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The Snafu Principle - 2011, February 2 / IDEAS/ QUOTES

This may go some way to explaining some of the shock and apparent lack of unpreparedness of the world’s leaders to the events that blindside them - as well as the out-of-touch-with-reality boss: “The SNAFU Principle”. Those of you who have been bless'd to toil in a large corporation will also understand this principle, here explained by Robert Anton Wilson:
It’s what I call the “snafu principle.” Communication only occurs between equals–real communication, that is–because when you are dealing with people above you in a hierarchy, you learn not to tell them anything they don’t want to hear. If you tell them anything they don’t want to hear, the response is, “One more word Bumstead and I’ll fire you!” Or in the military, “One more word and you’re court-martialed.” It’s throughout the whole system.

So the higher up in the hierarchy you go, the more lies are being told to flatter those above them. So those at the top have no idea what is going on at all. Those at the bottom have to adjust to the rules made by those at the top who don’t know what’s going on. Those at the top can write rules about this, that and the other, while those at the bottom have got to adjust reality to fit the rules as much as they can.
So I call this the burden of omniscience: those on the top are supposed to be doing the seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and all the sensing, apprehending and conceptualizing for the whole society and those at the bottom have to adjust to what those at the top think based on all the misinformation flowing up in a hierarchy where any speaking of the truth can get you punished.
Younger readers not yet familiar with the SNAFU principle may want to memorise the above passages, thereby saving much wailing and gnashing of teeth if they are reckless enough to enter the workforce.