Al Cashion: Resistance is not futile

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Al Cashion

I like SciFi as much as the next guy but I never was what some would call a “Trekky”.

Trekkies are Star Trek fans whose passion for the space fantasy drama is so intense that they “beamed” themselves up without Scotty’s aid.

Many haven’t beamed back.

The original series starring the overacting actor William Shatner was fun for me as I was in Junior High, the perfect age for such things. Overacting bothered me not one whit.

I somehow missed “Star Wars: The Next Generation” in its original seasons but the reruns became a constant competitor with Johnny Carson who had earned my loyalty since childhood on late night TV.

I'm not sure why I was awake or what my parents were doing.

I did have parents. I think.

From this franchise we were introduced to a plethora of monstrous mutants, galactic ghouls and evil empires. Quite the impressive and creative frenzy of freakazoids they had.

The most compelling and frightening enemy of all time in any Star Trek series appeared in "The Next Generation".

The Borg.

Like many episodes, characters and entities in Star Trek, it was complete fiction, completely beyond any realm of probability or possibility, yet it resonated with a foreboding for things possible; a deep disturbance about things probable, things of non-fiction.

“We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

“The Collective” as it called itself was not wordy. That statement was pretty much all you were gonna get from an afternoon tea.

A mindless super-colossal, gargantuan orb traveling through the universe with but one objective, that being, to assimilate all intelligent life forms into itself exclusively to gain the use of their knowledge.

It still disturbs me.

Why? You ask?

I’ll tell you why.

Collectives exist.

Twenty First Century Borgs, as all Collectives, are real.

I’m not dealing in fantasies and conspiracy theories. I’m speaking of the nature of society, societies, institutions, organizations, political entities and the reality of who man is.

One of the brighter independent thinkers of our day, Butler Shaffer, put this sentence in a recent article: “I have long been of the view that civilizations are created by individuals, and are destroyed by collectives.”

Let your brain wrap around that for a minute. Mine wrapped around it for quite a spell.

My understanding of that would be that one person with a purpose, a direction, a hope, a dream or even a necessity took us one step closer to microwaves and indoor plumbing. Group think didn’t even bring the toilet paper.

(If you can’t make the connection between Guttenberg’s printing press and the Latrine Library, please put down this column.)

Conversely, the Collectives use terms like “Human Resources.”

Makes you all warm and fuzzy, huh?

Collaboration in the Collectives is more like a chick feeding off its mother’s regurgitation, then sitting around with the Mamma and siblings discussing what your meal was like and “How should we eat the next one?”

Political Collectives just know they must grow and win, make the platform yield to the goals, surrender values to “Grow and Win”.

I often wondered if anyone in a well established political institution asked out loud, “Why?” Why do we have to grow and win? To what end?”

Corporate Collectives can morph into Enron overnight. Corporate Collectives know the goal is “Bigger. More.”

Shareholders demand the goals are “Bigger. More.” Boards of Directors know they better deliver “Bigger. More”. Smaller Collectives become the path of least resistance to “Bigger. More.”

Two thousand employees become instantly utilitarian.

Employers large and employers small can be and are Collectives. A Mission Statement or Purpose Statement can rival the reliable skilled worker for first place in the Collective.

Even 501C3’s can become Collectives.

I have put my value system through the ringer on multiple occasions. I occasionally have a tossup on use of time or funds.

But I don’t think I’ll lose sight of this: The most precious thing on this earth is human beings.

Resistance is not futile. You don’t have to be assimilated.

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