Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Yars’ Revenge Motif

     If you remember the best-selling Atari 2600 video game Yars’ Revenge, you must surely remember the “free-roaming mines that hunt the player's ship.” If you don’t...or if you’d rather not admit to being that’s a brief description.

     The player controlled the “Yar.” The mission was to destroy an enemy called the “Qotile,” which was protected by a thick barrier. To make that possible, the Yar had to erode the barrier a block at a time. The player did this by pressing the Yar against it. However, there was a limit to how long he could do that at any given time: a slow-moving “free-roaming mine” would home in on the Yar and pursue it unceasingly across the screen. Needless to say, if the mine were to catch the Yar, it was “game over.” So the player had to combine his assault on the Qotile’s protective barrier with continuous awareness and evasion of the mine.

     No, this isn’t a throwaway column about old video games. It’s an abstract disquisition on the Google / James Damore episode and Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics.

     There’s nothing terribly deep about the behavior of the Left. It seeks total power over all things and in all venues. Its ideas are trash, multiply debunked over the centuries and around the world. Therefore it cannot win the power it seeks in the arena of civil discourse and debate. And therefore, it must use the other methods available to it.

     As I’ve said several times here (and innumerable times elsewhere), any hierarchical organization offers a kind of power to him who can contrive to ascend through its hierarchy. Leftists, being obsessed with power, will pursue such opportunities assiduously. Their single-minded lust for power gives them an edge over other contenders. Once they attain command altitude in an organization, they use their authority to prevent anyone “not of our kind” from rising to challenge them. The struggles within the Science Fiction Writers of America ought to have demonstrated this process beyond all possible doubt.

     Thus, the following outline applies to hierarchical organizations and their “life cycle” at this time. (NB: The outline can also be applied to noncommercial organizations. Consider the parallels in the clergies of the various Christian denominations.)

  • The beginning: enterprising persons conceive the conceptual “zygote” of the organization-to-be.
  • The newly conceived organization goes to work developing the product or service it has imagined. We may call this the “embryo” stage. In the course of doing so, it may bring in persons who weren’t part of the “zygote.”
  • Commercially valuable talent being only loosely correlated with political alignments, as the embryo develops it may incorporate persons with a Leftist bent. However, in that early period, those persons must possess the skills and the drive the young enterprise needs.
  • The embryo completes its first offerings and puts them in the market.
  • If the early offerings succeed, the organization’s growth accelerates. Its ranks will expand as it gains market share. It will also develop a hierarchy.

     Let’s pause here to look at the dynamics. To this point the enterprise has been concerned almost exclusively with commercial assets: the talent and energy required to establish itself in the marketplace. Nothing else has mattered to whoever does the recruiting. However, the emergence of a hierarchy alters the dynamic subtly. The division of labor makes it necessary that some direct others. Thus, new hires are no longer chosen solely on the basis of their skill sets and dedication. They must show a willingness to do as they’re told.

     Those who direct can influence the job satisfactions and livelihoods of those who must comply. As the organization acquires further levels of management, the complexity of the personal relationships involved ramifies and accelerates.

     An organization with four or more levels in its hierarchy will also acquire specialized authority-niches: sectors that serve the rest of the organization by taking responsibility for specific functions. Some of these, such as accounts receivable and payroll, are essentially benign. However, there are others that can become cancers capable of devouring the enterprise. The worst is the Human Resources (HR) department.

     Take a moment to review the fiction snippet in this piece. Then get yourself some more coffee. We’ve got a way to go yet.

     The ever more complex internal workings of a growing organization make it necessary to consider “chemistry” in assigning Smith to work with Jones and Davis: Will they get along? That is, are their personalities and occupational styles sufficiently compatible for productive collaboration? The answer can be critical to the success or failure of an effort. The division of the organization into departments, groups, and teams can only mitigate the problem to a limited extent.

     In the usual organization of substance, the HR department acts as a filter for applications for employment. Baldly put, if the HR department turns thumbs-down on a candidate, he won’t be hired no matter what his intellect, credentials, or experience. Moreover, the HR department is almost never called upon to justify a negative decision. That would destroy the separation of functions that gave rise to the HR department in the first place.

     But beyond that, the HR department is routinely tasked with the development of policy manuals that delineate required, acceptable, and forbidden employee behavior. In this as in its other functions, the HR department will receive very little supervision. No one actually wants to be involved in such things...except for those who really, truly, and ardently want to be involved in such things: they who are dictators by nature.

     Seldom will even top management take the trouble to review HR’s policy manuals and rule on their fitness. Thus, HR can put out essentially anything it wants, and can later justify its decisions and decrees as “standing policy” founded on “the company’s experiences.” It’s not unknown for an HR department to retroactively alter a policy manual, claim that the alteration was the real policy all along, and use it to discipline employees for behavior that was previously deemed acceptable, in a corporate analogue to an ex post facto law.

     It should come as no surprise that the power-seekers of the Left regard the HR department as their first target, whose infiltration and conquest are essential to its broader aims.

     Outside the special HR bastion, the process of Leftist colonization develops almost imperceptibly. Much of it occurs through the policy manuals and the procedures HR institutes to arbitrate conflicts between employees. As we can see from the James Damore / Google incident, it can reach a point after which the expression of disapproved opinions – which need have no explicit political coloration – can result in the purge of the “offending” employee. The rationale is almost always along the lines of “after this, no one will want to work with him:” a prediction that cannot be reviewed objectively.

     My Gentle Readers might be wondering why this phenomenon penalizes only those whose views are disapproved by the Left. Quite simply, we in the Right prize capability and efficiency. We regard minor differences and frictions as “just what happens” when significant numbers of people must work together; we work around them rather than allowing them to obsess us. We’re more interested in commercial achievement than power. Contrariwise, politics and power are everything to the Left.

     Of course, the “progressive” campaign to make every sort of “tolerance” except tolerance of conservative opinions, and “victims” out of every imaginable identity group except white men and Christians, is a large component of this dynamic. Yet even without that trend, the Left would pursue power over others in every sort of context just as determinedly as it does today. Like the “free-roaming mine” that relentlessly pursued the Yar, it’s “the nature of the beast.”

     A beast will always act according to its nature.

     Lately I’ve been asked by several Gentle Readers to turn my attention to remedies and solutions: less “where are we” and more “what should we do.” I appreciate the input, really I do, but some problems don’t have straightforward solutions. Moreover, as I’ve said before, the only effective counter to a dynamic is an equal or stronger opposed dynamic. Just now, I don’t know of one.

     Robert Conquest’s Second Law of Politics presents the only hope I can find:

     Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.

     As older organizations allow their commercial orientation to be diluted and displaced by political considerations, they will grow commercially weaker. That will render them vulnerable to competition from new companies that reject the “progressive” orientation and the dynamic it imposes. The new companies will have a natural edge...but only for as long as they successfully resist Leftist infiltration.

     Always bear in mind the “Yars’ Revenge” motif: The Left will forever pursue available power wherever it may be found. And it will move far more quickly than that “free-roaming mine.”

     It seems a paradox, a contradiction immune to resolution: to defeat the politicized dinosaurs, the new companies must be explicitly right-wing. In particular, they must never, ever allow themselves to sprout the HR departments that are the prime targets of the Left. But how that could be made to work – the adoption of an explicitly political orientation in an organization that seeks to exclude those who would politicize it – is unclear, especially given the state of American labor law in this Year of Our Lord 2017.

1 comment:

xmaddad1 said...

Fran, as I have read so many of these type of articles it seems that the only way for us to end this problem is to apply the 'final solution' to these people. The only to rid ourselves of these vermin is to root them out and apply the 45/9mm solution whenever they are found. I realize that this seems like a very strict policy, but, there is no other way to cleanse society of these people who 'Know Better how to Improve the Human Race'.