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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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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Dave Pollard on Organizational Behavior

....business 'leaders' don't get it: They tell other people what to do, tell them what they want done, and bring in consultants and experts to help them 'effect change' in their organizations. They cannot fathom that most of what happens in their organizations is workarounds developed by front-line people to make things work in the organization despite the inept and usually inappropriate advice of management and professional advisors who only think they understand what is really going on and why.

And when an industry is cartelized among a handful of firms, the internal policies of each firm are likely to be based on the "industry trend": that is, on what a firm's management hears from equally clueless management at other firms, who know as little as they do about the real effect of their policies on what happens at the level of actual production. The people at the tops of the pyramids can communicate with each other much more effectively than they can monitor what's going on at the lower levels of their own organizations. As R.A. Wilson said, you never tell the truth to a man who's pointing a gun at you; information is systematically filtered as it moves up the hierarchy, until those at the top drown in falsified data. Deming said "drive out fear," but it's easier said than done. The only reliable way to do it may be to reverse the flow of authority, from bottom to top.


Blogger Jeremy said...

I love Pollard's blog, and I'm happy to read the thoughts of a libertarian who appreciates the holistic approach to organizational behavior. He has some great ideas on applying "web2.0" ideas outside of the software industry, too.

My only beef is his abject dismissal of libertarianism, but I guess if he's used to the vulgar type then that's excusable.

BTW, I just read Block's critique of Studies and your rejoinder. I didn't know academic debate could get so down and dirty! I was especially appalled by the ad hominem attack on your social life. Ugh - what is this, high school all over? I laughed out loud at the "kewl kids" comment.

May 04, 2006 6:53 AM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Thanks, Jeremy. I thought his fixation on "Misean," and the significance he read into it, was a little odd. During the process of researching and writing the book, I spent a lot of time debating the ideas with Austrians, including Austrian academicians, in online forums. Among them was Pat Gunning, no slouch when it comes to intellectual debate. And Block was the first person ever to raise the issue of the missing "es."

May 04, 2006 4:20 PM  
Blogger Nick Manley said...

Is it too late to order a hard copy of the JLS issue? Never tried too before so not sure when they usually run out.I am with Jeremy on Block's critique,when I skimmed the responses to your work,his ad hominem criticisms made it hard to take him seriously.

By the way,how's that messed up order of Studies In Mutualist Political Economy doing?

May 04, 2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

I'm not sure about the JLS issue. I'm still waiting to hear on the procedure for ordering back issues.

I found out today that the latest printing of MPE was just shipped today via UPS Ground

May 04, 2006 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well it's hardly surprising that the people who read Kevin's blog are going to say "Clearly Block's ad hominems were feeble and Kevin was right all along". I don't really care about misspellings, which "Misean" is obviously an instance of, but rather about to what extent any of this mutualist-socialist garbage is correct. If it is, then those big corporations should watch out!

May 04, 2006 8:10 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Actually, I thought some of Block's critiques were valid. I just thought he could have written a shorter essay if he'd cut out all the low blows and concentrated on his problems with the work.

I think Reisman should be given credit for dedicating 40 pages to his critique and keeping it largely topical.

May 05, 2006 11:50 AM  

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