Last week, the Z man put out an article titled “Too Corrupt To Fail“. It equates the current Ukrainian “scandal” with the situation in the Catholic Church and its clergy sex abuse problem, and with other similar major issues. I found his case compelling.
In all of the big institutional scandals, there is always a question that rarely gets addressed and that is, how did it go on for so long? By the time the thing starts to become public, the number of people involved, either actively or passively, has reached a point where it became impossible to hide. In some cases, the issue at the heart of the scandal just became a normal thing to the people inside the institution. For some mysterious reason, no one raised the alarm until much too late.
The best example of this is the Catholic Church scandal. By the time the story of the homosexual priests was public, the Church was infested with them. The lavender mafia had taken over whole orders. The number of pederasts had reached a point where moving them around the system was just a part of the administration. As people started asking questions and making claims, the system rallied to defend itself, without much thought about what it was defending. The corruption was systemic.
. . .
It seems that corruption has a dynamic that starts with the first flexing of the rules that are supposed to control the institution. Somewhere along the line, it becomes expedient to overlook some minor infraction. Like a cancer, the exception making starts to spread through the system. At first, a small number of people are breaking rules and tolerating the rule breaking. As each new person learns of the practice, he is a smaller minority relative to the set of rule breakers. Thus he is less inclined to oppose it.
. . .
At some point, another dynamic kicks in. Those who cannot tolerate the corruption, but lack the courage to do anything about it, are boiled off. They move on, leaving behind a mix of cowards and corrupt. Of course, the corrupt flock to corruption, so the institution becomes a [magnet] for the type who like rule breaking. Before long, you go from a system where rule breaking is not tolerated and the rule breakers fear exposure, to a system where rule breaking is normalized and rule enforcers fear exposure.
. . .
Put another way, the corrupt organization or system becomes too corrupt to fail, as everyone has some reason to protect it. For some at the heart of the corruption, the reason is obvious, but all around them are people who fear being shamed for having said nothing or fear being implicated for having looked the other way. The fallacy of the sunk cost becomes an operating principle. Everyone assumes there can be no turning back, so the corruption accelerates until eventually it does collapse.
There’s more at the link.
As regular readers will know, I have first-hand experience of the corruption within the Catholic Church. As a result, the routine corruption of morals, and the unwillingness to take the brutally hard steps necessary to correct that, have come to define that institution in the minds of many. That’s not fair to good and faithful Catholics, but it remains a fact of life that’s unlikely to change. Frankly, I think it’s justified.
The same applies to the so-called “Swamp” or “Deep State” in Washington D.C. As numerous outlets have pointed out over the past ten days or so, what we’re seeing in the Ukraine “scandal” is nothing less than corrupt Washington institutions (in this case, intelligence and law enforcement agencies and individuals) seek to protect themselves and their power base by undermining an elected President, to the point where he is so enfeebled by scandal that he can no longer take action against them for their crimes. Unfortunately for them, they picked a President who’s unlikely to be intimidated. He’s much more likely to dare them to do their worst, guaranteeing them that if he goes down in flames, he’ll take them with him. He probably will, at that.
I think one of the most telling aspects of the Ukraine scandal is the effect and influence of independent journalists, bloggers and opinion-makers compared to the mainstream media. In past decades, the media would have shaped and formed public opinion until any opposition to the “establishment” line of argument would have been unthinkable. They have tried to do the same over the President’s phone call with Ukraine’s president. However, there is now a “critical mass” of independent voices who are both numerous enough, and skilled and experienced enough, to take their story apart at the seams, analyze every element, point out their mistakes (and their inherent corruption), and put out alternative views that are cogently argued and persuasive. The news media have lost the influence battle. Social media has won it – and attempts to force social media to conform to the “authorized truth” have failed miserably, because there are too many voices and too many outlets to control them all.
I guess that’s the root of the problem for the “Deep State” types. They can only exercise control so long as they control the narrative, and nobody questions their power, their authority, or their morals. Nowadays, questioning all three has become commonplace, and it’s becoming the norm as people realize just how corrupt the U.S. political establishment has become. The late President Eisenhower famously warned Americans against what he called the “military-industrial complex”. We now have political machines that have become industrialized, and embedded themselves into law enforcement and intelligence circles, seeking to control their investigations and their output. They’re now realizing, with real horror, that they can’t do that any longer. Their corruption is now in plain view for all Americans to see, thanks to citizen journalists and bloggers who refuse to “go along to get along”.
That’s also why so many “big tech” companies are seeking to control and channel the voices of social media users. Twitter, Facebook, Google et. al. have their own views on what is (or should be) politically correct and acceptable. If your views don’t mesh with theirs, you can expect pushback, up to and including the suspension or cancellation of your accounts.
That’s a powerful reason to consider moving your social media activities to organizations that pledge not to do that, and put effort into preserving your independent voice. MeWe, Gab, and so on are not (as the loony left would have it) extremist platforms or voices. They’re free speech activists – and as far as I’m concerned, free speech is our only defense against totalitarian censorship. More power to them! I may not like or support the views of everyone on such platforms, but if I deny them free speech, they can deny it to me. If we claim a right for ourselves, we must accord it to others as well. Big Brother is not very good at that, for obvious (and corrupt) reasons.