Across the West, people are suspecting that institutions are corrupt, which has led to a lack of faith in not just our civilization but our own personal futures, as polls indicate:
After 17 years of polling, the Edelman marketing firm found that trust in four institutions — government, business, media, and nongovernmental organizations â€“ took the steepest drop ever last year.
Almost two-thirds of people surveyed in 28 countries do not trust the four institutions to “do what is right.” More than 50 percent say “the system” is not working for them.
The rising distrust may help explain the attraction of anti-elitist and ultranationalist political leaders from the Philippines to Europe. More than 70 percent in the survey say government officials are not at all or somewhat credible. And the credibility of business chief executive officers fell 12 points to 37 percent.
Organizations rule the day when it comes to having a first-world society. Without a postal service, hygiene, police, fire, legal and medical institutions, the type of efficiency for which the first world is famed cannot occur and we are left at third-world levels of disorganization. When distrust expands across the globe and across institution-type, we know that organization has failed.
We forget how important organization is because we tend to see our society in terms of ideology and economics. If we have the right ideology, and a working economy, then everything else comes secondary. But other inputs have every bit as much influence as those two. Culture reflects what people want because it has worked for them in the past, religion contains their hopes, and the science of management determines how likely it is that the society will have competent organizations.
The savaging of Western institutions happened through two fronts: first, unions and regulation became involved, and second, these organizations became politicized, which meant that a mediocre solution which was politically correct was seen as superior to a good solution which was not as politically correct. This in turn meant that reality was suspended and replaced by ideology.
The high cost of replacing reality is that soon incompetence rules the day, and with that comforting miasma of confusion to camouflage it, corruption and ineptitude have a field day. The unions defend the inept, the regulations give them plausible deniability, and affirmative action essentially prevents many of them from being fired. As a result, institutional value has plummeted.
Any study of organizations reveals that giving the people at the lower level the ability to hit a stop button for the whole organization will quickly sabotage that organization and drive away the competent. And yet, with Leftist programs like affirmative action, unions and most regulation, this is exactly what we give low-level workers.
Now that the years have run past, and it is too far gone to fix or find the culpable, we are starting to recognize that distrust in American institutions has plummeted. The same is happening worldwide, because those institutions follow the same model. The high cost of Leftism takes years to reveal itself, but then, it always makes us regret ever going down that path.