Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘corporations’

Horseshoe Theory: Large Corporations Behave Like Communism

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

The theory of Crowdism states that our problem as a species is not a particular ideology, but any behavior in which humans become a goal in themselves. This is equivalent to a means-over-ends analysis that selects for methods which do not harm, inconvenience or embarrass any individual.

Since the dawn of our species, humans have been self-destructing in groups because at a certain point, the herd wins out. The innovators, leaders and pioneers are always few and the herd many, and the herd takes over and makes the activity about the herd, instead of about its ostensible purpose.

And so a business becomes a support system for its workers (unions, socialism); a government becomes an industry for lobbyists and bureaucrats; a church group becomes a social opportunity for bored middle class ladies; a gang becomes a cult centered around a leader who tells people what they want to hear.

This is the real horseshoe theory: at any point, human endeavors become their opposites because the need of the herd to be a goal in itself inverts the purpose of the organization.

Witness the similarities between monopolistic businesses and Communism:

Look at how Google games searches. A study reported in The Wall Street Journal found that in 25,000 random Google searches ads for Google products appeared in the most prominent slot 91% of the time. How is that not the unfair leveraging of search dominance and the abuse of algorithm? All 1,000 searches for “laptops” started with an ad for Google’s Chromebook — 100% of the time. Kim Jong Un would be envious of results like that at election time.

And then there are the recently launched Google snippets, which stylistically highlight search results as if they were written on stone tablets and carried down from the mountain. Their sheer visual physicality gives them apparent moral force. The word “Orwellian” is flagrantly abused, but when it comes to the all-powerful algorithms of Google, Amazon and Facebook, “Orwellian” is UNDER-used.

As for news, institutional neglect has left us perched on the edge of the slippery slope of censorship.

Interestingly enough, Mencius Moldbug picked up on this years ago by noting that organizations who desire a monopoly no longer act out of need, but out of aspiration to total power and total control:

Sometimes I get an almost Soviet feel off Google. After all, what was the Soviet Union but a whole country run by a single company? Of course, Google is much better managed than the Soviet Union. But give it a few years.

When you are writing a large piece of software in order to just give it away, it has to be a labor of love. If it’s not a labor of love, the task becomes Brezhnevian. Google will do just fine if everyone in the world accesses their servers via Apple or Microsoft phones. The commercial justification for writing Android strikes me as quite thin.

While this passage argues against his own theory of Neoreaction — if big corporations running a country end up like the Soviet Union did, then Anarcho-Capitalist Libertarianism is not an escape from the human problem described in the first paragraph of this essay — he makes a good point: we either act toward ends for the sake of those ends alone, or we become the ends, and then regulate method until we invert ourselves from ends-over-means to means-over-ends and filter out anything that offends the herd. That in turn produces the entropy that takes down every human group from a cluster of friends through a civilization, namely that internal division predominates over cooperation because the meaning of the activity has been lost through inversion.

Any corporation, if it becomes large enough, comes to serve itself, just like any government without hierarchy and culture becomes a parasitic predator determined to use its people as a means to the end of itself. Without some kind of cooperative goal, as is found in culture and transcendent appreciation of life, the activity becomes merely technical and then, becomes a purpose in itself.

Plato noted this in his own account of the end of a golden age and the degeneration to the point where democracy “seemed like a good idea” to the round-headed herd:

When discord arose, then the two races were drawn different ways: the iron and brass fell to acquiring money and land and houses and gold and silver; but the gold and silver races, not wanting money but having the true riches in their own nature, inclined towards virtue and the ancient order of things. There was a battle between them, and at last they agreed to distribute their land and houses among individual owners; and they enslaved their friends and maintainers, whom they had formerly protected in the condition of freemen, and made of them subjects and servants; and they themselves were engaged in war and in keeping a watch against them.

You either do things for their own sake, or they become masters over you. You can feed your people because you love them, strive for excellence, fight for supremacy, and try to build the greatest civilization ever, and fortune will shine on you. But when you are doing things because of the things themselves, like “we gotta keep the corporation running” or “the Party demands sacrifice,” then everything falls apart. That is the horseshoe in effect: whether Communist or Capitalist, you will end up in the same place without some kind of transcendental goal.

Plato calls it virtue. Christians call it holiness, but that seems too serving of itself as well. To the ancients in The Odyssey, it was a sense of putting the world to right, both morally uncompromising in a way that the Christians wish they could be, and geared toward balance more nuanced than the silly yin-yang that every teenager puts on their bedroom wall next to the dreamcatcher and Che Guevara poster.

Without this transcendental goal and people smart enough to keep us focused on it, every one of our ventures comes to serve itself and then self-destructs. This even applies to Metallica; when they were out there to make the best music they could imagine, the band had quality, but as soon as the goal became making the band more successful, the quality dwindled and popularity surged. This is the sign of an entropy bloom: like a red tide, at first the algae seem to be successful because their numbers have increased, but then there is a population crash. Like yeast in a bowl of syrup, or lemmings in a field of grain.

That transition from cooperation to control is what wrecks human endeavors, even solitary ones.

Consider the church. First it came to save the souls of men, but then it started competing with pagans and other sects, and acted toward its own power and control. This made it corrupt. That then removed the value it offered — salvation by inducing people to do what was necessary to save their minds, souls and logical ability — and it went into decline, but first it became wildly popular because it had lowered standards to the point where the herd could participate. Profiteers surged in and made themselves famous, but now, it is basically a dead institution in the first world. So it goes.

Power serves only itself unless you have an aristocrat — a philosopher king, in the sense of Marcus Aurelius and Meister Eckhart — to intervene and redirect things toward intangible and immutable but ongoing goals, known as the transcendentals. These are exclusively qualitative and relative, such as the classic formulation “the good, the beautiful and the true,” and also include the Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure sense of just wanting excellence, a form of benevolent elitism. Make everything the best of everything.

As the old saying goes, you either struggle upstream or are swept downstream. Civilizations either reach for constant improvement or are swept into the third world mentality of subsistence living, essentially dishonest people, and warlords to act as fences to keep the herd from running loose and harming itself.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

Are Major Corporations The Right’s Friends?

Monday, June 19th, 2017

If you go to an Amerikan University, and get brainwashed in a Economics course; you’d walk away with the misapprehension that corporations were the enemies of the beneficent state. That major corporations sought to undermine governments and

Dating at least back to Nazi Germany, supplying the state monopoly has always been a boffo racket. Hugo Boss…No wonder the Nazis always looked better in the old war movies. And it wasn’t just the National Socialists. Armand Hammer was the Russian Connection long before that became a thing to Antifa.

Armand Hammer, the 87-year-old chief executive officer of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, was recently hailed by the editor of Pravda for his role in setting up the November summit meeting between President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachov. Since his early- 1920s cavorting about Soviet Russia with the blessings of V.1. Lenin, Hammer, the “maverick” billionaire, has been the principal “back channel” for American access to the top levels of the Kremlin hierarchy.

And why was Hammer so able to set up meetings with Soviet Nomenklatura?

Who was Hammer? He was a personal friend of V.I. Lenin. He was known as Lenin’s “path” to America’s financial resources. He was the first of a long line of Western businessmen to participate in KGB-controlled joint ventures in the Soviet Union. He was the son of Julius Hammer, a founder of the Socialist Labor Party and later the Communist party USA and who served time in Sing Sing for performing illegal abortions. Armand Hammer was called the “Capitalist Prince” by the KGB. He dutifully served the Soviets for seven decades and became the first — and only — “American capitalist” to be awarded the Order of Lenin.

So how did this capitalist running dog make his fortune? Doing business with Man of The People Vladimir Lenin.

Journeying to Soviet Russia in 1921 to give medical aid to that country’s famine victims, he was personally persuaded by Vladimir Lenin to turn his business talents to account there instead. In 1925 he obtained a concession from the Bolsheviks to manufacture pencils for the Soviet Union, and his firm soon became the largest supplier of cheap, reliable pencils in the country. His business ventures were bought out by the Soviets in the late 1920s, and Hammer returned to the United States in 1930 laden with innumerable paintings, jewelry pieces, and other art objects formerly owned by the Romanov imperial family and sold to him by the cash-hungry Soviets. In the 1930s Hammer sold the majority of these valuables and embarked on such profitable post-Prohibition business ventures as whiskey making and the manufacture of whiskey barrels, as well as cattle raising.

Hammer retired in 1956 but was approached that year by a friend who suggested that he finance two wildcat oil wells being drilled in Bakersfield, Calif., by the near-bankrupt Occidental Petroleum Corporation. Hammer financed the wells, which unexpectedly struck oil, and he quickly increased his holdings in Occidental, becoming the firm’s chief executive officer and chairman of the board in 1957. By the mid-1960s, under Hammer’s management, Occidental’s gross annual income was more than $650,000,000, and profitable oil ventures in Libya (which were later nationalized) and diversifications into chemical manufacturing had boosted Occidental’s gross income to more than $2,000,000,000 by 1970.

Today, these people are not openly Soviet or Nazi in their business dealings. However, they are still not in favor of anything resembling a truly “Open Society.” They are buying into the governmental monopolies on force and natural resources the exact same way Hugo Boss and Armand Hammer did. They can strip a lot more surplus out of customer that has someone else’s money as a budget line. Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Warren Buffett don’t want to compete any more than The Golden State Warriors or the New England Patriots want to compete. They are in the business of making the fight unfair.

Warren Buffett hates pipelines that ship oil because he owns a huge railroad full of railroad tankers. Elon Musk makes solar collectors for a portion of his living. The Paris Accord knocked conventional energy sources off the market in the US. Zuckerberg hates “fake news.” Other people’s “Fake News.” He loves fake news propagated by Faceberg. The Golden State Warriors didn’t lock up Kevin Durant to make the NBA more fun and competitive. His presence gave them a talent monopoly like land reform gave Stalin a land monopoly. The New England Patriots won’t trade their awesome back-up QB or stop illegally deflating footballs. They don’t give a rat’s rear end about his self-actualization. They don’t want to see him on the other sideline on Sunday afternoon. These business men are the same.

They hate capitalism when it pays capital to anybody other than them. They hate opportunity when someone other than them enjoys any of it. When Armand Hammer was a pencil-pusher, he loved how Lenin could erase all his competition. Hugo liked Hitler fine. He considered him, dare I say it; Like.A.Boss. The big shot tycoons that install Goldman Sachs Party Men throughout the USG are major league SJWs. Social Justus Warriors. Because they believe it should be Just Us that get the benefits. And when they think of Us, we on the Alt-Right are never going to be considered them.

The very rich are different from us. They already have built their wall. It is your wall that is immoral. They don’t want President Trump to ever cut someone like you in on the racket.

Corporate Virtue Signaling

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Corporate America — considered the far side of stodgy, capitalist and unhip — has embraced Leftist ideals during the past two decades. Since corporations never do anything except for profit, this tells us something about the changing nature of profit in the Left-leaning West.

The new model for profit involves selling products to an entertainment audience. Originally, companies pitched themselves to the middle class through an appeal to durability, value and efficiency.

Now, they are selling to an entirely transient audience based on image alone. They can do this because, under the wealth redistribution programs of the Left, the rootless manchildren and impoverished underclass are the people with disposable income to spend. The middle class is busy spending on housing, insurance, food, energy and education.

Probably the archetype of this genre was the Apple “Mac Guy Versus PC Guy” ads from the early 2000s:

These showed the components of the new audience: it wanted to be hip and it was focused mostly on entertainment and appearance. That made it easy to market to these people because their demand for function was limited to a very narrow area and a few basic tasks. In addition, these people had already been educated in personal morality by the State.

Personal morality is an old, old con. It is a means-over-ends analysis which states that no matter what you are trying to do, you have to use only methods that others approve of. That list invariably strips out anything really effective and replaces it with the non-controversial. The end result is a neutered person who is concerned with how “moral” they appear to others more than the consequences of his actions.

Herein is the root of egalitarianism. It triumphs because to oppose it is to appear elitist, cruel and exclusive. That bothers the individualists in the crowd, who are afraid that they will not be of sufficient social status, that their ego cannot bear to be told the magic word NO, and that they will not be admitted into the club of cool kids.

You can see this in just about every movie or book created in the last three decades or longer: everywhere there is a natural elite, and our everyman hero wants to break into that but cannot, so he destroys it instead. Call it the Napoleon Dynamite/Revenge Of The Nerds theory of politics. It re-states the complaints of the French Revolution in a digestible form.

The point of these movies is not that the natural elite were bad; they are usually competent and necessary. It is that they look bad for excluding the poor nerds, geeks, hipsters, dweebs, stoners and others who are not succeeding in a broken system. Instead of focusing on fixing that system, it is easier to include everyone and further follow its path of decline.

With personal morality, all is about appearance. You must look inclusive. You must also look hip. The two of these combined mean that the traditional masculine aesthetic is out the window, or even any morality that is based on standards. Instead, there is the social standard: do people like you? do you unite them? And of course, do you include everyone and threaten no one?

From this we get ad campaigns which feature nerdy hipsters — another 90s mash-up — who are obviously useless except for doing hip things. Like all the hippies and bohemians for the past five centuries, they insist on being artists, philosophers, spiritualists and musicians. It is a way for them to become important by pretending to be important. Plato notes it best:

Yes, I said, he lives from day to day indulging the appetite of the hour; and sometimes he is lapped in drink and strains of the flute; then he becomes a water-drinker, and tries to get thin; then he takes a turn at gymnastics; sometimes idling and neglecting everything, then once more living the life of a philosopher; often he-is busy with politics, and starts to his feet and says and does whatever comes into his head; and, if he is emulous of any one who is a warrior, off he is in that direction, or of men of business, once more in that. His life has neither law nor order; and this distracted existence he terms joy and bliss and freedom; and so he goes on.

With this appearance-based morality, considerations of effect (“ends”) are entirely replaced by appearance, which is derived from method (“means”). In the West, after the triumph of 1968, this became the underlying approach of industry: be cool, look good, and so on. But it had not yet entered the final passive stage until the dual assault of affirmative action and entitlements of the 1990s.

Those created a permanent group of people who were purchasers of mostly consumer products. They tended to rent apartments, be very faithful to their jobs, and spend any money they had on gadgets in order to feel hip, cool and relevant. Cultureless, and essentially futureless, they were an advertising dream.

Corporate America finally found a way to address these people through consumerism mated with bohemianism and Leftist politics, as noted by David Brooks in his crushing study of the hippie generation in mid-life, Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class And How They Got There. It was the votes of these people that paved the way for the Clinton Revolution and the entitlement programs that created the new consumer mass.

Most of us thought that corporations would behave like people on the conservative side of things, but they did not, instead converging on the type of behavior we might expect from anarchists, bohemians or third world countries. This provokes in the mind a metaphorical comparison to the Horseshoe Effect:

This trope is when two groups who are ostensibly ideologically opposed to each other actually have a lot of ideology in common.

Conventional political theory holds that all political ideologies sit on a linear spectrum from left to right: communism on the far left, fascism on the far right, and everything else somewhere in between. This theory implies that the further away an ideology is from the centre, the more different it is from a corresponding ideology on the opposite side of the spectrum: centre-left and centre-right political parties are distinct but still fairly similar, but communist and fascist political parties are dramatically different from one another, as they sit on opposite extremes of the spectrum.

Notwithstanding that there are some problems with the theory — namely that fascist and National Socialist parties are still modernists, thus Left-derived where not Left-leaning, and thus prone to converge on Leftism once threats and scapegoats are removed — this theory can also be applied to corporate America. And there is another glitch: it discusses methods, not goals.

We can restate the theory this way: when any group becomes powerful through mass obedience, it shifts towards a means-over-ends calculus as a means of enacting control. Control is a complex thing to define, but basically it means a centralized force which micromanages all other parts of civilization equally, or uses them as a means to its ends in a way that specifies the desired outcome from a central command viewpoint, as opposed to agreeing on goals and allowing people to cooperate unequally toward achieving them. It is the theory that we can make society into a factory, or like a factory.

For this reason, when corporations get powerful enough and face an audience made homogeneous in thought pattern even if not homogeneous in composition, they tend to act just like Communist states would. This is one of the many reasons that one cannot escape modernity by using modernistic thinking, but must find an entirely different path, such as ends-over-means style barbarian reasoning.

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

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

capitalist_dog_enjoying_leisure

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.

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