Conversations about Dark Organizations

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Books have tackled the topic of “dark organizations” and lately academic rigor was attempted by Linstead et al. (including Garance Marechal at Manchester University). Initially it was thought that it was a psychological topic, then a sociological topic, so it came as no surprise that these academics concluded a multi-disciplinary domain as suitable for conversations around “dark organizations.”

So instead of diving into the detail of dark organizational case studies, it may be possible to simply discuss the issue in a random sort of way. For example a physicist mentioned entropy the other day saying that “if all roads leads to Rome and you are on a road, then it would be safe to say that you will end up in Rome!”

The conversation will then tend to move towards “where are you now?” and that is where the fun starts. How to answer that becomes more important because – will you be honest, or will you attempt to put things “into perspective” with a metaphor, or will you lie?

Typically a manager would repeat the rhyme currently pushed by the company:

  • Vision
  • Mission
  • Structure
  • Objective
  • Metrics
  • Performance
  • Change

Clearly he won’t say anything about himself, or his own career path, or his own frustrations. Does that mean he was being dark? Not at all. Withholding information is not a crime unless it aids and abets a crime. In the case of dark organizations there is no crime, however, worker unions have a wonderful term called “go slow” as an activity they propose as an alternative to “strike action.” Going slow may look like a dark organization because performance drops substantially, but it is not, because they are honest about it. They will look you in the eye, lying about their activities (assuming therefore that you know about the “go-slow”) requiring you to infer the reality of how a go-slow can be fixed.

So, if you are on the road where you are withholding information (or pretending), and additionally not being honest or following a “dishonest” process, then you generate a picture that is untrue and will end up not making sense to the audience. Darkness is, if you are on the road to no-where, you will most surely end up there. The result of ending up no-where, is that you will become mad, literally. Somebody estimated that 25% of people are mentally unstable. I am sure that is over-stated, but how would one know? DNA genetics statistics suggested the other day that psychological traits can be inherited. This seems plausible only if you include un-certifiable mental illnesses. If you can’t certify it, you cannot make laws on it meaning going dark is not a crime, it’s a condition(trait) that causes your company to go slow permanently.

It is quite limiting for managers to know they can’t prohibit dark behavior in employment letters, or punish it with a disciplinary policy. However, it is also comforting for them to know that they have this avenue should things go south. And things can get bad, as described by psychiatrist Howard Stein, so bad in fact that an employee can become traumatized and erratic while suffering limited memory loss (permanently). I know a mathematician that had to develop traffic light algorithms in a short time span, losing it, was “let go” and ended up divorced and living in a caravan/camping site. If this particular intelligent person had followed the dark road, he would not have gone mad (so quickly) but his boss may have lost it. Funny enough, as it turned out eventually, the company dropped the entire $6m product drive and the executive in charge had to leave himself, unable to explain what went wrong. (There were more trauma cases in case you were wondering.).

At this point the conversationalists becomes a little wary because they realize it can happen to them too. So the questions then attempt to determine the extent of darkness in society.

Re-direct to the American management topic of “hire and fire”. It is normal to say in a “capitalist” society we are proud to embrace the policy of “hire and fire” and that it’s normal to have “two” jobs. Meaning that when I talk to a bank employee, I should know that he won’t be there next time I visit. This makes it difficult for me (the client). And here I thought the customer is “king.” Not in America.

However, the push-back against hire and fire can be seen since it is quite visible. The auto workers union succeeded in bringing the American automotive industry to its knees. They are represented at Board level and can virtually veto any management decision. I am sure there are more qualified people able to describe this situation but I am also sure Daimler and Obama can tell dark stories about this.

Re-direct (again) to the American(ised) topic of “industrialization.” It is not a new concept since the “Industrial Age” however, industry bodies attempt to “industrialize” the industry (such as the automotive industry permeating every nook and cranny of society worldwide), not to forget about pharmaceuticals, or the oil and fracking industries affecting geo-politics through a plethora of lobbyists, but the latest and not least -– the election industry where “strategists” are now circling countries, let alone political parties. The point of any “industry” is to maximize its impact on society, in order to perpetuate the salaries and pensions of those working there. In other words –- it has nothing to do with clients or even voters. The next upcoming “industry” is the geographic information systems industry.

This motivates how the American middle-class is being marginalized, because they have become the target. This is serious stuff but the conversationalist feels better because he/she is not in focus here, the elite is, and it is easy to shift focus and blame to an amorphous entity that everybody will agree with.

So now that we are comfortable the question is –- “yes but, to what extent is this going on in business” (getting closer to conditions that may affect his salary and bonus). Unfortunately the author Jim Collins wrote a book tiled How the Mighty Fall which is about listed companies evaluated over a period of 10 years. Of those approximately 20, 000 companies only 11 passed the test to be called “Great” while the “rest” are clearly not. This requires further clarification however: a company performing at 20% of its potential is assumed to have failed and ignored. However, many of those continue to exist and do not always go bankrupt. I would suggest that a simple life-long multi-year revenue chart may actually be better to expose a dark organization.

The rising concern in dark organizations is multi-nationals able to pick the low fruit of tax havens en production facilities in the “world” and then to enforce their “policies” directly on local executives at will. Not to improve the local organization, but to improve the “salary silo” at headquarters (where-ever that may be).
At this point the conversationalist starts to see the bigger picture and the question (of a more concerning nature) becomes: “Yes, but where do all this come from?”

To answer that one has to investigate humans. How did humans evolve? What makes us do things? The answer is difficult but some light was shed by Dr. Victoria Horner with her research on differences between human and gorilla children’s learning abilities. The difference is that humans over-imitate while gorillas just imitate while learning. Both species imitate their parents in order to develop survival skills, but < href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/13/science/children-learn-by-monkey-see-monkey-do-chimps-dont.html?_r=0" target="_blank" rel="nofollow external">humans do it (slightly) differently.

It is possible to deduce that humans use tools and that by imitating the use of “tools” rather than “purpose” (food) that gorillas are interested in, humans developed a force multiplier projecting them to the civilization we have today. However, we have never learnt to “limit” tools because we have until now assumed that we will always go “forward” being optimistic and all, you know.

The gorilla learning needs understanding as well because some humans do that rather than learning tools (because tools are difficult). The gorilla is “aware” of the “purpose” of the actions he wants to imitate. In other words, the end-goal of the actions undertaken is what the gorilla learn(food), not the unnecessary technique. Some humans (a lot), whom in modern times could be described as SJWs, do that too. In other words, if you talk to them, they would focus on what your purpose(intention) is, rather than the detail of what you discuss. Their actions then will be determined by what they think your goal is, while they will NEVER inform you of their own goal/purpose. This is of course darkness personified.

The conversationalist now realize how fragile humans are. So the question becomes more security oriented, “yes, but how do we protect ourselves.” This is a very important question and most people think about the short term, but it’s actually the long term we should be concerned about. The crux of security is also in our early education between parent and child. According to Dr. Barbara Holtman researching a solution to South African crime, she (finally) suggested that children not be jailed and that alternative remediating education be implemented for them – to reduce crime that affects 25% to 50% of the population (2 million serious crimes per year). In other words, what she is saying is that we should raise our kids properly. As Donald Trump might say: this is yuge.

2016: Why capitalism is in the crosshairs

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As an old almost forgotten adage goes, “The truth hides in plain sight.” This means that most human activities are dedicated to hiding truth because it offends us personally, at an emotional level, and since it is in plain sight that common sense must be obscured. We must become magicians and snake oil salesman, distracting the audience with the waving of the hand while the other hand slyly hides the prize.

So it is in politics where in 2016, it is suddenly popular to bash capitalism again. This, as the world’s leading socialist state in Venezuela implodes, socialist Europe goes broke and cannot lead itself, and even our socialist-style social programs here in America have driven us to a $19 trillion debt. Of all the things to blame, it would seem that capitalism would come dead last!

And yet, that is why it is blamed: the crowd needs a scapegoat. It cannot admit to itself that not only are its social programs mere gimmes disguised as altruism, but that they have failed to do anything of real impact except make the problem worse. Our social programs take most of our taxes, and most of that is taken from the middle class, which is why the middle class is eroding while the underclass grows.

That shows us the intersection between typical human political thinking and typical human individualism. Individualism says that the world is there for the individual, and implies that nothing changes since the time the individual first encountered it. Try this with older generations: you will note they are stranded in 1965 in their minds because that is when they came into the world. Typical human political thinking is that since “everyone must get along,” you can use those who are succeeding to bolster those who are not, and then — problem solved! Except, of course, that viewpoint looks at the wrong problem.

The real problem is not that some are starving; it is that their society does not provide wealth that they could take advantage of. Robin Hood programs take income from where it generates more income and distribute it to where it goes to dead-end uses because its spending is exclusively at the consumer level, and the lowest level of consumer activity at that. The reason nature concentrates resources is so that they can have more effect; dispersing them lessens that effect. This is why socialism and welfare states are paths to death.

And yet these programs are popular. Why? Me, me, me: people think in terms of themselves and they like the safety implied by welfare and socialism. “I cannot fail, because I will be subsidized,” the thinking goes. Even more, they delight in the thought of taking from the people who did make it big and giving to the rest. Punish those bastards for making us all look bad. They forget that in the meantime they set up giant bureaucracies and dump money onto clueless people who spend it badly, enriching all the wrong people in the process.

Capitalism on the other hand does not deserve an -ism at all because it is business, pure and simple. The only difference between capitalism and communism is accountability. Under capitalism, the individual makes financial decisions and reaps reward or failure. Under socialism, the group absorbs both loss and gain. It is like decision insurance and as in insurance, only the owl-eyed bureaucrat makes out like a bandit. Then because the entire system is risk-averse, no one makes decisive actions, and so entropy takes it to the cleaners.

Our current fad for blaming capitalism — popular among both inveterate leftist Boomers like Jerry Garcia Bernie Sanders and clueless products of public television Millennials — is to avoid blaming what we should blame. Yes, we should blame our socialist drift which has driven the West into debt and trashed its public institutions. But even more, as a society we are unable to make any good decisions. We are risk-averse there too. And what kind of insurance do we have there? Oh yes: democracy, or the system where no one person is accountable.

The leader is elected, but he is held in check by laws and the representatives. They can in turn blame the opposition party. And the voters can blame each other. The problem is that decisions are not made, but assessed. If enough people vote for something, it is adopted and everyone can blame everyone else. The scapegoat mania spreads. And so in the West, we have a rotting infrastructure: it is unpopular to demand spending on anything but bennies. Both USA and EU are awash in third-world refugees who secretly (or in some cases, not so secretly) resent us and want to destroy us: it is unpopular to cut anyone out, to violate any individual’s human/civil rights. And so it is that the same risk aversion that destroyed the Soviet Union has taken hold here.

The real culprit in 2016 is democracy, or emocracy as we might call it because it consists of people making decisions with their emotions instead of reality-based thinking, and yet we cannot blame it because it is popular because it hands out the bennies. So what can we blame that has a small audience of supporters, so as to remain popular? Why, capitalism of course; in theory only the rich support it, and they are few. See, Romans, the day is saved; we have found the witch and we can burn it. Nonetheless doubts remain.

I first encountered these doubts when I saw the results of first British socialism and next Euro-socialism. In the UK, people talked about how they had adopted the new ways, which seemed suspiciously like a productized form of what their Communism enemies were doing. At first, this hybrid between the socialist welfare state and union dominance of production seemed pleasant. Then I saw the expensive rotting council slums, the industry which could not make a working car, the massive bureaucratic shutdowns. When I went to mainland Europe, I was at first pleased with how the state supported students, the elderly and the poor until I saw the cost. Everything was expensive and any change was nearly impossible because of red tape. No, I thought, I prefer the frontier mentality of America where we expect next to nothing from government and pay accordingly. That has its own problems, but the solution is not to go toward this European socialist model.

Humanity is its own worse enemy. The perpetually popular ideas are risk-averse ones that spread that risk to the group and in the process, remove accountability from the decision makers. Trade unions, welfare states, socialism itself and mandatory insurance all fall into this area. The perpetually unpopular ideas are the ones which place the burden on the individual and favor the individuals who do right, because these make people aware of their risk of failure. The fear spreads like a plague. Once it has taken over, people will do anything but blame the cause.

As a result, humanity has come down to a vital decision point in the West. Do we stop the risk-averse madness and start taking responsibility, or do we continue beating the dead horse of these failed policies in the hope that someday they will magically start working? Common sense says one thing, and mass popularity — democracy — says another. One comfort is that either way, these may be our last elections and so the problem will solve itself, one way or another.

Why I am a conservative

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In the current day and age, claiming to be conservative evokes disbelief. Not only is conservatism the banished enemy of our dominant liberal ideology, but “conservatives” — these days — seem to be people without a plan. Many people have gone looking for another alternative to being the captive opposition.

However, questions of philosophy do not reduce to who claims to hold a view, but what that view is. Over the years, every view becomes adulterated to fit to its audience instead of its audience fitting into it, and so periodic renewals occur when someone points out that the original idea has decayed. A view that is correct will always be so, and if it has been misinterpreted, needs correction not abandonment.

Another way of viewing this is that someone who possesses a conservative philosophy will manifest it no matter what name they call it. Philosophies generally have two major prongs: how to know what is true, and how to know what to do about it. In liberalism, this could be summarized as:

  • True: Whatever is new — not the existing order — is true.
  • Do  : If it makes people feel happy to think it is true, do it.

In this we can see the utilitarian nature of liberalism: whatever most people think will make them happy is right. Also revealed is its nature as a rebellious philosophy, namely that it assumes whatever has existed in the past is a nightmare and any replacement is an improvement.

We can imagine situations where this approach would seem right. If someone is emerging from a truly abusive situation, such as a bad family dynamic, the best thing to do is discard all that they have known as normal and to select new methods. Without further data, they pick whatever the group thinks will be good.

Naturally, this leaves us with half of a philosophy. How do we verify what of our preferred methods turned out well and therefore should be kept? Liberalism assumes this will be handled by the preference of the group, but that assumes that people remember what has gone before and what the options are.

Conservatism updates this with a philosophy that more resembles the scientific method, but with an artistic twist. Here is the conservative outline:

  • True: Whatever works according to results in reality, is true.
  • Do  : If what works leads toward transcendental goals, do it.

The scientific basis the reality test: does this produce the results it claims to, when actually tested in the real world? If not, it may be “real” as a thought can seem to be, but not accurate and therefore not true. The artistic twist comes from the transcendental goals, which are absolutes which can never be fully realized: excellence, beauty, goodness and truthfulness.

Unlike most philosophies, conservatism does not try to translate reality into symbols. Terms like “true” and “good” are left as an exercise to the reader, with the knowledge that the smarter and more honest/noble among them will figure it out while the other 98.6% (approximately) will do what Simians always do, which is do whatever their egos want to do anyway and rationalize it as good or true after the fact. (Some see liberalism as being of this nature, since it requires only intent and feelings and has no reality-based test).

As a guiding force for actual living people, conservatism works under any circumstance. It encourages us to know our world, and then to act for the best results. This does not mean that we can deny how the world works and conjure up an image of how we wish it would work, and then enforce that on others with the consensus of the group. At its heart, conservatism opposes group consensus because that consensus is a lesser method than truth.

The term “conservative” comes from the idea of conservation itself, which means saving good and functional methods under the constant onslaught of human desires to do anything but those. When we look at humanity, we see a species capable of remarkable self-delusion and a tendency to indulge in wishful thinking which it mistakes for realism. Against this flood of chaotic nonsense conservatives attempt to hold on to what actually works, fully realizing they are the smallest minority in their society because everyone else wants the opposite.

Trying to divorce the idea of “conserve” from the notion of conserving what is good has cost modern conservatives plenty. I fully acknowledge that these people are misguided, but I see them more as a consumerist production version of a good thing, like soda replacing sassafras, McDonald’s replacing food, light cigarettes replacing cigars, and Budweiser replacing beer. There is always a market for a dumbed-down version of any idea because this flatters the egoism of those who partake in it. They no longer need to know quality from junk, but can indulge in something conveniently sugared and salty and cheap and pretend they have the real thing.

Conservatism took me to some surprising places. In contrast to mainstream conservatives, I see the importance of conservation in both nature and human beings. This means setting aside giant chunks of land for its natural purpose, and liberating people from pointless activities including make-work jobs and bureaucracy. It also showed me the importance of keeping the law away so people can enjoy pleasurable activities like drinking at the pub, smoking a cigar with friends, or even the “reckless” fun things the Nanny State tries to keep away from us.

Not many anti-work and pro-conservation conservatives exist anymore, but we used to be at the forefront of both of these movements, resisting “Progress” back when progress meant industry at any cost. Conservatives have always defended the quiet life and the wild life so long as it brings actual pleasure, and not merely grim conformity like drug use and promiscuity seem to. We conserve life itself, holding back the flood surge of illusions dreamed up by lonely people in their unrealistic minds.

As new movements — inevitably based on liberal ideas infused with some conservative leanings — come and go, conservatism remains a bulwark because it is not a policy, but a way of thinking. It encourages us to recognize life for what it is and make the best of it. It forms the starting point of our thought and a workable basis for discovering where we should go. Since most of human thought is entirely irrelevant, it stands out as the one right answer in a sea of distractions.

Modern life induces stress that destroys us

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What is going on across the West? People are not having babies, they are withdrawing from society, and most of all, they are miserable. We can tell their misery by their daily behavior and their long-term plans. People are not having families and babies and working toward anything larger than jobs and hobbies. They are retreating into themselves.

The biggest reason for this is that they have been made to work for others who contribute nothing. The average person works 50% of his time to pay for the welfare state, and then adds more hours to compete in a society hell-bent on replacing him. This puts him in a position of constantly being stressed, exhausted and frustrated while slaving away for a future he cannot turn his brain off enough to believe in.

Evidence is increasingly leaking out that stress destroys us at a biological level:

A major review of published research suggests that chronic stress and anxiety can damage areas of the brain involved in emotional responses, thinking and memory, leading to depression and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Linda Mah, the lead author of the review carried out at a research institute affiliated to the University of Toronto, said: “Pathological anxiety and chronic stress are associated with structural degeneration and impaired functioning of the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex, which may account for the increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and dementia.”

These studies are new because, in the society created by a workers’ revolt, the only thing sacred is that we all go to work every day and slave away to pay for the rest of them. That includes the welfare state, a multitude of diversity payments, and benefits and salaries to the legion of bureaucrats who claim to be implementing those. In reality, the entire payment goes to parasites and drains us.

Stress is caused by worry, frustration and relentless activity that does not have immediate feedback of success. We wonder if we are doing the right thing, we puzzle over the future and our existential happiness, and we push back nagging doubts as we grind on. Slowly it kills us, both from within and without, but worse, it destroys our chance of happiness.

The only health ideal for a society is independence from guilt for the condition of anyone else. If they are dying, we cannot look at the correlation and declare it as causation. We must look to the cause, or just not worry about it. Most of humanity has always been dysfunctional and this is why societies choke on their own masses. Their dysfunction should not concern the functional, who should be able to rise — and then rule over the dysfunctional.

Guilt is a backward-looking emotion. It has no hope for a better future, and so looks to try to divide up the spoils of the past so that people now “feel better.” In the process, it eats away the good people from within, and with their loss, the hope for the civilization — which benefits good and bad alike — also vanishes.

Introduction to dark organizations

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Despite it being an apparent American concept, “dark organizations” remains unknown to the broader publics, either because it is politically untenable or because people are confusing it with dark continents/forces. Some research and writings to illuminate this problem has been forthcoming, some of which was authored by Prof Howard F Stein: Nothing Personal, Just Business (2001) and Prof Diane Vaughan: The Dark Side of Organizations (1999).

Vaughan describes “that routine nonconformity, mistake, misconduct and disaster, are systematically produced by the interconnection between environment, organizations, cognition and choice”. To describe it more in detail she states that “Social normalization of deviance means that people within the organization become so much accustomed to a deviant behavior that they don’t consider it as deviant, despite the fact that they far exceed their own rules for the elementary safety.”

Stein argues on the other hand, that “institutional change creates feelings of loss and grief that are often denied; leading to an inability to mourn that can destroy trust and produce aggression”. In summary he writes that “Throughout the United States and indeed the world, organizations have become places of darkness, where emotional savagery and brutality are now commonplace and where psychological forms of violence – intimidation, degradation, and dehumanization – are the norm.”

The psychologist sees it from a change management perspective while the sociologist sees it as “deviant management”, which in itself can be viewed as change. It is possible to deduce that both authors are addressing the same issue which is probably why they both refer to “dark organizations”, and not dark continents or people.

There is overwhelming evidence of natural pressures on organizations such as economic pressures and competitive requirements. These pressures can be viewed as negative in the sense that it may even lead to bankruptcy, but the dark organization effect is for the most part different. Referencing the author Jim Collins: How the Mighty Fall (2009), he identifies about 26 parameters/conditions that may (in sequential fashion) lead to failed companies. However, these parameters only apply to “healthy” organizations where companies valued at <20% of their original value is classified and presented as having failed. In dark organizations (which Collins do not address), the assumption can be made that those organizational managers would not ”present” themselves as failed, but would in terms of business performance remain below the 20% value – essentially forever. For example, in the case of South Africa, the possibility exists, should a healthy organization be enabled, that business performance would improve 5 times, i.e. the GDP/capita target could essentially be $40,000 instead of the (about) $8000 today. Internationally, an example of a dark organization was the Oil-for-food Programme managed by the United Nations. After the second Gulf war, President Bush informed the UN that they may close that initiative. Little did he or the UN General Secretary realize how long it would take. In the South Africa Limited of today, the same dark organizational characteristics are slowly emerging. It can be seen in its limitation of “information” which leads to lack of transparency and which are generally the first thing threatened organizations do to “protect” themselves. This is similar to the formation and effect of the well-known “silo’s” commentators generally use. When information is finally distributed, it is ambiguous, for example: the South African Government’s policies on external relations are the opposite of their home affairs policies – take the wealthy Indian Gupta family aircraft landing on a Military Air Force Base (for a wedding), approved by Foreign Relations while negated by Defense security policies. Another example is the housing development policy of “spatial densification” (which opposes “urban sprawl”) however, resulting in low-cost housing being implemented in the exact urban sprawl fashion. Examples can be monitored all over the place, which can identify specific organizations that suffer this debilitating illness, and which according to Stein can be remedied, but recognition of the fact is the essential first step.

The economy is managed by the Left to keep you from what is rightfully yours

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Do you know what really makes economists sad these days? Do you know what scares them? $10 per Blue Barrel Oil. I’m looking at this and wonder how these doomsayers turn chicken salad into something considerably less savory that comes out of a different part of the fowl.

Cheaper oil means cheaper motive power. Until John Galt invents the perpetual motion engine in his secret mountain hideaway, cheaper oil is the most effective and efficient way to make it easier for the masses to heat their homes, get from point A to point B, and save money on their food and entertainment that anyone could think of. Knock gasoline to $1.00 a gallon and my world gets about a $2,000/year pay raise. If you have your kids in a private school to avoid the gawdawful public ones, $1.00/ gallon gasoline is a 5% coupon towards the tuition.

But when we look at how the prospect $10 per Blue Barrel oil gets written up, you would think most of the people in the oil and gas exploration industry were cheering for M. King Hubbert’s Peak. So what happens when shale oil technology gives us Hubbert’s Lush, Green Valley instead?

Many oil exporters have already been put under pressure by the slump in prices. Among them, Russia and Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador. Gulf states have also come under strain, with Saudi Arabia unveiling a record budget deficit of 367bn riyals (£67bn) for last year. Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists said the oil price slump meant that “the era of [Saudi’s] material overspending is likely firmly behind us”.

So let me see if I can wrap my little, stunted brain around the pissing, moaning and angst I hear before me. We have to stop fracking. We have to reduce crude oil production. We have to cut back on all the partying or else! Or else what?

  1. Saudi Arabia could lose lots of money. Where would ISIS go for its oral fatwas and monetary donations? I’d be deeply saddened if the university that gave Abu Bakker Al Baghdadi a PhD in theology had to shut down.
  2. Venezuela could afford far less socialism. That’s a bit like an alcoholic bum no longer being able to afford another bottle of Wild Irish Rose. I’m still failing to grasp the fundamental crisis here.
  3. Russia can’t afford the antacid tablets it needs to comfortably swallow the Ukraine. Cry me a river of vodka tears, Ivan.

But couldn’t domestic producers also suffer. I mean British Petroleum is laying off 4,000 people in Scotland over this. Couldn’t this do the same thing to Exxon and Occidental petroleum in the good old US of Amerika?

Sure. Bring it. These are corporations that have deliberately aided and abetted the lies that were recently told in Paris about the deadly impacts of global climate change. Why would Exxon throw in with the Warministas? For the artificial scarcity and regulation that would be imposed.

Surely you jest, JPW! Corporations hate regulations and artificial scarcities. They fund lobbies to prevent this stuff from happening. It’s the gravamen for the existence of Conservative Inc.™ Oh if only it bloody were, you Simpleton Mutts!

Artificial scarcities rock if you partially corner the market in the artificially scare item. Hubbert’s Peak was a gift from the heaven to any major petroleum producer fortunate enough to own the mineral rights to several large fields. Prices are a partial function of scarcity. They move inversely with commodity supply. If you can’t come by scarcity honestly, you can still kill abundant supply it if you buy a Barack Obama and get it shut off by disingenuous fiat instead.

As for regulations. Major corporations love them. Ma and Pa Middleton, Thomas Edison in his cozy, little lab and anyone else who moves product in basketfulls rather than truckloads gets killed by them. The impact of a regulation gets mitigated by scale. If the regulation in question imposes a unit cost that damages a business’s competitive pricing strategy, it imposes far less of one if that number of units in the denominator has a long a vapor trail of zeroes behind the lead digit. This doesn’t even impose a fly bite on Exxon. It potential kills a small fracking outfit. Thus, through the magic of Barack Obama’s hope and change, we can regulate all of Exxon Mobil’s competition out of existence and prevent large parasitic corporations from ever having to face the impact of improved technology or intelligent business strategy. It’s no big riddle why Exxon Mobil is deeply worried about Global Warming.
So why do the big corporations and major petroleum plutocracies cry about $10 per Blue Barrel oil? Because simple people like me are getting enough wherewithal to not have to put up with Vladimir Putin or Barack Obama’s raft of crap. We don’t have to keep our kids in public schools that are staffed with ignorant teachers if we can more easily afford the drive to a private school. We no longer have to live in hell-holes like Detroit or Chicago if the commute from the ‘Burbs is affordable. With our assets goes the tax base that people like Jesse Jackson vampire off of.

As for the whinging corporations? Can you imagine how the evil villains in the movie Solyent Green would have made out if I had set up JPW’s Chicken Shack right in the middle of their marketplace and gotten away with it? Innovative business strategies are an anathema to major corporations. So is technological progress and individual success by anyone not in the corporate boardroom. These corporations therefore buy leftwing political influence to prevent intelligent thought from being rewarded and to tamp down on any personal success that gets attained through the use of anybody else’s products. Moldbug basically screwed up when he failed to include The Forbes 500 in the membership rolls of his Cathedral. This is why all of the people I have written about above will massively intervene and thoroughly screw it up before any of us get to enjoy the positive and life-enhancing benefits of $10 per Blue Barrel oil.

How the 1968ers betrayed Generation X

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Generation X is referred to as the “bridge” generation, linking the massive cohorts of the Baby Boomers with the zombie Millennials. But more likely, that generation was a bridge to nowhere because it was raised by the same people who brought us the liberal takeover of the West in 1968.

Unlike the Millennials, who grew up in the stability after the 1968ers hit their 40s in the mid and late 80s, Generation X knew a world where there was more than one path of history. This world had mild disasters, like the oil crisis and depression, but also knew real threats, like the Soviet Union and its reckless militarism.

Millennials on the other hand have only grown up in a liberal-controlled world. 1968 values were taught to them by children’s television, children’s books, their elementary school textbooks, the words of celebrities, the movies from Hollywood and by liberal politicians in Hollywood. For them, there is only a liberal-dominated world, moving slowly toward “Progress” by destroying all who dissent.

As a result, Millennials are the most obedient and conformist generation ever. Like Baby Boomers, who took the WWII-era values of their parents and turned up the intensity, Millennials take PC to the next level with “social justice worrier” style rhetoric. For them, society has always been stable, without want or fear, and all that we need to do is give away enough free stuff that everyone is happy and pacifistic.

Generation X was savaged by divorce, being latch-key kids of working moms, and facing the instability of the incredibly selfish “Me Generation” as it attempted to parent kids it viewed as little more than possessions for its own glorification. It saw the lunatic nature of the 1968ers as they were, which was horrible parents and unstable neurotics who chased “profundity” and “art” at every turn yet returned to selfishness as a guide.

Its response was mostly to drop out. Unlike Baby Boomers and Millennials, Generation X has no loyalty to political agents such as its country or an ideology. It respects that which works, mainly because it has seen its countries disintegrate in the onslaught on the family, values, and standards. It has stepped aside to watch the disaster from the comfort of its own homes.

One recent survey of Generation X both missed the mark, and revealed quite a bit.

Gen Xers didn’t just turn inward because there was nothing to capture their attention outward—they were purposefully turning away from a world that didn’t hold much promise from what they could see.

There is what you must know. Generation X saw what their parents, the 1968er Baby Boomers, had done to society using its postwar mandate of absolute equality, and noped out. They wanted no part of the disaster. Unlike Millennials, who like zombies absorb the propaganda and bleat it, Generation X simply stepped aside to watch the giant fall.

Why hasn’t Gen X been able to shake the shackles of its misspent youth (and what youth isn’t misspent?)?

Partially, they haven’t tried very hard. It’s an introspective generation that never felt a need to explain itself.

Well, that’s cute. Translation: they trust no public voice with the truth, so keep silent and out of sight. The motto of Generation can best be encapsulated by the name of a radio show, “In My Room”, namely that it has retreated to the space it can control. Crazy parents control the world, crazy democracy controls society, but maybe there are dropout spaces.

As a friend of mine voiced:

It feels like there was a boat missed in the 90s and now we have the current generation split between some really savvy thinkers who are not doers, some pretty smart doers, and some clever (snarky, sarcastic) wishers who are loud with their emotions and that’s what’s catching everyone’s attention.

I think our generation opting out was a mistake, and I don’t know what we would have done differently.

When you trust zero public institutions and public voices, how do you protest? You do not: you drop out. When every institution is corrupted by the same illusion, and every person who wants not to be fired parrots it, who do you trust? You do not; you preserve yourself, and wait for the big BOOM! to tell you that it’s time to awaken and act.

Generation X learned firsthand what the liberal ideal is. It is not a big happy pacifistic group, but a giant ego swallowing all else while flattering others by telling them what it is known in advance they will agree with. There is no escape once an illusion grasps your society, and all who want to succeed endorse it. There is only retreat, and waiting for the collapse.

Few have learned the lesson of Generation X. There just was not much to be done; those who spoke up were destroyed, and those who agreed with the ideology and became enfranchised in the system turned into yuppie zombies with no souls. The only solution was to express yourself quietly, and then get out of the way so the raging bull of failure could self-destruct.

And they are still waiting. Even the successful Generation Xers are cynical. The Boomers and Millennials — both zombie generations — do not understand, but Generation X does. They saw a tragedy in formation and will never be the same. Even if they cannot articulate it, they want the old over the new, but the new has gained power and crushed all dissent.

In the future, we will all be Generation Xers. Millennials and Boomers assumed that society was a static thing which they could tweak and get more out of at the expense of its future, but Generation X realizes how fragile social order is. They also recognize how crazy the Boomers and Millennials, who are like a single group interrupted by a generation, are. And they want nothing of it.

The 1968ers betrayed Generation X. In the name of altruism, they betrayed their own families. In the name of egalitarianism, they betrayed and subverted their own children, leaving them cowering like PTSD victims. And because they had popularity on their side, the Me Generation could not be opposed. And yet, opposition rose.

The world has yet to see what Generation X will do. A sensible guess is that they are waiting for a cataclysm so they can finally point out where their parents were wrong, where Millennials are wrong, and thus the necessity of dispossessing such zombies and seizing control in the name of common sense. We all await that day for deliverance from the successful lie and private Hell of post-1968er society.

Flip

the_strong_eat_the_weak_or_the_weak_eat_the_strong

You can have one of two types of society: (1) where the strong eat the weak, and (2) where the weak eat the strong.

The first is Darwinism. The second is egalitarianism.

We can moralize about these, or talk about how they make us feel, but there are advantages to each. In the first, competence gradually increases. In the second, diversity and plurality and tolerance all increase, but competence declines. Think of your favorite tropical island paradise as described by National Public Radio.

“The villagers spend their days picking fruit, resting in the sun, swimming and hunting for fish and crabs in the tidal pools which line the white-sand beaches. Wearing colorful clothing, they dedicate most of their time to socializing, and are known as the friendliest and most open people on earth. Visitors are surprised to find themselves gifted with prized possessions and even family members by these generous, gregarious people whose lives are governed by the pursuit of pleasure more than efficiency.”

On the surface, it sounds very peaceful and comfortable. A little more analysis shows that for anyone with the ability to have more out of life than fruit salad and crab cakes, this life must be maddening. A society without the impulse to learn, grow, conquer, develop, evolve and improve. In other words, a stagnant place in the grips of entropy, made comfortable and colorful because it has given up on everything else.

Europeans grew strong when we valued excellence and supremacy. That is: we applied high standards, based in real-world consequences, across the board, and in so doing, taught our people vigorously in the ways of reality and how to discover it. The strong ate the weak, yes, meaning that those with no excellence to offer had a hard time of it, but in turn, they had a more stable society.

With democracy we switched to the third world system, weak-eat-strong, in which whoever can successfully conjure up the image of himself as a victim will get priority over everyone else. As a result, our standards have fallen and our mass culture now produces utter garbage, our government incompetents, and our business, trivial amusements. Maybe having the weaker get eaten was not such a bad idea after all.

Democracy makes you into zombie

fuhrerbunker_squalor

Ideas not only change how we think about a certain subject, but provide us a template for thinking about all subjects. If an idea turns out to be powerful, or to give us justification or license for certain behaviors we desired anyway, we seize it like a tool or weapon and wield it wherever we can make it fit the subject.

Democracy is the most powerful idea of later civilization. Having lost its initial impetus which arose from the need to make civilization itself work, the society becomes lazy and bloated, justifying this inattention by believing itself to be the greatest empire on earth. The citizens want to earn more money or be more powerful and so they seize power, and in order to unite the herd, they chooses the idea with broadest appeal: “everyone is equal, and therefore, we are only weak and many because the others oppressed us, so let’s do away with better people and focus on a mediocre minimum.”

This idea makes many women swoon and appeals to the young and those who have found life did not work out as they expected. This group has a gap between the real and the ideal to explain, and instead of making themselves more realistic to solve the problem, they scapegoat the rich, powerful and intelligent. Psychologically this thought is like crack because in one fell swoop, it explains all of their shortcomings and gives them a purpose — which they previously lacked — in life.

Through this ideology of equality, democracy infects even many of those who claim to oppose it. They cannot escape the mental programming that all people are the same, and therefore, all they need is the right System to control those people and make them do what “should” be. It takes years of thoughtful contemplation to figure out where this idea goes wrong, and to realize that instead of viewing people as many equal units, they must be seen as an ecosystem or large family with different roles in which no one is responsible for the success of everyone.

Ideology serves as a reality substitute and a replacement of the great void of life, formed of the questions of what one should do with irreplaceable time and how to deal with the pressures from others. This includes the mightily feared “judgment” of the individual and its achievements. Equality is a form of pacifism, or a desire to cease the risk and struggle of conflict, and to bribe others with promises of brotherhood and peace so they do not attack. Socialism is the same; it works by buying off the workers so they do not riot, unionize or otherwise disrupt as they are prone to do.

All of those ideologies serve a single role, which is to excuse humans from having to get their act together. Quality demands struggle, conflict, discipline and self-refinement; equality says there is no reason to improve, and since the individual is equal as it is, people can indulge in whatever illusions they find comforting instead of discovering reality. At the heart of every liberal philosophy hides this desire.

The West has been driven insane by this impossible dream because it corrupts the minds of those in its grasp. They see life as a task of finding self-expression, when they should find self-discipline; they look toward society as an omnipotent group which solves all problems through uniform solutions. Even the great anti-hero of democracy, Adolf Hitler, held on to many of these illusions and they drove him mad as they have every other leader.

Democracy is an unworkable fiction. It always has been. Most people are crazy until they self-discipline; democracy removes knowledge of this need. People in groups choose easy compromises over hard truths; democracy legitimizes this process. The ideology of all people being equal creates a pervasive guilt and paranoia in all people, and it makes them existentially miserable. They turn to fetishes, greed, and inanity to escape, but nothing can save them.

We live in a time that is thoroughly sick with this deep mental illness. Sanity is considered insane because insanity is mandated to be normal and sane. The paradox breaks people, starting with the most intelligent. While democracy has bungled every decision it has been handed, it has also muddled and distorted the minds of its citizens, so that now misery rules the land but no one will admit it.

The first step in escaping this mental disease is to realize that most people are the cause of their own misfortunes. Were they to discipline their approach and try to be realistic, they would in time get used to that. But throughout history, most people have fought tooth and nail against this type of humility and reverence for life. They want to worship only one god, and that is themselves. To them, reality is a competitor and an enemy.

When confronting this illusion — democracy, egalitarianism, socialism, pluralism — this first step enables a person to realize that the few who have their minds disciplined, and the ability to lead, should rule us. The rest will only screw it up if given power, and will in fact deliberately do so because a dysfunctional society camouflages their own personal dysfunction. The illusion is just common weakness disguised as profundity.

Democracy makes people into zombies by making them dependent on ideology. It destroys their self-esteem by judging them only by external traits, and not giving them credit for who they are; it creates a world so vapid it drives people into a fury of self-loathing. And yet, without equality, they think they will be judged and found wanting, so like addicts they return to the needle even as it kills them.

The West is currently winding down. Like every society before it, it has collapsed, probably because its wealth allowed illusion to be as successful as realism, and then it went down the path of democracy. We still have a chance to save ourselves, but the biggest battle is in our heads, to rid ourselves of the insanity before it drives us into lashing out, failing and then self-destructing.

It won’t be good when we all buy a clue

There are some very smart, truly ruthless people who get that Amerika is on fire. Aaron Clarey explained the process above. The nicer ones will tell you quietly and privately that our economy is dying of leprosy. They are making their discreet plans and subtly edging their way towards the exit.

They aren’t quite ready to yell “Fire!” yet. They’d rather have you believe it’s just unseasonably warm because of El Nino and Global Climate Change. But what happens when the slower ones catch on? At that point the resulting confusion should be more amusing than Father’s Day in Mobile.

You’ve heard of Bitcoin, but probably haven’t read up on SETLCoin. SETLCoin is how Goldman Sachs firewalls itself off from the economy upon which it feeds like a vampire. I’ll fill you in on the details.

On November 19, the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) published Goldman, Sachs & Co.’s patent application 20150332395 or “Cryptographic Currency For Securities Settlement.” Described are “ […] methods for settling securities in financial markets using distributed, peer-to-peer, and cryptographic techniques ” using a cryptocurrency named SETLcoin. The application lists Paul Walker and Phil J. Venables as the inventors of the technology.

Paul Walker is the co-head of technology at Goldman and a member of the Board of Directors of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC). According to Nathaniel Popper’s book “Digital Gold” and his adaptation for American Banker, “When Goldman Sachs Began Flirting with Bitcoin,” Walker led a panel to educate the banks clients about virtual currencies. Popper writes that Walker, “indicated that the bank was taking a hard look at how the blockchain might be used to change basic things about how banks do business.”

Maybe a few of the Sheeple have elected to awaken and are fearing the wolf that is gorging on their economic future. The DOW is off 400 points to start off our brave new trading year, and the Chinese stock exchange had to shut down automated trading after 7 minutes.* The same guys patenting their backdoor currencies tell us to pay these omens no mind.

It’s more drama than data. Mid-east geopolitical conflict driving a lot of today’s moves. Stocks & bond yields down. Gold & dollar up. — Jeffrey Kleintop (@JeffreyKleintop) January 4, 2016

Jeffrey Kleintop may be accurate. It could go right back up the rest of the month. It may be that every other currency on the globe sucks compared to the dollar and it may be that we remain the finest battle charger in line for the glue factory. As long as the US of A can export the impacts inflationary bubbles in the form of our currency, we get to have our cake and eat it too. However, the reasons we saw the sell-off may be more durable and more profound. It could be that an awful lot of rubes have figured out how worthless their assets have become and are now in a race to cash them out while somebody else still thinks they have some intrinsic worth.

Would it be “Mad Max?” Would it be “1984?” To quote one idiot on YouTube, it could even turn into “Marshal Law!”** Well no. At first, it will turn into Argentina instead. Things will just gradually stop working. It will fall apart at the rate at which entropy functions. You just lose functionality 1 system, 1 machine, and 1 location at a time. But this isn’t fun. My opening paragraph promised a good, amusing wreck. What I’ve described above is worse than watching a 500 mile NASCAR race and not seeing a single Redneck hauled off on a stretcher.

The fun starts when people no longer believe that things will all work out OK. Amerika is a faith-based economy. They laugh at me for believing in Jeebus Da Sky Fairy, but then tell me that The US Dollar is the world’s reserve currency and therefore does not have to be intelligently managed or adequately collateralized to be an effective store of value. When Thomas logically disbelieved in The Holy Ghost, Jesus could put up rather than shut up. He was totally prepared to let Thomas see the nail holes in his hands. Am I an apostate for holding Paul Krugman or Janet Yellin to a similar skeptical standard?

The real collapse and secular version of gory scenes from The Revelation will occur when about 300 million people decide the US Dollar is only is as good as the full faith and credit of the United States Government. At that point they ask themselves if they would logically trust either George W. Bush or Barack Obama. How you answer both of these questions should allow you to make a logical estimate of how long it is before Amerika dies in the ditch like the banana republic it is increasingly becoming.

None of us know the hour or even the day upon which the male bovine scatology gets completely disbelieved. But we do have a pretty good idea of the timescale. The timescale is not much longer. The milestone event that future historians believe constitutes the official fall of The United States of America will undoubtedly occur during most of our adult lifetimes.

* – That doesn’t ever happen because people are doing too well.
** -My hands and face are not big enough to adequately facepalm this. The term is Martial Law.