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2008/11/29

"Our people are our greatest asset" - a hypocritical lie

Clearly this phrase is a classic example of hypocrisy, and an absolute lie, because nobody in their right minds would treat their assets like most companies seem to treat their people - in fact are often obliged to do - to maximise profitability for the shareholders. The film "The Corporation" explains this, and other things, that Corporations do - they are let loose as legal psychopaths in our society.


So, for an example, take a look at Proletar's collection of what HP employees think about their employer. An HP employee sent me the link. Until I read these comments, I had not realised that the company was so completely screwed up and morale so broken. What had previusly been a preferred IT employer, with very good employee relations and benefits, would seem to have been turned around in a relatively short space of time into just another people-mashing mill. What a pity.


"Our people are our greatest asset": There is usually an English word or phrase to describe almost anything you might come across in this world, yet "a hypocritical lie" does not seem to quite do the phrase justice. It is such an outlandish piece of management bullshit that it beggars belief that managers still trot it out as if they believe it and as if we are expected to believe it. "Everything is perception" these weasel-worded people will declare, if you challenge the statement. So, reluctant to seem foolish, whenever the phrase is uttered, we will sit and silently listen in mute acceptance of the fact that the Emperor has no clothes - taking up the role of deserving victims if we fail to decry the use of the phrase whenever it is uttered.


When questioned by the senate committee set up to investigate how the recent credit crunch ("economic collapse") came about, which was brought on by the banks' risky over-indebtedness, Greenspan said "I realised that my ideology was flawed". His ideology apparently had not accounted for the possibility that corporate bosses would act out of selfish greed and risk the security of the corporations that they headed up.


There is a profound social problem here. That people trot out this garbage phrase is bad enough, but the garbage is not the problem - it is a symptom of a problem. The problem is in the Corporations that we have allowed to become so powerful in our society that they literally take over control of our freedom, liberty and livelihoods. We have allowed ourselves to become enslaved to an ideology called corporatism. It is no less enslaving (arguably more), or demanding than Islamism - which is just another ideology. Though we may not fully realise it, 1984 would seem to be in place in the here and now - in a more insidious and embedded systemic form than George Orwell had conceived when he wrote his book.
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