Ivan Illich was our great critic of institutions. I am Ivan Illich’s disciple, and successor.
(I am not ivan Illich’s peer, any more than he was peer to Christ: must greater than most others, maybe greater than any other.)
Meantime I iterate a basic Ivan Illich / pk point (riding on his shoulders (and George Bernard Shaw’s (as well as Christ’s) in points institutional):
At its inception the point of any institution is transparent: to defend the turf, to protect the mated pair … For a while the founding purpose remains the obverse purpose (and never wholly disappears): but eventually hidden purposes develop. Eventually the military endangers more than it protects. Eventually the church is more for the priests and their privileges. Eventually the Temple blocks messages from God, kills him when he attacks their money tables. But then the new Church winds up behaving exactly the same.
Meantime, the public acts in collusion with the institutions, throwing stones at the railroaded Jesus: and even Mary Magdalene doesn’t deliver the new divine messages.
Conclusion: don’t be surprised when human society fails. Don’t be surprised when God shows you that it could have been avoided: by a more sensible species, more honest, more intelligent.
InsTic blog has done a good job of displaying my modules about institutions, so though I’m anxious to assemble all of Knatz.com (pk’s censored domains) here, employing the category / menu “page” power of WordPress, I’ll try to concentrate on importing modules still down since 2007 before completing the cake.
They are far better organizable here!
2011 05 22 One purpose institutions have in common is to buffer the pace at which society learns. Society may come to agree that slavery is wrong, but no society wants to eradicate how they’ve made their living, ascended as a kleptocracy, over night. So: the churches, the schools, drag their feet, slow down the change: give the slave owners plenty of time to reinvest: keeping all their profits from slavery, owning nothing to the slaves. (Or: the slaveowner lets his grandchildren pay his “taxes” on the matter: reasoning I don’t doubt that his grandchildren will be able to afford the burden easily if he does’tn make any payments himself: hoarding their inheritance.
The trouble is: the smoker who knows he must quit eventually can postpone quitting till way past the point where his cancer is irreversible. In such cases our institutions are murdering us: and our grandchildren.
2011 06 26 I read in the Institutions post from InsTic:
Institutions come to serve ends incompatible with their theoretical charter: schools make us stupid, the military endangers us, markets restrict choices …
That’s what Ivan Illich said, that’s what I repeat: and develop my own way as I can.
Initially institutions serve their announced purpose:
to comfort the dying, to distribute alms, to train the young …
to monopolize the water hole …
Next institutions spend more and more resources on growing, on amassing privileges.
Finally institutions’ purpose is to sniff out reformers:
to strip them, discredit them, and to shove them down the memory hole.
If human beings “deserve” to survive (a big if), we must renew, reinvent, our institutions: constantly. My main work on institutions came in founding FLEX: The Free Learning Exchange in 1970 (incorporated in New York in 1971).
Supporting the same institutions that led us in lies yesterday
will not lead us to the truth today.
Institution Speed Limit
2014 11 08 Institutions homeostaticly protect themselves from change. As it were they post a speed limit for change. The racist knows he’ll have to be less racist eventualy: tomorrow. Tomorrow will be soon enough. I stop smoking, tomorrow: and tomorrow: too late to avoid cancer.