Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Untouchables by Gary North

The Untouchables by Gary North
he word "untouchable" means something different in India than it does in the West. In India, no one wants to be an untouchable. In the West, achieving the status of untouchable is the supreme organizational goal.
In India, untouchable status means that you cannot move up. In the West, it means that you can't be pulled down.
In every Western nation, certain institutions are untouchable. Anyone challenging them is regarded as a revolutionary, a kook, or a self-promoter looking for publicity.
Untouchable status means that the organization gets a free ride in society. Its mistakes are overlooked. Its deviations from established standards are overlooked. It is immune from the usual criticisms that all other institutions are subjected to.
The Communist Party in the Soviet Union had this status. So did the Politburo.
These organizations are at the center of the social order. They are immune from politics, because they are the basis of power. The famous Powers That Be, whose interests are linked to the success of these institutions, have such influence that they can bring socially effective pressure against those who go on the attack against these organizations.
It is considered unthinkable that society could function without an untouchable institution. The organization is so deeply ingrained in the thinking of the intelligentsia that leaders are literally unable to imagine how society could exist without it.
There can be obscure bureaucracies that are never criticized in print. This is because they have so little influence that almost no one knows of their existence. This is not what I mean. I am speaking here of powerful agencies with large constituencies. They have few enemies. They are not subject to budget cuts. There are no rival constituencies that would be happy to see them shut down.
Yet at some point in a nation's history, society and politics did without every presently untouchable organization. It was not only not untouchable, it did not exist.
There are two such organizations in the West today: the public school system and the central bank.

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