Probably the most important aspect of the Quigley theory of civilization is that it functions as a sort of unified field theory, in that it supposes an objective criteria that applies, and explains human social structures as they pertain to all civilizations and societies. It identifies the central dynamic of these structures as the interplay between the “instruments” society develops to fulfill human needs, and how these instruments always turn into “institutions” that inevitably develop their own vested interests that (to a certain degree) degrade their original function, and (can) ultimately act as a drag on the societies ability to continue to expand, grow or develop. When an institution degenerates into a serious drag on society this creates a discord that can only be answered by three possible outcomes, of either reform, circumvention, or a reactionary move by the institution to prevent the first two options The beauty of this is that it provides a simple structural base of analysis that applies equally to large civilizations and large institutions down to society level institutions both large and small.

When the above dynamic is applied to to the six divisions of potentialities of; military, economic, religious, economic, social, and intellectual – as these potentialities form the basic nucleus from which instruments or institutions are formulated around, and often are in a sense, the institutions themselves – a general picture of both how a society is structured (through the interaction and relationships between the potentialities), and how effective/efficient/successful the society functions in answering the needs for its population. Along with as a result the likely trajectory and consequences the society might experience as the result of its particular configuration of these dynamics at any particular time.

Update, of sorts:

I stole this from Sebastian Jones via John Cole:

“As Ridge counseled the administration to “put that package together,” he sure seemed like an objective commentator. But what viewers weren’t told was that since 2005, Ridge has pocketed $530,659 in executive compensation for serving on the board of Exelon, the nation’s largest nuclear power company. As of March 2009, he also held an estimated $248,299 in Exelon stock, according to SEC filings.

Moments earlier, retired general and “NBC Military Analyst” Barry McCaffrey told viewers that the war in Afghanistan would require an additional “three- to ten-year effort” and “a lot of money.” Unmentioned was the fact that DynCorp paid McCaffrey $182,309 in 2009 alone. The government had just granted DynCorp a five-year deal worth an estimated $5.9 billion to aid American forces in Afghanistan. The first year is locked in at $644 million, but the additional four options are subject to renewal, contingent on military needs and political realities.

In a single hour, two men with blatant, undisclosed conflicts of interest had appeared on MSNBC. The question is, was this an isolated oversight or business as usual? Evidence points to the latter.”

What does this more or less garden variety reportage say about the functioning of the military, the political, and the ideological institutions of America?

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