I was reading the book 'Five Stages of Collapse' by Dmitry Orlov, which discussed in part, people's attitudes toward the probability of societal collapse. One group of people, those who dispassionately examine facts, like scientists, engineers and accountants ultimately become diametrically opposed to the group of people with vested emotional interests, like politicians, businessmen and economists. And he made some interesting comments that parallel our situation when we consider how people are polarized over the future of the Organization.
As we are well aware, just believing something will continue to grow or even continue to exist doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to happen without the cold hard numbers to back it up. Just wishful hoping in Santa for example, isn’t a guarantee that that some fat guy will be sliding down your chimney in a few weeks’ time.
Yet what is more interesting, is when we start thinking about how and why societies have collapsed in the past. And we have quite a few historical examples to learn from. The Mayan civilization, the Rapa Nui peoples of Easter Island and the Indus Valley civilizations are just some of the many to consider.
And while the end of each civilization has its own unique story, there always 3 common factors seen; a lack of resources and the potential for growth, an inability to work with neighbors and an insulated ruling party.
Sadly and perhaps relevant to us, is that dying civilizations (and in fact any highly organized structure) rarely wither away but rather have their population numbers crash violently just after reaching its peak. A common analogy used to illustrate this is the growth of bacteria in a petri dish. In the beginning the bacterial colony has plenty of room and food to grow. And it does so, exponentially enlarging until it hits the petri dish walls. With no food left, with where to go and without an ability to change its nature … the whole colony dies overnight.
Can we see the parallel with the Organization? Even by using the very rubbery figures issued in the annual report, it is clear that it’s past its peak. The age demographics of the average Witness, the lack of fiscal income, the increasingly hostile environment due to the child abuse and blood transfusion issues is has created and the incredibly naive and insulated Governing Body, all show that the Society … re-branded or not … is not going to last.
And while, we cannot know when things will fall apart, judging by the consolidation of WT funds and the circling of the wagons by those in power at Warwick, even some of them have seen the writing on the wall.
As a post-script, if anyone is interested in societies and history, there is a very thought provoking TED talk by UCLA professor Jared Diamond found here … https://www.ted.com/talks/jared_diamond_on_why_societies_collapse#t-786291