I often find myself surprised by how easy it is to decide on the right direction of change as long as there is a working paradigm to emulate. It is only the occasional internal rupture in the paradigm or a severe impediment in the path of the one 'catching up' that a serious reevaluation takes place, only to be covered up most of the time using a circumstantial explanation, on the way to getting right back into a headlong plunge to achieving the paradigm. Of course, it is even more difficult to resist the lure of the paradigm when it exists as a constant reminder right in one's face.
This tendency subsists in all conceivable situations where there is a problem and a paradigm available to the ones seeking a solution. This lure might merely owe its existence to human laziness, or being more charitable to ourselves, the difficulty the human mind faces thinking of a problem as separate from an apparent working solution readily available.
I am not against using pre-existing knowledge: what is history for if not to help us prepare for the future? It is our tendency to adopt models wholesale with only a superficial revamping that worries me. This issue can be brought to focus in its subtle working in various situations, but for now I will quote an obvious example. India upon its independence did not think too deeply on how its state should be organised. It drew from existing models and mixed up a cocktail. I do not deny the fact the changes and concessions were made to account for Indian uniqueness, but was that the best that could be done? Was not a more original system singularly suited to India, drawing up on every aspect of its situation, possible? But, as I stated earlier, the lure of a working paradigm is often too hard to ignore. To battle the lure of the surfeit of appealing political systems backed by their moral philosophies, showcased by 'shining examples' of working states, would have required too much courage.