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Untangling Key Difficulties, Creating Preconditions

In past years in the northern United States, logs were often cut in the woods in winter and sent to market by floating them down river in the spring. Lumberjacks would shepherd and guide vast quantities of timber down the fresheted1 rivers. On occasion the mass of logs would jam at some point in the river and great pile-ups would develop. It became a crucial skill to find the “key log” in the jam, the removal of which, with peavey,2 pry bar, or dynamite, would free the whole mass of logs to continue on their course downstream.

The progress of events and the development of movements are subject to similar obstacles. The untangling of “key difficulties” which are holding up progress on a broad front can be compared to the freeing of the “key log” in a logjam on a river. If a person playing an important role in a movement becomes non-functional through accident, illness, preoccupation with distress, or unforeseen circumstances, to restore that person to functioning or to replace that person in the role with a functioning person is a key activity that releases the development of many other activities.

Creation of pre-conditions for events which one desires to take place has a similar effect.

If one wishes to produce a motorcar, for example, it will be necessary to find (or even construct) an iron mining operation, and mills to produce steel; smelt the iron; and cast or forge or machine parts in order that the manufacture of an automobile can proceed. In other kinds of manufacturing, the transportation, warehousing, and sub-assembling of materials are pre-conditions that must be met for the desired product to be attained.

Leading a large number of people in a world-class community organized around oneself to achieve mass re-emergence, eliminate nuclear hazards, and construct a rational society will certainly have analogous pre-conditions at every stage.

Harvey Jackins
From The Longer View, pages 35 to 36 

1 “Fresheted” means overflowing due to heavy rains or melted snow.
2 A “peavey” is a lumber-worker’s lever that has a pivoting hooked arm and metal spike at one end.


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00