all; And because they
are seen by the vast majority of people to be to their
advantage, such laws are easily enforced. After all,
who would put up with highways where a privileged
few are allowed to drive as fast and as aggressively
and as recklessly as they want?
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