Note: The Monday Taki column is up. The topic this week is the increasingly familiar and obvious Jim Snow laws of America. Behind the green door we have the weekly Sunday podcast where I rant and rave about the world.
In every form of human organization there are layers of responsibility. The simplest way of expressing it is that at the top there is always the boss who is the guy making the important decisions for the organization. Everyone else, in one fashion or another, takes orders from the boss and carries out the orders. Always at the bottom are people who just do what they are told. The vertical arrangements are one of the truths of work life that everyone just accepts without much thought.
More formally, at the top layer of an organization, like a business, are the big decision makers for the organization. Below them are the policy makers. They take the big initiative and turn it into rules and plans. Below them are the people who make those rules and plans into reality. This is the layer most people inside and outside the organization see. They instruct the bottom layer of the organization, train them and making sure they follow through on their orders.
The important part of this arrangement is that everyone in the organization understands their role within the organization. The private in a rifle platoon has to understand that his role is to follow the orders given him by is squad leader or platoon leader. His job is not to determine strategy or decide on objectives. Similarly, the guy on the shop floor has to know his duty is to perform the role he is assigned at a workstation. Otherwise, the organization breaks down and fails to operate as intended.
At the bottom this is rarely a problem, as the people at the bottom are well aware of their status in the hierarchy. The people at the top, of course, know they are at the top of the hierarchy and what that means. The trouble comes in the middle layers where the people tend to be the most ambitious and most prone to overstepping their bounds, hoping to impress the boss. They can also be overly cautious, fearful of getting blamed for doing something wrong and losing status in the organization.
This is where the culture of the organization plays a decisive role. A company with a good corporate culture will have a management layer full of people who not only know their roles but embrace them in the context of the larger organization. A good military culture is one where the officers respect the chain of command, but also understand mission priorities and the need to improvise when necessary. Good organizational culture is what makes or breaks an organization.
This is also where we see the inherent problem of democracy. The basic premise of democratic systems is one man one vote. That means every vote is equal, which is another way of saying that every opinion is equally valid. In the political sense, it means the opinion of the bum counts the same as the opinion of the businessman who volunteers at the church on weekends. The bum’s vote counts for the same as the vote of the man committed to his community.
Democracy flies in the face of everything we know about human organization, because it rejects the natural hierarchy we see everywhere. Worse yet, it gnaws away at the basic understanding of human relations. Those middle-managers in a well-run company are happy to be in their roles. They may have ambition, but they also accept reality and know that their ambitions are linked to that reality. The morality of democracy undermines the very basis of their relationship to the whole.
This is why modern democracies are full of people confused about their place in society as well as the role others play. There is a whole genre of videos on-line where people confront store managers about things no reasonable person should expect them to know or control. We have the opposite, as well, where people at the lowest ranks of management carry on like they are shot callers, pushing people around and going well beyond the limits of their role.
Imagine a factory where everyone thinks they should have a say in what the factory makes and how much they make of it. The guy who cleans the workstations gets the same vote as the sales manager and the plant manager. Imagine a platoon where the men vote on their missions and collectively decide on their targets. It sounds like madness because it is madness. That factory would go out of business in a hurry and that military unit would quickly become a criminal gang.
This is, however, how the West has decided to run their societies. Now, it is true that the real shot callers hide in the shadows, using the institutions to manipulate public opinion and coerce people into their positions. They do so, however, while promoting the idea that everyone’s opinion is the same and every opinion counts. On the one hand they promote chaos, while on the other they try to maintain order. It is no wonder that the liberal democracies are shaking themselves to pieces.
The temptation is to blame the internet for allowing the stupid to have easy access to the public square, but in reality, the internet is just a facilitator. According to the tenets of democracy, Twitter is the goal, not a terrible accident. Imagine the town square full of howling lunatics and you get the prefect image of democracy. Social media made real is a public riot but is also exactly what you get when everyone stops accepting their role in the hierarchy and thinks they are a king.
Fundamentally, all forms of democracy are as hostile and contrary to the nature of man as all forms of communism. Both communism and democracy assume something about people that can never be true. That is, all men are equal. This is obviously false in the simplest organization and even more so in the most complex. Just as communism has always ended in disaster, democracy has always ended in murder. Both delusions are the fruit of the same poison tree named equality.
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