The Master’s Servants

Every employee harbors a bit of resentment toward the boss. It’s human nature. The employee sees the benefits of being the boss, but not the burdens. This resentment is amplified if the boss makes a lot more money than his employees. Everyone fantasizes about having a big pile of cash and what they could do with it. If the boss is viewed as undeserving, maybe being an idiot or ill-tempered, it seems unfair so a natural resentment develops.

A stock character in popular dramas is the bitter employee who thinks the boss is a dunce or has lucked into his position. That leads to the bitter employee becoming a Raskolnikov of some sort, committing a crime or treachery. The Simpsons have been doing a version of this with Sideshow Bob for 25 years now. It works because we can all relate to it, even if we are not prone to jealousy and resentment.

I was reminded of this a few years ago, when American Liberals were running around bitching about the 1% and how the bankers were screwing everyone. What struck me at the time is that all of these people were on the payroll of some rich donor or taking bribes from Wall Street. Liberal pols love Wall Street money. Liberal think tanks count on billionaires to fund their operations.

The carping and moaning about the 1%, from someone like Elizabeth Warren sounded to me a lot like what you hear from a bitter employee. Mx. Warren gazes upon her credentials and believes she should be at the top of society. More important, she thinks she should have the wealth of someone at the top of society. Instead, she is reduced to being a servant to rich donors.

John McCain has suffered from this malady in the past. His comical jihad against campaign financing was a just a complicated way of saying he deserved better than being just a servant. These rich bastards he had to beg for money did not deserve their position. They lacked his credentials and gravitas.  His servant’s revolt went nowhere and we have even more rich people buying servants in the political class.

It’s an important thing to understand about American politics. The boys and girls we see running for office are just servants. They could just as well be actors, hired for the role. The Great White Hope of Buckley Conservatives, Ben Sasse, is an extreme example of the exam system we have allowed to develop. He is a man who has never had a job outside government. His resume looks like a spoof of managerial technocracy.

The slobbering over Sasse by Buckley Conservatives is a great contrast to their reaction to Donald Trump. In Sasse they see one of their own, a fellow servant. He works in a different part of the master’s estate, but he is still a servant. He went to the same finishing schools, subjected himself to the same humiliations and made all of the same compromises in order to gain the master’s favor.

Trump, of course, is an unapologetic rich guy who has no respect for the toadies and coat holders in the political class. It’s not that he is from the wrong side of the tracks, which is certainly a big issue here, but that he is a reminder to all of them that they are just the errand boys of the rich people, who pay their salaries. They are not the kingmakers and trend setters they imagine. They’re just servants.

The response from the servants is a sneering contempt for Trump and his voters. I’ve long suspected that this contempt is part of what is driving the Trump phenomenon. To most Americans, the response from conservative media reminds them of the snotty girl at the coffee shop, who carries on like she is better than the customers. She can’t afford shoes, but she sneers at people who spend more on bottled water than she makes in a week.

What’s being revealed now is just how much these people truly despise themselves for living the servant’s life. They can’t take it out on the donors, who they are required to stroke once a month and fundraisers, so they are letting loose on the only guy in the race with a job. Their frustration grows as their assaults fail, because it reminds them of their impotence.

There’s another side to it. The boys and girls of the managerial class look at normal Americans as field slaves. A part of how they have reconciled their subservience is to pretend that they are superior to the field slaves. Now that the field slaves are slaying the overseers and eyeing an assault on the main house, the house servants are reminded of their own servitude. They hate the field slaves for it.

It’s why slave revolts rarely succeed. Ultimately, the house slave will defend his master against the slave revolt. It is his nature. It is what he is bred for and what gives meaning to his life. The field slaves are rarely willing to do what must be done to succeed and that’s wipe out the house slaves fist. In the end, it is the house slave with the whip in his sending a message, on behalf of his master.

24 thoughts on “The Master’s Servants

  1. Every time I hear a Democrat or SJW speak this year, it sounds to me like peasants wishing they had a Lord of the Manor to protect them.

  2. Workers hating managers? Ah yes… When I was a manager, I had a second-in-command who worked tirelessly to stab me in the back at every opportunity. Someone in authority had once told him that perhaps one day, if everything worked out, he could be the boss. It was, knowing the person who made that statement, a throw-away line and the sort of thing you say to truculent worker to keep them docile. Instead this guy took it as an official endorsement he should be number one. Instead of helping me get the job done, he strove to stir up dissent among the workers against me: every time the upper management told me to make my department jump my number two would quietly tell the minions the upper management had said nothing of the sort and it was only me trying to make their lives hard because I was a nasty person.

    In the fullness of time I moved on and he, for a time, took over in a temporary role while a new boss was sorted out. Of course he had no idea what I had to put up with and when I happened upon him a couple of months later he at least had the character to say “I had no idea what they wanted you to do. I don’t know how you put up with it. I’ll be glad when the new boss comes in because I can’t do this job.”

  3. I never heard of this Sassy guy before. I’ve seen some resume padding and climbing in my time, but Sassy makes the ambition-bots I’ve run into seem like candy-assed shut ins. Did he do any actual work in any of those six-month jobs he was in, or did he spend the entire time passing out resumes and going to interviews?

    • It really is an amazing thing to behold. If I were going to make up a resume to lampoon this sort of guy, it would look like his resume.

      • How to Succeed in Government Without Really Trying.

        Some weird stuff about Midland U. They claim to be getting almost twice as much revenue from athletics than they are paying in scholarships. That seems excessive for such a small school. They also doubled the size of the student body while guaranteeing everyone graduation in 4 years. Hard to see how he could do that without lowering academic standards.

        Now there’s a couple of models that Sasse could have used to get there. He could have brought in a boatload of Chicom underachievers with rich parents paying full fare. Or he could be maximizing subsidized student loans, saddling dim bulbs with loans they’ll likely never repay.

        Guys like Sass are brilliant at bankrupting the future to pay for the now, shifting blame, and making their escape with plenty of time before everything blows up so they can plausibly claim that their successor lacked their brilliance and just couldn’t make the complicated but ethical business model work. I feel sorry for the chump who took his job.

        Wait, I just described the entire governing class.

  4. @ theZman – Perfect topic for a Sunday school lesson. 🙂 Ephesians 6:9 “And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.” A wise leader (of whom there are fewer and fewer these days) knows this. Some of the greatest generals in recent history were renown for their respect for the common soldier, and men like Patton and Eisenhower, Rommel and Hartmann were revered by their men.

    The Christian principle is one of mutual service; “if you will serve them, they will serve you.” Jesus said that that was where greatness was to be found, and Paul said, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” That is exactly what Christ did and mutual service developed into mutual respect.

    In Germany, the relationship between employer and employee is very different than what you Americans are used to. American companies are famous for their hire and fire mentality depending on the quarterly report, which is pretty much unheard of here. When I was working in Silicon Valley back in the 80’s and 90′, I saw first-hand how this attitude impacted motivation, respect, loyalty and ultimately, company performance.

    While there is always that one person who thinks they can do a better job than the boss, generally speaking, the climate between white collar and blue collar is very good in the majority of German firms. Consider that 99% of all German industry is either a small or middle sized company, usually family owned. These companies hire more people than all the top firms combined. The relationship is simple; owners are responsible to manage the company properly and the workers are responsible to provide a good days work for a good days pay. Managers respect the capabilities of their engineers, who respect the skills of the staff on the shop floor who in turn respect the ability of the managers and engineers…mutual service develops into mutual respect.

    I think we view our political leadership in the same way; they’re looking out for us so we support the party’s goals. Germans have a good sense of mutual trust and respect at the work place so it makes sense it would follow in politics as well.Yes, politicians make mistakes, just like CEO’s make mistakes – that’s a risk which we have to accept. But all in all, life in Germany is pretty good and has been improving over the last 70-years; improved health care, education, care for the elderly, expanded and improved infrastructure and one of the strongest economies in the world.

    But in America, corporations do not have the same social attitude towards their employees as we do (social as in looking out for each other). As implied in your post, there’s an overt distrust of your supervisors, managers and CEOs for any number of reasons. Perhaps this is why you distrust your elected officials (the people YOU vote into office) and in return the elected officials have nothing but contempt for the people that put them there. To anyone on the outside looking in, it’s a very odd system.

    • Because of government interferance, quotas, mandates and such over the last few decades the American workplace has become quite political. Unhappy, too. In its quest for the politically correct and the egalitarian at all costs, the American Left has created a frustrating, dog eat dog, every man for himself work environment that is not good for the soul.

    • A distant relative of mine who ran a business making street lighting had his company taken over by an American company. When the parent company bosses asked him, now he was head of UK operations rather than owner, what would motivate his workers, he said he thought it was important to keep their trust by giving them his full support and understanding. In this way they would be content and efficient workers and wouldn’t let themselves or the company down.

      The new bosses all said: “Wow, that’s a unique approach. We never thought of that”

    • “But in America, corporations do not have the same social attitude towards their employees as we do (social as in looking out for each other).”

      Karl, you put your finger on a major distinction between American and German employers: German employers are privately owned family businesses; American employers are publicly-traded corporations, or large privately-held corporations that are deliberately run like publicly-traded corporations in order to make them more attractive to potential buyout partners. Publicly-traded corporations are fundamentally amoral institutions that necessarily have a strict– and largely exclusive– focus on short-term profit. Family-owned businesses tend to reflect the moral values of their owners; typically, these tend to be positive moral values as it is difficult to build up a business from nothing using bad morals and bad faith.

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  6. Sasse turned up at the Iowa caucuses, making it his mission to wander around and spread bad karma for Trump. Clean cut looking and forward like many young pols, he caught the media’s eye. Which was the object of the exercise. Now he is doing whatever it takes – even attacking a baffled Sean Hannity – to extend those fifteen minutes.

    I have no idea whether it’s true or not, but a Nebraska poster on another forum said he’d changed his will to contribute $5K to defeating Sasse in any future election in which he runs.

    • This post prompted me to look up Sasse’s bio. After playing ball and briefly driving dad’s tractor in high school, it is just as Zman said: he went through a series of 18-month revolving-door sinecures in the bureaucracy, mgmt. consulting, and academia. He has never worked beyond high school LARPing as a Nebraska everyman on dad’s farm.

      Let us not forget his trip to San Bernardino to remind everyone “This is not who we are” in response to Trumps’s reasonable call for a moratorium on Muslim immigration after the shooting. But my how cuckservatives love him.

      It’s obvious he sees himself running for president and is starting his campaign a mere 48 months in advance. I’ll leave everyone with his loathsome speech to CPAC posted from his YouTube channel:

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  8. This piece got some weight to it ZMan. Well done.

    I mean this in the most reverent way, I am a dirt person, I wear it as a badge of honor, so I have to say it. Yes I’m of the Dirt People, and Lord I have the dignity of my liberty and know it balls to bones. But I’m no serf. That is the first thing. Sure I am subject to the “Corporate Slave Class and their masters and their mechanizations, its effects and crummy consequences, the reality being this is a banana republic now. But that doesn’t make me a slave to the sonofabitches. I resist every day, every minute. And that is all the difference. I’m rich because I defy the bastards. This is something that begins with each of us, so too our liberty. Screw those totalitarians among us, in fact in spite of the lousy capitulators to the oligarchy they enable to be possible.
    Many say resistance and freedom begins with winning hearts and minds.
    Got that right. If winning minds is a political science, then winning hearts is an art form.
    And I like pieces like you wrote here cause it takes an artist with a pen to write one that plants the seeds of defiance in hearts.
    You go Brother, this was a 1st rate piece you wrote.

    PS, if you haven’t read this one by Henry Dampier, I think you would very much appreciate it. It is a gem:

      • Man I’m glad you liked it!
        I thought is was a seminal piece too. Ole Henry’s written some pretty good stuff. I found it uncanny how accurate his observations are. ZMan and Henry, if you only read these two guys, you would be enriched, they teach us some truths and fundamental essences of us.

        Henry wrote another piece that is appropriate you might appreciate:

        My favorite piece for awhile now is something I would not have thought had so much to do with everything, but I think it really does. You have to read it, because what you think it is from the title, gives you no idea of the profound reasons and ideas within it. And it goes back to the masters and servants. I’m really glad I’m a Dirt People, at the very least I got my dignity and a set of balls.

        David E. Vandercoy
        1994 Valparaiso Univ. Law Review

        Recently, read the most incredibly enlightening book of my life. Found it on Amazon in the kindle section while looking for historical works from or about Patrick Henry. It is obscure for sure. It only had 3 reviews, but it was 99 cents, so I took a chance on it. Oh Brother! What a gem. It is a history of America from the late 1600’s to the end of the rebellion. Like nothing I ever read. All the warts, the tragedy, the good the bad and the truly ugly. This guy who wrote it delved into the physical historical record, news papers, journals, pamphlets, records from Parliament, military AAR’s, inquisitions, you name it, and crafted a documentary that will shatter the notions and official historical record. I hope everyone reads this, if for no other reason, and there’s a pile of reasons, but because the truth is greater and stranger and more tragic and triumphant than fiction we been fed. A story far more engrossing and compelling than anything we been told.

        The True History of the American Revolution
        by Sydney George Fisher

  9. The objective of Buckley Conservatism was to prevent the rise of the inter-war conservatism of Lindbergh and Father Coughlin.

  10. You’ve nailed the problem with academia, that’s for sure. They truly seem to believe that brains, talent, and power are all equivalent — that whole “vanguard of the proletariat” thing — and since they (think they) have the brains and the talent, someone somewhere is screwing them out of power. So they spend their days coming up with “critiques” of the system, and telling other bitter losers that this is as important — in fact, MORE important — than actually doing anything. And the kids love it, because biting the hand that feeds you is the essence of teenager. So they learn that this is officially sanctioned Smart Person behavior, and the culture of complaint rolls on. Vote Bernie, because you deserve someone else’s stuff.

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