Ep 32: FUNDAMENTALISM, American-Style

Let’s get down to basics.  The Washington swamp must be drained, NOW.

Sound familiar?  Right out of Donald Trump’s play book?

Right out of father’s play book, also.  Throw the bums out; in the Sawyer household was a familiar refrain.  Fundamentalists like Buss reduce Technicolor-like complexity, to black and white simplicity.  The only thing in the middle of the road, they bluster, is a yellow stripe.  Yellow symbolizes cowardice, of course; cowardice to take a principled stand.

Post-Nine-Eleven, this is the logic George Bush used to bully nations into compliance with his war agenda.  If you’re not with us, then you are against us.

Popular in Trump-style politics is imagery linked to Flight 93.  The morning of 9-11, doomed passengers wrested controls from terrorists, then diverted the high-jacked plane to ultimate catastrophe in a Pennsylvania field.  Their heroism forestalled a direct hit on the White House or Capitol Building.

In this Alt-right analogy, urgency is the fundamentalist’s byword.  Act NOW.  This is YOUR last chance to save America for “real Americans.”  Be a hero.  BE a heroic passenger on Flight 93.

Fundamentalism, writ large.  This is how political fundamentalism works, American-style.

Little difference exists between religion and politics.  Whereas Buss hated the Mormon Church, at some deeper level, fundamentalist thinking actually connected him to orthodox Mormons he loathed, in overlapping views of how the world is believed to work.

Organization politics, of course, play a huge role.  So also does authoritarianism.

To illustrate, a hypothetical, right-leaning church sets increasing Sunday School attendance as a measurable performance objective, to stand in place of a much squishier goal of saving souls.  If the objective is met, it is believed, then parishioners assume their church is meeting its goal; it is saving souls.

Sometimes truth is stranger, even than fiction.  What follows actually occurred at a Northwest medical clinic.  Physicians called an organization retreat, then lined up around the goal of experiencing joy—the joy of practicing medicine.

But how might they know if they are attaining joy?  Here’s how.

As the retreat lurched to conclusion, someone proposed physician income as a surrogate—as the objective—to stand in place of the much-squishier goal—finding joy through their medical practices.

Higher salaries would distinguish this physician group.  Not only would they be wealthier, but happier in their joyful pursuit of the joyous practice of medicine.  In every way they would surpass their peers.

Stranger than fiction?  Nope.  Often, organization politics are mystifying.

What does all this mean?  Stay tuned.

From Boulder, Colorado, this is Jim Sawyer for Capitalism in Crisis Dot Org