Institutional Man

There was once an elderly black prison inmate they called "Tunnel Joe." His nickname tells us all we need to know about his favorite pastime. When he "went down" as they say in the penal system, there were still gas lights on the streets of Baltimore. After literally dozens of failed attempts, old Joe finally dug his way out of the penitentiary in the early 1970s. He turned himself in the same day. The world had changed too much, Joe didn't even recognize it. He missed the order and discipline of his prison routine. His newfound freedom terrified him. He had become institutionalized.

Institutional Man is a relatively new species, and is perhaps the only man who truly evolved into his situation. Darwin, who is even now sharing a room in Hell with Karl Marx, got it wrong in every particular. We, as a species, are a product of God's own hand, not of random chance. Yet Institutional Man is in fact the product of evolution. Not however, of any hare-brained process such as "survival of the fittest." Quite the contrary. He is the end result of a societal process that incorporates warped theories on several fronts. Psychiatry, socialism, public education, and the warfare state have combined in him to create that well known and long anticipated result of years of social and cultural warfare: The New Man.

He is sensitive and caring, taking pride in his ability to avoid "hurtful" phrasing or gender specific pronouns. Thousands of trees have been consumed thanks to his careful use of "his or her" rather than the "his" employed during thousand years of successful Western culture.

He renounces the use of firearms by individuals yet somehow is able to enthusiastically condone any State-sponsored violence, particularly when employed against supposed miscreants like the Serbs. Institutional Man is paradoxically the ultimate end product of the State yet he rejoices when those wicked "nationalists" get bombed. His love of violence, both the state sponsored kind, and the media "entertainment" variety is juxtaposed with his loudly proclaimed distaste for weaponry and an almost pathological unwillingness to confront his oppressors. He is against capital punishment except in specific cases where the defendant has raised his hand against the government or harmed a member of one of the officially protected groups such as homosexuals or abortionists.

Institutional Man was first identified toward the end of the twentieth century in Russia, where a failed experiment in socialism had become sidetracked and left a huge country in a state of bovine anarchy. Picture a pasture with cows lowing plaintively, and no farmer to milk them. The Soviet Man as depicted in the art of the Stalinist age was a handsome fellow, typically clutching tools or weapons as he confidently lead the proletariat into the imagined new age of socialism and collectivism where all men strove together to make the world a better place.

Seventy years later Soviet Man was leaning against the fence in his communist pasture, waiting for someone to come and milk him of his freedom. He had become institutionalized. He depended upon the state for his lodging, his job, his political opinions and his travel. The various state security organs protected him from those whose thoughts might upset him and a system of informers taught him a sort of furtive watchfulness. He had, as it has been said, neither fear nor hope.

When freedom beckoned to the erstwhile Soviet Union, it was confused by Institutional Man with economic well being, and since that hasn't manifested itself as yet, he has scant regard for freedom with out it. After all, the state had taken such good care of him, and now there is all this responsibility and he is still poor! Institutional Man is not equipped to handle failure, he has relied upon the State to shield him from any blows to his self esteem. Asking such a man to take the risks implied by political and economic freedom, and you may just be asking too much. Freedom after all, is an abstract concept. Unlike vodka and brake fluid, freedom doesn't do much for your head. It is a thing of the heart, and seventy years in a police state turns human hearts cold.

The next sighting was in the United States. This is the place where storm troopers with automatic weapons and body armor appear in their hundreds to arrest sheep. Sometimes the sheep are even of the mutton variety, as we learned last week in Vermont. Heaven help them if they had resisted, but as a resigned shepherd put it, as he gazed out at the tough hombres of the FDA in their SWAT costumes, "We are a nation of laws, and I must abide by those laws." Un huh. What was it Mao said comes out the barrel of a gun?

In America, Institutional Man has a very important role to play. He must deplore violence and "hurtful" conduct while embracing minorities and immigrants in the joyful certainty that diversity is ultimately the key to success in his culture. He has learned that he must forget the several thousand years of successful Western Culture in order to embrace this new diversity that holds so much promise and he has done that by turning his children over to the state for "instruction" in special centers called "public schools" where they too, can be institutionalized or "socialized" to use the term employed by the government flunkies who masquerade there as teachers.

Institutional Man demonstrates a type of moral courage not seen since the heady days of Molech worship in the middle east of Biblical times. It takes a real committed individual to renounce his own heritage and give up his children to the fire.

What makes Institutional Man so important in our modern culture is his ability to turn off the reasoning process and accept what ever he is told, particularly if the channel of indoctrination is the television set. His advantage is this: unbound by any primitive urge for what we used to call "freedom," he can employ his new found skills to his advantage and learn to make use of the contradictions and inconsistencies of his master's ideology, while never questioning the value of that ideology or it's substance.

A good example of Institutional Man is the sub genus, "Republican." These are folks of a conservative political persuasion who have convinced themselves that the things they purport to believe in are actually bad. When black people rejected the Republican Party in the recent election, the answer to Republicans was simply to "reach out" to the blacks, rather than simply assume that blacks had rejected their Republican ideals. Yes, it's much easier to change your ideals than to be considered "insensitive." Talk about moral courage!

Our new man has little of what we used to consider freedom, yet at the same time he glories in a whole new type of freedom, that is totally liberating, enabling, and supportive of his self esteem. In short, he can adapt to any set of beliefs, turn on a dime, and even support mutually conflicting views without trauma. Unlike the "freedom" of days gone by, this new liberating force that has given us Institutional Man allows for no fear of failure. Socialism is after all, the Viagra of politics — all men are successful all the time, and in the same way, lest one should set himself up as somehow "superior!" It is the ultimate triumph of the labor union mentality.

Institutional Man is a kinder fellow than his predecessors and is willing to see the other side of things. He knows that minorities commit well over half the violent crimes in this country yet he does not degrade himself by suggesting that they be punished. No, Institutional Man realizes that there is still much to be done before the lingering traces of racism are expunged from this culture, and he will undertake a program of self criticism to see why others are committing crimes. No one would commit a crime simply because they are a bad person — no, it must be their upbringing. Wouldn't want to fall into that obsolete Christian mindset that suggests that all men are sinners. That's a bit hard on the ole self esteem. It's also hard on governments, whose propensity to humility and self examination is minimal. Wouldn't want to bite the hand that feeds.

In one horrifying phrase, we have the crux of where our society is today, and where it is going: "much remains to be done." That is the key to understanding our modern culture. The cultural Marxists who have dominated our society for many years now, have an agenda. To them, everything is a step on the road to — where? The sad fact is that they themselves don't even know the answer to that one. Institutional Man is traveling down a relativistic highway to nowhere. He is part of a grand and wicked conspiracy against mankind, and doesn't know it. He has allied himself with the devil, and refuses to even recognize the existence of his master, yet serves him faithfully.

It's important to understand that when governments say that men are naturally good, and merely require decent treatment to release all that inherent goodness, that they are mocking the Word of God. The importance of the Word can best be understand when we look carefully at how often the other side is taking shots at it. Institutional Man is unaware of this battle, after all it doesn't concern him. He is very much aware of the perceived need for a wall of separation between church and state. Yet don't be fooled by this — he hasn't actually read the constitution — he has no need for that. The media and the government are sure to keep him aware of everything he needs to know.

Let's pretend for a second that the cultural Marxists have finally won — the battle is over and they are ready to do it their way. The one world government is now in control, all vestiges of nationalism are expunged. No hurtful symbols like Confederate flags or shamrocks remain anywhere in the world. The boy scouts have been disbanded and no guns are in private ownership anywhere. Every government program that has ever been proposed is now in force, and an army of bureaucrats swarm over the world, protecting us from ourselves. A single, central military force protects us from any and all threats and we live in a happy socialist paradise, our every want provided for.

But they will still tell you, "much remains to be done." As long as a human being remains alive, the forces of the left will sing that same song. Because theirs is a doctrine of death. No matter what lies they tell, or what political party they hide behind; no matter what they may tell themselves, theirs is a danse macabre, with only one ultimate destination.

The freedom they promise is not the Godly freedom which Americans once cherished — no that was too much work. It included too much responsibility and demanded too much of the individual. The enemy is very much of the hive — indeed it goes beyond that. The leftist killers, for such is what they are, are a force of nature, of entropy. Their ideas of big government and the nanny state stifle and suffocate men and ideas; in their maturity they murder in huge numbers. Whenever a leftist government has been allowed to survive for any length of time, the result has been death in large numbers.

The "advances" of this age tell the story. Abortion in numbers so huge as to stagger the imagination. Wars and ethnic violence, as leftist do gooders implement their devilish doctrine of enforced diversity.

There was a reason we used to like to live in our own countries, with our own cultural norms. Japanese are Japanese, and Germans are Germans. Muslims are not going to get along with Christians nor are the Irish ever likely to welcome the British into Belfast. By propagating a lie, the socialists tell us that these are mere human foibles and can be overcome if we will only evolve into something better. And so we have. We have become the Institutional Man — he who pays his taxes gladly, and watches "Autopsy" on TV. Waiting, always waiting, because "much remains to be done."

March 28, 2000

Mr. Peirce fought with the Rhodesian freedom fighters (the Ian Smith side, of course).

Michael Peirce Archives