Bryden Allen's Website

The Difficulty of Reforming a Society

We, who live democratic societies, always know that we can reform our society by simply electing a new different party into power. So we don’t need to worry about our future life too much. The purpose of this webpage is to point out that it will always be extremely difficult to elect a new reliable party into power to carry out any important fundamental reforms.
            We must always remember this important fact very clearly in mind. At the end of this webpage, I must point out that there are other ways of forming better societies, which rely more on personal initiative and action. Thus, when circumstances get really bad and reform is badly needed, then all people must bear these other circumstances clearly in mind.


The problems associated with electing a good new reforming government are the following:


1)         The Passion Factor
A large number of people in any country will have based their future lives on the fact that their country will continue to work in the same way in the future - as it has in the past. This is a very reasonable assumption for most people to make.
            So for example, some people will have built up trucking companies and these people will expect that this business will continue as before. Some people have built their homes in coalmine areas with the expectation that people will continue to be using coal. Other people will have trained to be employed in our many leisure industries. All these people expect that our life will continue as it has in the past.
            Now all normal people become very passionate indeed, if they feel that their life’s work, and their commitment to their job, has all been in vain. So naturally there will be a large number of very passionate people who will always be strongly opposed to any really reforming government. And the extreme passion of such people will be heard above the quiet people, like myself, who only think about unfortunate gradual changes e.g. Climate Change.


2)         The Leadership and the Big Money of a country will be Strongly against Reform
All people like the power they currently enjoy. And similarly the wealthy people of a country like the wealth and privileges they hold at the moment. So such people will be strongly opposed to any changes that affect their good circumstances. And this is precisely what a genuine reform must alter. So these people will join with the passionate people, I talked about in point 1, and these leaders, wealthy people and passionate people will form a very powerful party determined to conserve their power, wealth and jobs.
3)         The Majority of Voters will be against Reform
If any reform is to be enacted then the majority of the electorate must support this action. Fortunately the people I have referred to in my points 1 and 2 are still probably only a minority of people. So this is OK. But unfortunately the majority of people will have got used to the current way, in which they are living, and these people would worried about a change any proper reform would bring in. It is always easier to accept the status quo. It is very hard to get a majority of people to vote for a major reform.


4)         Which Reforms should be Enacted ?
All people are very clever at working out which reforms would benefit their own current circumstances, and which reforms could be a threat to their current situation. Usually they will only vote for a reform, which will clearly give them a benefit. Now a good reform package would offer the majority of people a better life-style gradually in the future. But very few people are capable of going through all the details of the proposed reforms, and so they understand this final result. It is simply too hard. And during this time the media, owned by the rich and operated by the current leaders, will be screaming their message that these reforms will never work.


So it is always terribly difficult to reform a society.


The only significant reform, I was associated with, occurred in the UK after the Second World War. This occurred because the whole country had to change in any case. The soldiers were all returning from war, and there was a huge amount of rebuilding that needed to be done. This was an abnormal circumstance and fortunately the new Labour Government used this golden opportunity to carry a huge fiscal reform. This reform took a huge amount of wealth from the rich and it was used to create community owned facilities. I was one of the great beneficiaries of this wonderful reform. But I can’t envisage this perfect circumstance occurring again in our near future. Real reform is just very, very hard to implement – it is simply not in the immediate interest of the majority people to support such a change.



But there are other ways of bringing about reform.
In my Green Living book, I describe how a small group of people can create a new kind of self-sufficient community. And this community can incorporate all the essential reforms, which we know are necessary i.e. giving equality to all people and giving sensible practical jobs to young people. When such communities have been established, then the rest of the world can actually see this better way of living, and they can follow this example.
            A major problem with this method is how such a community can get started in the first place. But, in my chapter 4, I show in detail how this very difficult problem can be gradually overcome. I personally could help any such people with a significant amount of finance initially.


The problem with the above method is that people will have to move to a different location where agricultural land is close at hand. In my webpage called A Safe Village Governmental Element – Should Disaster Strike I show how a small village community can be started in a city. So people don’t need to move to different location. But then there is the problem of getting a sufficient number of people in the local area to agree to co-operate with the idea.


Another way of overcoming this reform problem is described in my webpage called  “A Special Period. In this case I suggest that a country temporarily institutes five obvious, simple conditions, and these conditions mean that all people can live and work in complete safety. During this safe period, all people can carefully consider how their country can be reformed. So, at the end of this period, people can institute all the reforms they desire. Thus here we artificially create a special “war-like period” (as in WW2) during which people can safely consider possible reform.
            But of course it won’t be very easy to persuade a majority of the people to institute a Special Period. In my A Special Period to stop Climate Change - book”(pdf) (chapter 2), I give two extra methods of approach to help institute a Special Period. These extra approaches can help this difficult task.


None of these methods is easy. But, as I said before, instituting reform is just a very, very hard problem. But, before trying any of these possible options, we all need to discuss the problem of reform with all our relations, neighbours and friends, whenever we can. We have to keep trying to form a better form of community life in any way that is possible. If we don’t try to get better, then conditions will actually get worse (as described in my webpage called How Our Problems Evolve and get Worse).



You might now also like to look back at:

my "Home Page" (which introduces this whole website) and lists all my webpages).


My next normal webpage is The Unstable Nature of Life.


Updated on 17/11/2016.