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Amazon's Workplace Atmosphere and The NYT's Expose' Article

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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 09:47 PM
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a reply to: boohoo


The two above quotes are STRAIGHT from the Original Post. Are these concepts, not, Fascist in nature?

Certainly not. You could just as well call them Communist, or Confucian for that matter. They would fit any doctrine that privileges the group over the individual equally well.


So to get back on the topic that I have been discussing, the USA, AS A WHOLE, has more qualities aligning with Neo-Mercantilism, Neo-Feudalism and Fascism, than it does socialism or social democracy, as practiced in Europe.

But that isn't the thread topic.

As I said at the beginning of this thoroughly amusing correspondence, you are trying to make the thread topic fit with your preconceived political views. It won't.

This is simply an isolated news item about a personnel management issue at a big, famous company. Nothing to do with Neobobulism or Neobibbiholism or Neobobobbitry or any of those other Neobigwords that political extremists coin to make their wolf-crying sound scarier.


edit on 2/9/15 by Astyanax because: of a meaningful distinction.




posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 10:14 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
This is simply an isolated news item about a personnel management issue at a big, famous company. Nothing to do with Neobobulism or Neobibbiholism or Neobobobbitry or any of those other Neobigwords that political extremists coin to make their wolf-crying sound scarier.


This is NOT an isolated event, this is the NORM in the USA and it gets worse every year.

Are you familiar with Legality and Hunt (1842)?

Between 1842 and 1929 gradually workers thought that the economy was good enough, therefore, not needing Organized Labor anymore. That mentality led to a participation decline and the masses organically undid what they had gained from the Legality and Hunt case, that is, until the stock market crashed. Laborers then suddenly realized how important the organized labor movement was again.

People like you downplay the long term affects of policies like these being practiced by Amazon and other similar companies and that is a slippery slope that I would not prefer to go down. But, as you have shown, those whom oppose your beliefs, will have to work VERY hard to root out and put a stop to anti-labor messages being espoused by people like you.

Again, this crazy paradox that exists in Developed Nations, even with immigrants whom have been Americanized, where Fascists roam everywhere, but none “think” they are indeed Fascist.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” ― Benito Mussolini
edit on 3-9-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 10:23 AM
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a reply to: boohoo


This is NOT an isolated event, this is the NORM in the USA

If that were true, it would not be a newsworthy event.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 10:39 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: boohoo


This is NOT an isolated event, this is the NORM in the USA

If that were true, it would not be a newsworthy event.


Again, read the articles referenced in the original post:

-employees are apparently actively encouraged to secretly funnel their back-stabbing or praise through Amazon’s “Anytime Feedback Tool”. Some employees felt it necessary to secretly form pacts of negative feedback to edge out others and prevent themselves from being fired.

-One woman interviewed said she had paid a freelancer in India to enter data out of her own pocket to get more done

-A thyroid cancer sufferer was also allegedly marked with low performance on returning to work and told that Amazon was more productive without her.

-When quizzed days later, those with perfect scores earn a virtual award proclaiming, “I’m Peculiar” — the company’s proud phrase for overturning workplace conventions.

-In Amazon warehouses, employees are monitored by sophisticated electronic systems to ensure they are packing enough boxes every hour.

-Amazon came under fire in 2011 when workers in an eastern Pennsylvania warehouse toiled in more than 100-degree heat with ambulances waiting outside, taking away laborers as they fell. After an investigation by the local newspaper, the company installed air-conditioning.

-culture stoked their willingness to erode work-life boundaries, castigate themselves for shortcomings (being “vocally self-critical” is included in the description of the leadership principles)

-“One time I didn’t sleep for four days straight,” said Dina Vaccari, who joined in 2008 to sell Amazon gift cards to other companies

-Some current employees were reluctant to be identified because they were barred from speaking with reporters.)

-One ex-employee’s fiancé became so concerned about her nonstop working night after night that he would drive to the Amazon campus at 10 p.m. and dial her cellphone until she agreed to come home. When they took a vacation to Florida, she spent every day at Starbucks using the wireless connection to get work done


The above are Fascist practices and clearly Anti-Labor.

For years, he and his team devoted themselves to improving the search capabilities of Amazon’s website — only to discover that Mr. Bezos had greenlighted a secret competing effort to build an alternate technology. “I’m not going to be the kind of person who can work in this environment,” he said he concluded. He went on to become a director of engineering at Twitter.

-To avoid losing good members of their teams — which could spell doom — they must come armed with paper trails to defend the wrongfully accused and incriminate members of competing groups. Or they adopt a strategy of choosing sacrificial lambs to protect more essential players. “You learn how to diplomatically throw people under the bus,”


Hitler used these tactics too!
edit on 3-9-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 11:06 AM
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@boohoo.

You're spot on. Thanks for your posts.



posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 11:12 PM
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a reply to: boohoo


-employees are apparently actively encouraged to secretly funnel their back-stabbing or praise through Amazon’s “Anytime Feedback Tool”. Some employees felt it necessary to secretly form pacts of negative feedback to edge out others and prevent themselves from being fired.

Office politics, nothing special. The only question is why Amazon management thought they could rely on such obviously self-interested 'feedback', or why they thought making their employees reluctant to cooperate with each other made for a more profitable enterprise.


-One woman interviewed said she had paid a freelancer in India to enter data out of her own pocket to get more done

Presumably it was profitable for all parties, or else she wouldn't have done it. I wonder how Amazon felt about their data being passed around like that, though.


-A thyroid cancer sufferer was also allegedly marked with low performance on returning to work and told that Amazon was more productive without her.

Mean and tactless, I agree, but not exactly the cattle-car to Belsen, is it?


-When quizzed days later, those with perfect scores earn a virtual award proclaiming, “I’m Peculiar” — the company’s proud phrase for overturning workplace conventions.

What a terrible Fascist atrocity.


-In Amazon warehouses, employees are monitored by sophisticated electronic systems to ensure they are packing enough boxes every hour.

Are you saying employers should turn a blind eye to employees' attempts to goof off on the job?

Are you suggesting that such practices are not employed in other industries?

Have you heard of time-and-motion studies, 5S systems, etc? One inefficiently performing employee can slow down the production process significantly, resulting in huge losses. That's okay, is it?


-Amazon came under fire in 2011 when workers in an eastern Pennsylvania warehouse toiled in more than 100-degree heat with ambulances waiting outside, taking away laborers as they fell. After an investigation by the local newspaper, the company installed air-conditioning.

Allegedly. Never proven. Not that it would surprise me. But exploitative work practices are not Fascism, neither are they feudalism, and they don't become those things just because you stick a 'neo' in front of them.

Besides,


Amazon is one of the few companies that’s been on a hiring spree in an uncertain economy. The company added close to 15,000 employees between the second quarter of 2010 and 2011, TechFlash reported. Many of the new hires came from acquisitions of other distribution centers, which the company is set to continue in 2011, according to TechFlash.

The alternative a job with Amazon might have been no job at all. Not that that justifies exploitation.


-culture stoked their willingness to erode work-life boundaries, castigate themselves for shortcomings (being “vocally self-critical” is included in the description of the leadership principles)

Fascists are 'vocally self-critical', are they? Or would that be fuedalists? Or maybe mercantilists?


-“One time I didn’t sleep for four days straight,” said Dina Vaccari, who joined in 2008 to sell Amazon gift cards to other companies

Aww, poor widdle Dina. She should try working in a sweatshop some time. A real one, like they have in India.


-Some current employees were reluctant to be identified because they were barred from speaking with reporters.)

Ooo, censorship! Fascism!

Ever heard of non-disclosure agreements? Or the more general undertaking, very often included as a clause in contracts of employment, not to reveal sensitive business information to outsiders?


-One ex-employee’s fiancé became so concerned about her nonstop working night after night that he would drive to the Amazon campus at 10 p.m. and dial her cellphone until she agreed to come home. When they took a vacation to Florida, she spent every day at Starbucks using the wireless connection to get work done

In other words, her extraordinary dedication was voluntary. And helped, quite probably, to pay for a holiday in Florida.

*


The foregoing laundry-list has nothing to do with Fascism or any other political theory. What you have described are the typically exploitative acts of a capitalist mill-owner in the grand tradition. By Industrial Revolution standards, one might regard Bezos as a rather mild employer.

Yes, it's wrong. Of course it's wrong to exploit people who have no other recourse than to work for you in order to earn their daily bread. And not only is it wrong, it's self-defeating, because as soon as the economy improves Amazon is going to have a lot of trouble finding good people to hire. Indeed, HR practices of the sort described ensure that only the worst people will apply to Amazon for jobs. Judging by some of the quotes in that article I linked to, it's already happened.

And yes, it reveals the moral vacuum at the heart of capitalism, exposing the flaw in the Smithian proposition that indiviual selfishness can be harnessed for the benefit of the community through capitalism. But it doesn't invalidate the proposition; it just makes the benefit conditional on the proper regulation of capitalist practice by government.

It is not Fascism. It is not remotely close to Fascism or feudalism, 'neo' or otherwise. It only appears so from your extremist, distorted perspective.

*


I really don't care that you've dragged the thread off topic. It isn't my thread, and besides, most of what people have to say about it has already been said. Neither do I care a fig for your political views, which I regard as being of the lunatic-fringe variety. But I do object to your arrogance and your assumption of intellectual superiority, which were evident from your very first reply to me onwards, and to your ongoing attacks on my character. I object to being called a shill, in blatant violation of site rules; and I resent the way you trivialize the suffering of millions of victims of real Fascism by comparing their treatment to that of a bunch of well-fed Americans who sleep in their own beds at night.

*


You have been consistently wrong in your assumptions about me. You assumed I was American; I am not. You assumed that I was a supporter of unrestricted capitalism; you called me a Fascist sympathizer. I am not. What I am, in fact, is a follower of Pope's principle:

For forms of government let fools contest;
Whate'er is best administer'd is best


I now leave you to that contest. I wish you joy of it. But before I go, allow me to point out one further flaw in your logic:


Hitler used these tactics too!

Hitler suffered from terrible flatulence. Is farting a Fascist tactic, too?


edit on 4/9/15 by Astyanax because: I re-read my own stuff before posting it, unlike some people.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 10:30 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax

1) The only question is why Amazon management thought they could rely on such obviously self-interested 'feedback', or why they thought making their employees reluctant to cooperate with each other made for a more profitable enterprise.

2) By Industrial Revolution standards, one might regard Bezos as a rather mild employer.

3) Mean and tactless, I agree, but not exactly the cattle-car to Belsen, is it?

4) But exploitative work practices are not Fascism, neither are they feudalism

5) Fascists are 'vocally self-critical', are they?

6) And yes, it reveals the moral vacuum at the heart of capitalism, exposing the flaw in the Smithian proposition that indiviual selfishness can be harnessed for the benefit of the community through capitalism. But it doesn't invalidate the proposition; it just makes the benefit conditional on the proper regulation of capitalist practice by government.

7) and I resent the way you trivialize the suffering of millions of victims of real Fascism by comparing their treatment to that of a bunch of well-fed Americans who sleep in their own beds at night.


1) Amazon relies on such tactics because its a PROVEN way to keep people off balance and unable to reflect on oppressive leadership practices. Both Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs, before him, practice Führerprinzip (BUT you have to be familiar with the concept, FIRST, in order to recognize it, as practiced, in contemporary business). Hitler also actively encouraged office politics. Why? Because who can oppose insane leadership when EVERYONE under that system is CONSTANTLY trying to throw each other under the bus?

Hitler's Leadership Style

2) I talked about Court Cases influenced by exploitative business practices established during the Industrial Revolution (Legality and Hunt, 1842). I also said that Organized Labor has lost participation, due to people "Drinking the Kool Aid", believing that the market alone will provide them with good wages and stable jobs. As I noted, people in the 1920's believed the same nonsense until crash of 1929. AGAIN, Jeff Bezos practices Führerprinzip and whether he knows that or believes in it, DOES NOT MATTER! He is a contemporary user of Führerprinzip theory.

3) Modern Fascists countries don't do organized mass-exterminations, first hand, anymore. Today, they simply bomb the landscape of foreign lands and call those inevitable deaths collateral damage (borrowing old tactics from the era of imperialism)

civilian deaths in Iraq since the 2003 invasion

4) Exploitative work practices are Anti-Social Democracy and most certainly are opposed to the concepts of Market-Socialism.

5) Yes, Fascists are PUBLICLY self-critical, to appease the leadership within the organizations they serve, AGAIN, Führerprinzip theory.

6) The USA DOES NOT HAVE proper regulation of capitalist practices by government because it has slowly become a Fascist government that only answers to corporations. Albeit, a fascists government more alined with "Italian Style Fascism", rather than the "Nazi Style Fascism" that you keep alluding to. For example, Italian fascists actually tried to help Jews escape the death camps, up until the country was fully occupied by Germany in 1943. However, what you don't seem to understand is that a country can certainly be Fascist, yet NOT commit mass genocide, within its borders, at the same time.

Scholars Reconsidering Italy’s Treatment of Jews in the Nazi Era

7) HA, well fed Americans! The more IMPORTANT question is whether the USA is still a first world nation or not.

When Is It Better Not to Be in America?

LIS data shows that this USA may not be a 1st world nation

The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest

How Poor are America’s Poorest? U.S. $2 a Day Poverty in a Global Context (a balanced paper saying that tracking such data is difficult to do in the USA)

I'll admit, the last third, of your latest post, was your best writing so far and the most coherent thoughts, you have posted, yet.

BTW, you misspelled individual (you wrote indiviual).
edit on 4-9-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 11:33 AM
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a reply to: boohoo

So, when I engage your statements in detail, you shy away from the contest and take refuge in generalities. Why am I not surprised?

And I thought blog posts and news stories were beneath your consideration as sources of data? What happened?

Never mind.

America -- not exactly one of my favourite countries at the moment, despite its likeable and well-meaning head of state -- is by no stretch of the imagination a Fascist state, Neo or otherwise.

At this stage, I think it's fairly safe to assume that you live in the USA. To judge by your naivety and parochialism, I would hazard that you have never lived anywhere else, and haven't travelled much beyond the borders of your domicile.

As I said earlier, I have never lived in America. But I have lived in a good many countries, under a great many different forms of government. My own country has had quite an exciting history since it achieved independence from the United Kingdom, so without even leaving home I have managed to live under a parliamentary democracy, an elected executive president like America's, a Socialist state and an ethno-religious dictatorship of the majority. I have also lived under parliamentary democracies in India and the UK, unreconstructed feudalism in the Gulf Arab states and benevolent authoritarianism in Southeast Asia. Lived, not visited. Lived and (legally) worked. And not as a member of the US forces or their families, as you alleged, but as a private foreign resident from my poor and much-reviled little homeland, which is the kind of country whose passport gets you pulled out of the immigration queue and taken away for special interrogation when you present it at a foreign airport. Seriously .

This is not a boast. It is merely the path along which my life has taken me. But one thing it has done is given me a a set of standards for comparing political systems, something pampered, unadventurous citizens of Western democracies cannot easily have. Even when you travel, your wealth and the power of your country and culture insulate you from ground reality. I am a Third World man, and I am not protected in that way.

Frankly, my dear fellow, you don't have the first idea of what you're talking about. You are the pampered, coddled and somewhat unusually myopic product of a rich, law-abiding, humane society where social institutions actually work for the benefit of the commons, even if they are also rigged to benefit your elite even more. You have so little practical experience of the harsh realities of life that you think people being called 'peculiar' is Fascism.

Consider yourself fortunate that I have given your vaporous nonsense so much consideration. I wonder why I bothered. I suppose it was your innocent effrontery. It appeals to me. I used to be a bit like that myself, when I was young.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 11:43 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
And I thought blog posts and news stories were beneath your consideration as sources of data? What happened?

At this stage, I think it's fairly safe to assume that you live in the USA. To judge by your naivety and parochialism, I would hazard that you have never lived anywhere else, and haven't travelled much beyond the borders of your domicile.


My responses have FAR more content than ANY response you have given to me. Every article I posted, in response to your posts, have ACADEMIC CITATIONS AND FOOTNOTES! The NERVE!!!

I worked in Germany (legally), went to University there for a year, as well, and have relatives that I visit yearly in Switzerland and Vietnam. Vietnam for example used to be like what you describe, but I have been fortunate to see it evolve and its nothing like it was in the 1990's today. I also benefit from the perspective of those relatives who stayed behind after the wars end and later came to the USA. Guess what? Most want to go back and never return to the USA.
edit on 4-9-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 11:47 AM
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[redacted]


edit on 4/9/15 by Astyanax because: not worth it.



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 11:59 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
[redacted]


Here are the citations, from the articles I posted, corresponding to my numbered responses above, in a format, that hopefully, you will be able to understand:

1) "Hitler's Leadership Style" By Dr Geoffrey Megargee CITATIONS:
Hitler: Hubris 1889-1936 by Ian Kershaw (London, 1998)
Inside Hitler's High Command by Geoffrey Megargee (University Press of Kansas, 2000)
The Mask of Command by John Keegan (Penguin USA, 1989)
Hitler: Study of a Revolutionary? by Martyn Housden (Routledge, 2000)
Hitler (Introductions to History) by David Welch (UCL Press, 1998)


3) Sources used by Iraq Body Count

6) "Scholars Reconsidering Italy’s Treatment of Jews in the Nazi Era" By Paul Vitello CITATIONS:
Italian Jewish Studies Project

7) "When Is It Better Not to Be in America?" by Matt Bruenig, "How Poor Are America’s Poor, Really?" By Jordan Weissmann, "The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest" By David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy ARE ALL REFERENCING DATA ANAYLSIS DONE BY LIS

"How Poor are America’s Poorest? U.S. $2 a Day Poverty in a Global Context" by Laurence Chandy has a academic references listed on pages 19 and 20

You certainly have traveled more than me, but I work in international business and see these things from a level, not necessarily, accessible to people such as yourself. I have heard your style of argument before and while you do have experience that I do not currently posses, I still have access to emulate some of those same experiences. While you, on the other hand, would not have any access to emulate the experiences that I have had in the business world.

NOT ONCE, HAVE I MENTIONED THE 3RD WORLD. You seem to be talking about 3rd world countries that only recently stepped into the 2nd world. That IS NOT and HAS NOT BEEN the focus of ANY of my points nor the overall discussion. So yes, to clarify FURTHER, I am STRICTLY talking about TOP TIER 2nd world nations and 1st world nations that are slipping into 2nd world status.
edit on 4-9-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 12:52 PM
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a reply to: boohoo


work in international business and see these things from a level, not necessarily, accessible to people such as yourself.

You mean you're a cog in the great machine of international capital that you affect to despise so?

Makes sense.

Want to guess what I have done for a living?



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 01:00 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
You mean you're a cog in the great machine of international capital that you affect to despise so?

Makes sense.

Want to guess what I have done for a living?


What, do you live off-grid and only barter for goods or something else along those lines? You too are a "cog in the great machine" if you have ever earned a wage, signed a contract or EXCHANGED currency.

You can't defeat a system that you have no knowledge of, unless of course, YOU are suggesting violence as a solution. Look at Labor History in the West and you will see that a majority of the most influential labor leaders WORKED IN and HAD KNOWLEDGE of the systems they eventually changed, gained before, they actually influenced change. People without knowledge of the systems they oppose have LITTLE POSSIBILITY to change it, in most cases, UNLESS, those ignorant of those system are willing to incite physical violence, as an alternative to knowledgeable opposition. Essentially you have to be a "cog" to have a chance at stopping the "machine".

Also, as you should know by now, I am pro-union, pro-work council and pro-employee ownership. ALL these being social concepts that, I believe, WERE NOT EVER a part of the cultures that you have lived or worked in, to date. So overall, my thoughts are not quite as radical as you are making my perspective out to be. So no, I don't want to totally collapse the markets in exchange for a communist utopia.

So, is the USA better than, say, a country like Kenya? Of course, but that's not a reasonable standard of comparison. NO COUNTRY should be racing to the bottom, therefore, negating any talk citing that "you should be grateful to live in the USA".

Nazi Germany was an advanced 1st world nation, by 1933 standards. Which means that Fascism is NOT limited to the 3rd world, as you seem to CONTINUE insinuating. You don't see historians writing that living in Nazi Germany was better than Pro-Axis Iraq or Iran, circa 1932, because its an asinine comparison.

All being said, you are now free to tell me what you have done for a living. I do, what you would call, Construction (AEC). In fact, why don't you just go ahead and name the countries that you think were "Fascist", "Mercantilist" or "Feudalistic" and what years you lived in them. I'm guessing you didn't know what political system they were in reality, only what they were called publicly.

Why, do I say this? Because you weren't likely working in those countries at a level needed to see how the "wheels were really greased".
edit on 4-9-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2015 @ 11:17 PM
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a reply to: boohoo


What, do you live off-grid and only barter for goods or something else along those lines?

On the contrary, I am very much a part of that world of 'international business' you were boasting about earlier. See below.


Also, as you should know by now, I am pro-union, pro-work council and pro-employee ownership. ALL these being social concepts that, I believe, WERE NOT EVER a part of the cultures that you have lived or worked in, to date.

You continue to provide these delightful illustrations of the gap between what you know and what you assume. Bravo!

Here are some facts. In my own country, trade unions are so powerful it is almost impossible to fire somebody for anything short of an actual crime, such as embezzlement, and even that's hard. Trade unions in my country are closely affiliated with political parties and have enormous influence on state policy. The same goes — in spades — for India, where I used to live for a while in the Eighties. Read up on trade unionism in Bengal some time.

In Singapore, another country where I have lived, a very different situation prevails. Trade unions have been depoliticized and turned into part of the State apparatus. And in Gulf states where I have lived, trade unions are banned.

I was in the UK during the 1960s, the golden age of trade union power in that country, and again as a university student at just about the time that Margaret Thatcher began pulling the unions' teeth. I lived through the 'Winter of Discontent'.

I mentioned earlier that my own country went through a Socialist phase. This was during the 1960s and 1970s. To this day, the largest corporations in my country are 100% state-owned. During the 1990s, unions in my country reversed a government privatization programme so successfully that no succeeding administration has had the nerve to try again. I saw that at first hand because I worked as a political consultant on the programme.

When it comes to trade unionism, I have seen all sides. But this is nothing to the point. The point is that you are claiming that America is a Fascist country, which is bollocks, and you are attempting to redefine Fascism in order to make that bollocks seem to stick.


So, is the USA better than, say, a country like Kenya?

Who cares? The point is that neither of them is a Fascist state.


Fascism is NOT limited to the 3rd world, as you seem to CONTINUE insinuating.

What? Are you hallucinating? Where did you read words written by me that suggest anything of the kind?


All being said, you are now free to tell me what you have done for a living. I do, what you would call, Construction (AEC).

Gosh, I thought you were going to say you worked for an international think-tank or a political consultancy or something.


In fact, why don't you just go ahead and name the countries... and what years you lived in them. I'm guessing you didn't know what political system they were in reality, only what they were called publicly. Why, do I say this? Because you weren't likely working in those countries at a level needed to see how the "wheels were really greased".

What a charming, courteous and kindly person you are.

I am, by profession, a writer — and, of late, an historian. Through most of the Eighties and part of the Nineties, I held senior creative and strategic-planning positions in multinational advertising agencies. Multinational clients I worked for during that period included some of the world's biggest brands and companies. During the latter part of this period I also worked as a political consultant for my own country's government, helping to sell education, health and public enterprise reform.

Growing disenchanted with the persuasion business, I became a freelance writer and editor. While I was getting established in this new line of work, I supported myself by working as a consultant planning facilitator for multilateral cooperation agencies. For a while I worked as head of corporate communications for a company that makes software for stock exchanges. That company continued to make use of my services for many years after I formally resigned, even after they became part of one of the world's largest and oldest capital-markets conglomerates.

There's quite a bit more, but I think that's enough to demonstrate yet again the yawning gap between reality and the world of your imagination.


edit on 4/9/15 by Astyanax because: see above.



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 12:02 AM
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a reply to: Astyanax


I lived through the 'Winter of Discontent'.

Not quite, apparently. The Winter of Discontent is a name given to the winter of 1978-79 in England. I actually began my universtity studies in autumn 1979 — though the phrase and the situation that brought it about were still very much the stuff of current discussion.



posted on Sep, 6 2015 @ 01:40 AM
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a reply to: boohoo

It's a simple fact that in the US most work places are # to work at.

Look at depression, cancer, suicide, wages vs cost of living, crime, BLS statistics, the amount of drug use, perscription drug use.

It's really easy to see.



posted on Sep, 7 2015 @ 12:46 AM
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a reply to: onequestion


Look at depression, cancer, suicide, wages vs cost of living, crime, BLS statistics, the amount of drug use, perscription drug use.

Are you saying that all the social and public-health problems in America are due to poor working conditions? What rubbish.

Stop whining and read about some of the working conditions previous generations had to face.

George Orwell on coal-miners

Richard Henry Dana on saiing before the mast

Or consider what people in poor countries have to do for a living, today.

Shipbreaking in Bangladesh

Child brickmakers worked to death in Pakistan.

Child prostitutes in Egypt

Slave child camel jockeys in Dubai

Want more? There's plenty more.

Compared to that, your complaints about the trials of legally employed adult Americans in the workplace are trivial, derisory and contemptible. Spoilt, coddled rich-country citizens have forgotten what real hardship is. Working in 100-degree heat, with ambulances waiting outside to rush you to hospital if you start feeling funny? That's a luxury previous generations of furnace and engine-room workers, miners and the like never had.


edit on 7/9/15 by Astyanax because: history will teach us everything.



posted on Sep, 7 2015 @ 09:25 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: onequestion


Look at depression, cancer, suicide, wages vs cost of living, crime, BLS statistics, the amount of drug use, perscription drug use.

Are you saying that all the social and public-health problems in America are due to poor working conditions? What rubbish.

Stop whining and read about some of the working conditions previous generations had to face.

George Orwell on coal-miners

Richard Henry Dana on saiing before the mast

Or consider what people in poor countries have to do for a living, today.

Shipbreaking in Bangladesh

Child brickmakers worked to death in Pakistan.

Child prostitutes in Egypt

Slave child camel jockeys in Dubai

Want more? There's plenty more.

Compared to that, your complaints about the trials of legally employed adult Americans in the workplace are trivial, derisory and contemptible. Spoilt, coddled rich-country citizens have forgotten what real hardship is. Working in 100-degree heat, with ambulances waiting outside to rush you to hospital if you start feeling funny? That's a luxury previous generations of furnace and engine-room workers, miners and the like never had.



That's a pathetic response. So what are you saying? Being shot in the head is better than being burned? I can see why no one bothered to respond to you. Ludicrous.



posted on Sep, 7 2015 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: ScreenBogey


So what are you saying? Being shot in the head is better than being burned?

I am saying that working conditions in America and other rich countries today are infinitely better than they were in even the fairly recent past, and infinitely better than those under which many of the world's workers, including children, labour today. And that, therefore, the post to which I was responding is nonsense.

Shootings and burnings were not mentioned. Why do you think they are pertinent to the discussion?


I can see why no one bothered to respond to you.

You are at least the fourth poster to have done so. Not counting stars.


edit on 7/9/15 by Astyanax because: I forgot the OP. Sorry, OP!



posted on Sep, 8 2015 @ 10:07 AM
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YOU ARE NOT A HISTORIAN!

1) Do you have the requisite education (graduate degree of some kind)? 2) Are your works cited by other academic historians? 3) Do you have any published works for sale, either through academic publishers or mainstream publishers? 4) Are your works cited for professional historic preservation projects commissioned by government agencies or museums? In fact, I personally can answer, yes, to numbers, 1 and 4, making me much closer to being aREAL historian than you likely are. So, if you can't answer, YES, to at least two of the above, YOU ARE NOT A HISTORIAN and at BEST, are a professional writer (paid), with an INTEREST in history.


originally posted by: Astyanax
Gosh, I thought you were going to say you worked for an international think-tank or a political consultancy or something.

Getting the REAL perspective of stakeholders is not not always limited by the SPECIFIC field that someone was doing their professional work in.

In my construction projects, for example, the reputations of government officials are at stake and big banks are taking huge financing risks. (meaning a LOT is on the line,while I get to DIRECTLY Interact with the stakeholders, NOT as a PM of analysts whom are working in an office doing advertising research). My last project overseas likely had 20-50 time the budget of ANY one project that you have ever run (possibly even eclipsing the budgets of ALL your projects combined). In fact, we hire firms like the ones you used to work for to help us properly present and connect to top officials.

So with that said, what happens to those government officials and stakeholders when you screw up on your small portions of the OVERALL project? I am imagine nothing, because the firm you work for can just hire someone else, in house, or the stakeholder can hire another firm to get a second opinion. There is no such situation, in large scale construction projects (airports, universities, hospitals, etc) because the RISK is greater to ALL parties involved.

So, am I doing the "grunt work" of that market research, like you were? NO, but I am certainly the one negotiating the terms of the final contract and updating the stakeholders on their "pet projects" that take YEARS to complete. I get to hear their FRANK opinions behind closed doors, while you toil away in a office corresponding with their assigned analysts. So contrary to your belief, our perspectives DO intersect, but are from totally different sides of the table. Essentially, I get to judge the work of professionals like yourself and then get to decide to move forward on the various proposed data, analysis and recommendations being offered. The difference being, just as I said earlier, is that I can emulate and experience portions your professional experiences, quite easily, while there is no possible way you could emulate ANY of mine.

Do you get to see the REAL "end results" of your research, years down the road? Or do you just "turn in your work" and then move onto the "next project" assigned to you by the firms Partners? In fact, have you even been responsible to bring a project in and then run that project profitably, so as to keep your staff employed? Most folks in your industry that say "used to work", typically have failed at the latter.


originally posted by: Astyanax
In my own country, trade unions are so powerful it is almost impossible to fire somebody for anything short of an actual crime, such as embezzlement, and even that's hard. Trade unions in my country are closely affiliated with political parties and have enormous influence on state policy. The same goes — in spades — for India, where I used to live for a while in the Eighties. Read up on trade unionism in Bengal some time.

In Singapore, another country where I have lived, a very different situation prevails. Trade unions have been depoliticized and turned into part of the State apparatus. And in Gulf states where I have lived, trade unions are banned.

I was in the UK during the 1960s, the golden age of trade union power in that country, and again as a university student at just about the time that Margaret Thatcher began pulling the unions' teeth. I lived through the 'Winter of Discontent'.


Except that you haven't lived or worked in the three countries that I referenced in my earlier posts (USA, Germany & Switzerland). As I said, I am comparing the USA to countries like Germany and Switzerland, but you keep bringing up countries like India and Singapore, which were NEVER a part of my argument. One of the reasons why I chose Germany, SPECIFICALLY, is because it has a smaller GDP than the USA, yet exports nearly the same amount in Gross trillions. Singapore is not even remotely in the same category of these 3 countries. In fact the LIC data that I posted above points out Singapore to be a place with high poverty and little political representation of the lower classes. In fact, every country that you have talked about and lived in are noted by the LIC to have high poverty and little to no political representation of the lower classes (except the UK which is quickly becoming like the USA). These are terrible examples that don't support your argument, in ANY way. In fact, I actually have turned down work in Singapore because I don't consider it a first world nation, DESPITE, all the "visual dressings" of modern democracy.


originally posted by: Astyanax
So, is the USA better than, say, a country like Kenya?

Who cares? The point is that neither of them is a Fascist state.


Actually IT IS relevant because Africa has a very long history of leaders imposing Fascist leaning polices. Stop trying to dance around my analogy, noting that Germany was also an Advanced country, with a Fascist government running it, from 1933-1944. That's the point I have been making, that a country can have all the "visual dressings" of democracy, yet still not be one (Singapore and India included).


originally posted by: Astyanax
Working in 100-degree heat, with ambulances waiting outside to rush you to hospital if you start feeling funny? That's a luxury previous generations of furnace and engine-room workers, miners and the like never had.


...and in the USA those, "previous generations" had to CREATE UNIONS to put a stop to such practices. Companies like Amazon want to "race to the bottom", undoing 80+ years of labor law and protections, in the hopes of creating work conditions more like China, Singapore and India, for USA citizens. This is happening because the average US citizen has IGNORANTLY turned their backs on the concepts of Unionization, Work Councils and Collective Bargaining, AS PRACTICED, IN CONTEMPORARY, GERMANIC COUNTRIES. You know, the countries that had to start over, building their countries up from the ashes of WWII, whom decided during that rebuilding process, that the concept of REAL Social Democracy was important to society, as a WHOLE. Those concept are NOT and NEVER have been a REAL part of the cultures in India and Singapore. These countries, that you KEEP talking about, only give lip service to these concepts, to satisfy the terms of international organizations like the IMF.
edit on 8-9-2015 by boohoo because: (no reason given)




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