Then was then, and now it's now. I'm at a loss to understand your resistance to THAT idea. Once all fruits were apples, and so easy to compare, and then someone invented sailing ships, and now we have these pesky orange things. You seem to be in complete denial of the facts on the ground, and want to know why we're not judging all fruit alike, since hey, it's all fruit, right?
Mary, I agree now is now. You're preaching to the choir.
The aikido that most people participate in and are taught is still based on the post-war model that was essentially slapped together ad hoc, and run within the Japanese educational system - including the issuing of degrees/ranks - which puts us in this topic.
The model is tired, outdated, archaic, inefficient, top-heavy, uninspiring, competitive, manipulative, abusive, conformist, red-taped, non-advancing, non-innovating... sort of like a barrel of bad apples.