Daniel Fife

Daniel Fife, "Killing the Goose" (1971), ed. Garrett Hardin and John Baden, Managing the Commons, San Fransisco, W.H. Freeman and Company, 1977.

This article also indicates that in certain situations, namely those where it may pay to kill the goose, 'industrial self-regulation' is not merely questionable, it is farcical. It is in fact equivalent to a policy of destroying the resource in question. In such situations society is the only possible protector of the resource, and any efforts directed to protecting the resource without government intervention are doomed to fail in the long run. [79]


Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Ludwig von Bertalanffy, General System Theory: foundations, development, applications, London, Allen Lane, 1971.

Classical physics, Weaver said, was highly successful in developing the theory of unorganized complexity. Thus, for example, the behaviour of a gas is the result of the unorganized and individually untraceable movements of innumerable molecules; as a whole it is governed by the laws of thermodynamics. The theory of unorganized complexity is ultimately rooted in the laws of chance and probability and in the second law of thermodynamics. In contrast, the fundamental problem today is that of organized complexity. Concepts like those of organization, wholeness, directiveness, teleology, and differentiation are alien to conventional physics. However, they pop up everywhere in the biological, behavioural and social sciences, and are, in fact, indispensable for dealing with living organisms or social groups. Thus a basic problem posed to modern science is a general theory of organization. General system theory is, in principle, capable of giving exact definitions for such concepts and, in suitable cases, of putting them to quantitative analysis. [33]

It can be shown that the primary regulations in organic systems, i.e., those which are most fundamental and primitive in embryonic development as well as in evolution, are of the nature of dynamic interaction. They are based upon the fact that the living organism is an open system, maintaining itself in, or approaching a steady state. Superposed are those regulations which we may call secondary, and which are controlled by fixed arrangements, especially of the feedback type. This state of affairs is a consequence of a general principle of organization which may be called progressive mechanization. At first, systems - biological, neurological, psychological or social - are governed by dynamic interaction of their components; later on, fixed arrangements and conditions of constraint are established which render the system and its part more efficient, but also gradually diminish and eventually abolish its equipotentiality. [44]