First, every institution assumes voluntary compliance in at least 95% of all cases. This may be a low-ball estimate. Most people comply, either out of fear or lack of concern or strong belief in the system and its goals.
Second, every institution has more rules than it can follow, let alone enforce. Some of these rules are self-contradictory. The more rules, the larger the number of contradictions. (There is probably a statistical pattern here – some variant of Parkinson's law.)
Third, every institution is built on this assumption: partial compliance. Not everyone will comply with any given procedural rule. There are negative sanctions to enforce compliance on the few who resist. They serve as examples to force compliance. Conversely, very few people under the institution's jurisdiction will attempt to force the institution to comply exactly with any procedural rule.
These three laws of institutions – and they really are laws – offer any resistance movement an opportunity to shut down any system.
Friday, March 16, 2012
How To Gum Up Any Institution by Gary North