Abstract for: Can Systems Thinking be an Antidote to Extensive Evil?

A forthcoming invited chapter in a book reflecting on "the evil of banality" (Elizabeth Minnich), a deliberate reversal of the classic phrase intended to focus on the hypothesis that "extensive evil" can arise from widespread, careless, unconscious thoughtlessness. The chapter is intended for a general audience, so it is deliberatively qualitative and contains explanatory material about the system dynamics approach. The chapter is an innovation in the presentation of system dynamics material to a general audience, in that the figures contain explicit stocks and flows, which are essential to the story, as well as causal loops that enrich its feedback complexity. The second half of the presentation discusses why I approached the problem without simulation, but with explicit stocks and flows. The paper ends with a plea and an invitation for a serious effort to develop principles for very high quality qualitative work in the field.