Monday, August 01, 2005

On the well-ordered, "extremist" free society

An institutionally-dominated society is built on
standardized practices, goods and services, and
thinking. In order to restrain the inconstant
turbulence of an energized, creative, and
competitive marketplace, established corporate
interests have turned to the state to foster
standardized investment and employment policies;
standardized products; and standardized
advertising and other trade practices. Schools
have contributed to the agenda for uniformity
with standardized curricula, standardized
teaching methods, and standardized testing, all
of which combine to produce standardized people
with standardized minds ready to take their
places in a standardized world.
But it is not “civilization” that the political
order seeks to save in its “Global Struggle
Against Extremism,” but its own privileges of
power. For centuries, institutions have been at
war with the life processes that thrive in
conditions of individual liberty, spontaneity,
and creative change. Inquisitions, heresy
trials, and the persecution of witches, have
proven to be embarrassments to institutionalized
systems which, in the end, were unable to fully
repress the human spirit. The current
establishment’s efforts are designed not to
preserve civilization, but to petrify it in
antiquated forms. As in the earlier cases of the
Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the
Scientific and Industrial Revolutions, the life
force will, like a dammed up river, ultimately
break through the barriers designed to restrain
the energies against which institutions have
always fought.