Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.
It is our nature, whenever we are examining the failings of our enemies, to assume the absolute worst of motives and purposes. We want our enemies to be evil, so all of their mistakes and failures are cast as proof of their villainy. It’s human nature. This is particularly true in politics, where there is no benefit to acting honorably. In fact, the normal virtues are vices when it comes to jockeying for power in an organization. The truth is, though, our enemies are rarely evil and their mistakes are usually due to stupidity.
That’s worth thinking about as we rocket into the custodial state, ruled over by layers of management. The people in charge are rarely in their positions due to merit. Instead, they are there because of serendipity, rumbswabbery or maybe they ticked the right boxes to satisfy the diversity engineers. Spend anytime around the Imperial Capital and you figure out that management teams are usually built for the team photo.The corporate partners of the state are suffering the same problem, as we see with Google and PayPal.
That’s a good thing to keep in mind when following the Pakistani IT scandal. The latest is about the chief of staff to Yvette Clarke, a Congressman from New York. According to this story in the Daily Caller, her chief of staff casually signed off on what appears to be a theft ring operating inside the Democrat Congressional Caucus. The facts thus far suggest the Awan gang was running the oldest of scams. They would sell computer gear out the back door and claim it was stolen. For reasons unknown, staffers signed off on it.
Mx. Clarke is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so it is reasonable to assume that her staff is not working math problems in their free time. Outwitting them is a challenge to no one. These are people that, in a better age, would be pulling a cart on a farm somewhere or unloading ships at the docks. They also believe that by ticking the right boxes, they are exempt from the rules that apply to the blue-eyed devil. That means they don’t spend much time learning about those rules or complying with them. They are easy marks.
That’s the feature of this story thus far. Everyone on all sides of this thing can tick one of the correct boxes. There are no white men implicated in this scandal. Based on the news accounts alone, it is hard to imagine the Awan brothers getting very far with this scam in the private sector. They were not very good at their work and they made salary demands no one would meet. Even small companies do rudimentary background checks on new employees and contractors. The Democrats never bothered to do any of it.
Now, there could be a nefarious motive behind all of this. The Paki IT people reportedly gained access to all of the Democrat’s data, including e-mail. That means they had lots of embarrassing material on their bosses. It also means their bosses were scurrying around looking for a way to cover their asses for having let these guys gain access to their systems and data. It’s not unrealistic to think that blackmail and extortion were at the heart of this thing. No one wants to private correspondence made public, especially Democrats.
The willingness to sign off on theft of this magnitude is also a red flag. It’s hard to say you did not notice what was happening when your name is on it and the theft amounts to ten percent of the budget. Throw in the extraordinary efforts made at the highest levels to protect the Awan gang from investigators and a skeptical man will start to think there’s more here. It has all the contours of an extortion racket. At the minimum, the Democrats may have been trying to hide gross negligence and the mishandling of information.
Still, the way to bet here is that the people involved were morons. Even the Awan gang operated like a comedy act from old movies. Their car dealership scam was so clownish and amateurish it is a miracle they did not get bagged for that. The thumbless way they ran their scams makes it hard to believe they were expertly shaking down professional shake down artists like Wasserman-Schultz and Yvette Clarke. Politicians are rarely smart, but they are ruthlessly shrewd and they know how to work a con.
When you put this story into the mosaic of recent news stories, the pattern that emerges is one where stupidity is the primary feature of our betters. The foolish way Google handled their trouble should make everyone think twice about letting them manufacture driverless cars or protect your personal data. The reckless actions of PayPal, slamming shut accounts of dissidents, without any thought of the consequences, suggests the people making these decisions are dangerously stupid.
Of course, the recent shipwrecks by the Navy have a similar feature. These were easy to avoid errors, engineered by people who checked the right boxes. Maybe that’s unfair, but patterns are often unfair on the individual basis. The facts of life are unfair. A military that is hell bent on having trannies on submarines and refuses to acknowledge the pregnancy problem aboard ship, is not going to worry about social promotion and the consequences that arise from it. After all, diversity is not just their strength, it’s their reason to exist.
Everyone knows that even a committee of really smart people is never the sum of its parts. People in STEM fields will make this point about work teams. Start adding in stupid people with conflicting agendas and the team’s effectiveness will rapidly degrade. The smart people are suddenly burdened with the additional task of mitigating the damage done by the stupid members. Start scaling this up to custodial state size organizations and the same Smart Fraction issues faced by Detroit come into play with managerialism.
In the early stages of the custodial state, we may be seeing a fatal flaw. That is the pseudo-meritocracy, a mix of affirmative action and credentialism, may have internal contradictions that make the system unworkable. If you want to have a massive custodial state, you better select for the best and brightest, regardless of diversity. Alternatively, you can have diversity, but you better not give them too much power or empower too many of them. In other words, you can diversity or managerialism, but not both.