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Churn, Churn, Churn

Churn is an organizational philosophy whose central tenet is that you can always replace people. If you agree with that philosophy, you don’t need to worry about losing people, and you don’t really need to care about how they’re doing. It’s a popular philosophy in America, and its applications are legion.

Churn gets applied to material things as well as to people, which is why we have a consumer culture that relies more on replacement than repair. Nowadays, people are struggling so much economically that replacing everything broken with a new model makes little sense. Repair would be a better option for folks (as well as providing gainful employment for anyone who can acquire the skills, thus buttressing local economies) but after roughly twenty-five years of replacement consumerism, there are far fewer competent repairmen, and far less institutional support for the ones we still have. Who’s going to enter a dying profession? What makes things worse is that the philosophy of churn has a generally bad effect on skill levels across whatever group adheres to it. Training falls into disrepute—why invest more than you must in such a temporary relationship?--and the very nature of churn tends to sideline or even eliminate veterans from the organization, thus ending the unofficial training that often happens when experienced workers work alongside novices.

Churn is thus very obvious in consumer culture and the workforce, and it even makes a kind of sense that Americans would find it there. The American economy is about maximizing profit for the few, and if you want to maximize profit, it’s very useful to both devalue workers and decrease the quality of products. It’s a lot more surprising to realize that left-wing activism, for the past forty years or so, has also followed the philosophy of churn. But it has.

It’s basically been assumed since the Reagan years that being a left-wing activist means doing loads of unpaid labor on a shoestring budget under conditions that are brutal for morale. Those conditions are assumed to be inevitable. Maybe, given the political and economic factions that have run the nation for the past 45 years, they are. But that would be more reason to attend to the care and healing of your activist workforce—if you didn’t subscribe to the philosophy of churn. How many times have you heard a left-wing group inquire as to the well-being and happiness of its activists? I never have, except in the specific case of bigotry.

Left-wing groups sometimes go through the process of asking their black, brown, LGBTQ, or female members whether or not they are experiencing bigotry from their white, straight, cis-gendered, or male members. Or, at best, people from such traditionally oppressed groups bring such concerns to the group themselves. Nobody with sense would suggest that a left-wing organization shouldn’t have such a process, since bigotry, apart from being immoral, destroys trust between workers, which in an activist context can be catastrophic. But it’s a long way from Jane accusing Joe of disrespecting her because she’s female and Rhonda accusing Jane of disrespecting her because she’s transsexual to an activist culture that nurtures its workers.

I was a left-wing activist for 30 years. Most of that time, I assumed that any bad feelings I had in connection with my activism were just features of the political landscape—nothing I, or any of my fellow activists, ought to try to deal with in any way—except by bulling through them. Stiff upper lip! Keep working; keep fighting. The one time I reached out for help because I thought I was about to truly burn out, the leader of my organization basically told me just that: any bad feelings or exhaustion should be disregarded; work till you drop. I know that sounds virtuous: maybe even heroic. But underneath it is the idea of churn.

The left badly needs, among many other things, to heal its morale: to rekindle its internal fires. The philosophy of churn, especially if unacknowledged, will make that more difficult, not less. Perhaps it’s time to question our assumptions about ourselves and our work.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

Hope you all are doing well.

I've been having a bit of a problem logging in lately. Many thanks to JtC, who has been giving his time, energy and support generously to try and solve it.

How are you doing today?

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Your essay is a valuable contribution to the conversations this blog has been having. In various ways we have been discussing the deplorable state of the nation now.

Churn and the carelessness with which it treats humans and non-humans, nothing matters everything can be replaced is apparent, if you replace your air-conditioner which chugged along for 20 years, only to see that the new one works well for 5 years.

Many of us feel despair. The destruction of The Left, although I try to deny it, (you know, Bernie has a large bullhorn for the moment,) the dissolution of the Left, seems real and growing.

Not just the Left.

The Middle is also threatened if it challenges the Empire and its Power. That is the situation in NYC. Andrew Yang is not and has never claimed to be a Progressive. Nevertheless his ideas and policies and alliances threaten the bastions of Who Rules New York class struggles. Who rules? Cuomo, Bloomberg,Clintonworld, RW DINOS. Real Estate Owners, Giant Banks, etc.

Churn is apparent everyplace. If you shop at a Target regularly you will rarely see the same employee twice. Check yourself out---no cashiers---are increasingly popular. We are all replaceable.

The authoritarian state seems to be growing and we can not stop it.

Profit and the Power it brings is the only guiding principle.

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NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@NYCVG

for your kind words, and your contribution to the thread.

if you replace your air-conditioner which chugged along for 20 years, only to see that the new one works well for 5 years.

God, yes. I hate this phenomenon. A lot. Tranes, whatever their down sides, could run for up to 30 years. My last one did. A phenomenon replicated in many, many places.

Many of us feel despair. The destruction of The Left, although I try to deny it, (you know, Bernie has a large bullhorn for the moment,) the dissolution of the Left, seems real and growing.

Indeed. But I'm starting to wonder, even granting the despair, wouldn't it be better to use the time and resources we have left to our best advantage--and the advantage of the people, things, and causes we care about? I guess what I'm saying is that I'm slowly starting to emerge from a state of severe depression and what I can only describe as political trauma.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal in digging out from despair, but Israel's genocide has plunged me into the deeper end again.

Don't get me wrong, tho.

Still gardening, out and around the neighborhood, chatting with friends and neighbors, involved in NYC Mayoral election to perhaps an unhealthy degree, family visiting in June and I am planning to travel in the fall.

But I admit that a pall hangs over me that we are heading in the wrong direction in too many ways to stop the descent.

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NYCVG

One form is voluntary. The other is paid.

Volunteers are usually given tasks by paid staff.

Paid staff is just as scared for their jobs as everybody else -- and report to "bosses" just like everybody else. Said "bosses" usually hate to be called that, but they frequently are petty tyrants who affect an air moral superiority to justify being an asshole boss.

Paid staff is at the mercy of donors. Bernie Sanders tried to raise his money from small donors who respond to his message. It would have worked, if . . . . take your pick of explanation. Bottom line is it did not break the monopoly of Big Money over Power.

.

I recently unsubscribed from Move On Dot Org. I had donated what I could afford when Howard Dean was running for President. For more than 15 years after that rather discouraging election, I kept getting emails from them. Most of their notes were requests for money to address the crisis du jour with campaigning -- rallies, billboards, press conferences in support of Ukraingate, for a delicious example of the mindset behind those "leftists."

In the text of these solicitations, one common denominator was "hiring staff" as the purpose at hand.

You never get any emails from Move On Dot Org about whom they hired or what they did -- or most importantly, what they were paid.

.

We need a new culture of activism. I have no idea what it should look like but it should not look like Move On Dot Org and most of the other permanent mobilization companies. They may be non-profit, but money still drives the operation. That needs to change.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@fire with fire

When I was a volunteer activist, becoming paid staff was my personal dream. You're right that it's usually a trap.

I'm really glad you looked at this issue from this point of view, because my thoughts were running on different lines--but this is really important.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@fire with fire

it's usually a hustle.

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11 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@fire with fire

what happens to volunteers. When I started with the Dean movement, I felt (for the first time) that volunteers were truly valued. While we obviously weren't paid for our time, at least we were treated like something other than menial machines.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Individuals don't matter. How appalling, and difficult for me to imagine had it not been shoved in my face so often over the last 5 years, that such an obviously counterfactual belief could take hold in even the wickedest mind. It's like saying the sky's not blue.

It's also like the dead-opposite of the philosophy that no doubt allowed Coco Chanel to survive working under the Third Reich: "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." Maybe it's time people listened to her?

The whole thing also just strengthens my growing belief that Marxism needs to go just as badly as capitalism, because they're "opposites" in a yin-and-yang sense, and as long as we believe in either, we believe in both, and remain trapped on this global death-train.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat .
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The whole thing also just strengthens my growing belief that Marxism needs to go just as badly as capitalism, because they're "opposites" in a yin-and-yang sense, and as long as we believe in either, we believe in both, and remain trapped on this global death-train.

.

I do not call myself a socialist -- not because I think it is wrong, but because it was always an incomplete answer to the power of money, and it is getting more and more obsolete as the decades roll by. Changing ownership of the means of production from private to public, by itself, does nothing whatsoever about climate change and environmental degradation. One can argue that taking "profit" out of the equation will remove the incentive to destroy the planet in pursuit of it.

However, it is not inevitable that State run corporations will pursue ecologically sustainable ends. There will still be a need for political action to specify what that entails. What the last 14 months have shown is that just claiming to speak for "science" does not really end political disputation.

And it shouldn't.

Far more significant for the present thread is the lack of Socialist doctrine on the fundamental questions of civilization. What do you do about fuckups? If you hand out money for nothing, some people will see that as a good reason to get drunk, stoned and real lazy. Most left leaning folks try to turn this question around to a debate about human nature -- claiming that it is the system that turns innocent humans into self-absorbed psychos who would do something like getting fucked up on the public dime as a way of life.

Maybe that is so, but unless the Left comes up with a coherent strategy for a compassionate and workable social heirarchy, we promise nothing but a rightwing caricature of soft headed folly.

I have very little insight into how to go about creating a new kind of social order -- but the most important aspect in my opinion of the new order is smaller polities. People should be able to know their political leaders personally.

Beyond that small is beautiful notion, we must build something new and different PDQ.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

enhydra lutris's picture

@fire with fire

much like we do today

What do you do about fuckups? If you hand out money for nothing, some people will see that as a good reason to get drunk, stoned and real lazy.

Thought problem; consider --

We are no longer hunter gatherers. As a society we can produce more than enough goods and services with only a fraction of the population and those working working only part time. AND we already have a plentiful supply of parasites, CEOs, CFOs, assorted VPs and the like, and we piss away vast wealth on imperialist behavior and the military.

There is and will always be a fraction who really cannot work, and we currently support some of them. There are also the sociopaths at the top who are pretty much pure parasites, producing nothing and adding no value. If instead of luxury cars, luxury suites, caviar and exotic champagne and whiskey those of that ilk were given a free ride on a Target(tm) lounge chair on a public beach and an efficiency apartment with a fridge full of Budweiser(tm), would that be so horrible?

My thinking is that that life is not the attractant that most think it is, that most would avoid it. Experiments in the real world with giving folks a minimum monthly payment, or one time grant show that most recipients put it to use to pay of debts, get education and job training, a place to stay and try to find work.

So, assume that some fraction is natural parasites and naturally lazy, sociopaths and whatever, maybe 10%. If they can get by on a minimum base survival level income, why not let them, if in exchange all the rest of us get a shorter work week and better standard of living with the opportunity to also engage in creative endeavors? Is sharing inherently bad or immoral?

Lose the elites and MIC, the brokers and banksters, put a cap on income and net worth, and put out a call for folks to be builders, makers, farmers and/or gardeners, plumbers, cooks, creators, distributors, drivers and whatever else at a living wage with good medical and ample time off and allow the rest to opt out and just get by and you'd probably be very surprised, and who cares about the handful of freeloaders? Give them cassocks, habits, crowns and titles. make them hidalgos. If no ordinary folks are hurt by it, who cares if one out of 10 doesn't do a damn thing? We're already there in a very real sense.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris
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Get rid of the current parasites and give realistic opportunities for productive work, and just live with the fuckups.

That suggests that over time, people will not tend to want to fuck up. A nice faith. Possibly true.

Maybe we will get to find out. That is a much better prospect than looking at the already too rich continue to destroy us all. But I can't go all the way with you to saying, "Let the lazy be lazy." Over time, I can imagine a lot of folks who choose to work getting annoyed with that 10% who consume but do not contribute.

It is not enough to create Utopia -- you have to live in it for ever.

For our more practical purposes now, I think it is something that deserves thought and debate. Beyond saying that I can live with a certain number of lazy fuckups -- I am pretty sure that it will be easy for defenders of the Status Quo to take that concept and jam it up our asses.

Do you have any thought about what to do if we discovered that people, upon being emancipated from Capitalism, tend to be lazier and creepier than we imagined?

Thanks for the thoughtful post.

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I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

enhydra lutris's picture

@fire with fire

Do you have any thought about what to do if we discovered that people, upon being emancipated from Capitalism, tend to be lazier and creepier than we imagined?

All I can come up with quickly is something like a modernized WWII ration card system - you have to go do a certain minimum amount of "productive" work to get your ticket stamped (electronically, no doubt) for the month. I have no doubt that an infinite amount of such work will always be available as long as we can organize the work groups and ticket stampers, because there is about two or three centuries of garbage cleanup to be done, plastics in the oceans, lakes and rivers, toxic sludge, remediation, etc. Not quite the salt mines because if you can find somebody to let you have a shift at the farm or whatever you could do that instead, etc.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@fire with fire

However, it is not inevitable that State run corporations will pursue ecologically sustainable ends.

Indeed, they hardly ever do, despite having had their chances: The USSR didn't, Hugo Chavez didn't, and China sure as hell-on-Earth doesn't. Marxism is a political religion (reason enough to loathe it, from what I've seen of them), and an insufferably anthropocentric one at that.

Nature is not human-hearted.

- Lao-Tzu

This is why I continue to proudly dub myself a "liberal" - it means "free", and shares linguistic roots with words like "library" (the Marshall Plan comes close, and the Moon Landing is a rival for the title, but public libraries are THE BEST THING AMERICA *EVER* DID!!!), despite so many people I otherwise agree with so foolishly jettisoning it in favor of meaningless, 1-D "wingedness", or "progressive", which in addition to being a visionless yearning to resurrect Teddy Roosevelt as our Eternal Lich-Emperor, a vain attempt to revive the external successes of a bygone era rather than rediscover where their internal mojo really came from...is now best-known as a car-insurance company with a spokeswoman nobody likes (ESPECIALLY not those who work with her, so I've been told - she just had a Mephistopheles of an agent who made sure they couldn't get rid of her).

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

mimi's picture

How Kamala Harris became a victim of the barriers she broke

The daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, she is the first woman, Black person, Asian American, Indian American and biracial woman to serve as vice president. Those firsts have come with their unique set of pressures, primarily for her to embrace her history-making role. And after nearly four months in office, Harris faces criticism that she hasn’t struck the right balance, that she’s focused more often on being the United States’ first Black vice president than the first Asian American one.
...
Politicians and activists of Asian descent have cheered Harris’ ascent. But they want her to speak out more about her Indian heritage, embracing it as she does her Black roots, and advocate for policy issues important to Asian Americans, including legal immigration, Covid-19 disparities and discrimination and hate crimes. They say the need has never been more pronounced, as the discrimination Asians have long faced continues to grow, marked tragically by the March shooting of six women of Asian descent at three Atlanta-area spas.
...
“It’s the complexity of the American identity” (bold is mine - mimi)

Kamala Devi Harris, 56, was born in a place where she was more likely to be identified as Black; grew up surrounded by Black neighbors and friends; and succeeded in politics with the backing of the Black political structure. Harris identifies as both a Black American and South Asian American but Americans often see in her what they want to see.
...
And in a closed-door 90-minute meeting with Biden and a small group of Asian American legislators and activists at Emory University in Georgia, Harris spoke about her Indian roots and her experiences growing up with her mom. Like much of her career trying to juggle race, it was at once moving, emotional, historic — but not quite enough. (bold is mine - mimi)

The article is very long and imho very good. Lots of her life that was unknown to me and to me quite enlightening of who she is, was and identifies as.

I encourage you to read the whole Politico essay. The article has changed my view about Kamala Harris. I am glad I read it.

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@mimi
being the best AMERICAN Vice-President and leave the identity politics aside? I never tried to be the best Italian-American engineer or programmer, just the best.
She has to decide if she is a symbol doing symbolic things or VP of the whole country doing her Constitutional job and, in her case, being de facto President (of ALL the people, not just Democrats) as the real one has no mind left. If she did that and did it well, there would be a cry in the land for her to use the 25th Amendment and it wouldn't look like a coup.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

mimi's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness Indian, Portuguese, Central-African, East European and German born white folks among my closest family members, therefore many things written in the essay of her reminded me of what I experienced to be subject of what has formed a person's life. I don't focus on ID politics, but I do not artificially close my eyes to a person's ancestry and upbringing.

I am not quite sure, if you mean I focus on ID politics, or if Kamala does focus on ID politics. I found the article simply interesting. It told me something about Kamala's bio I did not know. That's all.

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@mimi

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

mimi's picture

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@mimi thanks, here is a working link, I hope. The other had some extraneous junk before the http part:

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/05/18/kamala-harris-asian-americans-4...

Peace and Love

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@eyo
I fixed the link for her.

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mimi's picture

@JtC @eyo

Sorry for the mess I caused for you.

The mysterious computer ghost follows me like Sherlock Holmes searching for the murderer and the victim. Have mercy. Am I the murderer or the victim? I hate my laptop. He does what he wants and it is mostly not what I want. The computer is always smarter and I hate him (computer must be male) for his inherent arrogance. Oh, my hidden sexist in me - shame, shame, shame on me.

Sigh.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@mimi

because I never want my essays to make people think they can't talk about other things. I'm afraid they often do.

It is an OT. Just the OT of someone used to writing essays.

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6 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Churn is an organizational philosophy whose central tenet is that you can always replace people.

I guess that is just another way of saying that people are disposable. It seems there is a general consensus that some people are more disposable than others. What always startles me though, is that idea is so rarely questioned. Humanity appears to be dominated by the worst kind of bullies that behave as if they believe the idea that many other people don't deserve as decent a life as they themselves deserve. How is that even morally acceptable? The fact that "good" people accept this idea, is mind boggling.

If you agree with that philosophy, you don’t need to worry about losing people, and you don’t really need to care about how they’re doing.

Yup.

It’s a popular philosophy in America, and its applications are legion.

Yes again.

This is repeatedly made abundantly clear. Just one small example that illustrates the complete irrelevance of the working class to TPTB was the legislation passed in spring 2020 to ostensibly give "relief" to the people most hurt by the COVID lockdown, when in fact it helped those least affected by that lockdown. We know it was a huge handout of taxpayer money to the most wealthy among us.

So here we are again, a year later with a new administration that was supposed to be soooo much better that the old administration.
We have the Palestinians still and as of last week, more horrifically, portrayed through the corporate media as not being as deserving of a decent life as the Israelis.

The list of examples is too long. We all know that list on this site.

The stark, blatant, in-your-face disregard for the "golden rule" (for lack of better way to explain this concept), which we all learned as children, is incredibly corrosive (in my humble opinion) to our collective psyche. I think it is also corrosive to our collective well-being.

The left badly needs, among many other things, to heal its morale: to rekindle its internal fires. The philosophy of churn, especially if unacknowledged, will make that more difficult, not less. Perhaps it’s time to question our assumptions about ourselves and our work.

I agree. We might start with the idea that people (and the life of this earth) are not disposable, that it is a good thing to care about people and to care about ourselves as well.

I read this article in Naked Capitalism this morning. It speaks to this idea. I don't want to use more than I should, but this strikes me as relevant;

Nobody has any intention to care about whether you live a decently rewarding life. Nobody has any intention to care about whether you live, period.

This is the most depressing part about the whole COVID story — class warfare moved from the realm of economics towards direct physical extermination. And yet the masses not only did not realize what happened, but are cheering for the fact that the virus is now endemic and the US will not do anything about it beyond vaccination. By extension, the same thing is happening in most of the rest of the world.

The proper reaction was to realize that this is the ruling class telling everyone “you are physically disposable and we will readily end your life if it suits our purposes”, and to act accordingly, but not such awareness developed — the propaganda machine did its job marvelously.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/05/biden-administration-cdc-mission...

Thanks CSTM.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx

I will pop over to Naked Capitalism when I get back, so I can properly respond to your post.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx

I will pop over to Naked Capitalism when I get back, so I can properly respond to your post.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

@randtntx period.

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NYCVG

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@randtntx

I notice that Yves is pretty adamant against the lab-leak origin hypothesis. Personally, I'm really sick of people dumping all the ideas they don't like into one big "Conspiracy Theory" category. Each side has one. Just like there's bad guys and good guys and each team knows exactly who those people are, there are also Bad Ideas and Good Ideas.

But your main point--and that of the author of the article--is well taken: the public good is simply not a factor in policy decisions.

We might start with the idea that people (and the life of this earth) are not disposable, that it is a good thing to care about people and to care about ourselves as well.

Indeed.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

ovals49's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
These are two very different questions. Both currently lack undeniable scientific proof yet both tend to be either dismissed out of hand or enthusiastically advocated. Both are definitely found in the big “Conspiracy Theory” bucket.

A career science writer with solid credentials wrote a very interesting and very detailed exploration about what we know about this virus. He finds neither scientific proof nor scientific denial of the lab origins theory. What he concludes, however, is an assessment that that the probability of lab origins is more probable than the virus having originated by natural process of adaptation through an as yet unknown series of animal intermediaries.

If you’re curious and have an hour or so to burn here is the link: Origin of Covid — Following the Clues, Nicholas Wade

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“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@ovals49

"they cooked it up in a lab and deliberately released it" theory. I guess that's always a possibility, b/c you could have a crazy person working at a high enough level to do something like that--but I don't believe that the Chinese government decided to create this thing and release it in Wuhan. That's just too damned stupid for them. They have faults and sins like every empire, bad things they've done to both their own people and others, but I've never seen the Chinese government make a decision that would endanger China itself to such a degree. Releasing an epidemic within your own borders? I don't think so. The stories that China did that always seemed to me to be bog-standard "Hate the Foreigner" stuff.

What you said here is really the most important point:

Both currently lack undeniable scientific proof yet both tend to be either dismissed out of hand or enthusiastically advocated. Both are definitely found in the big “Conspiracy Theory” bucket.

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"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Lookout's picture

so does the economic system. A tree isn't valued until it is lumber. That is a broken system just as your examples of people and products not having value...castaways in the landfill of life.

I seem to always return to the idea of stepping outside (literally and symbolically) the system. We can't escape totally, but we can create a microclimate of our own.

I'm about to gather with my FL buddies and go canoeing, swimming, hiking, and playing music. That sure will be an escape for me. Hope you and yours are doing well!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

Multiple TAZes and SPAZes are the way to go. (Temporary and Semi-Permanent Autonomous Zones). In a small way, we to some extent have one here in this website, but we need to go much farther.

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/hakim-bey-t-a-z-the-temporary-au...

Thanks so much for stopping by the thread. I gotta run right now, but I'd love to talk about this more.

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7 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Lookout

I'd love to see y'all.

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

Seems that the current assumptions within the capitalist system we have is that there is a small indispensable class who generate all progress, goodness and profit. And as a result, deserve all of the system's rewards, even when they fail.

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9 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@MrWebster

I also want to talk about this more.

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7 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

enhydra lutris's picture

@MrWebster

Government, to Media/Think tank, to Company X, etc. CEO's get booted, but invariably hired by somebody else unless they are one of the extremely few who winds up doing time.

be well and have a good one

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6 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Raggedy Ann's picture

I worked for a place that believed in churn, once. It got me through college so I worked hard not to get caught up in the motion of the churn.

Love others and yourself. Have a happy day! Pleasantry

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9 users have voted.

The UFO’s are coming to unify us.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Raggedy Ann

I hope all is going well with you.

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

CS in AZ's picture

I happen to possess certain specific technology skills, as well as years of institutional knowledge, that my employer cannot replace easily or cheaply. They, like most employers, give lip service to things like caring about retention and valuing the staff as people, but they don't really, and we all know it. Only if you have something truly unique or rare that they really need, do they care at all.

So when we got the call back recently to return to the office full time, with no exceptions for "personal preferences" regardless of your experience, position or anything else, I had to chose if I would accept that or not. I chose not to accept the ultimatum.

I am a few years away from when I had planned to retire, but I decided I'd rather scale way back on expenses and go without insurance for 2.5 years waiting for Medicare, rather than go back to that daily grind. I told my supervisor last Monday. On Friday she asked me to write a 'request' for an exception with a 'rationale' for why they should grant it. LOL. She does not want me to retire, it seems, and so is going to try to fight the higher ups on this. Great. (I guess.) So I wrote my "request" (which said essentially: I need to continue working remotely for my personal health and well-being; if that is not possible then I will retire before the RTO data of Aug. 2.) Now we wait to hear what they say.

If I were not in the unique position I'm in, it wouldn't be a question at all. There's a good chance they will still say no, bad examples and all that, which is actually fine by me. I quickly got used to the idea of bailing on this job sooner than later, and was a bit let down honestly when my supervisor wanted to fight for me to stay. We'll see what happens. Churn philosophy will probably win though, because the people at the top are not directly affected by the impact of my departure. The people I work with, will be. That is the unfortunate reality of it.

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8 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@CS in AZ

In that a combination of luck and work put you into a position where you're not utterly at the mercy of those turning the screw.

I think your reasoning on all of it is pretty damned sound, although going without insurance for 2 1/2 years is more scary than usual.

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7 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

CS in AZ's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

That's really the only reason I am considering sticking around, if they grant my request meet my demands. But the job as it was, was making me sick. I only really see that now in retrospect. I always thought I would do better working remotely (for lots of reasons) but had no way to prove it. Now, I know. This past 14 months I have changed so much, and I'm unquestionably far healthier now. So I figured, better to chose the path where I might stay healthy, rather than go back to something that will rob me of my health again, just to have the insurance to pay for what it does to me. I know it's a roll of the dice - isn't pretty much everything? But my husband is on board and you know what, we've been broke and even bankrupt before. Didn't kill us. If we end up in medical bankruptcy through some random bad luck, so be it. Still not giving in to their gun-to-the-head attitude. It's really too bad the CEO is such a dinosaur, who simply cannot imagine how people are actually working if he can't see them sitting at a desk.

And you are right that I am only able to do this because I'm very lucky to be where I am right now in life. I appreciate that every day.

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7 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

are Not Assets and vice versa. Stationery, tape, pencils, pipe fittings, gaskets, non-union manual laborers, etc. They are used once and discarded or used until used up and discarded. The "used up" portion of that blurs the line. A roll of tape is expendable, use it until its gone and get more. A tool lathe, otoh, can be used up as well if not properly maintained, and may well become obsolete and need replacement or upgrading, but it is nonetheless an asset.

An electric drill or circular saw can be either, depending upon the user. 1) Get a top of the line unit, maintain it well and do quality work with it for many, many years. 2) Buy a cheap piece of crap and do volumes of mass production so-so work until it burns out of is no longer capable even for low quality work and toss it. They both have the same general name and purpose, but one is an asset and one is an expendable supply.

Now, about that Vice-President of sales. They will always think that they are an asset, but if net revenue from sales does not continue to rise, they quickly become expendable.

It all boils down to cost-benefit, the driving force behind everything US and/or modern. Volunteers are free, except for the necessary expendable supplies you must give them such as office supplies, workspace, poster-board, etc. If you have to provide them emotional support and/or the occasional lunch, if you have to track their well-being in order to keep them from burning out, those are added costs both of time and material and emotional costs too. If you have multiple volunteers you really have to get a "volunteer coordinator" whose task is to keep the others productive while keeping them from burning out, which entails more costs, or simply declare them all to be expendable.

To break out of that, they must all become comrades, of each other and of whomever is running the show and whomever is benefiting from their endeavors. Teams and teammates have become corrupted as ideas and terms by business management fads, though the underlying concept is there. Teammate, tovarich, comrade, compadre, popolo (plural) etc. At every subunit level we must all be together in the one for all and all for one idea, which requires a diminution of ego and an elimination of sociopathy. That's hard, tres beaucoups hard, but things will fragment and crash if it cannot be implemented to at least a moderate degree.

be well and have a good one

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8 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@enhydra lutris

"The Measure of a Man," in which Data has to go to court to determine whether he is a sentient being or the property of Starfleet, has something to say about this:

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4 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

earthling1's picture

I've been a member of the Sprinklerfitters Union for fifty years now. Retired for seventeen.
When I became an Apprentice in 1971, I was guaranteed gainful employment, schooling in night classes, and most importantly, on the job training by every journeyman I worked with.
To gain a wide range of experience, Apprentices were "rotated" every 18 months to another sprinkler contractor, some of whom were small mom & pop shops, to large international corporate behemoths specializing in huge projects.
After 5 years I was qualified to earm my journeymans card and to work with any contractor I wanted to.
But with that card came the responsibility to become the tutor, the trainer, and teacher, of every apprentice assigned to me.
When I retired I was replaced by the apprentices I trained. And by now they are being replaced by apprentices they have trained. As has been done for over a hundred years. The concept itself, thousands of years old.
How does this history relate to the subject of churn?
To my mind, it is the answer. Unionism. The Craft of the Tradesman still exists today.
With respect to The Liberal Moonbat's comment that Marxism and Capitalism are a type of ying/yang and yet the same, I would posit that in Marxism, the collective is most important and the individual is disposable. Whereas in capitalism the consumer is most important, collectively, but the individual is not.
But neither system can survive without their own particular collective.
I see unionism as the best of both.
The "collective barganing" of the labor union counters the "collective negotiating" of the Contractors Assoc.
Much like the mechanisms of Big Pharma, the Bar Assoc. the U.S. Chambers of Commerce, even the American Medical Assoc. labor unions represent the interests of its members. All of them have dues paying members that support elected representatives and have a written constitution.
Just like our own American Government.
Union members bridge the gap between the collective and the consumer, because as individuals, they are both.
IMHO

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10 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

enhydra lutris's picture

@earthling1

Union members bridge the gap between the collective and the consumer, because as individuals, they are both.

That's why the US, a rentier capitalist state ab initio, was waged war on them since day one. Revitalizing them would help, but they are, sadly, in decline with the forces stacked against them.

be well and have a good one

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7 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

@enhydra lutris
is an understatement.
Your Roosevelt quote describes todays America. Labor unions are an intergral part and necessary check in true Capitalism. Witness Henery Ford, a notorious fascisist sympathizer, believing his workers should be able to buy the autos they were making. Even he knew he had to have paying consumers to survive as a business.
The thought that the typical factory worker in 1900 earned less than a dollar a day is appalling, but even more appalling is waiters in some states today, a 120 years later,are only being paid $2.25 an hour.
My starting wage at White Front Stores in 1964 was $1.61 an hour.
We've come a long ways, baby. To borrow a phrase.
Thanks for your kind response, EL.

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9 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

PriceRip's picture

Churn is an organizational philosophy whose central tenet is that you can always replace people. If you agree with that philosophy, you don’t need to worry about losing people, and you don’t really need to care about how they’re doing. It’s a popular philosophy in America, and its applications are legion.

And the rest that you wrote . . .

          certainly described many of the "middle management" where I was employed, but with respect to the activists in my region none of what you wrote was in evidence. I knew that as I arrived in Nebraska that I was losing touch with the west coast (and other urban and/or urbane influences). At first, even as the place seemed a bit quaint, there tended to be a weird kind of an authenticity "in the air", that encouraged me to keep on keeping on.

          I adopted the position that these people defaulted to a cooperative mode in certain circumstances because Winters on the plains were so deadly your only chance for survival was cooperation with your neighbor, no matter what. Don't get me wrong it was not a paradise, or "Won't you be my neighbor . . ." atmosphere. But, there was, overall, a history that permeated the collective psyche at some level.

          As I have said elsewhere I am amazed by how much that community changed over the course of nearly four decades as the result of "we the people" actions and vision.

Have a good day,

RIP

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7 users have voted.