Archive for January 21st, 2011

Institutions and Amoebae

We know that one-celled animals do not have “wants” in our sense of the word. Yet we also know that they will get away from water that is too hot or too cold. Institutions are exactly like that.

Like one-celled beings institutions are evolved by competition. The less successful ones die. But the result is the same. Institutions are very much alike and very predictable, because they compete in the same waters and you can predict what the survivors will be like.

If you can’t look at things this way the world becomes a Conspiracy. The problem with a Conspiracy was covered by Benjamin Franklin over two centuries ago when he said, “Three men can keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

There is another problem with conspiracies. No one in the real world is that SMART. When you have spent your career watching people at the top scrambling to meet crises, the idea that someone has the whole world all mapped out is very hard to credit.

Institutions, like one-celled beings, come in a variety of types that compete for entirely different things. A lot of historians like to note that Odinism had a Trinity, Odin, Thor and Freya. That sounds good, but it is not clear and in any case Odinism at that time was COMPETING with another trinity called Christianity.

If Communism had its youth group, the Komsomols, Nazism would get its Hitler Youth. If Communism had its hammer and sickle, Nazism would get is swastika. Competing institutions look very much alike, just as one-celled beings do.

According to Islam, it will be Jesus who comes down to the Judgment. Islam is a mixture of its two main competitors and forerunners, Judaism and Christianity. Even Iranian Shi’ism is attributed to the special influence of Zoroastrianism and regards all other Moslems as heretics.

Those of us who are only really familiar with the three Jehovan religions do not realize how alike they are. We have real trouble understanding most religions where a specific God is nonexistent, as in Buddhism, or multiple gods as in Hinduism.

We have extreme difficulty with Political Correctness as a religion because it has a Satan, Hitler, and no Jehovah. We don’t understand the many religions that had their own Holy Prostitution exactly as we have our Holy Virginity.

We KNOW it, but we don’t UNDERSTAND it. Deep down we simply do not believe those were RELIGIONS, real religions, even though we know that their followers were as dedicated and faithful to them as we can ever be to ours.

We do not realize that the religions we know, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, look almost exactly alike to any other culture. Wordism takes the words so seriously it does not even see the obvious fact that, whatever the original Books say, these three institutions that survive by competing with each other are going to look as alike to the real world as different forms of Buddhism or Taoism do to us.

Each of our forms of Jehovism sees itself as The Only True Faith. In the competition, only the few that had that doctrine could survive. But in other societies not only is there no One True Faith, but each survives by NOT fighting it out to the death.

It depends, in short, on the PEOPLE, not on the WORDS.

The mainline Protestant denominations dropped precipitously in the last century while the population went up. The Catholic Church had a fairly heavy conversion rate until Vatican II when it decided to be as much like the obviously dying Anglican Church as it could be.

Evangelicals converted so many millions in Latin America they were on the way to becoming the dominant religion there. But the fire is out and they are doing their best to be just like everybody else. It no longer uses the fundamentalism because the people its leaders want to become, in part think it’s dirty.

What the leaders come to want is not the same thing that makes an institution grow.

So you see that institutions are a separate evolutionary study from everything we are used to looking at in our Wordist way. For any serious political knowledge, that blind spot is exactly like trying to understand astronomy while insisting that the earth is the center of the universe.

Wordism, after all, no matter what form it takes, puts words at the center of our universe.