November 20, 2017

Why do Democrat elites exploit subordinates more than GOP elites do? How can it be solved?

Almost all of these #MeToo accusations of sexual exploitation by male superiors over their female subordinates hail from Democrat-controlled sectors of the economy, primarily the media and entertainment faction of the elite.

The culture war view is that the Democrats are the liberal group, and liberal morality and values is more likely to lead its believers to sexually exploit other people ("do whatever feels good"), while conservative morality and values provides at least some degree of negative feedback over the sexual desires of its believers ("keep it in your pants").

But we've seen how unconvincing the focus is on culture, ideas, values, and beliefs, and are turning toward a cold hard materialist analysis of how society works. We reject the view that Democrats commit far worse sexual exploitation simply because of a difference in values. That field of moral psychology (Haidt) shows that liberals are concerned mostly with factors of harm and fairness, while conservatives are concerned with those, plus factors of authority, in-group loyalty, and purity.

And yet sexually exploiting someone goes right against the norm of "do not harm others" or "do not treat others unfairly," e.g. if they are lesser in status than you. If liberals committed worse offenses than conservatives due to values, it would have to be on something that violated norms of authority, in-group loyalty, or purity.

Liberals are more likely to sexually role-play as a nun and priest, I'm just guessing, compared to conservatives who would find that sacrilegious, whether they were religious or secular conservatives. But not sexual exploitation, which goes against the central -- and sometimes only -- norm of liberal morality, "don't harm others, do provide for their well-being".

The clue that material economic forces are at work is that this exploitation takes place within a career setting, where the woman is looking to advance her material status by climbing the hierarchy, or getting into the industry in the first place, while the man is well established in his wealth and power within the industry. He acts as an economic gatekeeper, whether he will be a direct employer (casting couch) or an indirect favor-doer.

The central split between the elite factions that control the Dems vs. the GOP is that Democrats represent the "informational" economic sectors that scale up easily, where profit growth and market share expansion are not dependent on the costs of labor and materials, while the GOP represents the "material" economic sectors that are physically constrained and are limited in their growth by man-hours. Dems represent finance, online tech, and the media / entertainment. GOP represents the military, energy extraction, and agriculture.

But don't both of those sides have an employment hierarchy where a low-ranker has to navigate patronage networks? And aren't there gatekeepers on both sides who could exploit their subordinates in order to allow access to the material flow of resources upstream of the gatekeepers?

Yes, and both sides will practice exploitation, even sexual exploitation, of subordinates. Both sides will be hit by accusations. Still, one side is going to show far worse behavior and be hit by far more, and far more damaging, accusations. Why?

Since the informational sectors don't rely on building up large numbers of employees and various layers of supervisors and managers, they have far fewer job slots necessary to operate at the same level of domination as a material-sector industry.

Going from a small-sized internet "farm" like when Google began, to the vast digital plantation that it has become, has not required it to hire orders of magnitude more digital "farm hands" or supervisors of those hands, or regional managers of those supervisors, etc. They can keep the same order of magnitude employees and managers, yet expand to dominate the entire global search engine market, and suck up all of the lucrative ad revenue going into that market.

With a literal farm that raises crops or supports the grazing of livestock, it is exactly the opposite. Or with expanding the scope of the military, or the scope of an oil company, or a manufacturing industry, or a chain of brick-and-mortar stores.

In informational sectors, the demand for labor is very low. And yet the supply is sky-high -- who these days is not looking for a job that lies within, or is dependent upon, the sectors of finance, tech, and media / entertainment? Especially with the explosion of the higher education bubble, where entrants into the labor market are expecting to get into a forward-looking info-age career.

In material sectors, the demand for labor is relatively higher because the top-level bosses cannot further expand their fiefdom without hiring more subordinates at all levels. Their corporate greed and authoritarian streak is equal to that of their info-sector rivals, but they cannot act on it to the same degree without going out of business. They rely far more on the cooperation of large numbers of subordinates, who cannot be exploited so badly or so shamelessly as they are in the informational sectors.

A media mogul like Harvey Weinstein can say, "Either you blow me, or you won't work in this industry at all," and back up that threat. He only needs one lead actress for the next big-budget film he's producing, and there are literally thousands or even millions of other women who would be willing to blow a fat ugly disgusting old geezer if it meant they'd get millions of dollars plus a shot at fame.

The same goes for the small handful of conservatives who are big media players. It's not about liberal or conservative, but the nature of their economic activity.

A woman who wants to open a fast-food franchise, or a hairstyling franchise, does not have to go to a small number of big-wigs and allow herself to be sexually exploited by them in return for permission to operate another store within their brick-and-mortar chain. The head honchos at McDonald's do not have just one spot opening up, a la the aspiring lead actress -- they have dozens, hundreds, or thousands of new stores they'd like to open up.

And material sectors offer no fame because they do not scale up to the national or international level easily, so nobody will know who you are just because you own a McDonald's or Great Clips franchise, whereas they very well might if you got a role in a Hollywood movie or a talking head spot on cable news. That draws fewer attention-seekers into the material sectors, making the supply of labor there less tolerant of bad behavior in exchange for a shot at fame.

Being physically constrained, firms in material sectors tend to be less monopolistic. It's harder to just declare or to buy off the government and get control over a larger fiefdom. You have to physically acquire it, physically staff it, physically provide raw materials and equipment, physically over-see its operation -- and physically defend it. Expanding the fiefdom of an informational firm usually involves abstractions like contracts -- legalistically acquiring a new plot through M&A, legalistically downsizing and consolidating the combined workforce, and defending its fiefdom in court.

More monopolistic firms can exploit their workers more, because where else are they going to work? There are only five corporations that control all of the media and entertainment sector -- and if Fox spins off everything except Fox News, the entertainment industry will only have four in total control. You either tolerate the exploitation from your media bosses, or you are out of the industry altogether and forever.

If you want to operate some kind of mass-appeal franchise from a chain, and locate the store in a suburban shopping center, how many hundreds or thousands of choices do you have? Supposing the representative from McDonald's demands sexual favors -- then you go with the zillion other fast-food chains, or with the zillion choices in hair salons, or clothing, or other retail. No BJ required to break into the "brick-and-mortar franchise" business.

So the widespread exploitation within Democrat industries has nothing to do with differing values or morality, but with the differing nature of their economic activity. Depending almost not at all on more man-hours in order to expand their fiefdoms, and with so many seeking employment, these easily scale-able and monopolistic informational industries can get away with more mistreatment of their workers compared to their elite rivals in the material sectors.

This also points to the solution of the problem -- it is not to try to teach the Harvey Weinsteins better morality, or give them sensitivity training. That targets values and beliefs, which are immaterial, as it were. These industries need to be broken up into more companies and de-scaled in the size of their fiefdom, which will cut down the gatekeeper ability of the corporate chiefs, as well as create orders of magnitude more jobs now that there will be dozens or hundreds of new media organizations of comparable size with each other.

It will also slash the profitability of each of the five media giants, giving them less wealth as well as less power.

We must radically change how these economic organizations are set up, if we want to change the behavior of their leaders. That goes for the material sectors, too -- they may be relatively less exploitative than the informational sectors, but it's not a high bar to clear to be less of a sex abuser than Harvey Weinstein.

Trustbusting must be a top priority in the new revolutionary age of the Trump-Bernie insurgency.


  1. The reserve army of unemployed sluts, lowering conditions for female journalists:

    ' The environment brimmed with the young and potentially vulnerable, hungry for scarce television jobs. “There are so few jobs,” said one of the women who said [Charlie] Rose groped her. “You know if you don’t behave a certain way, there’s someone else behind you.” '

  2. Ending the presence of a reserve army of strivers with the right economic policies would be a good way of ensuring the antitrust sticks or if successful enough dampening the intensity of the cycles.

    I've got no specific ideas on what would help beyond this note: if economic growth or a technological innovation don't improve people's ability for actual individualism*, it's a waste of time at best.

    * and I mean not being beholden to either being a serf or having to own a bunch of serfs. Don't think a randian ubermensch, but instead think someone who wants to be relatively left alone to live his life as he sees fit and not say forced to move to a big city to compete with the reserve army of strivers just to be able to afford to eat.

  3. Well, Ag, it's looking like your intuition about the young accuser was correct:

    "The Post further did not tell readers that as a result of the joint petition to change custody, the court ordered the 14-year-old Corfman to move to her father’s house starting on March 4, 1979. Court documents show the father’s address in Ohatchee, and not in Gadsden, where her mother lived and where Corfman says the meetings with Moore took place.

    This would mean that from the court hearing on February 21, 1979, until Corfman was ordered to move to her father’s house, Moore would only have had 12 days, including the day of the court hearing, to have repeatedly called Corfman at her mother’s Gadsden house, arrange two meetings, and attempt another. Moore has strenuously denied the accusations.

    While that timeline is theoretically possible, the Moore campaign stressed in a press conference today it is unlikely."

    Poor guy. It's really looking like the Sabrina Rubin Erdely UVA rape hoax all over again.

    Out of all the red flags, the biggest for me was the alleged banning from the Gadsden Mall.

    Having worked at a mall, even having a teen coworker who also worked part time for the State's attorney's office (Florida equivalent), I knew it just wasn't true. When someone of that or similar stature, e.g., mayor, county commissioner, etc., came by the shop, word quickly spread for us to be on our best behavior. They're local celebrities. If the state's attorney or someone from his office had been banned from the mall, it would have been the scandal of the decade and would have made the news.
    Jana used to annoy us all with how often she name-dropped our state's attorney and his office. Whenever she wanted to impress customers of some class, out she'd come with, "Oh, I work at the State's Attorney's office; by the way, did I mention I work at the State's Attorney's office?" I swear, I once stood there with my mouth hung open as I heard her drop this three times in one phone call to someone calling about, I don't remember, but probably something like Beanie Babies.
    So then I thought there must be a mistake, let me find out when exactly this banning happened and what exactly his job was... but it's all vague. Early 80s-ish, maybe? No dates nailed down, not even his job is nailed down. It's all a bunch of rumors and innuendo. Horrible. No excuse.

    1. If you read the rest of the Breitbart article about WaPo implying Corfman began to have behavioral problems because of the alleged assault, that doesn't fit the timeline of when her problems began...
      It seems to go back to my initial misgivings about the whole thing: it felt like a Borderline Personality spinning a yarn that gullible reporters wanted to hear. And they wrote it in a very vague, gauzy way long on innuendo so very reminiscent of Sabrina Erdely. If you're confident about the main story, you don't include the 20 y/o waitress and the 18 y/o date.

  4. Whoa, Zero, dadgum! I just don't know with him sometimes. These tweets about Joe Barton...he's totally expecting Barton to step down. Wait and see...

    "Scoop I have video footage of Barton masturbating online I will not share this video with the world but know that he does exist and if I am told I’m lying I will give the video to reporters immediately"

    1. Gateway Pundit has videos and everything looks exactly like what it is: hit job.

      The worst and most humiliating thing to come out of this hysteria. Sketchy, thin accusations with trial-by-Twitter; punishments far exceeding crimes; and now this? We've lost our humanity.

    2. LOOMER!!!

      How can one person both inspire such absolute horror as well as laughter that makes you cry? Tiregate, that recent video of the guy saying she sexually assaulted him, accusations by Cass that Loomer is a rapist, and now she's involved with the worst and most high-profile incident of revenge porn ever known.

      My God!

  5. If Clinton had one the Election Harvey Weinstein would be sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom and the press would have continued to ignore the many stories about him sexually harassing women. Charlie Rose would still be on CBS etc...

    Now that the Clinton regime is out of power, suddenly sexual harassment is a big story again.

  6. Ag, it'd be interesting to see what your thoughts are on the net neutrality stuff going on. I'm feeling frustrated myself that something that should be completely apolitical is being turned into a "my side right or wrong" deal. Personally, I'm very pro net neutrality and it's frustrating to see all the Trump guys all being on board the FCC's upcoming gutting of it. I've seen so many shills (likely actual, paid telecom shills) making asinine arguments like "net neutrality only existed when Obama made it a law" therefore it's great because screw you Obummer which then, of course, gets the Trumpistas to echo it. The_Donald, people like Molyneux, etc.

    Trying to point out basic facts like the net neutrality fight going back to 2005 (and I distinctly remember hearing about it for the first time back then) is met with an avalanche of disinfo and poorly attempted gaslighting. A lot of Trump supporters too, I've noticed, seem to believe that tiered internet will can or will hurt Twitter, Facebook and the like so obviously we must stand behind FCC Director Pajeet Poo-in-Loo because giving the telecom companies that everyone already hates even greater control of the internet is cool; cutting off your nose to spite your face and such.

  7. I don't know enough about net neutrality to say which side is worse. They're both Dem factions squabbling with each other (telecomm, Silicon Valley).

    Kind of like Ted Cruz arguing against mega-farm subsidies in Iowa -- on behalf of oil companies who don't want to have to put ethanol in gasoline. Which GOP faction was worse in that case? Hard to tell at a glance.

  8. I'm curious, are telecoms strictly speaking a Democratic 'industry'? As much as Facebook, Google, etc.? This might be a tough ask, but it'd be interesting to see a post going through more specifics about who comprises the senior partners for the Democrats and the Republicans. I get for the Democrats it's capital intensive industries and for the Republicans it's labor intensive, but I'd like to know if there's any more specific breakdowns to it.

  9. According to Peter Turchin, zeitgeist changes effect the elites before the public. For instance, elites started status-striving in the 60s before inequality began in the 70s. That said, I see this as being the beginning of elites, at least in this case cultural elites, trying to get their act together.

  10. Good post. It should also be added that media shenanigans is naturally more interesting to people because it involves glamorous dreamweavers. Additionally, journalists are literally closer to the information sector, so are in a good position to discuss things happening within it. It's logistically convenient.


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