Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Why Corporate Executives Are Stupid

For all of Stanley Bing's executive expertise, he can't see the forest for the trees:
What do you think the boys at the Big Three auto companies were thinking about when each took his own private jet to Washington to ask for help?..Are they stupid?
The answer to this question has been obvious to Pretty Lady, since about three weeks into her first temporary corporate secretarial job. The answer is that 'stupidity' is an entirely irrelevant concept, in the context of Corporate America. The behavior of corporate executives, managers, and employees cannot be analyzed with reference to intelligence, or lack thereof; it is simply more or less well-adapted to an entire structure which is rooted in the mechanics of animal dominance.

As Pretty Lady learned, partly from personal experience, and partly from the book 'Games Mother Never Taught You: Corporate Gamesmanship for Women,' the corporate universe is not based upon the laws of physics as we have come to understand them. It is entirely controlled by the laws of testosterone, which give rise to absurd displays of posturing, buffoonery, showmanship, aggression, control, spin, mendacity, and irrelevance.

When viewed in the light of these laws, taking three corporate jets to Washington in order to ask for a large sum of money makes perfect sense. One does not obtain things in corporate America by being competent, sensible, generous and humble; one obtains things by flashy displays of power. This system is sustained and abetted by the meek acquiescence of the non-powerful, who put their heads down and go along with it in order to survive.

(Whether or not this sheeplike complicity in institutional narcissism is voluntary or fully determined by circumstance is an open question; Pretty Lady is not qualified to state an opinion. She herself, being both non-belligerent and non-acquiescent by nature, opted to flee the system as much as possible. This has not spared her from the collective economic doom approaching us, but at least she's familiar with the exigencies of poverty.)

What seems clear to her is that our collective American persona of belligerence, entitlement, self-righteousness, exploitation, and herd mentality is finally reaping its consequences, and that there is no way we can escape it. As Peter Schiff so correctly points out, we have been living beyond our means for decades, feeding off the labor of others while providing little of value ourselves. There is no recourse. We're going to suffer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The answer to this question has been obvious to Pretty Lady, since about three weeks into her first temporary corporate secretarial job.

I believe something may be missing from the clause that begins "since..."

Too much turkey? (I know that's the case with me.)