Image that you are a management type and you get hired into the third tier of management at a good sized firm. The top tier is the executive staff like the CFO and CEO who control the overall direction of the firm. The second tier is the policy making tier, like vice presidents and regional directors. They take the vision of the top tier and turn into company policy. The tier into which you have been hired is tasked with implementing and enforcing these company policies.
Further, let us assume you are an enthusiastic follower of a management style that is called “management by committee.” You think the best way to run any organization is through committees that debate amongst themselves and then create reports that some other committee turns into directives. Your new job is in a company that is still in growth mode, so they are not burdened with management philosophy. The third tier is just supposed to get the job done.
Soon into your new job you find other fans of the MBC school and you form a clique within the company. None of your bosses are MBC types, but they are not hostile to your ideas, just as long as the job gets done. One of the ideas you talk them into is having managers in the third tier incorporated into the hiring process. Candidates for management jobs will sit before a committee of middle managers who will then pass on their assessment to the people making the hire.
You are a committee guy so you make sure to be on this committee and you get your buddies in the committee subculture on the committee as well. This is exactly the sort of innovation you have been seeking. The “promise” of this new step is that people hired in will fit the general culture. As a practical matter, it means the committee will select for people who like committees. It does not take long before adherence to the management by committee philosophy is a selection criterion.
Since there is a decent amount of turnover in the middle and lower management ranks, it does not take too long before most managers are committee men. This new selection process, controlled by committee men, selects for committee men or the type who could be groomed into committee men. A big part of the management by committee philosophy is grooming normal people into the committee lifestyle. Being a committee man is a de facto requirement for employment.
The second tier of management has far less turnover than the third and fourth tier, as these are important posts that pay exceptionally well. By their very nature there are few of these jobs in any company, so there is not a lot of circulation, but from time to time a spot does open in this layer. Ideally, the executive layer selects from the third tier of managers to fill these roles. Presumably, these are people who know company culture and have been vetted through trial and error.
Because you and your fellow committee men have been selecting for committee men in the ranks of management, the options for the executive staff when it comes time to fill a vice president slot is all committee men. The management by walking around guy who ran the West Coast division retires and there is no one like him to bump up into his position, because that type does not exist on the bench. That means hiring from outside or elevating a committee man into the second tier.
The executive staff of the company is now faced with a crisis. While they were busy with setting the general direction of the company, they have been infested with a new management style that now limits their range of motion. If they want to change the company culture, say reduce the number of meetings and standing committees, it means making wholesale changes in the ranks. Alternatively, it means finding a way to make this new management paradigm work.
Now, if instead of starting point being a middle manager from a management cult it is a homosexual priest, a climate change crank or a neoconservative. The homosexual priest gets into the ranks and starts to agitate for his people and before long you have a lot of homosexual priests. This is how climate change cranks have infested the ranks of energy and environment to the point where they control these areas in the managerial class, publicly and privately.
The neocons are front and center at the moment and they are the most obvious example of this process. Over time they have infiltrated every nook and cranny of the foreign policy establishment. When the Democrat president takes over for a Republican, the neocons who infest Republican ranks move out to think tanks, while the neocons who infest Democratic ranks take their positions in government. When the parties swap again, the neocons swap again.
If like the executive management of the hypothetical company, you are the new president with a rational vision for foreign policy, you will be faced with the problem of finding anyone who is not neocons. Everyone with any experience in the State Department, foreign service or national security is going to be a member of the bizarre cult that has taken over these fields. Before you could do anything, it means a revolution within these areas of government.
Something similar is happening with energy. Putting together a rational energy policy is impossible because everyone in that sector is now committed to the “green agenda” which embraces irrational energy policies. Notice that the response to the war in Ukraine is a series of policies that harm normal people in the West by furthering the agenda of the environmental movement. The war in Ukraine has given license to the people making war on climate change.
This is why elections are now meaningless. So meaningless, in fact, that they will slowly go away entirely. The ruler of Italy, for example, was not elected. He was installed by Brussels, which is not elected either. The response to Russia is being crafted in Brussels, not the capitals of Europe. Closer to home, elections are now just an orgy of absurd corruption like ballot harvesting, mail in voting and so on. Why try to convince people when you can just make up the results?
The collapse of elections is just a reflection of reality. You can vote yourself bloody, but the people holding office are faced with the same dilemma as the executive managers in the above example. They must fill their staff from the pool of true believers that exist in the Washington policy establishment. They are set upon by true believers from think tanks and lobbying firms, who actually write the legislation. They are swimmers trying to change the direction of the ocean.
What we are witnessing is ideological capture. This is where a small, but committed group can wield majority power, as long as the majority is divided into smaller groups or not bound by an alternative ideology. The homosexuals could infiltrate the priesthood because the Church was not explicitly anti-homosexual. The normal priest worried about the issue would be outnumbered by the pink mafia and have no internal structure on which to rely for support in the fight.
The priest problem is good example of how you cannot solve the problem of ideological capture with rules or systems. The Church had rules against raping altar boys and fornication, but that did not deter the homosexual priests. Instead, they organized to take over the system in order to get around these prohibitions. It turns out that rules and principles are no match for a dedicated minority that has no respect for the spirit behind those rules and principles.
This is the problem faced all over the managerial class. Any reform attempt must start with the removal of the infestation. In the case of foreign policy, it means a decapitation of the neocon establishment, both in government and outside government. You would have to fire everyone, remove their security clearances and maybe put a few in jail to publicly discredit the cult. Given the scale involved, that may not be possible, even if a president was committed to it.
The same process would have to happen with the climate cranks who have infested energy and environment. The regulatory state is now stocked with people who think their lawnmower is out to get them. The same holds for the Department of Justice and the FBI, as we saw in the Trump years. The managerial class has been captured by what should be described as a cult. Across the system, members of this bizarre new religion now wield power and control policy.
This is the truth of ideological capture. Once the infection sets in, the rules are slowly turned to the favor of the ideologues. Therefore, any effort to use the rules to disinfect the system ends up profiting the ideologues. The people vote for George Bush and they get Lyndon Johnson. They vote for Barak Obama and they get a different version of Lyndon Johnson. They vote for Trump and they get Nixon. The outputs no longer reflect inputs, because the rules no longer matter.
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