A man was riding his bicycle one day when all of a sudden his brake jammed. Luckily there was a cycle repair shop nearby, so he took his bike there to have it fixed. Thinking that the mechanic would fix the brake at the point where it was jammed, the cyclist was surprised to see him tap away with a small hammer at a completely different place. Before he was able to express his surprise, however, the mechanic handed the bike over.
“That’s fixed. You can take it away now,” he said. And off the cyclist rode, with his bike once again running smoothly.
What was true of this bicycle is true also of human society. When there is something wrong with society, people usually jump to the conclusion that where the malaise lies, there also lies the cure. But this is not the case. Usually, the root of the malaise lies in a different place, far away from the symptoms. Until the cause is removed, the malaise itself will not go away.