The Age of Modern Institutions

I am a diehard fan of George Friedman. I really love the way he writes. For me, he is a very profound writer who has the ability to stretch fantastic imaginations, blend them with reality and eventually translate them into a nice write-up. I have been reading him for around sixteen years now. For me, he has always been a great source of inspiration, information, and knowledge.

Recently I have begun to wonder how he really leads to his write-ups. I wonder when he wakes up in the morning, he thinks about a topic or a situation. He probably talks to expert friends about that. He travels to places where events that intrigue him happened and talks to people over there. Then, by the end of the day, he returns to his solitude, reflects on the whole conversations, books he has read, ideas he has contemplated, problems he has pondered about, and eventually writes them all.

George’s enterprise, namely, StartFor now maintains a coterie of seasoned writers. All of them write so well. Their basic theme is to inform humanity about geopolitics. The way they write about issues is unequivocal.

Recently I read an article written by one of the writers at StratFor, Ian Morris, titled, The Age of Modern Warfare. This article has a beautiful theme. That is to reflect on how warfare happened in ancient times? How its methods and tools evolved over millennia? And how it works now or would work in the future?

The central idea of this article is that right from the beginning of humanity until the first world war was conducted by employing a hierarchical chain of command. Orders would flow in a top-down fashion from the commanders all the way down to the soldiers who would execute them. Things changed in the first world war when Germans, for the first time, allowed the soldiers to plan and act independently as smaller units. Soldiers had broader views of tasks, tactics and especially the strategy. How they would accomplish their missions, what tactics they would apply was totally up to them.

For me, this is a very nice example of self-organization. It is an especially interesting case for almost every person, organization or institution in the developing country to take heed from. In our country, we still educate our people to learn to obey orders at best. A result of that is that our twenty-first-century man is incapable of thinking beyond what his boss may have in his mind as a next step. This leads to a lot of mental stagnation in our society.

Our institutions should especially take heed from this example. The West began to abandon the ideas of centralized command as early as the dawn of the twentieth century. Now you can find independent-minded people working almost in every Western institution. People like to find ways to get their work done all by themselves. As a result, the modern Western man is capable of achieving a lot more than a bunch of men stuck together to merely follow orders in olden times.

Our institutions, on the other hand, are still following primitive systems that glorify a culture of command and control. We like to have a strong authoritative head sit on top as an institutional head. As he delivers his orders, they are obeyed readily. For the rest of the time, the institution is idle and stalemate. And most of the times the orders are quite whimsical.

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CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 The Age of Modern Institutions by Psyops Prime is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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