Amerika

We Are Ruled By Adult Children

Organization and organizations form the basis of all human activity. To get anything done, you have to have a plan, methods, goals, and hierarchy. Disorganized activity produces bad results. Repeated activities beget institutions known as organizations which preserve knowledge and skill.

This creates a new problem, which is that the organization itself becomes a target for people who want to use it for something other than its intended purpose. Since the organization is made of people, these can be corrupted, seduced, or otherwise directed against the needs of the organization.

Some have noticed that, of late, Western Civilization appears to have become infantilized, or reduced to a simplistic, emotional, and short-term understanding of the world. We speak in pidgin and worry too much about feelings, for example.

This infantilization of Western Civilization presents itself as a myopic short-sightedness and neurotic emotionality:

You can become fixated at a particular stage of development and fail to reach an age-appropriate level of maturity. When facing unmanageable stress or trauma, you can even regress to a previous stage of development.

I believe our daily interactions with smartphones and social media are so pleasurable precisely because they normalize and gratify infantile dispositions.

They endorse self-centeredness and inflated exhibitionism. They promote an orientation towards the present, rewarding impulsivity and celebrating constant and instant gratification.

They flatter our needs for visibility and provide us with 24/7 personalized attention, while eroding our ability to empathize with others.

While Western infantilization may be caused by the media becoming childish, it may have a root in human behavior that is not subjected to an order which rigidly organizes individuals. Descriptions of childish behavior and its organization in a Military environment were already made by a Union soldier in the American Civil War which includes the following:

  • “They shouted with childish delight over every explosion”
  • “They were like children, Higginson said, easily made ill, and easily cured, if promptly treated: childish organizations again.”
  • “It was the emotional expressiveness of his soldiers that made him term them childish”
  • The book went on to describe blacks as the “Mysterious race of grown-up children”

A business organization might describe a childish employee (differently) as follows:

An employee who goofs off and disregards your instructions, then pouts, sulks and acts sullen when things go wrong can make it seem like you’re managing an adolescent. Immature employees are a headache for managers to deal with, but if the behavior is left unchecked it can have a significant effect on the bottom line. Unprofessional behavior negatively impacts productivity and can damage the reputation of your small business.

The extent of childish behaviors in business organizations resulted in Chicago Media reporting on the top ten childish behaviors Rampant in Office.  These include:

  • Starting rumors
  • Throwing tantrums
  • Making faces behind other’s backs

This growth in immaturity had to eventually, lead to advice on How to work with immature people.

Now even the Boss is Childish. So we need professional “help” to negotiate this barrier as follows:

For example, Volpitta says, “When your boss is having a tantrum, he is ‘going grasshopper.’ The grasshopper is like a toddler—he wants what he wants and he wants it now. Because the grasshopper is in charge of short-term survival, his primary responses are as basic as freeze, flight, and fight. That is why you get the withdrawal, whining, and screaming from your boss.”

The trend of bosses going grasshopper is so pervasive in society that a general statement can be made (on the whole) that bad leadership is mostly just immaturity.  The implication of this is far-reaching in the sense that employees tend to follow their “leaders,” who are supposed to lead “by example” and bad examples literally cause bad actions in our society across the board.

One example to demonstrate this is by checking which Presidential Candidate a mass shooter did follow.  In the case of Elizabeth Warren it appears that after some incendiary comments (two of her followers) responded in kind, by killing random people/police, the latest in Philadelphia.

It appears that childish behaviors in a grown up world are really dangerous, not just disabling organizations but also in a physically violent crime sense. This tendency of bad leadership to incite crime is practiced around the world, especially and even including genocide in South Africa, where lawyers are now evaluating whether this can be prosecuted.

Since this is wide spread, further studies were able to explain this at the genetic level:

A number of studies have found that childhood abuse is the triggering condition for violence. In other words, carriers of the 2R (allele of the warrior gene) become more violent than the average population when they are abused as children.

A childish society suspends its participants between childhood and adulthood. Permanent adolescents, they never commit to life-changing activities like marriage and reproduction, or really do anything except attend jobs and social events as they did school, with no sense of purpose.

This behavior implies that our society has bad parents, but even more than in individual families, this occurs when government and social forces treat people as something to be managed like children, livestock, or malfunctioning equipment.

The more that external authority enters our lives — the Soviet Union being the far extreme — the more people become reactive and unable to plot a course for themselves. This suspends them in permanent childhood, like how people came out of East Germany unable to run their own lives.

As with all things, once we recognize a trend, we can start describing it and illustrating rather than simply opining about its weaknesses, and this does most of the work of changing it. Perhaps we should take a second look at childish behavior as something more than simply an inconvenience.

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