The Organization is Everything

I speak of organizations because for 15 years I worked for the Federal Aviation Agency, back in the Sixties and early Seventies. And this experience had a big impact on my life. The people I worked with regarded the agency as a gravy-train – that ladled out lots of gravy. But who could deal harsh punishments for anyone who questioned it. They were chosen people, and could do as they pleased to other people in their midst. This shocked me.

I also found the same attitude when I went to work for companies in the Eighties and Nineties. The belief structure was the same – larger forces were running the world, and they had little interest in people. Americans assume this implicitly – and probably the people in any developed country. Or, for that matter – any country at all, where people eagerly attach themselves to the most powerful organizations they can find. They know as individuals they don’t have a chance.

In any case, the analogy to a religion is obvious. A religion enjoys divine favor – and can pass these favors on to those it favors. It became obvious to me, when I was working in Silicon Valley in the Nineties – that Business had become a religion. Sociologists had noticed this much earlier, and labeled this trend a secular religion. And just as in a religion – laymen are forbidden to question it.

This, it seems to me, is the tragedy of our time – people cannot understand the situation they are in. All that brain-power is wasted because they have no brains.

I keep being fascinated by Software Development – which is busy making software better. It’s a refreshing attitude to be around. I keep asking myself why this cannot be exported to the larger world. And I keep getting the same answer – there is a gap between the two worlds that cannot be crossed easily. The gap between those who can think – and those who cannot think.

Which causes me to ask “What happened to these people to make them unable to think?” And I am tempted to see them as Workers – part of the Industrial machinery. They were forbidden to think – so they didn’t think.

I may be wrong about this – after all I wasn’t there to see what was going on for myself. I know only one thing for sure – we are now in bad shape – and something must have happened to get us this way.


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