The gatekeepers have stopped
the barbarians at the gate.
They guard access
to empty pews.
The horde demanding entrance
is empty too.
Who are the gatekeepers for:
- botanicals (e.g. quinine)
- religious images (e.g. kachina dolls)
- recipes (e.g., chitlins, gumbo, pizza)
- religious institutions (e.g. churches, clergy)
- clothing (e.g. cheongsam, kimono, Aloha shirts, guayabera)
- credentials (e.g. MFA and other college degrees)
Some gatekeepers are going away or being circumvented
- Non-denominational churches walk away from denomination rule, hierarchies, and gatekeepers, and establish their own.
- Bitcoin end-runs governmental currencies and is backed by nothing beyond the ability to generate a valid one.
- Discount brokers undercut full-service brokers.
- Hedge funds and venture capitalists dance in and outside the stock markets.
- Shadow banks are not legally banks, but offer many of the same services, e.g., loans. Regulations are much less stringent.
- Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing companies try with varying degrees of success to break the taxi company (and city permitting process) monopoly. In general, the sharing economy does this too.
Disintermediation refers to cutting out the middle man, e.g. buying direct from the manufacturer’s Website.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchmen?
I’m not advocating no rules, regulation, or gatekeepers. How do we keep those who keep out the unqualified and unscrupulous from becoming those who shield those inside from competition or criticism from outside. Who do we prevent those who guard/protect us from becoming our prison guards? In another context I asked, “Public Safety Officer or occupying army protecting privilege?”