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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 17. 19th July 1972

Chaos Re-Interpreted

Chaos Re-Interpreted

So the chaos in our society at the present time is not really a chaos at all. It is the emergence of a new set of values. The chaos is occurring because of the inability of many people to comprehend what is going on. This lack of understanding, and the fear to which it gives rise, is quite understandable. There has never been such a sudden valued change in the history of man. Many people in our community are suffering from what Alvin Toffler has called "future shock". It is the result of too much change in a single lifetime. The future is unfolding so quickly that people become disoriented.

We have got to show people the new social synthesis which is forming in our community today. It is a new political synthesis too. It is almost a new ideology. It is a set of ideas with a common thread which act as a guide to political action. The common thread is humanism, although without the atheistic overtones usually associated with that word. We have got to meet the needs of people and not the needs of the system. It is not social ism or conservatism—it is humanism.

And there is a great desire for change in our society today. I can see signs of it in our newspapers every day. I can feel it when I talk to people They want change because they realise New Zealand has been drifting for too long. But they can't put their finger on what they want. 1972 is not like 1932. There is no clear pointer for the direction to change. There is a pointer but only those who are thinkers and sharp observers can see it. They must clear the mist from the sign which points to a warmer and more compassionate society.

New Zealand is once again restless and when that happens the world should sit up and watch. For great change in our society seems to come in 40-year cycles. It was 40 years after we really began developing in earnest that we had the industrial reforms of the 1890s. It was 40yrs. after that that we had the great social reforms of the first Labour Government. The pattern seems to be that we go forward and then we consolidate. And when we go forward we lead the world.

That third 40 years is almost up.