Op Ed: Powers-Principalities and the Invisible Hand

by The Reverend Dr. Britt Minshall


In documenting my “Theory of MEME Law,” I have been unsuccessful in explaining: “Memes and How They Work.” Now I am better organized, so here goes:

Before Us:

All people in all times have acknowledged the presence of “SOMETHING” seemingly “OUT THERE” which alters the expected outcomes of intended plans. Sometimes, this post personal force enhances our best intentions, but as often as not, it “exponentializes” unhealthy situations into tragedies. We have recognized that even the “Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…” are constantly interdicted by some “Mysterious Force” and our best efforts are continually sabotaged.

To the ancients, these were “the gods,” millions of them. Not like Allah or God today, in charge of ALL creation, but rather demigods with narrow helping skills, each assigned to one task: the harvest, the catch or procreation. These sub-gods had to be appeased because even with great effort on Human’s part, these “super naturals” could foul up or improve the desired outcome.

In the Christian scriptures (Romans; Eph.; Col.) Paul labeled them “POWERS and PRINCIPALITIES,” unseen, unknown forces that appeared to motivate groups of individuals to attack the good work of the “children of God.” Paul correctly identified the symptoms, but could not identify the mechanics of the process.

During the Medieval and Renaissance period (500 – 1400 C.E.), Jewish and Muslim scholars from the Middle East (two separate Memes working together as they had for a productive 1000 years) wrote of these invisible forces, trying to find these “Arabian Knights” and control the illusive creatures.

Even at the dawn of the modern era, scholars, such as Economists and Modern Philosophers, found themselves being unable to explain these still unknown forces present in all Human Interactions. Adam Smith (1776) became stumped in his treatise explaining modern Capitalism, “the Wealth of Nations,” in the end giving in and calling them: “The INVISIBLE HAND.” Like the ancients he was trying to fathom why: “once a human effort was “out there” in the market, the end result was often a mystery and rarely predictable.

In today’s world of “combat capitalism,” with continual cradle to the grave competition [Meme Law -p.68], in order to prepare our populations to “war without question,” we name these invisible forces “the Evil Empire” or “World-wide Terrorists;” they title us “The Invisible Satan” as we offer each other up for slaughter [Meme Law -p.31].


During the past twenty-years, other scholars, especially Richard Dawkins (1989), began to get a handle on this illusive force by exposing its structure. This “hidden blessing or monster” was in actuality a nonphysical, semi biological phenomenon, therefore, unseen rather than a physical organism of DNA (a product of mind not matter). These were connections of Human BRAINS, working with other brains to carry out a defined task. These minds work together, Memed-up (hooked up), even while separated by thousands of miles. Today this process is being greatly enhanced by electronic communications technologies (social networks, computer networks). This connective power converts every “Me” involved – into a living part of the social organism: Me + Me or Meme – and the Human Synergy (enhanced mind energy) that results from this teaming-up of minds, creates the STRUCTURE (support skeleton) upon which a Human Social Organism (company, gang, or nation) is sustained. We can see the result as a nation, organization or joint action but not the underlying structure.

Memes manifest as small as families – as large as nations. They operate as either a “PHANTOM MEME” (not organized), an “INFORMAL MEME” (casual but active) or as a full blown “FORMAL MEME” (organized – active and legal). Memes change forms, smaller to larger and visa-a-versa, giant to tiny, BUT once created they last forever, even if abandoned (Phantom), able to be refreshed (The confederacy > Jim Crow > Tea Party / Russia>- USSR > Russia / Pan American Airlines or the Hawaiian Nation etc.) [Meme Law -p.137].

We are all involved in multiple Memes, as long as we are part of any society (families – church – military – company – gang or club).

meme law

Our INDIVIDUAL entanglements are regulated by the degree of each of our involvements in a Meme’s existence: (LEAST: visitor, outsider; MORE: worker or member; MUCH MORE: officer, supporter or promoter; MOST: power wielder or ruler) [Meme Law -p.14]. The closer to the center (nuclei) of the organism we locate, the greater our say over the future of the Meme, BUT the greater also is the Meme’s hold on us! [Meme Law -p.128]

The reason Memes are responsible for the majority of civilization’s misery is: once an individual person enters a Meme (Memes-up), to one degree or another, they surrender their personal concepts of morality to the Meme’s ruling center. Therefore, a person who would, say never kill another person, will, with little thought, pick-up a weapon and kill thousands. To reinforce the doing of a Meme’s will, the ruling center often bestows loyal followers, who carry out their tasks, with titles, awards and acclamations. Those individuals who question the commands of the Meme are disgraced, shamed and often killed.

Because, when outcomes are positive, people desire to take the credit, but when things go sour we want to blame some “other,” we often forget how necessary and positive Memes can be [Meme Law -p.50]. The Cancer Centers of America, the Red Cross and Crescent, The Order of Jesuits, Bank of America and every productive enterprise in history is a Meme. Without Memeing-up, we’d have no families, automobiles or TV sets. While it’s true Memes gave rise to Adolf Hitler, they also lift-up a Pope Francis. Memes are neither good nor evil: they are simply “Human Social Constructs” [Meme Law -p.8].


At the Renaissance Institute we have contributed by discovering: “ALL Human Social Cells (Memes) like ALL physical cells operate under “an identical SET of RULES of BEHAVIOR.” These approximately Fifty-five default settings in group interactions, we have labeled “Meme Law.” While each type of Meme operates to actuate a differing end result (military unit, labor union, political party etc.), and creates a differing Human Social Organism (Methodist Church, IBM, Federal Reserve Organization etc.), ALL Memes function under the same rules because they arise out of the remarkable similarities in the structure of ALL human minds.

Your Life:

QUESTION: “WHY do I need to understand Memes?” ANSWER: Because EVERY news story from ISIS to Iran; TO Baltimore’s racial riots and the deadly, uncalled for arrest of hundreds African Americans each year; TO the reason behind your downsizing, TO huge corporations selling out and creating mass layoffs; TO the reason a government can’t pass simple common sense laws protecting its people’s interests – even when it appears to be self-evident: ALL these events depend, almost sole’ on Meme Law. So also does Prison and Law Enforcement Reform, Investor/Depositor Protections and Universal Healthcare.

As soon as we all understand the process, WE CAN STOP fogging out, crying: “Why did THEY do that?” WE CAN SEE the reality that makes or breaks our lives, steals our children’s future, if not in war: through PUNITIVE student loans. WE CAN ACT to stop the destruction of our earth through pernicious climate change! All these are examples of Meme Laws carried out unchallenged. Once aware you will be able to exclaim: “SO THAT’S THE REASON!!!” It’s NOT superstition, God’s will or even blind luck – It’s Meme Law.

Our Hope:

Our goal is to help people everywhere discover the universal nature of this ubiquitous Human Social Process, in hopes we as a species will be less frighten of each other, stop seeing each other as mysterious “powers and principalities” and begin to work together to expose these Invisible Hands by understanding “How They Work. Truly: this fulfills the Renaissance Institute’s mission: “Knowing the “TRUTH will set US free!”

Quotes from Daniel Colman: Social Intelligence; Howard Bloom: The Lucifer Principal; Britt Mnshall: Book of Meme Law; Peter Watson: Ideas, the History of Thought.

Dr. Britt Minshall View more

Dr. Britt Minshall
The Reverend Dr. Britt Minshall is the author of several books including the widely acclaimed 'The Jesus Book.' He is a speaker on societal behaviors impacting politics, religion and wealth. He travels and ministers extensively in Haiti. He is a Pastor Emeritus in The United Church of Christ, a Minister in the Full Gospel Fellowship and a regular contributor on Fox Television Network, Public Radio, and National media. He is also a former Security Agency operator and INTERPOL Officer. His police career was compromised when he became a Freedom Rider in the mid- sixties.

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