'Liberty vs. Love': The Principal Contradiction Inherent throughout the Human Culture

Bulletin, YMCA at the University of Tokyo, No. 146, pp. 9-26, Dec. 8, 2016
Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University & CrePS Institute),
Oct. 4, 2016 Contributed.
Posted on Jan. 13, 2017

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Editor's Note (Toru Nakagawa, Jan. 9, 2017)

I contributed this article last October to the Bulletin of YMCA at the University of Tokyo, and it was published last December. Starting with my self-introduction, I briefly trace my work for these 20 years on methodology of creative problem solving, and explain the big topic in the title on which I have been working since last year.

I was living at the YMCA dormitory at University of Tokyo for over 4 years from my undergraduate 3rd year to graduate 3rd year.  The dormitory was very close to the Hongo Campus of the University.  At that time over 20 students studying at all the faculties lived together with close friendships, which have been continuing after graduation till now.   YMCA at Univ. of Tokyo was established as early as in 1888, and was active since its early days in expanding Christianity and in social welfare support.  To the Bulletin of such an association of life-long members, I wrote this article to be widely comprehensive for the young students, the alumni who are working actively, and also even those much senior to me.   I wrote my self-introduction first, and my Mission Statement at the end, for such an intention.

In the main part, I explain how I have been working as a researcher, initially in physical chemistry and later in informatics, to understand and develope 'Methodology of creative problem solving' (namely, methodology of research and development).  I found the Six-Box Scheme as a new paradigm in science and technology.   For extending its application to social problems, I chose to work on the problems of poverty in the Japanese society.

I recognized people's arguments whether to help the poor, and found the underlying conflict between the emphasis on Liberty and that of Love.   Then I realized that Liberty vs. Love is a much more basic contradiction, the Principal Contradiction unsolved throughout the history of Human Culture.   I have shown here a hypothesis of the Liberty vs. Love Contradiction in its skeletal form.

The idea that there exists a basic conflict (or contradiction) between Liberty and Love is not difficult to understand in itself.  You can easily show such examples in our everyday life, in our society, and in the international politics, etc.   We have been taught simply, however, "Liberty and Love are both important. So you should respect both of them. They should be compatible."  Nobody dared to say clearly "Between Liberty and Love there exists an intrinsic conflict. That is the most basic, Principal Contradiction of Human Culture."

"Understanding contradictions clearly is the basic way for us to solve the contradictions (or make them compatible)"; this is the basic approach in the present work.   The approach like this is based on the spirit/philosophy of TRIZ, which has been introduced and worked in the present Home Page. "Clarify the essence of problems as contradictions, then the directions for solving the contradictions appear clearly"; this has been well demonstrated by TRIZ in the field of technologies.

With this philosophy, we are going to tackle with the huge problem in the field of humans and society.   To understand the real situations and desirable directions concerning to this Principal Contradiction in the fields of humans, organizations, societies, and the world is a huge task for us to work from now on.   We need cooperation of many people working in humanity and social science and in the real world.

Since we are going to tackle with the Principal Contradiction which has not been solved in the Human History (at least 100 thousands years), our research and related activities must be hard and far to go.  I wish to ask you, the readers, for your favor to think over the current situations and desirable directions of Liberty vs Love (or Liberty and Love) in your fields of work.


Table of Contents:  'Liberty vs. Love': The Principal Contradiction Inherent throughout the Human Culture

1. Introduction: Self-introduction

2. Various methods for creative problem solving and the new paradigm 'Six-Box Scheme'

2.1 Conventional understanding in academia: Enlightenment and the Four-Box Scheme
2.2 TRIZ: Knowledge bases across fields in science and technology and understanding the contradictions
2.3 General methodology CrePS on the basis of the new paradigm 'Six-Box Scheme'

3.   Approach to social problems: Visualizing the problem of The Low-living Elderly.

3.1 Visualizing the logic of the book "The Low-living Elderly" (authored by Takanori Fujita)
3.2 Conflicts (and their roots) in the people's thoughts on the poverty problem
3.3 From 'Winning vs. Mutual help' to 'Liberty vs. Love'

4. 'Liberty vs. Love': Principal Contradiction inherent throughout the Human Culture

(1) The Human Culture takes Liberty as its First Principle and pursues for extending it.
(2) The Human Culture takes Love as its Second Principle and pursues for expanding it widely.
(3) Between the two Principal Principles, there exists the Principal Contradiction of Human Culture: Liberty vs. Love
(4) Both Liberty and Love are motivated and coordinated by Ethics
(5) Human Culture has been trying to solve the 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradiction, but has not solved yet at all

5. What makes the 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions difficult to solve?

(a) At the level of Individual person(s), actual and desirable relationships among Liberty, Love and Ethics are not clear yet.
(b) For various types/levels of social organizations, actual and desirable relationships among Liberty, Love, and Ethics are not understood clearly and commonly.
(c) Individuals and organizations sometimes insist on their Interests (Liberty), and act against (Social) Ethics, and can become the Social Winners.
(d) Situations of governance by Social Winners exist everywhere, in the scales from tiny to huge, and are accumulated in many layers in the Human History.

6. Concluding Remarks



Top of this page


Methods of creative problem solving

Approaches to social problems

Liberty vs Love

Difficulty factors



Methodology of Creative Problem Solving: CrePS

Poverty among the elderly

Liberty vs. Love

Toru Nakagawa's Mission Statement

  Japanese page


   Bulletin, YMCA at the University of Tokyo, No. 146, pp. 9-26, Dec. 2016   


'Liberty vs. Love':
The Principal Contradiction Inherent throughout the Human Culture

Toru Nakagawa (Osaka Gakuin University & CrePS Institute)

Contributed: Oct. 4, 2016,  Published: Dec. 8, 2016


1. Introduction: Self-introduction

I am going to write this article with a tremendously big theme as shown in the title.  So , I would like to write my self-introduction first.

I was born in 1940.  I entered the University of Tokyo in 1959, at Science Group I of College of Arts and Sciences, and lived at Mitaka College Dormitory for 2 years.   I did studies, part-time jobs, playing handball, student movements in 1960, and also met Christianity.   I went on to Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry, and entered this YMCA Dormitory for living four years and participating church activities in Mitaka.

Passing Graduate School I became an Assistant in Chemistry and did research for precisely determining molecular structures with molecular spectroscopy.   For the computer analysis of experimental data, I developed SALS software (Statistical Analysis with Least-Squares Fitting) with a group of inter-disciplinary specialists.

In 1980 at the age of 39, I left academia and entered Fujitsu Ltd. as a researcher in a basic research section in computer science, and worked for software quality control among others.  Later I worked as a research management staff for promoting patents and international research cooperation, etc.   In such an activity in 1997, I met a methodology TRIZ, which aims at technology development especially by overcoming contradictions.

In 1998 I became a Professor at Osaka Gakuin University for teaching undergraduate students in a new Faculty of Informatics, and I also made much efforts for doing research in TRIZ and promoting it in Japan.   I started a public Web site "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" [1] in 1998 as the Editor.   It has posted many papers and articles on methodologies of creative problem solving and their practices mostly in the technological fields.   The articles are written not only by myself but also many people in Japan and abroad and are posted both in Japanese and in English, after bidirectional translation as much as possible.

Though I retired the university in 2012, I have been continuing my research activities as Professor Emeritus, Osaka Gakuin University.  I am now promoting 'A General Methodology of Creative Problem Solving (CrePS)' in order to integrate a wide variety of conventional creativity methods and R&D methods by using a new framework named 'Six-Box Scheme' [2].

Further, aiming at extending the application of the TRIZ/CrePS methodology to non-technological, social problems, I worked to visualize the logics of the book "The Low-living Elderly" written by Takanori Fujita [3].  As the result, in April 2016, I have found a new concept that 'Liberty vs. Love' is the Principal Contradiction inherent through the Human Culture [4], as you see in the title of my present article.

Both Liberty and Love are important targets ('The First and Second Principles') in the Human Culture, but they contain serious contradictions.  The contradiction 'Liberty vs. Love' has been tried to solve throughout the whole history of Human Culture, but has not been solved yet and has become even more difficult to solve, I realize.  Human Culture should restart with this understanding, I believe.


2. Various methods for creative problem solving and the new paradigm 'Six-Box Scheme'

2.1 Conventional understanding in academia: Enlightenment and the Four-Box Scheme

Solving problems creatively is necessary everywhere in research in academia and in product/technology development in industries.   All the researchers and engineers over the world is trying hard to do so.  We ourselves also try to find good, creative solutions in various problems in our everyday life.   Then, what kinds of methods do we have for solving problems (i.e., methods of research and development, instead of individual contents of research and development, and especially those for generating new ideas)?  

The method well-known and especially relied in academia is the method for obtaining (or rather waiting for) Enlightenments.  Through the surveys of experiences of many scientists and engineers the following process has become clear:

(a) Studying and doing research in some areas beforehand.
(b) With strong awareness of some problem, thinking and trying in various directions for a long time.
(c) At some relaxed psychological occasion, an Enlightenment happens to occur.
(d) Applying the Enlightened idea to one's own problem, a new solution is obtained quickly.

With this understanding, the importance of getting relaxed is emphasized.   However, we do not know when such an Enlightenment really appear, and we are puzzled how to think and try beforehand because no clear methods are shown.

Conventional basic scheme in academia is the 'Four-Box Scheme of abstraction'. See Fig. 1.   This is typically used, for example, for solving some mathematical problem by setting up a quadratic equation and using the standard formula of the roots.

In every area of science and technology, various theories and models are built for using this scheme.  For quite new problems, which may need new technology developments and inventions, it is difficult to find what theories and how we can apply.   In such cases, we often need to look around for something useful as hints.

Fig. 1. Conventional paradigm of creative problem solving: Four-Box Scheme.

There is another approach of trying to generate as many ideas as possible without pursuing their quality and without following any theory.   Brainstorming method is most popular for this purpose especially in industries.

2.2 TRIZ: Knowledge bases across fields in science and technology and understanding the contradictions

TRIZ is a Russian acronym standing for 'Theory of Inventive Problem Solving'.   It was originally developed by Genrikh Altshuller (1926-1998) and his followers in a private section in ex-USSR.  

They studied a huge number of patents and extracted their essence to build several big knowledge bases which are applicable across fields (in technologies).  They include '40 Inventive Principles', 'A collection of Trends of Evolutions of Technical Systems', and 'Knowledge base for finding scientific principles and their application examples (i.e. measures) from some function (i.e. purpose).

TRIZ also clarified the concepts of Contradictions in technical problems and showed the basic methods for solving them. A form of contradiction is expressed as 'If we would improve an aspect of the problem system (with some typical measures), another aspect would get worse'.  Altshuller considered 39 aspects for expressing problem systems, analyzed a huge number of patents to find what aspect is wanted to improve, what aspect gets worse, and what types of solution ideas (in terms of the 40 Inventive Principles) are used.   Then he made a big table (called 'Contradiction Matrix') of 39x39 cells where top-4 most-often used Inventive Principles are shown for solving the contradiction specific in each cell.

He also found another form of contradiction, where two opposite requirements exist in one aspect of the problem system.   Once the problem is understood in this form of contradiction, it can be surely solved, he says.   His method of solving this form of contradiction is called 'Separation Principle': i.e.,

To examine the opposing requirements and find if they are separable either in space (i.e., requirements in different places), in time, or in conditions.
Once the requirements are found separable, you should generate solution ideas which can satisfy the requirements separately,
and then think of any method for combining the pair of separate solutions (with the help of 40 Inventive Principles).

'Clarify the contradiction, then it can be solved', is the basic philosophy of TRIZ.

TRIZ has developed many other methods for solving problems.   They individually follow the Four-Box Scheme.  Since several big methods exist in parallel, the overall process of problem solving is unnecessarily complicated.

2.3 General methodology CrePS on the basis of the new paradigm 'Six-Box Scheme' [2]

Ed Sickafus (USA) has tried to develope a more concise consistent process of creative problem solving and proposed USIT (Unified Structured Inventive Thinking).

I studied TRIZ (since 1997) and also USIT (since 1999).   I have been doing research with the approach of reorganizing various methods in TRIZ and unifying them into enhanced USIT.

And I realized the new concept of 'Six-Box Scheme', which represents the whole process of enhanced USIT. See Fig. 2.  The six boxes show the information to be obtained (or clarified) at each stage of problem solving.  The arrows between the boxes represent the process (or methods of information processing), only in the secondary significance (in the sense that various alternative methods can be used, different sequence of methods/processes may be carried out, etc.).

The bottom half of Fig. 2 is carried out in the Real World, as the real/practical activities in society/technology/business etc. and under such practical criteria.  The upper half, on the contrary, should be carried out in the Thinking World, as some cooperative group work (preferably to individual work) for analyzing the problem, thinking of new ideas, and building conceptual solutions.   It is important to be free from details of constraints and think in a flexible and out-of-box attitude.

Fig. 2. New paradigm of creative problem solving: Six-Box Scheme.

The contents of Box 3 and Box 4 are quite different from the ones of corresponding upper boxes of Four-Box Scheme (Fig.1).   In Box 3, we need to get clear understanding of the present system of our own problem (i.e. results of analyses) and also understanding of ideal system (i.e., images).   Standard methods for obtaining such understanding are shown/accumulated in the USIT Manual.

Box 4 are not hints but ideas for changing/improving our own system into a new system.  For generating these ideas, we have various methods coming from conventional creativity methods, TRIZ Inventive Principles, new USIT Operator System, etc.   It is the merit of the Six-Box Scheme, however, that during the process of getting understanding of the present and ideal systems (Box 3) our brains naturally work actively to generate many new ideas (Box 4).

Judging which are good ideas and constructing the ideas into conceptual solutions, which should work effectively, can be done only with good capability in the subject matter.

Six-Box Scheme states that first the problem to be solved should be defined (in the Real World), then conceptual solutions should be generated (in the Thinking World), and further the solutions need to be implemented with various (industrial) activities (in the Real World).   These activities in the Real World are particularly important to make the solutions not just inventions but rather successful products and even further innovations with wide acceptance in the society.

Science and technology, in general, conventionally use the For-Box Scheme (Fig. 1) as their basic paradigm.  Because of its defects explained in Section 2.1, many models and knowledge bases developed in various fields and many methods for creative problem solving have been fragmental and overlapping and competing with one another, and hence could not be integrated/systematized.

The Six-Box Scheme has been developed here as a new basic framework (or paradigm).  The new scheme shown in Fig. 2 apparently looks quite natural and common sense without saying anything particular.  That is the point!  Such natural and familiar understanding will certainly help various existing methods be positioned at their proper parts in the Six-Box Scheme.   A new system of methods integrated in such a manner is now promoted in the name of 'General Methodology of Creative Problem Solving (CrePS)'.   It can be used widely, in academic research and in industrial technology/product development, etc.


3.   Approach to social problems: Visualizing the problem of The Low-living Elderly.

3.1 Visualizing the logic of the book "The Low-living Elderly" (authored by Takanori Fujita)

CrePS, developed in this manner, can be used generally in various areas, not limited to technological areas, for creative problem solving., I believe.   For demonstrating such generality, I wanted to make new approaches in the areas related to society and human.   Social problems, however, are often much bigger and more complex than technological problems.   How can I, a researcher in science and technology and a novice in social areas, make any meaningful approach?, I wondered.

At that time I noticed a software tool 'Fuda-Yose Tool' developed by Akihiro Katahira.  Labels having descriptions of individual ideas/information can be smoothly moved around on the Excel sheet for drawing diagrams, just like the KJ diagrams (or affinity diagrams).   As I have been familiar with this type of diagram drawing since 1980s in the QC movements, I adopted it for understanding social problems. 

I started to work on the topic of poverty among the elderly people in Japan.  At the end of June 2015, an elderly man committed suicide burning himself in a running Shinkansen train.  This triggered me to think about the old man's thoughts, and I read a newly-published book "The Low-living Elderly -- The Impact of Future Decay of Elderly Lives of 100 Million" written by Takanori Fujita.  After reading the book twice closely, I decided to visualize the logic of the book with the Fuda-Yose diagrams.

I posted the visualized diagrams in a series from September 2015 to January 2016 in "TRIZ Home Page in Japan", and finally made a pamphlet of 24 pages [3].  The introduction part (6 pages) of the book is visualized as shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. An example of visualized diagram: Introduction part of the book "The Low-living Elderly" written by T. Fujita.

By having visualized a whole book, I learned the problem a lot from various aspects:

Instead of 'Absolute poverty', we should consider in terms of 'Relative poverty' (i.e. one's disposable income is less than half of the medium of those in the community).

The era (1980s) of 'Whole 100 million Japanese in the middle-living' has gone, and over 20 % of the elderly people in Japan live in the Relative poverty state.

Elderly people who have small (or no) pensions and small savings easily fall into the low-living state on any unexpected event, such as:
becoming sick due to diseases or accidents (and necessary to pay high expenses for medicine), being not accepted to live in nursery home for the elderly, getting divorced at the elderly days, suffering from dementia without any person to depend, having their grown-up children dependent due to social withdrawal or low income, etc.

The low-living elderly are produced by the society.   They cannot be saved by their own efforts.

The middle-aged and young generations at present have even higher risks than the current elderly generation of falling into low-living state, because of the decay of family support, decrease in the average income, decrease in the amount of pension, cutting of welfare by companies, etc. Increase in the ratio of non-regular employment is the main reason for these trends.

The poverty not only in the elderly generation, but also in the middle-aged and young generations, in single parent families, in the children generation, etc. is all mutually linked to make the poverty problem so serious in Japan.

Problems of social welfare are related to problems in finance and in economy.   Thus we need comprehensive, systematic, and drastic reformation of Japanese society.   This is a serious and crucial issue for the future of Japanese society.


3.2 Conflicts (and their roots) in the people's thoughts on the poverty problem

"The Low-living Elderly" book has become a best seller.   In the site, 82 readers contributed their book reviews.   Many readers evaluate the book highly with 5 or 4 stars, while many others very poorly with 1 or 2 stars, to my surprise.

Low-evaluators typically say: "The people who became poor because of their selfish and idle lives are not blamed for their deed, but the society is blamed instead." "The book recommends people to scrounge off the social welfare; then our country will fail financially."   Some of the low-evaluators seem to misunderstand the author's descriptions, but they show their feelings in straight forward manner.   The author writes in the book that he received similar criticisms on his NPO activities for supporting the needy and poor people.

These criticizing opinions are based on the belief that in the competitive society we should make our best efforts for winning the competitions and winning is always right.   They would say:

"We should train our selves physically, study hard, work hard in the jobs, and be wise in earning money.   People who made their best efforts will win, and those who didn't will lose.   They lost because they did not make their best efforts.   Thus the losers failed because of their faults.  They are responsible for their failure."

They take it for granted that in current competitive society there exist winners and losers and the results of win or lose are responsible for themselves.   They further regard no need to help the losers and disdain the socially weak people.

On the other hand, there are opinions regarding the necessity of mutual help in the society and thinking that we should help the poor and the helpless so as to protect the lives and happiness of all the people in our country.  In Japan, the Constitution ensures healthy and cultural lives at the minimum level, and a system of institutions including health insurance, pension, social welfare, nursing-care insurance, etc. is operated anyway.

Nevertheless, the thoughts/atmosphere/institutions regarding 'Winning is right' are predominant, and hence the thoughts/institutions supporting the mutual help are actually not well incorporated in the people's thoughts, in the social activities, and in government policies.

3.3 From 'Winning vs. Mutual help' to 'Liberty vs. Love'

The thoughts of Winning and the thoughts of Mutual help are not well integrated at the level of thoughts among the people in Japan. And similar situations of mis-integration are seen at various levels of social systems.

At the level of business management, for example, we see:

Companies typically set their first target to win at the market, to extend their shares, and to increase the profits.  Reducing the sales price and selling as many as possible are the policy for many companies, even at the era of struggling to get out of the deflation.  For reducing the cost of products, manufacturing factories are moved to abroad and the purchase costs of parts are reduced by pressing small companies in the supply chain.

For reducing the costs of man power, the policies of long working hours, reducing bonuses, suppressing the base salaries, and cutting off auxiliary services to employees, etc are taken for regular employees.   For these 2-3 decades companies have shifted to use much more non-regular employment with unstable and lower-wage.

All these give effects of severe price-down competition on the market and result in putting pressure on competing companies, making smaller supplier companies harder in business, and squeezing the lives of employees, especially those of non-regular employees.

On the other hand, business statistics clearly shows that for these 2 decades or so big enterprises in Japan have earned a huge amount of profits and saved them inside and also pay dividends to stockholders for keeping stock prices high.   In this manner, businesses are managed primarily to Win the competition at markets, and hence the lives of employees working for the company are pressed (instead of making them happy) and the businesses of competing companies and of many supply-chain SMEs are put burdens.   Such management provides benefits to shareholders and top managers, who are the Winners in the current competitive society.

This type of business management is regarded right and excellent in the current capitalistic society in Japan.  SMEs who got bankrupt after struggling efforts would be discarded just for their failures.

Thinking over the roots of problems of the Low-living elderly, problems of poverty in Japanese society, problems of social welfare policies in Japan, and further problems of the whole system of Japanese society, I have reached the mis-integration of people's thoughts of 'Winning the competition' and those of 'Mutual help'.

Such a mis-integration emerges not from the ignorance/misunderstanding among ordinary people, such as those who contributed customer reviews on Fujita's book, but rather from the current defects in the social philosophy in Japan and also in the world, I have found.

The target, to Win in the competitions, aims at Surviving in the competitive world and hence at Living for oneself.  The basic principle supporting it is 'Liberty', we may say.
Mutual help, on the other hand, aims at helping and protecting the weak or someone when necessary.   The basic principle supporting it is 'Love', we may say.

Thus I reached the thought that the two basic principles, i.e., Liberty and Love, of Human Culture are not well integrated, because there are some basic conflicts/contradictions between the two.

Since we have not enough space here to explain the process of my thought, I will describe in the next Section my current thought about the concept of contradictions 'Liberty vs. Love' in a top-down manner.


4. 'Liberty vs. Love': Principal Contradiction inherent throughout the Human Culture

Concerning to the basic principles existing at the root of Human Culture and the relationships of them, I will describe here my current thoughts as a new hypothesis:

(1) The Human Culture takes Liberty as its First Principle and pursues for extending it.

Liberty is for every person to decide, to act, and to live for oneself. 

To live is the most basic desire of humans as living things and is the highest target.   We desire to extend our physical and spiritual capabilities as high as possible and to live as better as possible by using all our abilities.

For such a purpose, it is necessary for us to judge/decide for ourselves and to act freely as we think best, and hence it is not desirable for us to be forced to obey others.   The results of our own decisions and actions, however, reflect on us and others; thus we need to choose our decisions and actions carefully and properly.

For every individual to full use of one's Liberty and to think and act actively in various areas is the most important driving force of promoting Human Culture and improving human lives.  In this sense, Liberty is the First Principle of Human Culture.

Liberty aims at Winning various, natural or social, Competitions.  Necessary/wanted things, such as foods, living places, jobs, marriage partners, etc., are often limited and hence Competitions for them are unavoidable.  Thus for survival, Winning the Competitions is an important requirement.

Existence of Competitions means that Liberty of a person necessarily collides (Contradicts) with Liberty of another person.   Besides such competitions, actions by a person for pursuing his/her Liberty may give bad or harmful influences on other persons around, and result in emerging Conflicts/Contradictions between Liberty of a person and Liberty of another.  If any action would be allowed in the name of Liberty, there might appear the world of the selfish law of jungle.

(2) The Human Culture takes Love as its Second Principle and pursues for expanding it widely.

Love is for every person to help and protect one's children, one's family, and one’s neighbors.  

Humans, just like other mammals, can not live without any help right after their birth.  They need to be protected for their lives, and mothers primarily bare the roles.   Mothers love their children, protect them, and grow them.  That is the basic form of loving, or Love.   It stems from the instinct, as actions for the humans to make offsprings safely.

Such human relationships of Love are desired to expand to family members, neighbors, and further.  Love aims at Self-controlling one's Liberty and at serving for and giving favor to other persons for helping and protecting them.  Such relationships of Love naturally grow from unidirectional to bidirectional.  Love among multiple members works for coordinating Liberty of the members to avoid collisions between members' Love and for forming a group of members with harmony, so to speak a Family in a wider sense.

Love, for helping and protecting the Family (or Insiders), tries to counter the (attacking) actions from Outsiders.   The severer the attacks from Outsiders, Love tries to build the higher protection Walls around the Family.   Considering the Family (or Insiders) as a social Activity Unit, Love generates Liberty and Competition at a higher social level.   Love, the Second Principle, pursues to expand universally, but it would often encounter persistent needs of eliminating various Walls, including people's psychology and formal/informal institutions both inside and outside.

(3) Between the two Principal Principles, there exists the Principal Contradiction of Human Culture: Liberty vs. Love

Human Culture has been pursuing to extend Liberty, the First Principle, and to expand Love, the Second Principle.  However, it is not easy to pursue the goals of the two Principles together.

As written above in (1) and (2), Liberty contains conflicts/contradictions in itself and Love also contains conflicts/contradictions in itself.   Moreover there exist much clearer conflicts/contradictions between Liberty and Love.

Typical conflicts/contradictions between Liberty and Love emerge in a group of members when the direction of Liberty desired by a member differs from that of Liberty desired by other member(s), especially involving practical interests.  Love tries to coordinate to avoid the conflicts among different directions of Liberty.  In some cases, Liberty of the particular person is not accepted but suppressed by Love in front of Liberty of most other member(s).   In some other cases, Liberty of the particular person insists its direction and hence disregards Love which is trying to keep harmony among the members by following along the predominant direction of Liberty of most members.

All these conflict/contradictory relationships inside of Liberty, inside of Love, and between Liberty and Love are termed as 'Liberty vs. Love'.   And I understand that Liberty vs. Love is the Principal Contradiction inherent throughout the Human Culture, or 'Principal Contradiction' in short.

(4) Both Liberty and Love are motivated and coordinated by Ethics

What motivates/drives these Liberty and Love?  What can contain and coordinate both Liberty and Love? I thought.

Since Liberty comes from the desire to live as a living thing and Love from the desire to protect children and to survive the species, we may say that the Instinct as a living thing is the driving force of both of them.   If we say, however, that both Liberty and Love can be coordinated and developed in harmony just by Instinct, we are saying nothing meaningful and we miss to represent our Human Culture.

As the guidelines for containing and motivating both Liberty and Love and coordinating them, I think that the Human Culture has been acquiring Ethics, i.e., Moral, Conscience, in plain words. 

It contains sincerity, diligence, affection, efforts, learning, and many more.   The core part of Ethics is supposedly installed already in our DNA; and for the same reason it is too obvious and difficult to write it down clearly.  Even for people born in different countries and grown in different situations, Conscience may be shared and understood in common; this is the basic hope for the Human Culture.  Mothers' teaching to small children saying "Don't do to others what you would not like to be done" is a simple and important guideline in the Ethics.

The concept of Fundamental Human Rights is a part of Ethics stated most clearly.  All the persons are fundamentally equal as humans, and are secured to have the rights of existence, living a healthy and cultural life at a minimal level, freedom of thoughts and beliefs, freedom of expression, etc.   Fundamental Human Rights are supposed to be based on the Natural Laws; similarly we may suppose that the basic part of Ethics is installed in our DNA.

The slogan of modern culture since the French Revolution has been 'Liberty, Equality, and Love'.  Equality means the intrinsic equality as a human being and forms the basis of Fundamental Human Rights.   Thus, before setting Equality as a political slogan, we should first regard Equality as an important principle in Ethics, I think.

(5) Human Culture has been trying to solve the 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradiction, but has not solved yet at all

In the history of Human Culture, various categories of advanced culture have been generated (e.g., languages, religions, social philosophies, science and technology, arts, etc.) and various social organizations and social systems have been built (e.g., economy, politics, etc.).

We may say it is the history of extension of the two Principal Principles, i.e., Liberty and Love.   And we have been taught and believe that Liberty and Love are compatible, or should be compatible.

In such a situation, why should I start to tell adversely that 'Liberty vs. Love' is the Principal Contradiction of Human Culture? -- I do so, because I think that Human Culture has been struggling to solve the 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions but has not succeeded in solving and the problem seems to get even more difficult.

The 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions now exist everywhere.  In the scenes of children fighting or bullying, in the opposing arguments by people on the welfare of the low-living elderly, in the companies shifts to increase the non-regular employment, in the international politics, etc. etc.

So our question is:   Have we found any basic thoughts and methods for solving such problems of 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions?   Have we come closer to the solution of 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions through the Human History?   --  Despite much efforts by many people in the history, the Principal Contradiction 'Liberty vs. Love' has become even bigger, more widely-spread, and more complex and difficult to solve, I think.

Fig. 4. Principal Contradiction of Human Culture: 'Liberty vs. Love'


5. What makes the 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions difficult to solve?

We would like to think over the methods for solving the Principal Contradictions 'Liberty vs. Love'.   In order to do so, we need to think first why solving it is so difficult and what factors are making the problem harder.

I think the following four factors make the problem so difficult to solve:

(a) At the level of Individual person(s), actual and desirable relationships among Liberty, Love and Ethics are not clear yet.

First, we should consider the problem at the most basic level, i.e. the level of individual person and the level of inter-individual persons.  'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions emerge in various occasions, such as in daily life, in social life, at the big events in life, etc.  We need to clarify how to extend the two Principles, Liberty and Love, how to coordinate them, and how to solve the Liberty vs. Love Contradictions.   These points are never understood clearly yet.

An aspect we need to notice is that we are apt to be moved by our feelings/emotion instead of intellect in decisions and actions.   Particularly in case of a shocking situation where we need to decide something important in a hurry, our feelings/emotion of like/dislike, gain/loss in money, anger, etc. are apt to come first.

And further more basically, there is an issue of Evil existing in our Human Nature.  We recognize Desire/Greed (in terms of Buddhism) and (Fundamental) Sin (in terms of Christianity) in the Human Nature make ourselves and our world ugly. For overcoming Greed and for leaving Sin, we need to cultivate much our spiritual minds.

Personal feelings and thoughts are formed/influenced through different experiences since one's birth and throughout the life; thus the environment of life and education play big roles in this issue.

Due to these various factors, even if we learn Liberty and Love and understand desirable ways of Ethics, we might take actions disregarding Ethics and Love in actual occasions when we are moved with our feelings and interests.  And once such an action finds the way successfully and the person becomes the Winner, the action would be justified by the Winner.

(b) For various types/levels of social organizations, actual and desirable relationships among Liberty, Love, and Ethics are not understood clearly and commonly.

The Human Culture has built the social systems, which are multi-layered, huge in the global scale, and so much complex.  Various organizations and institutions have been built in many complex hierarchies.   They are much different in their sizes and in their ways of organization: for example, small groups of people, classes in schools, companies, towns and cities, political parties, countries, etc.

In such (social) organizations, what kinds of relationships among Liberty, Love, and Ethics are desirable inside the organizations?   And regarding the organizations as Active units, what are the desirable relationships of Liberty, Love, and Ethics for the organizations to act toward the outside world?   These are the issues we have to consider.

Such desirable relationships among Liberty, Love, and Ethics should be clarified for various types of organizations, and should be shared widely by the whole society (and by the whole world).   These are the tasks which we need to achieve, but we know we are far behind at moment.

Let's think about the case of industrial companies, as an example.

How to organize and manage the internal organizations (e.g., business divisions and branches), what kind of power (i.e., Liberty) should be given to them, how to coordinate their activities, how to set the directions of the company as a whole, etc. need to be decided and executed dynamically by the executive management.

Working conditions and salaries of the employees are to be agreed by the company and the employees, in accordance with the laws; but actually the companies are in prevailing positions over the employees.   Even though employees have the rights to make labor unions and to negotiate jointly with the company under the Japanese laws, labor unions are actually very weak nowadays in Japan.

Besides regular employees, various types of non-regular employees (e.g., dispatched/temporary employees, part-time workers, 'arbeiters', etc.) are working in increasingly large percentage of numbers (since the revision of laws about 30 years ago).  They are working under the conditions of unstable employment, lower wages, and severer work.  

In these arrangements of employment, does the company have the Liberty of forcing poor conditions to the employees/workers using their stronger positions?   What should be the Ethics in this situation?  'Lowest working conditions not violating the laws' and 'as low as other companies' should not be the desirable Ethics of companies.

When companies employ the workers for full-time, the company should treat the workers at the levels for them to be able to make lives for future. If the company treats the workers at lower levels and makes much internal reserve (i.e., extra profit as the company), the company is exploiting the workers, we may regard.

The present social system of capitalism, especially global financial capitalism, where shareholders are treated much more favorably than the employees, is the results that the affluent population of share holders enjoy their Liberty as the Winner of the economic world, we may understand.

Companies can contribute to the society in various forms and aspects.   As the results of providing society/customers with useful products and services, companies can support the lives of their employees. Such support is one of the most important types of corporate social responsibility.  

The fact that these points are not well clarified and not commonly accepted is the current situation of the 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradiction at the company level, I think.

(c) Individuals and organizations sometimes insist on their Interests (Liberty), and act against (Social) Ethics, and can become the Social Winners.

We now discuss about the third factor which makes the 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradiction difficult to solve.   Even if the desirable relationships among Liberty, Love, and Ethics are made clear and learned widely at the personal/individual level (discussed in (a)) and at the organizational/social levels (discussed in (b)), such common understandings of Social Ethics (or Social rules) may be broken easily in the real world.

Breaking (or leading to break) may be done by individuals or by organizations.  Individuals and organizations sometimes insist strongly on their Interests.   Insistence of Interests means the insistence of their own Liberty, in the present terminology.

For realizing their Liberty, they would act under their own decisions.  Such actions for pursuing their own Liberty may sometimes be contrary to the (Social) Ethics.   And such individuals/organizations would sometimes become the Winner in the society, by virtue of their power or by the support of people around them.   As the Japanese proverb says 'Winners become government forces', such Winners would build new social rules and institutions which reflect their own Interests (or Liberty).

The change in a big scale may be called Reformation/Change/Revolution, etc.  Such change might be violating the conventional Social Ethics, but it can be regarded as an emergence of a New Social System in the eyes of history.   The Human Culture has been developed very often in this manner of big Changes.

Significance of such Change in the Human History may be evaluated with the degree of appropriateness of the new social rules/institutions set by the new Social Winners and of the governance/control by them.

(d) Situations of governance by Social Winners exist everywhere, in the scales from tiny to huge, and are accumulated in many layers in the Human History.

The Social Winners born as discussed above would make new social rules and institutions and gradually build new Social Systems.   Such Social Systems by Winners exist everywhere, in the scales from tiny (e.g., a group of children around a bully boy) to huge (e.g., a superpower in the world).   They have been built in various regions, in different time periods, in different processes, in the history.

Thus, at any time, Social Systems in a region (e.g., in a country) reflect the Interests (or Liberty) of the particular Social Winners, and hence they might not meet the (Social) Ethics in some aspects.   In the new society, some individuals and organizations, who were oppressed before under unfavorable conditions, gradually obtain power and would start to claim their Interests and make movements, as described in (c).  They would gradually grow to realize new Reformation/Change/Revolution.

Differences of the situations and stages of changes in various regions cause additional difficulties for solving the Principal Contradictions.  We may say:

"If the problems of 'Liberty vs. Love' Contradictions would exist in the same situations and in the same timing in various regions of society (e.g., in various countries of the world), they could be solved with a solution of consistent and desirable social systems at once.  But if the Principal Contradictions would appear in different situations and different timing in various regions, they would be more difficult to solve."


6. Concluding Remarks

It is certainly extremely difficult to solve the Principal Contradiction of Human Culture, 'Liberty vs. Love'.  Through the discussions so far, however, we have gradually understood what we should do from now on.   Namely, we should consider the four aspects of difficulties, shown in Section 5.

"When we see the Contradictions clearly, we will be able to think over the directions and concepts to solve the Contradictions." This statement comes from the lessons we learned in the TRIZ/CrePS methodology.

I wish you and many people to think over this fundamental problem, together.


At the end of this article, I would like to quote my Mission Statement (see Fig. 5) [5], which I wrote in December 2009 in my seminar class.   In my seminar class of the 1st year students of Faculty of Informatics, Osaka Gakuin University, we had exercises to read the book "7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" (by Sean Covey) and discuss on it together.  I requested the students to write reports for four times during the semester on "What I learned and What I thought in the Seminar Class".   I made a Collection of Students' Reports with my brush-up and comments and fed it back to the whole class.

To be fair to the students, I also wrote a report and showed it to the students.  I wrote my Mission Statement for the first time after year and half since I encountered the book.


Toru Nakagawa's Mission Statement

1.  Be sincere and serious.

2. Move the ego out of the way, and have the open, warm heart.

3. Take care of the health and have a positive mind.

4. Think flexibly and creatively.

5. Serve for people and society.

                  Dec. 14, 2009   Toru Nakagawa

Fig. 5.  Toru Nakagawa's Mission Statement [5]


[1] "TRIZ Home Page in Japan", Editor: Toru Nakagawa, established Nov. 1,1998.  

[2] CrePS (General Methodology of Creative Problem Solving) beyond TRIZ: What, Why, and How?  Toru Nakagawa, TRIZCON2016, on Mar. 2-5, 2016; TRIZ Home Page in Japan, Jun. 20, 2016

[3]  Thinking over the Poverty in the Japanese Society with Visualization:  [A] Increasing poverty among the elderly    [1] Executive summary with visualization of Takanori Fujita's "The Low-living Elderly" Book; Toru Nakagawa, TRIZ Home Page in Japan, Mar. 6, 2016

[4] Liberty vs. Love: The Principal Contradiction Inherent in the Human Culture: Deep Bases of Thoughts Underlying the Arguments by People on the "Low-living Elderly" Book, Toru Nakagawa, TRIZ Home Page in Japan, Apr. 27, 2016

[5] Toru Nakagawa's Mission Statement, Toru Nakagawa, TRIZ Home Page in Japan, Jan. 3, 2010


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