Hivemind

8 Jul

I am not anti-corporate. I think, in some ways, corporations provide us with hundreds of things we could never have otherwise, everything from electricity to supermarkets to entertainment to medication are largely due to corporate investment. Also mass-producing something like pottery, actually makes less of a footprint then everybody making their own. It’s more efficient.

However, I am rather uncomfortable with corporations as well. Here is the reason: corporations are not people. I know they hire people, and have people providing services for them, and people certainly play an integral role with corporations, but corporations are institutions that are beyond individuals.

I work in a large corporate atmosphere, and the thing that disturbs me the most is the presence of hivemind. Now before anybody thinks I’m going all sci-fi on them, all I’m saying is there’s a group thinking in any large organization that is beyond the sum of all the individuals in it. The same phenomenon has been well studied under groupthink.

Where I see it is where groups of people in a huge corporation have their work-hats on, and there’s a consensus that nobody really verbalizes, and this consensus is that the corporation is hugely important, that all the individual departments hinge on the health of the corporation–which seems to be something greater than a conglomeration of departments.

And because these groups are all aligning themselves to an abstract concept–because after all corporations aren’t sentient things, that abstract concept also alters with that alignment. At the worst, “The corporation” or “the company” becomes this gravity like force that sees individuals as being an enemy. There’s not much fighting with it either–because there’s nobody really in charge at all. Even a CEO is mostly powerless to change policy.

Corporations do not have morals even when all the individuals in that corporation do. I’m not saying they’re evil, I’m just saying there’s no consciousness there to have morals at all. And also, when people become overly aligned, the rest of the world can become very abstract. Corporations love bringing things down to numbers, mostly because numbers seem to be irrevocable facts, measured increments that can be constantly gauged for progress.

The thing is, these numbers are not as irrevocable as they seem. They are compiled from hundreds of sources, none of whom guarantee objectivity. There’s been cases of corporations boasting of record-breaking sales all the way to bankruptcy.

And after that, there’ll be some fall-guys but there’s nobody to really blame because as soon as things go bad, the corporation disappears like a puff of smoke.

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