What’s the Real Problem with the Boy Scouts Today?


Society is going to regret dissolving and confusing masculinity.  The Boy Scouts have announced that girls will be allowed to join, and will even be allowed to become Eagle Scouts, which, of course, caused a ruffle with, ya know, the Girl Scouts.   I think many people will, again, blame feminism, but as I’ve argued elsewhere, I think there are cultural and technocratic forces breaking down masculinity more than some existential threat from man-haters.

Obviously, the leadership of the BSA has lost sight of the boy, because they have lost sight of the human person – and what causes that?  My friends, it is bureaucracy that is the terrible and unrecognized force that is eroding authentic manliness, expressed in culture and tradition, and creates males ill suited for challenges and love.  Let me explain…

Because formation only happens in actual cultures made up of people, places, and tradition, bureaucracy is the enemy of formation.  Bureaucrats create systems that they then submit in toto to, relinquishing their own responsibility and human authority (“Sorry I can’t help you because the system wont let me do that…”).  People and other such things do not work in the so-called “efficiency” of the bureaucracy, so their humanity must be worked around or suppressed, along with their culture and traditions.

To keep bureaucracy humming, it is necessary to reduce as much as possible the diversity of human interactions and expressions.  Dissolving local expressions, customs, and even laws that are contrary to the march of the bureaucracy is a must.  Allowances are announced, but in the end everyone is expected to get in line (“If you like your scout troop you can keep your scout troop.”)

Bureaucratic bodies breed the opposite of sacrifice, because everyone is asked to sacrifice to the imposed order, not for a body of people.  Like most existing bureaucracies the BSA began with persons serving human needs, but, also like most bureaucracies, they became just one more “autonomous meta-institution that largely serves itself…” as Neil Postman describes such things.[1]  The language they used in the announcement is a telltale sign of the self-serving, unaccountable, meta-institution:

“We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children.”

The royal “we” is the faceless bureaucracy that has spokesmen in the place of men, and the decisions are not made by leaders but by the “evolving needs” of progress (“Sorry I can’t help you the system wont let me do that…”), and the boys and girls are no longer boys and girls but the flattened out group of “children”.  My friends – the party’s over.  I’m sorry for you volunteers that have sacrificed for this thing.  The paid bureaucrats just sold the soul of the thing you loved.  The good news is that you were actually giving yourself for the boys (unless your motivation was distorted), and that gift has been received and was worth it.  Thank you, but move along now, your energy is needed elsewhere.

Continue reading “What’s the Real Problem with the Boy Scouts Today?”