BS 5750 emerged from Allied military standards for industrial procurement. Rear-Admiral Spickernell then pushed this British Standard on the ISO. Hence the ISO 9000 series and the standards derived from it such as ISO 17025 and ISO 15189. Now management can be like an out-dated machine – inefficient, wasteful and troublesome.
The standardisation approach civilianised the obsessions of orderly naval minds and forced them on the rest of the populace. These were men trained in brute-force, command and control solutions who believed themselves to be solving the world’s problems from small cabins. The results in the outside world show that the standardisation of human behaviour does not transfer well to wider civilisation. Now all shall officiate in pettiness and must spread the mentality.
Chris Hedges also sees a problem with the minds of those who rise to high military rank:
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges, who served as a foreign correspondent for nearly two decades in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans, has some searing observations on The Menace of the Military Mind. Hedges has seen first-hand the reality of war and those in the top leadership cadre of its command structure:
“Most institutions have a propensity to promote mediocrities, those whose primary strengths are knowing where power lies, being subservient and obsequious to the centers of power and never letting morality get in the way of one’s career. The military is the worst in this respect. In the military, whether at the Parris Island boot camp or West Point, you are trained not to think but to obey. What amazes me about the military is how stupid and bovine its senior officers are. Those with brains and the willingness to use them seem to be pushed out long before they can rise to the senior-officer ranks. The many Army generals I met over the years not only lacked the most rudimentary creativity and independence of thought but nearly always saw the press, as well as an informed public, as impinging on their love of order, regimentation, unwavering obedience to authority and single-minded use of force to solve complex problems.”
There is work here for a historian and documentary film-maker to plot the connections between the thinking and behavior of successful military pole-climbers and the bureaucratisation of the civilian world.