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> I wonder if this is because business borrowed something rather toxic from the post-1970s "postmodern" intellectual meltdown of the humanities? The worst kind of MBAbabble that I've endured over the years reminds me very much of postmodern literary criticism in its vapid, posturing use of language to hide the fact that the speaker is not actually saying anything.

You described easily over 75% of the management textbooks I had to work through when I was getting my management degree. Vapid & content free. It was shocking sometimes to be reading a few chapters in a row, and not even realize different authors wrote them because they all had the same "voice" of page after page of absolutely nothing at all to say.

In the USSR they were called apparatchiks:


It's sort of funny how Soviet business culture actually is.

> It's sort of funny how Soviet business culture actually is.

Capitalist heirarchies look like state heirarchies in a system widely criticized as being "State Capitalism".

Funny to the people who think that the Soviet Union represents the polar opposite of capitalism, expected by the left-libertarians who noted that the Soviet Union recapitulated the features of capitalism central to the socialist critique of capitalism.

It goes more in the opposite direction I think. "The Firm" has a centrally planned economy that in the case of an organization like Google can easily be as big as a small country. So it naturally tends to behave the same way as any other large centrally planned economy.

The thing to understand is that the socialist critique of capitalism has always been that it is a system in which, both on the "micro" scale of firms and the "macro" scale of broader institutions, is centrally organized for the benefit of a narrow elite, with a distinct and well-defined (though, in the case of the "macro" scale, less formal than is the case in, e.g., feudalism) social heirarchy.

The heirarchical megacorporation existed before socialists invented the name "capitalism" to refer to and criticize the system which spawned such beasts, so the Soviet Union mirroring the heirarchical structure of such an entity -- with a similar elite vs. worker power relationship -- is exactly the USSR recapitulating features of capitalism central to the socialist critique, and not "the opposite direction".

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