Robert Važan

Predatory organizations

I have a peculiar way to classify organizations into those that serve people and those that seek power over people. I call the latter predatory organizations. Here I want to clarify the concept and explain how it is informative.

I classify organizations as either serving or controlling people. It's not a clear cut. Many/most organizations have aspects of both. It's a matter of degree. Serving organizations are here for people. Predatory organizations think people are here for them.

Predatory organizations come in many sizes and forms. They can be obvious like mafia or dictatorship. If they control thought, like religions, they can have strong support of those being controlled. They can be economic, for example businesses abusing monopoly position. They can be an everyday nuisance like manufacturers trying to obscure true nature of their products in order to get your money without having to work for you.

I mean organizations in the widest sense. Organizations are not necessarily formally registered. They don't even need to have a name yet. Whenever I speak about organizations, I also mean ideas, ideologies, and technologies. I mean anything that is a product of human mind.

Organizations are made of people, so isn't this just about people trying to control other people? Organizations indeed sometimes represent their members, but transparent organizations like that are quite rare. Organizations tend to have a mind of their own. They arrange people in patterns that cause them to cancel each other's ability to resist the organization. Not only are organizations able to work against outsiders, they can manipulate or outright control insiders (think cults or mafia) or even their own leadership (think "tied hands" and "forced moves").

Every idea or organization starts off as one that serves human needs, at least the needs of its creator or founder. But due to memetic evolution, absent outside pressure, all organizations start paying more and more attention to their own needs until they eventually degenerate into completely self-serving state and in the process become predatory.

Organizations are trying to control people in many different ways. Lies and threats are the most common. I classify predatory organizations into five levels based on what they are trying to control: behavior, communication, thoughts, or human nature. Fifth level predatory organizations do away with humans.

The concept of predatory organizations leads to straightforward ethical choices. Every organization is supposed to serve people. If it does not serve people, it is predatory. If it is predatory, it is useless and it should be destroyed without second thought. If impossible to kill right away, predatory organizations should be undermined as much as possible. Some organizations can be reformed and such reform should be attempted if there is something to salvage. Since all organizations naturally degenerate into predatory organizations, this tendency has to be constantly countered and rogue organizations must be continuously killed off.