Thursday 13 December 2018

Things coming to a point - running-out of other-people's money

The cost of incrementally destroying the specific functionality of all social institutions, and making them into a single bureaucracy converged upon Leftist ideals (diversity, sustainability, inclusion, social justice blah blah blah...) - is that all institutions require more and more subsidy; not least because they are so managerialist and clogged with Red Tape that nobody will work for them unless they are paid market rates.

And - in our kind of society - the subsidy is extracted from a small base of productive workers; who are so demonised, hassled and demoralised that the base is shrinking ever faster than already imposed by the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of being controlled by converged institutions.

As Margaret Thatcher said - the problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people's money. She was right about the economics - but of course the real problem with socialism goes much deeper: for example, the denial of God; the spiritual realm; and the objectivity of truth, beauty and virtue...

Therefore, things are failing faster and faster - and whereas in the more recent past, failing institutions would be absorbed into the state-business-media-bureaucracy-plex; now they are becoming too frequent and too many to be able to do so.

The process of convergence deeds-upon itself, is therefore depends upon accelerating, and therefore the point at which it will become unsustainable gets closer with increasing rapidity. 

A straw in the wind is that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is now (apparently) rapidly approaching bankruptcy only six months after the CJCLDS (Mormon Church) finally decided to leave the BSA in response to ever-increasing Leftist/ sexual multi-corruption.

Among those who knew how the BSA worked (and how much they depended on Mormon membership, leadership and funding), it was confidently known that the BSA must collapse (either to closure or being taken-over) - but the speed at which this happened has probably surprised everybody. 

(...Even the BSA management, who - no doubt - expected to be long gone by the time that the consequences of their ideologically-driven incomptetence came home to roost.)

These signs of impending collapse are, obviously, getting closer together at an increasing rate - i.e. things are coming to a point.

What to do? Well, it is not your job or my job to prop-up and re-vitalise Western or even National civilization (if such a thing even makes sense, which it probably does not)... and in this world of hollow and dysfunctional institutions if something can't be done at the individual level, it ain't going to happen at all...

Our job is to be clear about what is going on in terms of Spiritual Warfare - to take the Big Perspective that Christians are everlasting Beings to whom our mortal lives, and this earth, are very important but part of an eternal time-frame.

And then to act accordingly.


Seijio Arakawa said...

Of course, money (which can be printed on short notice) is just an indirect representation of other people's time and energy (which is limited in the short term, absent great efforts to raise more workers / develop ideas that save labour). So when "running-out-of-money" on a societal scale what we are really running-out-of is the number of people who are willing, able, and have the opportunity to do real work.

In the Boy Scouts, they've switched from providing a concrete service (a particular kind of education for boys) to being a devotional organization (spending resources to signal devotion to a cause) -- in this case, the cause of Leftism. A devotional organization (such as Christians coming together to build a cathedral) can function if it's able to attract the money. But of course parents are not interested in the particular devotion being performed here, while in the realm of 'funding' BSA is competing with all the other Leftist devotional organizations.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Seijio - Yes, that's a better way of expressing it.

I must admit that I find modern economics incomprehensible; when I consider the increasing proportion of people who do little or no productive or worthwhile work, the increasing proportion who actively impair the productivity of producers (i.e. managers etc) and the increasing numbers of economic dependents added every year by mass immigration (in the UK, something approaching one percent per year, and the increasing average age of the population.

Meanwhile overall productive technological progress has either flatlined, or dipped (i.e. loss of more-effective technology than that which replaces it).

The gap must, presumably, be covered by 'borrowing' - ie stealing the productivity of people in China and the like by bribing their leadership class.

But - surely? - these adverse trends can't go on indefinitely - and if it can't: it won't.

Seijio Arakawa said...

The interesting thing is that economics gained its ascendance over religion in public discourse because it was about more-concrete, brick-and-mortar things. The motto of economists whether of a liberal, a socialist, or some other persuasion may as well have been “you can’t feed people with a cathedral” and accordingly they made convincing (at the time) arguments to refocus effort and attention onto other things. But now economics is, on average, more abstract than metaphysics and routinely misses obvious observations e.g. that GDP growth is extremely undesirable when the GDP represents activity of a pointless or counterproductive nature.

Like that Soviet glass factory alluded to in “Not Even Trying” where step one in fixing the problems is to STOP....

Bruce Charlton said...

@Seijio- Ecomonics is beyond crazy in important respects. For example, many economists are convinced that immigration is intrinsically A Good Thing. So convinced that anyone who disagrees is regarded as ignorant. Yet this is clearly nonsense if you take it to a reductio ad absurdum - that, say, all immigrants were mentally handicapped and required intense supervision and residential care. The reductio reveals that the *specific* character, abilties and behaviour of immigrants is crucial to the economic effect of immigration - which single thought experiment essentially explodes the entirety of the immigration literature. This shook my belief in the discipline, which was then destroyed by Greg Clarke's A Farewell To Alms.

Chiu ChunLing said...

As any social institution gains prestige and influence, it will be entered by those who seek to squander that prestige and influence on their personal idiocies rather than contribute to the foundation of that prestige and influence by serving the core function which earned it.

Such has always been the way of humanity.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - Yes, but the difference is that in the past, religion was a countervailing proximate force.

Now the corruption is unopposed proximally, and only limited by 'Creative Destruction' -type mechanisms of extinction; relating to very distal, dysfunctional consequences destroying dysfunctional groups.

Creative Destruction can be understood as a kind of group natural selection, operating at the level of whole systems - e.g. the elimination of whole types of industry/ service when replaced by a 'better' alternative - eg the elimination of videotapes by DVDs, or rental shops by online streaming or downloading.

A possible historic example is Henry VIII of England when monasteries were not reformed but eliminated; including all their services such as education and hospitals which were simply destroyed along with the monks/ nuns/ friars. This happened because the medieval Roman Catholic church (in England) had over several generations become unreformably corrupt, at first unwilling, later unable, to reform-itself.

By contrast, a continued alive religiousness - such as was the case in Constantinople in the Eastern Empire, was able to pull itself back from the brink several times, by reforming its institutions sufficently.

But when corruption is rapid and near-universal; Creative Destruction is too crude, too slow and too weak, to prevent total collapse.

Chiu ChunLing said...

Religion, where it is a countervailing proximate force, is itself a social institution as well.

Where it is purely a private and individual attitude rather than a social institution, it is not a countervailing proximate force.

Of course the point of any social forces, for good or evil, is their effect on the private individual attitude. And private individual attitudes are the essential building blocks of social forces.

But where there is no larger organization to a set of correlated attitudes, they remain ineffectual as social forces. That is to say, without the quality of becoming an institution, they have no force. The greatest genius in the world, unrecognized as such, has no significant impact on society.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - Your analysis is entirely this worldly, and excludes the possibility of spiritual forces neither perceived nor measured. If these are your assumptions, then something like your conclusions follow. Otherwise not.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I'm avoiding confusing personal revelation with general social influences.

That is to say, I'm recognizing that the secular world is essentially distinct from the spiritual world.

You might say that they aren't entirely separate, and this is true, but insofar as religion is entirely personal and spiritual, it is not a social force.

Indeed, the sincerely religious exert less social force than their secular achievements/influence would make possible precisely because social force, for 'good' or 'ill', is a type of coercion and thus not something a sincerely religious person will seek to maximize.