Malicious independence leads not to growth or harmony but more to actuated self-absorption. Para-church "educational" agencies eschew the oversight of a denomination/convention in their direction appeal to public opinion as particularized as that public opinion may be in fact.
Bloggers sometimes show a streak of malicious independence. Follow me here.
In 1979, a previously (mostly) peaceful amalgam of baptist Christians in the Southwestern/Southern portion of the United States (primarily, though their cooperation pushed their boundaries to the uttermost parts of the earth) fell into a contentious period. A group within the larger group appealed to the baser emotions of their fellows,soaked in traditional language and spun through the cycles of malicious independence from previously held cooperative efforts. Everything got dirty. Nothing came out in the wash.
Nearly three decades later the decline in influence of the triumphant group is now statistically undeniable. Everything cooperative suffered first. Malicious independence brought down everything around it, as it does, as it will.
Concerned former cooperators looked for ways to cooperate with like minded persons, as in the past. Some sought to bypass administrators of the triumphant party to directly support missions personnel. When they were locked out of this process completely some formed another device to salvage what they could of what they had lost. Their new names called up echoes from their feelings of perceived loss.
Meanwhile, individuals in the new elite began to call for "putting the past behind and moving forward to the future." Unstated were the means by which the future would rehabilitate the forsaken past. Atrocity piled on atrocity. The victim wore the tag of criminal often, as the victorious always write history.
The reactive pioneers purified their movement, stepped forward and had much to celebrate. Within a generation, they cooperated well enough to replicate much of the previous cooperative efforts and reached around the world. The early founders stepped off the scene, unfortunately leaving the scene to job seekers and the doctrinaire ideologues.
Remember this oft-stated truth: Controversy, even conflict, will exhaust your friends, while it energizes your foes. There is something to be said for the art of compromise, where it is possible.
Within a generation, the victims began to act like their tormentors. The politics of exclusion did as they are designed to do; they excluded people. Lots of people.
For nearly twenty years, the cooperative group gave no one any morally justifiable reason to mount a revolution. Much of the work done, though on a smaller scale, was accomplished transparently and with apparent goodness as its core value. A person could attend a meeting again, without the feeling of a need for a scouring shower later.
Things changed, and not just the technology of our delivery systems. Competence is a part of character, as well as intentions. The bloggers emerged from a group of insiders who, like the once isolated cooperators themselves, asked questions and were soundly rebuffed.
Did you ever play touch football with guys? Someone touches a bit too hard. The touchee touches back on the next play. Violence escalates. Others draw close to the fray.
Happily, the bloggers who first questioned politely, discovered a new weapon in the arsenal of democracy. Along with previous generations, the pamphleteers of post-modernism blew the whistle on incompetent management, shady dealings and cronyism. The light shone in darkness.
Sadly, there was a lot to see once the light shone. More sadly, conventional prophets argued, quite correctly, the result of exposure would be seriously demoralizing. Sadder still, the most dehabilitating effect of demoralization would prove to be malicious independence, replete with floral protestations of love and devotion.
Rather than maturely submit egotism to the greater good, lack of trust pushed many beyond the pale. The influence of the bloggers grew, though not always their (our) moral impulses. Anger begets more anger.
What to do? The bloggers, and others, must forego malicious independence without the forfeiture of truth telling. When no vital right is endangered, perhaps scrutiny could give way to reasonable discretion.