Saturday, August 10, 2013

Captured Institutions and The Collective


"Who dares despise the day of small things....?" Zechariah 4:10

The Boy Scouts of America's Executive Board recently announced that they would reverse policy and accept openly homosexual young men into the ranks of the Scouts.  Most members of the BSA, parents of the campers, opposed the change.You may agree with that, or you may disagree with it, but it is their sons we are talking about here, not society's. In this case though, as with many others, dissenting views of any sort are being pushed to the fringes in favor of the narrow set of viewpoints authorized by our ruling class in the name of The Collective.

Many parents are pulling out of Boy Scouts, and some have started an explicitly Christian alternative.   Some praise this move, others, like a friend of mine who has a long tradition of scouting, were aggravated by it. He wanted the Christians to basically "stay and fight" for the BSA instead of leaving and starting their own group. He favored trying to re-infiltrate and "take back" the leadership of the BSA. He suggested it was "dumb" to retreat into a marginalized subculture and "abandon the institutional momentum, large capital holdings, and financial investments that they have built to their oppressors."

This is a recurring theme between us. He favors staying in large institutions in order to try and capture them, or re-take them depending on the perspective. My view is that each individual should do what they think best for their own family and the market will sort it out. This is especially true when the institution involved has a large effect on one's children. I am not willing to send them into institutions which hold beliefs antithetical to my own in some missionary effort, much less a clandestine effort to take it over. I am no good at intrigue, and have no interest in it at any rate. I could never out-use the users, and honestly neither can my friend.

My friend then complained that the left has a good grasp of, and uses, Alinsky-style tactics very effectively. He described them like so..
Tactic on the BSA approval of homosexuality... use Alinsky Rule #12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.) Find everything you can find that reflects negatively. Be relentless, ruthless, personal. Don't forget rule #5 “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” Ridicule the target mercilessly.
He was complaining that the homosexual activists targeted the staff of BSA personally. This was in addition to efforts to get big corporations to cut off donations to BSA. Eventually, to reduce this pressure, the staff caved. They concocted a bunch of phony polls to give themselves cover (I say phony because they included members and non-members to get their results when it was clear the members themselves were against the idea of taking in open homosexuals). The professional staff caved to the pressure.

My reply was that large centralized institutions always get a life of their own. The entity develops its own interests, which are separate and apart from the purpose for which it was formed. The advancement and prosperity of the entity itself becomes the goal, rather than whatever purpose which the entity was originally founded to advance.

My friend wanted to find some way we could engage in enough intrigue to keep the institution true to its original values (for example the "morally pure" part of the scout oath). But you can't do that.   Once the institution gets big enough, with a professional staff who draw their lifeblood from the growth of the entity, then like gravity that institution will be pulled away from strictly doing whatever advances the cause for which it was founded, and instead begin doing whatever is needed to prosper the entity. The first cause and calling of every successful bureaucracy will be its own well-being.

With regards to the BSA, suppose he and his friends were able to slip a couple of people onto the staff. When it came time to make the decision, the other side would just throw them under the bus once the pressure started. "You are costing us a million dollars a year in lost corporate donations and another million in bad publicity." they would say.  They would leak dirt to the papers. And remember that Alinsky tactics are not bound by the truth. They would make up whatever lies they had to say about the hold-outs in order to isolate them.  Not even the rank and file members on the ground, whose interests our hypothetical plant is martyring themselves to protect, would know what to believe about this person. In that way, the good guys would be eliminated one by one.

No my friends, in an environment when there is a mad push for sameness, anyone who wants to retain their personal sovereignty and freedom must take a different tack. My friend wanted a strategy we could use to keep large centralized organizations true to, if not the desires of their Founders, at least the desires of their current members. I tell you that in this present environment, where the centralizers have a magic money machine and control of the corporate media, such institutions are indefensible.

What my friend is suggesting is sending more and more people into a fight that they will lose in the current environment. The great Sun Tzu said that the wise general will know themselves, their enemies, and the conditions of the field of battle. The conditions on the field of battle are such that we cannot at this time win a fight like that, therefore we must pursue a different strategy. Large centralized organizations are very subject to institutional leverage, and are an attractive target for collectivists as well as an indefensible position for us.

We must shift to guerrilla tactics if we hope to win. Just as the north Vietnamese did not have to match the United States in tanks and planes to win, we don't have to match the bad guys in dollars and media to win. All we have to do is create so many local institutions that the bad guys cannot capture them all, and if one is captured, it will be easy to replace with a new local institution. Such places will be refuges for people who want to resist the push to the collective. Refuges which will be relatively immune to capture by the tactics of the centralizers as described above.

You can not win the war for your personal independence by expending your limited resources fighting to keep large, centralized organizations accountable, whether they are the BSA, political parties, or churches. If they are large, centrally controlled organizations, they will all be captured and used to push their members towards the goal of the collective, rather than protecting their member's interests. The very affection you might hold for these institutions will be used against you, leading you to stay in them and support them long past the time they quit serving your interests.  

Not that isolationism is the answer either. Isolated people are perhaps the most vulnerable to being targeted and demonized by the collective, even if their turn will come toward the last. We should reach out and connect to others. Humans are social creatures. That is one of the things which is used against us, but it need not be.

The answer, you might not be surprised to hear coming from me, is to make a deliberate decision to create, participate in, fund, and otherwise help build more local, decentralized institutions. If your church is of the sort where the property and funds are controlled by the local body, then fight to keep it that way. If you find yourself in a church where all that is controlled and owned at national headquarters, then realize the day will come that you will either have to accept a corrupted church or seek another one and plan accordingly. The same thing goes for political involvement. The more national and centralized some group you are participating in might be, the less confidence you should put in them.  Instead, seek out local alternatives who don't even want to be huge, but rather want to fill a need where they are well.

That is why I say that the solution is much analogous to switching to guerrilla warfare tactics.They can't stop us all by knocking out central headquarters, because there is no central headquarters. There will be no leadership hierarchy to "capture" and drag the rest along.  Big Media is too big to be used effectively as a weapon against such a foe. They need us all lumped together with one easy-to-smear label. There is no high value target for them to focus on. Rather, we will be like a swarm of bees, generally acting in concert to protect our values, but at the same time our own creature.

Such groups will stay lean. They won't tend to have any paid staff and by design they won't have much overhead.  If the bad guys use their size and power to crush one of these mini-institutions, then the people involved simply go off and form a new one. There will be no "large capital holdings, and financial investments" to hang around and fight over. Those resources will mostly be in the form of property of individual members.

A recent example of the process I am talking about can be found in the story of my own County Tea Party  I was one of the three people most responsible for getting it started by uniting a number of city groups. In a rare act of nobility, I deliberately arranged things so that I could not be elected Chairman, or any other "big" office. Unfortunately, it was almost immediately "captured" by the local Republicans, and the new team was more interested in hob-nobbing with politicians than holding them accountable to the precepts of limited government and upholding their oaths of office.

What happened over the next three years happened automatically, organically, and beautifully. As the new County Tea Party was merely an appendage of the local county Republican Committee, it had no real function other than that which was better done in the Republican Committee itself.  It became afraid to take a stand on any issue because there were always some Republicans who would take the wrong side of any issue. Even though there were well over one hundred patriots in the room the night it was founded, and it grew for a while after that,  over time its numbers began to dwindle. The Tea Party in the next county down stayed true to its function of Watch Dog instead of settling down to the comfortable but dull life of a Lap Dog. More and more patriots from my county drove the extra distance to attend the Tea Party in the adjoining county until at present half its board and membership are made up of persons from my county!

Finally and most recently, the so-called "Tea Party" in my county collapsed on its own uselessness.   The "Executive Committee" that ran it into the ground declined en mass to stand for re-election because no one else wanted to play anymore.   An enterprising friend of mine encouraged a few of his friends to sign up, seeing this coming, and got himself elected Chairman and his friends on the board.  Now, I am re-joining and I  suspect many others will too.This is the beauty of small institutions. In our current environment, big institutions are indefensible against the push of the collective, but small institutions resist it almost automatically. Adam Smith's invisible hand of the free market is our secret, and powerful, Ally.

Americans are not used to thinking this way. We have been conditioned to think the reverse, that local efforts are a waste of time, too trivial to bother with, and it is better that we become a tiny drop in some national ocean of a movement. A movement run by some person we have never even really talked to but whose face is on television. I am convinced that the collective will attempt to herd Americans off in a direction which many of us do not wish to go. If we were asked in small groups, almost all of the groups would refuse, but that is not the plan. The plan is to push us all where we do not wish to go by using institutional leverage to capture the organizations and entities we care about and using that pressure against us. Plan your life accordingly.

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