W.H. HARMAN characterized as follows the main symptoms of crisis in contemporary human systems:
" – Interconnectedness, so that laissez-faire approaches are less workable.
"- Reduction of geographical and entrepreneurial frontier opportunities.
"- Approaching limits of natural recycling capabilities.
" – Sharpened dichotomy between "employed" and "unemployed" (e.g. virtual elimination of the small farmer, partially or sporadically employed)
" – Transition from a basic condition of labor scarcity to one of job scarcity
" – Approaching limits of some resources (e.g. natural gas, domestic petroleum – i.e. from U.S. wells, fresh water)
" – "Faustian powers" of technology and industrialization that have reached the point where they can have a major impact on the physical, technological, sociopolitical and psychological environment
" – Expanded political power of labor which, forcing industrial wages to follow increasing productivity, constitutes an inflationary factor
" – More adequate supplying of deficiency needs (improved diet, material advance) plus more education, resulting in higher expectations and keener perception of the gap between actualities and potentialities" (1972, p.88).
This impressive 1972 list is still more valid in 1996. Some more items could be added:
- The still largely uncontrolled demographic explosion which is imposing a growing strain on all resources, renewable or not.
- Colossal squandering of resources in military spending and the resulting destructive conflicts.
- The general trend toward deficit spending at every level of public administration, with a global inflationary effect.
- The growing volatility of the world monetary and financial system, resulting from the newly worldwide interconnection of markets.
- The growing impact of clandestine and illegal business (drugs, bribes, etc.) which introduces an uncontrolled instability factor in economy and politics.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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