Observation inspired by “Art of the Idea” of John Hunt: “Think about the thought police”.

Every group, every family, every organisation has its equivalent of the Thought Police. These people are the high priests of conventional wisdom. Their minds live to articulate what is, in such a manner as to confirm what shall be.

And there is no more powerful righteousness than self-righteousness. Even recent history is full of myth and legend and is therefore a very powerful place to choose to live. Time bestows upon it a sense of the sacred. It’s also very difficult to argue with what has been especially if you weren’t there.

The Thought Policemen feel that change is somehow disrespectful to what has already been created.

Conventional wisdom borrows continually from habit to puff up its point of view. Of course there are many lessons to be learnt from the past. New ideas aren’t always good ones and change can bring periods of instability and uncertainty.

The problem isn’t conventional wisdom itself, but the fact that the Thought Police have elevated it to the Holy Grail. Yet, they never ask themselves the obvious question. If the existing idea is so powerful, why does it need to be protected by all those barriers?

Some of the most articulate people I’ve ever met are Thought Police. They have a blinding passion to guard what is, at the huge detriment of what might be. This is always made more difficult if they’ve previously been successful. Any idea that doesn’t come from the old place is discarded immediately. The idea is seen as irrelevant and even a little dishonourable.

When the walls finally do come crashing down, they’ll find that what they thought they were protecting is long gone away.

(click the image)

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