We Are Living in the Future: Institutionalism and its evolutionary decline

I think it’s safe to say that Erich von Däniken’s book Chariots of the Gods is one of the most despised books ever written. It is the foundation book for the Ancient Aliens series on the History Channel, and was written in 1968, the year I was born, which gave a foothold to the concept of “pseudoscience.” I think it’s a work of genius and a great contributor to science in many healthy ways that Carl Sagan was never able to utilize. Chariots of the Gods was way ahead of its time when it was written, a year before America walked on the moon with NASA. And many of its concepts have held up half a century later. As a result, there are many more contributors to this so-called “pseudoscience” field, opening up the field of chaos that establishment types like Carl Sagan were so terrified of. You could get a sense of that terror when Sagan wrote a comment about Chariots of the Gods in the forward of a book called, The Space Gods Revealed, which was an attempt to put all these thoughts about the earth being colonized by ancient aliens to rest and get industrialized science rooted firmly toward the goals of globalism back in charge. Here is what Carl Sagan said, “That writing as careless as von Däniken’s, whose principal thesis is that our ancestors were dummies, should be so popular is a sober commentary on the credulity and despair of our times. In high school and college logic courses as object lessons in sloppy thinking. I know of no recent books so riddled with logical and factual errors as the works of von Däniken.”—Carl Sagan, Foreword to The Space Gods Revealed.

Erich von Däniken would go on to write more than 40 books and appear everywhere for the next half century giving countless lectures, contributing to television shows, and creating a whole new industry of scientific thought. The genius of his work is in asking questions, which is essential in any field. Professionally, over many years I have worked in the field of Lean Manufacturing, and the key to the whole thing is to ask lots of questions, no matter how crazy they may sound. When you are performing a root cause analysis, you have to ask all the questions that might be causing the problem. It should never be taboo. But I have watched many people with high degrees of education meltdown over time when the assumptions of a root cause analysis threaten the security of their field parameters. And often, that’s why there is a problem; the root cause analysis is avoided because the sentiment of belief is actually causing all the trouble.

Along with the evolutionary idea of all human beings, a vast majority still believe in the hierarchical preservation of their social titles rather than in the authenticity of true value. Even if that social title is built entirely on a false assumption, the social acquisition of power is far more important to them than the actual cause of the problem. And that was clearly the problem with Carl Sagan and Eric von Däniken. Here was “Mr. Space” in Sagan, who was one of the most educated and respected authorities on all things space being outsold and accepted by a public hungry for information in von Däniken, a somewhat crazy figure in trouble with the law and had a reputation for grandiose explanations not rooted in fact, just to get a conversation going. 

This story is important because it’s very much the trouble of our times. This example was one of the most obvious times institutionalism started falling apart in public discourse. Today, we see it everywhere, especially in politics. The same frustrations that Carl Sagan had with Erich von Däniken can be seen with President Trump in politics fighting against the swamp. That’s what came to my mind in an obvious way as I was reading Ron DeSantis’ new book. In the wake of President Trump have come all these challengers to the established government norms, and many would call the MAGA movement “pseudo politics” because it doesn’t fit nicely into the world that advisors like Karl Rove and others have established as a “baseline” of political thought. The root cause of much of our trouble in politics is the controls that the professional consultant has placed upon it, taking representative government out of the realm of the everyday person, which is wonderful for the efforts of globalism. But not for actual representative government, so if you are trying to get to a root cause analysis on the topic, then the right questions must be asked, which President Trump has brought to the table. And in his wake are a whole new generation of similar people entering politics and shaking the foundations of our previous assumptions. The professional class is not happy about it. But the people who want good government are extremely pleased. 

Chariots of the Gods showed how established norms could be challenged and hold up to the pressures of time. And in the wake, there are many millions more people asking questions about the origins of life on earth than there were when Charles Darwin came up with his Origin of Species which many scientists trained professionally to follow instructions and not to ask too many questions that might upset institutionalism, would otherwise miss. Trying to fit all evidence to an assumption about evolution that always had many problems, to begin with, is not science; it’s a lie. But to have people step out of those institutional controls is where the solutions to most problems are. And we see that concept applied across many fields, especially politics. The long marge of human history to maintain knowledge through institutional controls, whether it be a royal kingdom with top-down management, or a society of people who turned away from the progressive college system and put on a science hat and started asking questions that the professional class didn’t want to consider, the cat is now out of the bag and has been for quite a long time. The impact on culture and society is irreparably changed, in what I would say is for the better. When Erich von Däniken started asking crazy questions about the origins of life on earth, he was doing more than just selling books with hyperbole. He was unraveling the essence of capitalism and the social policy of the human race, the keys to a productive future. Asking questions and inspiring correct answers by not allowing institutionalism to contain the options within a box of assumption. At this point, there is no putting anything back in a bottle for control by the few, the professional class, who essentially make their money off the limited knowledge of society in general. They make their living being the interpreter of that reality, and that was the plan of institutionalism all along. Doctors would do doctor stuff, lawyers, lawyer stuff, astrophysicists, astrophysicists’ stuff. People who built rockets would work for the government in NASA or some other government body. They wouldn’t be like SpaceX and do it all independently and better. Or, like Erich von Däniken who would ask the obvious questions, where did we come from? Maybe Darwin was missing a few screws when he made his assumptions about evolution? And the same could be said of Donald Trump and the MAGA movement. Things will never be as they were, and I should think we would all be very glad.

Rich Hoffman

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