The Roots Of Our Madness

By the time you are reading this, I will be winging my way out of Lagos to Nashville Tennessee for the annual American Renaissance conference. Those of you who will be attending, I look forward to meeting you. I will be easy to find. For those not attending, I will be positing about it over the weekend. It is just Friday and Saturday, so I’ll probably post something Saturday and then something when I get back on Sunday.

This year there is a bit of a youth movement, as many of the speakers are quite young, but maybe it will be good to have some youth on the roster. The crowd will be close to a record, so maybe the young speakers are drawing in a young crowd. There will be some old timers in the mix, as well, so it is not a children’s crusade. It will be good practice for me at being an old man in a room full of rotten kids.

This week’s show is a little different. I like to keep things fresh, so the format is a bit different, mostly due to the fact I could only think of five sub-topics. The genesis of this week’s theme was something John Derbyshire covered in his podcast last week. He talked about quantifying the degree of craziness in this age. I’m taking a shot at explaining the causes of the present lunacy. You can catch John’s show here.

To support my work, please contribute here.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below.

This Week’s Show


  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: The Crazy Town Express
  • 12:00: The Mad House
  • 22:00: A Crazy Sexual Marketplace
  • 32:00: Ruled By Morons
  • 42:00: Monopolized & Homogenized
  • 57:00: Closing

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Full Show On Spreaker

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67 thoughts on “The Roots Of Our Madness

  1. Lay-offs… I’ve seen lots of them. They are generally pretty random. Senior Management pulls the trigger then waits a couple of months to see if other people are able to pick up the slack. If the work is still getting done, fine. If stuff isn’t getting done, or people are at the breaking point and actually get in their faces, they backtrack and start refilling some of those positions.

  2. Z et al.
    Fantastic post. Clear, simple, logical forensics. While insightful, and attractive by virtue of it’s, ahem, virtue, I propose the following:

    Dissident Right Tool Kit

    Small, local association seems to be the first step. So help me, and perhaps others, do that. I’ve begun poking around looking for like-minded men. I’m guessing it’s a feature of such existing groups they require some effort to uncover them.
    So I’ll keep looking but I also desire to contribute by building. Is it simply announcing a social club? Then develop some screening mechanisms for vetting?

    I find cloak and dagger a curious approach but after reading much recognize it’s demanded these days. Motivation is about all I bring to the table in some of these areas.
    Read this as a request for some basic guidelines to get started. Practical. Best practices.

    If this exists, please alert me. Thank you Zman, and to all of you that have already begun.

    • First, all of us hope that we really can talk/persuade/vote our way out of the dilemma we’re in, but that probability is very low; so hope for the best and plan for the worst. Socializing with other like-minded people is fine and can be therapeutic, but be aware that if things get dark, LEOs will infiltrate these associations with undercover agents and CIs. You should assume that anything said is being recorded and lists are being generated. Focus on becoming as robust as you can, survival of the fittest is exactly that. Move out of urban areas if feasible; chaos will begin there first, LEOs will fall quickly and gangs will dominate.

      • Thanks, TomA. Yes to all you outlined, I’m durable and getting more so. It’s the gap between the final stop of cultural descent and the ascent of what comes next that I’m interested in preparing for. Isolation is what the enemy wants and feeds (disinformation, for sure) to those men waking up. There is considerable weakness to be exposed and exploited by small teams.
        There is also greater success (using history as a guide) found in small team antics at this stage of things.
        We are in agreement about caution, location, stockpiling, skill building, etc.
        I’m interested in practical (ideally proven) ways of meeting up, sharing the commonality that I believe all men are fed by, and creating some initial bonds that could be relied on if needed.
        As for intrusions, surveilling…it’s happening and accelerating. But we don’t know much given we have to piecemeal events together. Association and organizational structure are the next logical step. To ensure that what comes after hits the ground running.

  3. You touch on a question in the beginning that I hope you eventually address more thoroughly-is this current age of change really unprecedented? You do a great job of addressing why the modern age’s pathologies have unique modern etiologies, but every change in history will of course be unique and contingent upon its own set of contemporary circumstances. You describe the unique aspects and natural history of the modernity virus, but not “is it deadly?” or “how long have I got doc?” or “is it treatable?” As a younger person, the question of whether modernity is uniquely changing too fast is one I struggle with as my life experiences lack the amount of perspective that an older person would.

    I find the change in sexual mores to be drastic (10 years from 2008 Obama campaign being against gay marriage to “bake the cake bigot!), but is it unprecedented compared to Weimar Germany or the change from “I Love Lucy” 50s culture to 60s Summer of Love? The former had some immediate and drastic consequences but the latter…I guess the jury is still out on whether we’ve adapted to it?

    I find the whole Antifa political violence and polarization to be unprecedented, but is it that bad when you consider politicians were beating each other with canes before the Civil War?

    It is weird that people currently call themselves socialists, but is it when you look at the history of early 20th century America? (conservative Oklahoma was a socialist haven early in its statehood because of farmers).

  4. Agree on the Adam Corolla part. He’s a normie one-of-us. Much more than say, a normie Joe Rogan is one of us. Joe is too dumb to see things clearly, (besides having a lot to lose). I’ve listened to a few Corolla books. He’s definitely an in the closet race-realist. He’s too perceptive not to be. And he’s from a rough background, so he’s got that mean edge that’s sort of a dissident requirement. But, he’s annoying as hell. I can’t listen to him anymore for the same reasons Z mentioned. I’ve never nodded along in agreement with a guy more, yet at the same time wanted to punch him in the face, than Corolla. Not even McGinnis. Even if his show is entertaining and he’s a refreshingly Right-leaning mainstream talk show, he’s so overwhelmingly dickish that I can’t listen.

    • I agree with you Frip. There’s no way Corolla doesn’t know the realities of race. He’s a smart guy.

  5. You’ve nailed it here, Z man. A passionate and incisive podcast.

    When you are eradicated from the internet in the next year or two, it will be due to your insights on the dark nature of modern capitalism. You see too clearly – you are Syme.

  6. A tour de force. I thought this was great. In on a plane and plan to listen to it all over again to see what I missed the first time.

  7. Z-man, since you are discussing the “roots of madness”, here’s the latest from academia:

    For those who have lives, let me summarize.

    Inside Higher Education is a blog read by recalcitrant academics. The article referenced above describes a new additional rating/scoring system add-on for the SAT’s. College admission scores have for years described the HBD differences between the races wrt college readiness and ability to do the required work. Try as hard as they might, the university educational “experts” have not been able to upgrade the scores of their minority applicants and the awarding of “extra points” based on race is now being challenged in the courts.

    Some universities have simply done away with SAT’s since they furnish evidence of an embarrassing difference in admissions criteria. But of course, such is bad for business if you are the College Board publishers, so now they are rating their applicants according to an “adversity index”. In short, they rate and award points for your poor environmental background and save the university admissions office the trouble (and perhaps liability).

    In the crazy world of leftist Academia, there are no genetic differences in group performance, performance differences are fundamentally explainable by environmental differences among groups, therefore admission decisions being adjusted for environmental differences via the “adversity index” is equatable, and of course, students achieving admission via a high “adversity index” will blossom in the University environment and succeed as well as those with no admissions preferences.

    Article “data” supporting the above: “The SAT has been criticized for years because wealthy students earn higher scores, on average, than do those who are middle class, who in turn earn higher scores, on average, than do those who are from low-income families.”

    When evidence conflicts with ideology, ideology wins in academia.

  8. Women. Without the flooding of our public spaces and institutions by estrogen, our culture would not be half as crazy as it is. When it comes to life outside the domestic sphere or ancillary roles within male institutions, women are an invasive species. They have taken every male institution which has admitted them and turned them into Maoist daycare centers with 24/7 soap opera performances. Amendatio XIX delenda est.

    • Feminism will only be destroyed when the police state and welfare state collapse. When women are no longer able to outsource their need for protection and provision to all men, being an empowered career woman is gonna be virtually impossible. Doubly so if we could just figure out some way to eliminate hormonal contraception.

  9. Re the point about how people/families didn’t move around as much a few decades ago:

    I’m 45, so have some memory of the older sensibilities. My parents were from Brooklyn / Long Island, and lived in CT when first married. When I was 8 we moved to NJ. Parents still live in NJ now. Most everyone I knew was similar. Either they grew up their whole life in the same state, and if they moved they didn’t move very far, or to a place with wildly different sensibilities.

    When in HS I had a good friend who was 2nd generation Irish. Parents from Cork. They’d moved to NJ right before 9th grade (for me and my pal.) Pal’s Dad worked for a large bank, who moved him around alot. I was stunned to find out my friend had lived in Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, San Diego, and now NJ. (He had a younger brother born when family lived in Toronto. The brother was himself surprised to learn this when he got older. Turns out that accident of globalism gave younger brother Canadian citizenship if he wanted it. Younger brother ended up claiming Canuck citizenship, going to college in Canada on the cheap, and lives there now as an adult).

    My pal talked about how he never felt like he was really from anywhere. He felt Irish, but not really, because people in Ireland considered him American. He didn’t feel like an East Coaster because of time spent in the South, Midwest, and West Coast. He didn’t have a hang-up about it or anything, he just could sense his shallow roots.

    This wasn’t usual, from what I could tell, at the time (mid-late 80s).

    i noticed as I got older than friends parents’ of mine would leave NJ almost as soon as their youngest kid was out of high school. Likely this has to do with high property taxes, but still. It was kind of strange that the community I grew up in became scattered so quickly.

    After school I moved out to Portland, Oregon for a few years, before coming home to NJ. There’s alot to both like and dislike about that area, but one thing that really stood out to me was how many transplants there were in the city. (Mid 90s). Well over half of the people I met out there were not from the Northwest at all. Probably closer to 3/4. It was really strange.

    There’s something to be said for rooted-ness. it’s kind of ineffable (at least for me), but you can tell when it’s not there. Like my friend in HS could, and like I did in my mid 20s. I ended up moving back East at age 27 and have stayed here ever since. It’s not even so much that I loooove NJ, or NYC, or whatever. Often I really don’t. (Or aspects of it anyway.) But it’s home, for better or worse. You have the “ballast” that Derbyshire talked about in his podcast. It’s in the little things – in the weather, in the birdsongs, the landscape, the accents, the restaurants and businesses that are still (for the time being) around.

    • How much of this was driven by the economy rather than any particular desire? My father’s family lived in PA for generations but he moved to the Midwest for work when the biggest employer in town closed. I left the Midwest for the Northwest for the same reason. It’s all party of the hollowing out of America.

    • I hear you. My parents were from Oklahoma but I was raised in New York City (first cognitive dissonance; as a youngster I was neither here nor there). Eventually I left New York for college in the midwest, but brought with me the popular New York style of interaction — not much in the way of pleasantries, express disagreement in faintly hostile terms (“Get outta here!”) — which didn’t win me favor in more easygoing company.

      Today in northern Virginia I appreciate what is left of southern gentility and hope it survives. But when my (Virginia-bred) wife and I visit her relatives and they talk endlessly about every aspect of the food served, the decor, the weather, the neighbors, the personnel of the extended family, etc., etc., I revert internally to my New York self of decades ago and wish to hell someone had an idea about something at least borderline intellectual. (Fortunately in our own relationship, my wife is more than my equal at discussion, having evolved away from her family matrix, but she reverts to type when with her “southron” kin.)

      I don’t think I’d like myself as the heavily New York-influenced person I once was. But he’s still living in the back of my mind.

  10. Great podcast as usual. Upon a time, being crazy got you eaten by a predator, or frozen to death, or drowned, or perhaps even led to starvation. Win-win because you likely didn’t get to reproduce first. We’ve passed the point where crazy no longer gets you dead, but in fact our modern society now rewards crazy and we live in a vicious cycle in which crazy in growing a warp speed. Sooner or later, the gravy train will get derailed by the mounting crazy, and then it’s Katy bar to door.

  11. Z, you mentioned that young guys seem dainty. I don’t dispute. I’m young and I feel the effeminizing influences within myself. What’s maddening is that it is against my will. And I don’t really know how to stop it. My father is a good, honest man, but not much in the way of a masculine role model. I weightlift, read voraciously, love history, heavily restrict my media consumption, and take every opportunity to rough it. But I feel like I’m fighting a battle I don’t know how to win.

    Meanwhile it seems like the entire purpose of corporate America is to make my voice inflect at 3x it’s current rate, food these days is full of strange hormones, the strange hyper-reflective tendency of my generation…ad infinitum. Had I been born 100 yrs ago I could have lived without many of these influences and I can only wonder what kind of man I would have been.

    If you have any counsel on how to forget myself and get to work, or stop being so dainty, I ready to hear it sir.

    Chad Hayden

    • Chop wood with an axe. Learn to stare with a mean expression. Keep a baseball bat by the front door. I’m not kidding. Do this.

      • This all works, and costs nothing. Your stare doesn’t have to be mean; it can be merely grim – same result. I happen to have a face that looks serious and officious due to its structure. I can walk into box stores and act like I’m one of the security people. I get routinely mistaken for a cop. It’s helped keep me safe.

        I’ll add the baseball bat.

    • There used to be “men’s” organizations that one would belong to. Unfortunately, they’ve all been poz’d pretty much by a society bent on destroying men—or rather masculinity. We’re all part of the sisterhood these days. I have no good suggestions, myself, but agree with Tom in principle.

      In general, keep yourself in shape—essential. Be prepared and self sufficient—don’t depend too much on that which you don’t earn or supply, or you will become dependent, which is a feminine trait. Join a martial arts school—not kidding. If you’ve not had a hand laid on you, or been tossed for a good one, you’ll be in sad shape if that time ever comes.

      Some day, God willing, the time will come when others will seek you out. Be ready and able to contribute your fair share.

      • Can confirm re martial arts, particularly a dojo run by either an Asian guy or Asian trained guy. Also find out if the students compete outside the dojo: Competition keeps out the pozz.

        Even if there is the odd wahhmyn present, it is all about physical competition under a ridged code of conduct and the pursuit of mastery. Plus it’s good exercise that builds self-confidence. You won’t look like a freak and are in little danger from being targeted for recruitment by gheys.

      • One of my very first observations when I was a little girl, still in single digits, was that when men gather women always want to be let in but when women gather men want to stay away. I’m 50 now. Nothing in the ensuing 40 years has changed my mind about that

      • . If you’ve not had a hand laid on you, or been tossed for a good one

        It seems like few normal kids are ever in real fights anymore. That seems relegated to the ghetto and the gangs, but I think it’s important for normal boys and young men to develop physical courage.

        Not just martial arts in a controlled environment but an actual full-contact fight with someone who’s trying to hurt you. I haven’t been in one for decades, but I know with confidence that I can take a punch — a lot of punches — and keep going (getting kicked by a horse and taking a rebounding farm jack handle in the face work, too).

    • I’m 55, I box. “Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth” Mike Tyson. And watch lots of Jessie Lee Peterson videos and yell “Beta” when you catch yourself worrying about your grooming.

    • It sounds to me like you’re on the right path, and that all you need is patience and persistence. Breaking the conditioning takes time – in fact, it never ends.

    • Real men don’t smile. They show an impassive face to the world. Contrast that with the soyboys, who all seem to sport hipster beards surrounding open-mouthed glory holes displaying all their teeth. Just don’t! Keep your mouth shut. Respond to others with a terse, frank manner. Keep your emotional state out of it. No man cares how another man feels but about how he thinks.

  12. Near the start Z mentions untalented people in unnecessary jobs. It reminds me of the whiskey reviewer below. For an expert, she can’t seem to speak fluently on her subject. The video required a million edits and cuts just to make it coherent. People complain about the annoying cuts in the comments section, but it occurs to none of them why the video HAD to suck. It sucked because (as would be obvious to any of us here) media giant Conde Nast tried very hard to find a whiskey expert who wasn’t a man. So they ended up with a middling expert at the expense of the product (essentially a video advertisement for Epicurious). Again, the weird thing is that none of the commenters understand this. Or maybe they’re too afraid to say it. 15 years ago, you’d probably get a lot of comments saying, “This is whiskey, why is a woman telling me about it?”

  13. It seems to me that the best answer for why we’ve collectively lost our mind, and the ability to see things clearly, is moral failure on the part of ourselves (or at least our antecedents). This is a central theme in the writings of Dr Jones: the more one engages in a particular type of sin, the more they become blinded to the obvious sins and defects in others. Someone living a casual sex lifestyle has little to criticize homosexuals for, because all they know is transient rubbing of genitals with strangers. To me, a family man, it all seems abhorrent, with one case being worse. Clean living gives one the ability to see things clearly.

    At a fundamental level, we have to be honest with ourselves about the reality around us. Abandoning Truth in favor of pleasure and convenience has had disastrous consequences.

    • As Lineman kept trying to remind us, ultimately, it’s all about a society in which real families can take root, be sustained, and grow long branches from the past to the future.

      Today, we have Pack Territories being replaced by the Rabbit Horde.

      • None of this is rocket science. Human society flourishes where families flourish. Healthy human beings are the product of stable households, which result from known and accepted social norms. These norms, in turn, emerge from a common belief system. Confucius knew and taught this; like I said, it’s not rocket science.

        Orwell once wrote, that the difference between the French and the English was that Frenchmen could do whatever they wanted, as long they thought the same way, while Englishmen could think whatever they wanted, as long as they behaved the same way.

        Superficially, that’s quite a difference. Yet they were, in their heyday, both organized, disciplined and impressive variants of a common civilization.

        • Pimpkin:

          It’s wisdom derived from life experience, and thus incomparable to rocket science. Good luck convincing the average rootless cosmopolitan millennial one tenth of one percent of what we are saying here: it is antithetical to their very existence and self identity (what they think it is at least). That’s how we have the trope of the IYI, the overeducated fool. They never learned in the school of human life, and are now become death, destroyer of the good, truthful, and beautiful.

    • One can also look at/describe your (Tacitus) observation from a Christian perspective. As a sinner—and we are all sinners and fall short—we can look at our shortcomings (sin) without attempting to normalize, or accept it—in ourselves, or others. But I agree, failure to attempt repentance and change has corrosive effect in the long run.

      • Compsci: I agree completely. I try to be deliberately generic when discussing such things, decoupling morality from dogma. Religion-specific dogma works as a very good heuristic for people who cannot figure it out on their own, and broader morality invoking transcendent qualities is more palatable to those that find dogma unpalatable.

        Repentance as a feature in Christianity acts as a safeguard, preventing the cancer from spreading by keeping people grounded and honest with themselves. Serious problems begin when we believe our own lies.

  14. Haven’t listened yet, but I am going to throw my hat in the ring anyway. What people crave these days, more than money or happiness, is social acceptance, “likes”, and accolades from their “peers”. Reality has nothing to do with any of that, so they shape these strange ideas and arguments into some sort of half-baked thing, and then proudly hold it up to receive the applause. GW Bush set the stage with half-truths, Obama showed how it was done, and now we get full-on crazy as some sort of mainstream thing.

    Reality will bust in one of these days, and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

    • As the Roman poet Horace observed, “You may drive nature out with a pitchfork, yet she’ll be constantly running back.”

      Liberals don’t believe in human nature so they feel free to shovel people around like concrete in pursuit of their mad utopian dream of creating a new society.

      Cuckservatives believe there is a human nature and will even grant a certain amount of difference between the sexes, but not between the races or within a race.

      • Cuckservatives are infected with the same type of delusion as Leftists, but manifested in a different form. To believe in race differences (HBD) is to undermine their basic premise of Civic Nationalism, which is their foundation of belief that we (American residents of all races and creeds) can all live together in peaceful harmony under the rubric of CivNat. To accept otherwise is to undermine that unifying principle.

        • Never mind that reality keeps getting in the CivNats way.

          “Baltimore is not the way it is because all the Whites left, it’s because it is run by Democrats!”

          These people really have something wrong in their brain that simply refuses to recognize reality.

          I think its more general than this. I think most people are incapable of depersonalizing their interactions from the general case. Hence the ‘racist hater’ badwhite who loves go on about the N*ers, along with the ‘I have lots of black friends’ suburbawhite who thinks all black folks are like Jamal and Jasmine down the street.

          People that can tread the line are hard to find. We have to recognize group differences and the need for a coherent policy that reflects those differences, while at the same time not getting caught up in emotional hatreds (e.g. DA EVUL JOOZ PEDOS ARE GOING TO GET US ALL).

          • BT, well said. I try to walk that line myself. Not easy, those on both sides often take pot shots at you. 🙁

  15. I grew up in the 70s and swallowed the libertarian line that Reagan in the 80s had saved the economy from stagnation. If instead, this was just the beginning of the financialization/corporatization/homogenization of everything, then what should we have done differently back then to improve the economy? Obviously, there isn’t an easy answer and there are a lot of opinions, but do you have any recommendations re smart people discussing this?

    • Who’s to say that was wrong at the time? The economy under Carter was in a horrible state and Reagan almost certainly did end the Stagflation. That doesn’t preclude the notion that it was also the beginning of the financializatoon of absolutely everything and it certainly doesn’t imply that this was in any way Reagan’s goal, yes? It may help explain why people just accepted so many changes to the status quo.

      • Well LBO’s took off during the 80’s and it wiped out a lot of American industry and jobs, but in the process made a lot of paper pushers on Wall Street fantastically wealthy. Since then it’s never stopped. There’s Bain Capital and Romney who made his fortune swooping in buying up a company looting all it’s assets and then abandons it to slowly die.

  16. What’s next in crazytown after the tranny craze?

    Easy, pedos. They are already rebranding themselves as MAPs. Minor Attracted Persons.

  17. So I see AOC has tweeted against “usury” and actually used that name for it. Hmmmm, now who said this would be a good idea. LOL

    • Canto XLV
      With Usura

      With usura hath no man a house of good stone
      each block cut smooth and well fitting
      that design might cover their face,
      with usura
      hath no man a painted paradise on his church wall
      harpes et luz
      or where virgin receiveth message
      and halo projects from incision,
      with usura
      seeth no man Gonzaga his heirs and his concubines
      no picture is made to endure nor to live with
      but it is made to sell and sell quickly
      with usura, sin against nature,
      is thy bread ever more of stale rags
      is thy bread dry as paper,
      with no mountain wheat, no strong flour
      with usura the line grows thick
      with usura is no clear demarcation
      and no man can find site for his dwelling.
      Stonecutter is kept from his tone
      weaver is kept from his loom
      wool comes not to market
      sheep bringeth no gain with usura
      Usura is a murrain, usura
      blunteth the needle in the maid’s hand
      and stoppeth the spinner’s cunning. Pietro Lombardo
      came not by usura
      Duccio came not by usura
      nor Pier della Francesca; Zuan Bellin’ not by usura
      nor was ‘La Calunnia’ painted.
      Came not by usura Angelico; came not Ambrogio Praedis,
      Came no church of cut stone signed: Adamo me fecit.
      Not by usura St. Trophime
      Not by usura Saint Hilaire,
      Usura rusteth the chisel
      It rusteth the craft and the craftsman
      It gnaweth the thread in the loom
      None learneth to weave gold in her pattern;
      Azure hath a canker by usura; cramoisi is unbroidered
      Emerald findeth no Memling
      Usura slayeth the child in the womb
      It stayeth the young man’s courting
      It hath brought palsey to bed, lyeth
      between the young bride and her bridegroom
      They have brought whores for Eleusis
      Corpses are set to banquet
      at behest of usura.

    • AOC against usury_? Must be the Commie part of her Pooh Bear-like very little brain not taking to the feminist part. Protecting the stupid from exploitation using such things as usury laws is the very essence of The Patriarchy.

  18. When you say “…on the bike…”, doing whatever, do you mean motorcycle? Or the less boomer and far whiter bicycle? If so, what do you ride?

    • I’ve been into cycling for a long time. I lack the build for it, but I enjoy it anyway. Currently I have a specialized carbon road bike and a steel trail bike. I’ll do 1500 miles a year if the weather break right.

      I have not ridden a motorcycle in a long time. Too dangerous around here. Plus I don’t have a garage.

  19. The discussion about layoffs is a bit high level. Often there is no impact for a period of time. But at some point in the longer term the lack of actual work being done or being done shoddily ends up causing the company to be destroyed. Lay off half of the accounts receivable staff and eventually you’ll stop collecting income… Romney and Bain were good at this. Lay off folks, rack up debt, cash out, and then the company dies.

    • At the Macro level, Bain’s investment model was running up debt in an owned entity, transferring that money to the investors then filing for BK to avoid repaying the debt. The particulars of each business were secondary.

    • Bad T;
      Spot on. Put another way, it’s all about running down the design margin/reserves that was/were built up over time and putting it all in your own pocket, all at once. ‘Just-in-time’ is great absent disruption.

      The reason the first layoff can work sometimes is that the creative guys who knew where the slush was stored (because they put it there) have moved on and been replaced by mediocre successors. Since the present incumbents are more likely timeservers, a first layoff can make the smarter of them go looking for it, whereas they were content to let the sleeping dogs lie in the past.

      • It’s similar to the story of the manager of the pickle factory. He removes one pickle from each jar. Huge cost savings, profits up, nobody complains, he gets promoted! Next guy does the same thing. Until there are no pickles left in the jar.

        I get Z’s point – there are a lot of useless folks in administration in our major institutions now. The trick is figuring out who is actually useless and who just looks like they are. The Senior DBA that doesn’t seem to have a lot of work to do is laid off. Things hum along fine until the database breaks on Black Friday, and nobody can fix it (since you outsourced your DBA work to Wipro and the Indian on-call was the second cousin once removed of the Wipro hiring manager).

        Basically, if it’s part of a cost center of the institution, assume that there’s a reason that it exists. It might not be a good reason. Profit centers are much more stuffed with junk, since nobody wants to take too hard a look at how the sausage is actually made. An exception might be those parts of orgs that infest themselves with women and SJWs (e.g. HR)

    • I’m a Project Manager – always one of the first to get laid-off. Laying off those kinds of people is a conscious decision to chose immediate profit over future growth.

      I was literally half-way through a redesign of the new client account set-up process (which was badly broken) when I was last laid-off. Good luck with those big growth plans.

  20. Ah, the eternal debate about public life: crazy, stupid, or evil?

    Of course, some people are in two or three of these categories. But If you just take each person by his strongest one, I’d analyze the rot-o-sphere as 5% evil, 15% crazy, and 80% stupid.

    But I reckon the evil ones, not having the handicaps that come with craziness or stupidity, really drive the process.

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