Big organizations are a microcosm of human society. I believe they last for the same reason: they are built on an alliance. I like to call it the great alliance the fools, the cowards and the incompetent.
A fool gets robbed or killed. A coward is afraid to act and hides. An incompetent doesn’t know what to do. Individually, they are as incapable of anything.
The beauty of human organizations is that by grouping these categories, they release an extremely powerful force. Alone, we humans are as harmless as a fly. Together, we are a weapon of mass destruction.
Without further ado, let me introduce the members of the alliance:
- The Fool: believes in the common good. Slightly limited in intelligence and/or adept of magical thinking, he is however the most productive worker bee. Few questions are asked, his faith in his organization is high. In his mind, both are acting for the greater good some way or another. Recognizing them is easy: it’s usually the only person actually working. Cannon fodder.
- The Coward: Higher in intelligence but proportionally lacking in courage, the coward spends half his time aimlessly helping out the fools. The other half consists in cursing the incompetent under his breath. Too bad he will never say it aloud. Usually engineers and accountants.
- The Incompetent: true management material. And he will let you know it. Could not, for his life, answer any question. So better keep talking. Mostly found among the self-declared decision makers and though leaders. Failed ones end up in circus arts. Or join the mob.
How does the alliance work?
The incompetent protect the fool and give them direction by having them do their bidding. They understand self-interest.
The cowards provide the intellectual/scientific input and organize the work. Both afraid of the incompetent and of angering the fools, they never rebel.
And the fools happily serve.
Both master and slave, humans have successfully domesticated themselves. To what end? This is destined to stay a mystery. What is known is that, at some point, the incompetent got tired of fucking donkeys.