Friday, 13 January 2012

Rotten organizations

*

One of the hardest, and most paradox generating, aspects of modern life for a reactionary Anglican Christian is that all the organizations are rotten; including the institutional church.

I can still remember what it was like to believe that my medical school and university, the Medical Research Council, the National Health Service and other large organizations in which I worked were basically good, I even remember feeling that the British government was basically good.

By basically good I mean well intentioned, good at heart, productive of mostly good decisions and policies...

*

And over the years all these comforting feelings have fallen away or been stripped away. When almost every single decision an organization makes, and (especially) every new policy or rule, every initiative is bad - and not just slightly bad - then comes a time when your attitude 'flips'.

So suddenly you are in an essentially hostile world - where power resides in bureaucracies that run everything and are active agents of evil. Of course good people and good impulses remain in these organizations (thank Heavens) - but you can see them being mopped up and eliminated over the years.

What this means is that I find myself in the service of evil - since I live in a world of these organizations. Not the service of pure evil, of course! - but in service of organizations whose hearts are rotten.

*

It is like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when Voldemort rules from behind the scenes - using and subverting the established institutions to opposite goals - and the situation resembles Mr Weasley at the Ministry of Magic (promoting a pure blood agenda) or Professor McGonagall at Hogwarts (where torture is on the curriculum) - and where the Daily Prophet is propaganda in moral inversion and people believe it. How can a hoping-to-be-good individual operate in a trying-to-be-bad institution? Might they actually be making matters worse, lending support to the evil agenda? such that people might say: "well if Weasley and McGonagall are going along with all this stuff, it must be okay - they're decent people...".

*

What to do when a society, an organization, an institutions is set up such that it serves evil?

And such that individuals are neutered - all authority vested in impersonal committees, impersonal rules - where responsibility is displaced up and up until it reaches the purest ideology (just following orders); where the basis of each evaluative decision is bad in principle as well as practice...

*

Some reactionary Christians may feel that their Church is a refuge from this - but that is obviously impossible for an Anglican to believe - and I feel that other denominations are deluded on this matter: maybe this is an advantage for Anglicans? The recognition that insofar as a church or part-of-church is powerful, it is corrupt; insofar as a church is true it is beleaguered.

The clarity of knowing that there really is no powerful institutional refuge. The recognition that all which is good in an institution is under threat, feeble, may disappear at any time. Sooner or later Mr Weasley will be sacked and arrested; sooner or later Professor McGonagall will be forced to leave Hogwarts, the good priests will retire and be replaced by undercover Leftists.

*