Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Order / Institutions /
Institutions come to convince us that we couldn’t exist without them.
The hospital convinces us that without the doctors, the nurses, the expense, we couldn’t get born, couldn’t die, couldn’t do a thing.
Therefore institutions have to keep us ignorant: so we’ll never know that we ever did exist without them. The school must convince us that no learning can take place without a teacher, that no organization is possible without government intervention and interference. Graduates believe, in the face of knowing it can’t be so, that it was always thus. Women accept that the cops who were just rude to her are the only thing keeping her from getting raped perpetually.
Oscar Wilde said, “The only thing indispensable to me is luxury.” Very funny, Oscar: a luxury addict. But long before Oscar Wilde, we were civilization addicts.
The junkie was born without chemical dependencies other than those imposed by biology. When everyone is a junkie then junkies are born with a dependency on heroin, on crack.
Once men were born independent: or dependent only on themselves (on the biosphere, and a small group: family). Then we let a priest into the family, gave him 10% of everything. Soon we had a God for a father, then a pope. No sooner did we finally pull some flight feathers from the Church, but we became dependent on the Pentagon, the Treasury … the School, the Fortune 500: not one of them a whit better than Al Capone.
Ivan Illich warned us (pk joining him). But we let the media silence books already best sellers (while we let our institutions make sure than pk’s books were never even published). Now that we’ve kept mum while pk was jailed for publishing some warnings himself, what hope should we have for survival? Why, the Fortune 500! And Al Capone.
2012 01 28 I was just girding myself to talk about institutions as addictive when I see that i already went into it fairly well. Today though I add this:
Institutions depend on the selfishness of the overpopulated. Once everyone gets social security, few will want to return to being wild. Once business can’t breathe without a federal subsidy, business will want the fed to have power: power to tax you to support him!
And institutions depend on confusions of metaphor, of synecdoche with actuality: Catholics can’t imagine the voice of God coming anywhere but through the Church (just as the Temple in Jerusalem refused to acknowledge messages from God that didn’t come through the money tables!
But that another synecdoche, a shortcut that sometimes backfires: Forget God, think voice of truth! If it isn’t true, forget it; or you’re a junkie.
@ K. 2011 03 05