Learning Capacity and Creativity in Politics: The Search for Cohesion and Values
Another kind of interest suggested by the stress on information might deal with the resourcefulness or creativity of political decisions. In Toynbee’s analysis, referred to above, the failure of populations to imitate their rulers is viewed as a consequence of the failure of these rulers to invent and execute an effective new ‘response’ to some new ‘challenge’ presented to the state or the society by its environment. In this view, Greek valley farmers were challenged by invasions of plundering herdsmen from the hills, and responded to this challenge by the invention of the city-state. Later, the Athenians, when confronted with the “Malthusian challenge” of increasing numbers on insufficient soil, responded with the inventions of the “Solonic Revolution”: oil culture and long-distance trade.