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Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism

To dissolve, submerge, and cause to disappear the political or governmental system in the economic system by reducing, simplifying, decentralizing and suppressing, one after another, all the wheels of this great machine, which is called the Government or the State. --Proudhon, General Idea of the Revolution

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Monday, June 13, 2011

How to Get Ahead in Life

One of the fastest ways to get in trouble is to respond to authority with logic.

If you look at the people who are at the tops of hierarchical organizations, the part of their brains that logically evaluates the pronouncements of people in authority has been inactivated -- or at least they're able to pretend it has. They advanced to the top because they learned very early in their careers to evaluate all statements, not on the basis of their internal logic or whether they made sense, but rather on the basis of the authority of the source.

What does this mean in practice?

Let's say your CEO says: "We intend to focus like a laser beam on quality and customer service. Get to work immediately changing our Mission, Vision, and Values Statements to reflect this priority. In the meantime, we're going to downsize half the customer service staff and then give ourselves a huge multi-million dollar bonus for increasing productivity."

Now, if someone you regarded as an equal made such a statement, your likely response would be: "That's completely self-contradictory. It's a pig-ass stupid idea. You must have been fucked in the head by a rhinoceros with three dicks."

But if your CEO makes such a statement, and you want to get ahead, you say: "Right you are, C.J.! That's an absolutely brilliant idea!"

7 Comments:

Blogger Dark Daughta said...

primate respect and desire for hierarchy grounded in systems of domination. you gotta love it...not.

June 13, 2011 7:27 PM  
Anonymous tom ender said...

I got where I am today by tiring of saying: "Right you are, C.J.!"

I suppose whether that's a good thing or not remains to be seen, but I'd likely do it again.

June 13, 2011 11:36 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Dark Daughta: I can take most of the primate dominance hierarchy stuff, but throwing feces is a bit much. I work in a hospital, and I actually prefer the literal feces throwing of some of my patients to the (mostly) figurative stuff from management.

Tom: How 'bout the time C.J. had a midlife crisis and ran away, and Reggie heard him in Piccadilly Circus playing a banjo and singing "Oh, I didn't get where I am today..."

BTW, I haven't heard from you since sometime in the Bush administration (or the way things are going, maybe we should call it the previous Bush administration). Your old blog has been dormant for two years -- do you still have an active Web presence anywhere? I'll bet Brad would enjoy getting guest submissions from you for C4SS.

June 13, 2011 11:49 PM  
Blogger Todd S. said...

I've found that responding with logic is one of the fastest ways to derail most any conversation these days.

June 14, 2011 6:50 AM  
Anonymous Ian Bertram said...

It surprised me to see references to Reggie Perrin from the US, since I always thought of the programme as being very English. Then I thought about your opening sentence and remembered my own problems as a 'wage slave' and realised that the idiocy that prevails in large hierarchical organisations is universal...

June 14, 2011 10:06 AM  
Blogger Bert McDert said...

"Primate" is really broad. Baboons act this way, but not chimps. Chimps have a more decentralized, equal-opportunity power structure, based on one's ability to command voluntary attention (think kids on the playground saying "Hey everybody, check THIS out!"). And guess which ones we're closest to?

June 14, 2011 10:21 AM  
Blogger Scott F said...

KC you're on form yet again.This sounds like my work.

June 14, 2011 1:00 PM  

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