Never Change

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by Ben Huot

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We are in a society that thinks it both possible and wise to change others’ views at the drop of a hat. We have a poor understanding of others because we have a poor understanding of ourselves. We arrive in this situation, because our culture does not emphasize self reflection or give us time to do so.

We live in a very anti-intellectual culture, because why would those in power want to raise more leaders or deal with new ideas? Most people throughout most of recorded history and the world today are often smart but not very educated classically and that is not by accident. Today we are afraid that our culture will be dictated by politics and not by facts but this has happened since ancient times across every culture.

One of the biggest cross cultural concerns of the ruling elite throughout most of history was legitimacy. Our leaders realize they have to justify why they should lead our country. This happened and was the reason why we have Confucianism and Russia as we now know it. Western Europe developed the way it did for the same reason. It was a big concern amongst Arab rulers too.

This idea of election plus advertising by mass media is brilliant, because it gives the illusion of choice, without any risk to our leadership. The US is still new to history and so did not have the deep divisions that most of the world has had for centuries or millennia. This creates divisions amongst issues our leaders don’t care about because they are irrelevant to them.

Basically our leaders care about money and popularity. They are as concerned about major changes in society as we are because rapid change means they lose power. Power to them is like a drug that they are addicted to and it is the one thing that matters to them.

It is interesting that the only thing we can agree upon is in business where we can all agree on the objectives - money. One of the biggest ways we can differentiate ourselves from non-believers is by using means other than money and power to further evangelize the world.

It is unwise to change your beliefs based on argument because otherwise you would change your views just because someone else is better at arguing. We see the world in terms of trying to make sense of the world in terms of our earlier experiences and this is how it should be. Our leaders understand this and this is why they appeal to emotional arguments and repetition, not logical reasoning.

It is similar with the military - they do not expect you to change how you believe and they do not care. They do not teach you complex skills that require you to have advanced degrees to understand. They teach you to respond fast and do some very specific but simple things under great stress.

The military likes you being weak and afraid because that means you will follow orders better. Courage is defined as acting in spite of fear. If you act without fear when you are in danger, you are being foolish, not brave. The military does not want heroic individuals or creativity.

The reason why we dominate the world and not other countries is that our culture is based on cooperation not individuality. This works well for combat with foot soldiers armed with guns. We are better at logistics than the rest of the world. In some cultures, middle level management is encouraged to be creative while in our culture we discourage it at this level.

The corporation is very much run like the military. It is very hard to get someone to re-enlist in the military. I was able to leave early from the military, because of my mental illness. I was stationed in Hawaii and everyone in my unit wanted to leave as well. People were given huge monetary bonuses and / or big concessions, like choice of base and going to school full time while being paid, to re-enlist.

This is why it is so hard to get good NCOs or Sergeants, who act as middle managers in the military. This is why managers move up a company so fast and also move around locations so often. You easily get burned out, when your life is the company. You are responsible for things getting done no matter what it takes for them to get done.

The difference between the corporation and the military are money and difficulty level of circumstances. The military is paid so low that many who have a child and spouse are under the poverty line in America. They often receive food stamps while in the military and after leaving. You also have the likelihood for personal physical or psychological injury. I told you that I ended up with Schizophrenia and chronic allergic pink eye. I believe I got off very easy.

There are so many people who lost legs in the military that it is even common for high ranking officers. I thought the gas chamber was rough, but many service members deployed to the Middle East got smoke from burn piles, that gave them colon cancer. The military just recently was pressured into routinely screening for that. They still use burn piles though, like they have for the past 30 years or more.