In “Empire of the Rising Scum,” Robert Shea observed that, regardless of their ostensible mission, hierarchical institutions tend to be headed by people whose primary skills are careerist climbing and bureaucratic in-fighting. As I’ve said before, you simply cannot become a President of the United States, or a Fortune 500 CEO, unless there’s something fundamentally wrong with you. The same is true of the intellectual capacity of those who manage to advance upward within hierarchies. Being a team player, engaging in groupthink, demonstrating an ability to shut off critical thinking when evaluating the communications of a superior — these are qualities that authoritarian institutions select for.
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