I girded myself to look at the old paradigm of what I call “Business Darwinism,” when I realized that I’d already done that job in 2015.
The way I wrote it then is far clearer and more precise than anything I might do at this remove.
So, in exposing the old paradigms of “doing business,” I can do no better than to repost that series of two articles.
As financial wayshowers, one of our tendencies is to look to see how people did business in the past and then to borrow from them.
But we have to consider that those who went before succumbed to some pretty shallow and often corrupt business practices and have very little in the way of philosophy to bequeath to us. My own suggestion to financial wayshowers is to forget how business in the past operated and to carve out new paths, based on love, compassion and integrity.
What’s missing here is an appreciation of the extent to which the Illuminati owned the economy and were working it for their own enrichment and the subjugation of the working and middle classes. While I suspected collusion in business, I had no idea that everything – business, politics, religion, medicine, education, the military, etc. – was permeated by Illuminati control.
I’d like to look here at the philosophy I call “Business Darwinism.” Business Darwinism is the pseudo-scientific application of the principles of Charles Darwin to business.
Business theorists who followed its tenets represented business as a struggle for existence in which only the fittest survived. The business world was a jungle, red in tooth and claw, and the business that succeeded was the one that could pounce first.
‘”In that modern-day tribe called a corporation,” said a Dow Jones ad in Business Week, “it’s still the survival of the fittest.” (1)
Firms rose and fell because “it’s evolution. Successful firms will grow big, and smaller ones will shrivel and die.” (2) This doctrine was held to be synonymous with economics itself, as if it were an invisible law of the universe.
Megafarms, for instance, many of them in Florida and California, favored letting the weak go under. “It sounds cruel, but that’s what economics is all about,” says John Zonneveld Jr., who had a 10,000-head operation in Laton, Calif. (3)
“Social Darwinism is respectable again,” Report on Business Magazine observed in 1991. (4) The modern firm had to be ready to turn on a dime, downsize their workforce, locate overseas, and do anything else to see that no one else ate their lunch.
The sense of urgency that business leaders saw all around them in the nanosecond nineties moved some to declare that “a major shakeup is coming soon — one in which only the strongest, best prepared companies will survive.” (5) This was the decade of the major global meltdown, the first in which computer technology combined with global telecommunications to make world trade wars possible in real-time.
“If management really wants to be around in the nineties, something has to be done. We no longer are just competing with the company down the street. Today, the name of the game is global competition. Survival is what many businesses are facing.” (6)
The Nineties were considered to be the first decade of true global competition and global economic warfare.
“Today’s manufacturing market is a truly world-wide market where only the world class manufacturers will survive. … To achieve the dramatic results needed for world class competition, dramatic changes are needed in manufacturing philosophies and techniques.” (7)
The business page read like the sports page. Where nations once squared off against each other, now global businesses went toe-to-toe. Sometimes America lost ground:
“While internecine strife hogged attention at home, the U.S. retreated in the far more important war of global competition. Biggest winner: Japan, where companies stay in fighting trim without having to listen for predator’s footsteps.” (8)
At other times America surged forward: With the rise of low- cost capital, the U.S. “scored a victory in its battle to become more competitive in the global economy.” (9) The successful survivors were lean and mean. “What is GE Capital’s edge?” asked Business Week. “Most important is a culture that successfully blends an entrepreneurial spirit with the hard-driving and intensely competitive focus of its parent.” (10)
This point of view supplanted the liberal tone of discussions from the Seventies and early Eighties. Where once caring and commitment had been praised, now lip-service was paid to the would-be-masters of the universe who overpowered, dominated and controlled. (11) In the service of market share, global firms were pictured slugging it out and fighting glorious battles.
Business Darwinists often described the competitive process as a game like boxing, hardball, or football. For example:
“For much of the last decade, U.S. companies have been maligned as wimps that lacked the grit and gumption to stand up to Japanese and European rivals. As they cowered in the big shadows thrown off by the Siemenses and Matsuhitas of the world, American firms caved in to quarterly earnings pressures and skimped on long-term technology investments, But lately, the derisive criticism has begun to ring hollow.
“Domestic corporations, perceived by many as the world’s weaklings, have put on new muscle and become industrial warriors capable of blowing away even the most intimidating global competitors.” (12)
Facing stiff competition from Germany and Japan, the nation was encouraged by tales of American companies muscling their rivals, acing them, trouncing them, and leaving them quaking. (13) American firms were depicted blindsiding their opponents, blitzing them, and giving them palpitations. (14) Like IBM and Microsoft they were “fighting tooth and nail [for] market position.” (15) Like U.S. Surgical, they “took the market by storm and left once-dominant [competitors] stunned.” (16)
Those who toughened up were congratulated for “[getting] the jump on the competition” and “[knocking their] socks off.” (17) Examples ranged from the local to the international, from companies to nations. The supermarket down the block “squares off” with its union. (18) An international computer maker “goes toe-to-toe” with its international rivals for its share of the world market. (19) The American nation enjoys enhanced prestige because of its “new economic muscle.” (20)
When the business press talks about life in the global ring, it classifies companies into fast and powerful. Nissan and Toyota are powerful. Europe is fast. The Japanese car-makers are characterized as “heavyweights,” facing “a leaner, meaner Europe Inc.”, which is “just what’s needed to fend [them] off.” (21) Hewlett-Packard is powerful and also fancy. Attacked by Japanese clone-makers, HP is eulogized for “slugging back” and “packing a powerful punch.” (22)
“By 1989, more than 60 Far Eastern clones were closing in on HP’s market. In a lightning-fast response, the Silicon Valley company struck back with cheap and technologically advanced machines. ‘We hit them with a left, then a right hook,’ says Richard Watts, Hewlett Packard’s director of worldwide sales and distribution for computer products. … That fancy glove-work ultimately landed pugnacious HP in the winner’s corner.” (23)
When firms slug it out, some “get pummeled”; others “clobbered.” (24) The weak end up “showing bruises.” (25) However, no matter what the situation brings, it’s expected that no competitor will “give up … without a fight.” (26)
Whether fighting among themselves or against foreign competition, says U.S. News & World Report, “America’s toughest companies [are displaying] tenacity and innovation in beating up global foes.” (27) In case its drift escapes its readers, the commentators make it abundantly clear: “The moral of these stories is simple: Getting tough is the only way to thrive in today’s global market.” (28)
Business gets bloodier than the boxing metaphor allows. In some accounts, savvy companies are metaphorically represented as bloodthirsty predators, searching for prey. A European firm is congratulated for having “a killer instinct for competition.” (29) Airbus is depicted as “aiming at Boeing’s jugular.” (30) General Electric is “always prowling for new businesses” to expand into. (31) When it finds one, it strikes quickly and “gobble[s] up assets from weakened rivals.” (32) These companies will kill for market share.
A normally conservative company (Corning), “which had been eyeing Damon for years, jumped in with a decisive strike — a $401 million cash offer of its own. Done deal.” (33) Counsels a broker in Business Week: “The people who can pounce first are going to make money.” (34) Competition here is truly bloodthirsty. But the situation is praised for waking complacent corporations up. Says one CEO: “There’s nothing like the survival mode to get humans moving.” (35)
(To be concluded in Part 2.)
(1) Dow Jones ad in Business Week, 23 Sept. 1991, 33.
(2) Management specialist David Maister in William B. Glaberson, “Megafirms are Taking Over Corporate Law,” Newsweek, 17 November 1986, 104.
(3) Peter Hong, “Milked Dry on the Dairy Farm,” Business Week, 9 Sept. 1991, 86A.
(4) David Olive, “The New Hard Line,” Report on Business Magazine, October 1991, 15.
(5) Rod Willis, “Harley-Davidson Comes Roaring Along,” Management Review, March 1986, 22.
(6) John R. Costanza, “JIT or MRP II — Survival or Exctinction?” P&IM Review, December 1988, 38.
(7) Terence Rock, “‘Hyperchange is the Only Certainty’,” Electronics, August 1990, 71.
(8) Edward Faltermayer, “The Deal-Decade: Verdict on the ’80s,” Fortune, 26 August 1991, 59.
(9) Christopher Farrell, “The U.S. Has a New Weapon: Low-Cost Capital,” Business Week, 29 July 1991, 72.
(10) Tim Smart, “G.E.’s Money Machine,” Business Week, 8 March 1993, 63.
(11) Faltermayer, ibid., 58.
(12) Eva Pomice and Warren Cohen, “The Toughest Companies in America,” U.S. News & World Report, 28 October 1991, 65.
(13) Pomice and Cohen, ibid., 66 and 74.
(14) Michael Crawford, “No Nerds Need Apply,” Canadian Business, January 1993, 48; Pomice and Cohen, ibid., 66.
(15) Carolyn Van Brussel, “Multimedia Battle Lines Drawn,” Computing Canada, 21 November 1991, 6.
(16) Pomice and Cohen, ibid., 73.
(17) Richard N. Foster, Innovation. The Attacker’s Advantage. NY: Summit Books, 1986, 37; Thomas J. Peters and Robert H. Waterman, Jr., In Search of Excellence. NY: Warner Books, 1982, 31.
(18) Walecia Konrad, “Much More than a Day’s Work — for just a Day’s Pay?” Business Week, 23 September 1991, 40.
(19) Andre Fuochi, “Stratus Moves into Unix Market by Expanding RISC-based Systems,” Computing Canada, 21 November 1991, 9.
(20) Farrell, ibid., 73.
(21) Blanca Reimer, “‘Quite Frankly, Being Unemployed Stinks,'” Business Week, 15 July 1991, 45.
(22) Pomice and Cohen, ibid., 73 and 66.
(23) Pomice and Cohen, ibid., 73.
(24) Robert Neff, “A Year of Twists and Turns,” Business Week, 15 July 1991, 52-3.
(25) Todd Vogel, “Rene Anselmo Can Sure Dish it Out,” Business Week, 27 May 1991, 103.
(26) Vogel, ibid., 104.
(27) Pomice and Cohen, ibid., 66.
(28) Loc. cit.
(30) Dori Jones Yang, “Will Boeing Build a Behemoth to Defend its Turf?” Business Week, 19 August 1991, 28.
(31) Tim Smart, “G.E.’s Money Machine,” Business Week, 8 March 1993, 63.
(32) Loc. cit.
(33) Amy Barrett, “A Wake-Up Call for the M&A Crowd,” Business Week, 26 July 1993, 26.
(34) Equities-technology manager Hadar Pedhazur of UBS Securities Inc., in Gary Weiss, “In the Trading Wars, This Swiss Bank is Anything but Neutral,” Business Week, 10 June 1991, 84.
(35) Borg-Warner’s CEO James Bere in Faltermayer, ibid., 61.