Social control Archives

January 25, 2008

Democracy for oligarchy

Noice how Father Smiff is so often pithish and to the point -- that is, when free of his sodomitic walt Mitty-ish daydreams... frolicking with a brace of mocha slave boys at his country villa... imagining the screams of bloody proscription haunting his neighborhood... er, where was I? At any rate Doc Smith asks us in a recent post "Whatever became of the people's own agency?"

Hell of a grand question. What has happened to direct mass action by the first world multitude?

Well, here's one avenue not crowded with a zillion heads wanting to be movers and shakers... our blessed union rank and filers. Most places these wage-clipped souls are being somehow co-opted by... mon Dieu, their own representative democracy!

An article I recently read somewhere (now alas misplaced) gives a nice MIT Sloan School industrial-relations take on this revoltin' development. Its upshot: a close examination of recent labor developments in Italy and Ireland suggests, contrary to conventional wisdom, that associative democracy, not top-down dictat, allows working class leadership the best shot at moderating rankers' "militant wage demands."

Yes, that's right, top-down self-perpetuating outfits, like unions spontaneously become over time, will ultimately lose the handle on job site level demands -- short of Benito and castor oil tactics -- only the steady injection of due and just process, combined with a fair airing of views, and, most importantly, one-member one-vote referenda, will lead over the longer haul to moderation negotiation and class harmony.

In short: "you piecards got to get the mates to do it -- voluntarily." That is, if you want wage increases to remain below the threshold of serious profit squeezery.

As we all too well know in our imperfect market world, for-profit managements, even just budget-constrained managements, have some degree of freedom to raise prices. So when profits are about to be squozen... yes, this triggers increases, and the increases spread through the system, triggering cost based increases, and then more wage reaction increases till nothing but wasteful inflationary spirals obtain. After all, you can't end up with 130% of the whole deal, now can you?

So profits and wages chase their own tails to nowhere, till the macro authorities (in grief or glee ) are forced to engineer a credit contraction, and let the burgeoning jobless sack eventually cool the fevered brow of wagery's rash ambition. Thoughts most foul indeed, eh?

More "democracy" is not the solution here, it's the problem. One vote per member, each equal to another, ends the rule of intensity. The will of the militant minority gets itself swamped by a flood of well meaning... just being realistic... don't give a shit cynical... apathetic... personal addictions-dominated and compulsions-distracted... exploiter-compatible go-along types.

The majority usually has the sense the pies laid out the reality, aired the debate fair and square, played by the rules and won anyway So hey "you hotheads, shut up and put up... you had your say!"

BTW obviously this works best the larger the unit involved -- i.e. national wage pacts, broad sectoral inclusions, etc. And better still, the more the lower cadre are beholden to the upper cadre, the more remote the peak of the outfit from the base, the more layers of hierarchy and yet the more direct and regular the voting in of the various layers of officialdom.

Yes, it will all work great, you'll have harmonics incorporated, so long as the mates' local "officials" can be fixed, of course, despite direct election from below.

But this is easy too, so long as this same on the spot leadership has a sense of investment in the institution and process, and as a result encourages due process to head toward stability and thus the correct moderated conclusion -- and persists in encouraging this sane calm open-minded posture even against red hot ragers. The haunch of the votin' rankers will generally vote in the reasonable compromise the profiteers require -- that is, the majority will vote yes to their own handcuffs and toxic pill packets. And alas they'll swallow 'em too, and prolly more often than not blame their subsequent pain on "can't be helped unforeseeable outside conditions."

The lesson for top level social engineer policy staff types is obviously the same institutional Rx for unions as the mind wizards prescribe for civil society as a whole: If you want unity of action at the top and at the same time willing pliability at the base -- use, errr, democratic centralism.

Heard that anywhere before?

February 28, 2008

A question of competence

ACLU calls out US over 'absurd bloating' of terror watch list

More that 900,000 people are currently listed as suspected terrorists on the US government's "do not fly" list, and that number will grow to beyond 1 million by summer, says the American Civil Liberties Union.

"If there were a million terrorists in this country, our cities would be in ruins," Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's Technology and Liberty Program, stated in a press release from the group. "The absurd bloating of the terrorist watch lists is yet another example of how incompetence by our security apparatus threatens our rights without offering any real security."

"....Homeland Security's handling of the watch lists is typical of this administration's blundering approach to the war on terror," said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Tim Sparapani.

This is reagent-quality liberalism, isn't it? All the totalitarian premises are explicitly endorsed -- the dire threat of "terrorists", the legitimacy of a "war on terror", the need for a "watch list". In fact the only problem with the secret police is that they're incompetently managed. Liberals would run the Inquisition much better.

January 3, 2009

Then as now

Never say our rulers aren't consistent. Here's fifty years of social control in a nutshell.

Alan Greenspan, 2007:

“I was aware that the loosening of mortgage credit terms for subprime borrowers increased financial risk, and that subsidised home ownership initiatives distort market outcomes. But I believed then, as now, that .... Protection of property rights, so critical to a market economy, requires a critical mass of owners to sustain political support.”
William Levitt (of Levittown), circa 1957:
"No man who owns his own house and lot can be a Communist -- he has too much to do."

January 20, 2009

This land is their land

I incautiously followed a link, just now, sent to me in an email, and nearly lost my breakfast. I warn you, this is not for the faint of heart:

(If you don't see the thing embedded above, and you're really a glutton for punishment, here's the URL):

On a slightly different note, the Washpost offers an opportunity for cognitive dissonance -- that is, if anybody were bothering to do any cognition:

Obama takes the oath of office under the tightest security for an official event in the city's history, with a large swath of downtown Washington closed to vehicular traffic. About 28,000 law enforcement and military personnel have been deployed in and around Washington....

The security force is more than 50 percent larger than the contingent assembled four years ago for Bush's second inauguration.

So let me get this straight: Mr Change and Hope has assembled a Praetorian guard for his Roman triumph bigger, by half and then some, than the one the evil fascist chimp, our own homegrown Elagabalus, laid on four years ago.

Is this is the kind of "progress" that "progressives" had in mind?

Oh, I know what you're going to say: Smith, save your breath. No height of absurdity will remain unscaled today, no abyss of bathos unplumbed, and as old Reagan memorably observed, facts are stupid things.

November 3, 2009

A fatuous referendum

According to the editors of the Morning Perception Management, voters will flock to the polls today to cast their votes in what it is tacitly a referendum on President Obama's regime. The editorial enthymeme is that they're too stupid to consider local issues and so spiteful that they'll consider casting a symbolic vote for or against the regime, even if it means voting for something or someone they consider contemptible. The spite will be interpreted through the MPM preemptively, as it is now, and post facto, to ensure plausible continuity with previous interpretive extravagance.

As with any misanthropic caricature, there are enough spiteful people to form a photo op and provide a few appalling interviews. Neurotic pseudo-intellectuals will fret competitively over the implications of their existence. Meanwhile, about 65 to 70% of the electorate won't make it to the polls. Indifference, disgust, work and family will claim their time. Most of those that do make it will be voting on the same machines that have been causing so much trouble, even without the hallowed tradition of rigging and fraud. One might think that all the official encomiums paid to democratic proceduralism would get us a federal holiday for voting, possibly a functional infrastructure for it too, and one would be wrong. Gassy idolatry and a sanctimony empty enough to be cynical trump republican sentiments.

High turnout theoretically favors Democrats. But rather than working over time to facilitate that, they bend their efforts to normalizing the grandiose rhetoric of candidates immediately to their right and delegitimizing their more popular activists, with predictable consequences. A year ago, Barack Obama's election was touted by them as a repudiation of the Bush regime and the Republican Party. Now they're getting ready to lose seats in municipal and state governments.

October 2, 2010

Gratuitous Lockdown Syndrome

From suicidal ideation to...

The man's family was escorted from the home, neighbors were also evacuated and a nearby elementary school was put on lockdown.

Police eventually went into the home and detained the man about 7 p.m.

Are there any non-hysterical police left in the country? They sent a SWAT team to cope with a guy having a bad day. From there, they disrupted hundreds of people's lives. Then, and only then, they decided it might be a good idea to talk to him. I'd write it off as Phoenix, where grandiosity competes with paranoia and real estate fraud. But this is a national phenomenon.

December 1, 2010

They say I'm hard to please...

... but in fact there are a good many people I like more than not: Fidel, Hugo, Noam, Alex, Ralph, Mahmoud.... Of late, Julian occupies a place of honor in this mini-pantheon:

I've been very surprised and puzzled by a pandemic tendency on the Left to look the Wikileaks gift horse in the mouth. Reactions have ranged from the ho-hum ("Nothing new here") to the Chicken Little ("The leaks give the US a better pretext to attack Iran") to the downright conspiratorial ("Assange is a CIA asset").

I find this Grinchery hard to understand.

Of course, for us Lefties, it's certainly true there's nothing especially new and startling. The cables, to the extent that they have any interest, generally confirm what we already thought we knew (though the business about Hillary Clinton trying to hoover up UN staffers' credit card numbers was novel; I wasn't expecting that.) And then one would hardly expect the State Department to be privy to the really juicy stuff, anyway.

in fact it's the very consistency of the material with previously observed patterns that leads me personally to conclude that it is just what it appears to be, and that Assange is also just what he appears to be -- a very intelligent Aspergerish computer nerd with a strong moral streak. That may sound odd, but the fact is, I know dozens of people just like Assange, and love 'em all.

It surely comes as no surprise, for example, to hear that all the US puppet rulers running the reactionary Arab regimes hate Iran like poison. I assume this is Ahmadinejad's reason for dismissing the cables as fabrications -- he wants to preserve the decent diplomatic hypocrisies with the neighboring regimes, even though he knows, who better, that they would love to see the last of him and everybody like him.

Or hey, maybe he's just like so many of my email comrades and really buys the Sinister CIA Plot theory. He's not answering my desperate emails. Prick.

I personally find the Sinister CIA Plot scenario unpersuasive. (Sorry, Mahmoud, my brother.) These fiendishly elaborate, hyper-refined, wheels-within-wheels schemes that we love to give our lords and masters credit for -- no. I don't think they really work that way.

Complicated machinery can't be depended on. Bombs, on the other hand -- they're a well-understood technology, and if you blow somebody up with a bomb, that person will no longer be a problem.

Now the Empire has more bombs than it knows what to do with. So why would it resort to some ultra-Machiavellian double- or triple-false-flag Rube Goldberg device? Particularly when the material falls well short of Zimmermann Telegram standards?

It just doesn't add up.

So: if the material that Wiki has Leaked is so anodyne -- why are our lords and masters so furious about it becoming public? Are they just faking it? For some super-crafty reason of their own?

I don't think so. I think they're really pissed. And it's not because the material in itself is so explosive. No. It's just because they've been disobeyed.

Being obeyed is just the thing they must have. After all, there are more of us than there are of them. So docility, fearfulness, and compliance on our part is indispensable to our rulers. If they say something is secret, it must stay secret. If they say we have to take off our shoes, we have to take off our shoes.

My man Assange has shown them that it's not so easy to control the horizontal, and the vertical. Bless him, and long may he live to drive them insane.

December 6, 2010

Two can play at that game

It always makes me happy, wildly giddily happy, when people fight back with whatever modest means are at their disposal:

Anonymous attacks PayPal in 'Operation Avenge Assange'

Anonymous has launched a broad-ranging campaign in support of Wikileaks, starting with a DDoS assault on a PayPal website.

The denial of service attack lasted for eight hours and resulted in numerous service disruptions, Panda Security reports [1]. The group [2], spawned from anarchic message board 4chan, first came to prominence with a long running campaign against the church of Scientology... [Anonymous] said on its website:

While we don’t have much of an affiliation with WikiLeaks, we fight for the same reasons. We want transparency and we counter censorship. The attempts to silence WikiLeaks are long strides closer to a world where we can not say what we think and are unable to express our opinions and ideas....
Operation Avenge Assange [3] will incorporate a combination of political lobbying (writing to MPs etc), a consumer boycott of PayPal as well as practical support (mirroring) and advocacy for Wikileaks. The traditional denial of service attacks will also come into play with an assault against the ®
Okay, okay, all you Grinches out there, I hear ya. This sort of thing is utterly futile -- until suddenly it isn't. Robin Hood didn't bring down the Plantagenet monarchy, either. But we still remember him.

About Social control

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Stop Me Before I Vote Again in the Social control category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Snoopmeisters is the previous category.

Social insecurity is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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