What will overcome the conditions and forces is an idea whose time has come, Werner asserts.
When something’s time comes, change takes whatever form is available to it and happens.
Werner Erhard, The End of Starvation: Creating an Idea Whose Time Has Come. 1977, at http://www.wernererhard.net/thpsource.html
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Victor Hugo said, essentially, that all the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.
If, in fact, the time were to come for the end of hunger and starvation on this planet, hunger and starvation on this planet would end. That’s it. When the time for things comes, they happen by whatever means are available. When an idea’s time comes, the forces in the world are transformed so that instead of what you do being unworkable, what you do works. And you do what works.
The Wright brothers would have died bicycle merchants had flight not been an idea whose time had come.
If you understand this, you begin to understand why things in the world have progressed as they have. In 1800, slavery in this country, exactly like hunger around the world today, was seen as inevitable. The attitude was: “When you’ve got human beings, one is going to dominate the other.”
Remember, it doesn’t make any difference what those forces were: psychological, economic, political. The consensus among people was that slavery was a function of inevitability. In addition, those people knew that the economy of the country would collapse without slaves. Everybody would be damaged, even the slaves themselves.
It was better to be good to your slaves than to end slavery. Besides which, if we ended slavery, all those blacks would overrun the country and play havoc with the white citizenry. Everyone knew you could not end slavery. You just couldn’t do it.
But when that idea’s time came, slavery ended. Now, in the case of slavery, it took a cataclysm. When something’s time comes, it takes whatever form is available to it, and it happens.
It is not a solution which makes something happen. It is its time coming which makes the space for creative solutions and enables the solutions you use to work.
If you have traveled in Asia or Africa in the past, you know that smallpox was a scourge there. People died from it. They were disfigured by it. Recently, there have been signs in red on the walls of towns in Asia, offering a sizeable reward to anyone who lets the local health authorities know about a case of fever and spots.
Nobody collected those rewards while I was in Asia the last time. Why? Because, for all practical purposes, there is no more smallpox on this planet. It was not the solution that ended smallpox. We have had the solution to the end of smallpox (the vaccine) for over 150 years.
As anybody who has worked with the problem or studied the problem knows, smallpox persisted, not because of a lack of solutions, but because of the economic, political, sociological, psychological forces in the world. For example, we couldn’t get into some countries because they didn’t want any outside help. Some people didn’t want to be vaccinated. And so forth. But somehow smallpox ended when the time came for it to end.
When an idea’s time comes, whatever you do works, and you do what works.
(To be continued tomorrow)