Hi there! It’s us, McKinsey, the spreadsheet sociopaths ruining the world and making a pretty penny doing it!
If you haven’t seen the New York Times piece on McKinsey’s latest fuckery, the link is here. Their “latest fuckery” is their work with Purdue Pharma (the OxyContin producer that fueled the opioid epidemic ravaging America right now) and their owners, the Sackler family. Here are some select quotes:
“McKinsey laid out several options to shore up sales. One was to give Purdue’s distributors a rebate for every OxyContin overdose attributable to pills they sold.”
Let me repeat that: A REBATE FOR EVERY OVERDOSE TO KEEP SALES GOING
“A leader for McKinsey’s North American pharmaceutical practice, wrote to another senior partner...: ‘It probably makes sense to have a quick conversation with the risk committee to see if we should be doing anything’ other than ‘eliminating all our documents and emails.’”
And yes, the risk committee was in on it. Why? Because these risk committees are here to protect the business first and the clients second. They couldn’t care less about me or you.
“They knew what was going on. And they found a way to look past it, through it, around it, so as to answer the only questions they cared about: how to make the client money and, when the walls closed in, how to protect themselves.”
The entire article is a doozy. I suggest reading it. And while you’re reading it, I want you to understand something:
I’ve worked in consulting. This mindset is COMMON. This is done everyday. To these snakes, people are nothing but numbers to squeeze revenue out of. Spreadsheet sociopathy. If every single consultant and banker disappeared tomorrow, we would be better off.
This technocratic mindset is universal throughout the management consulting world. They are the embodiment of so much wrong with the rampant instrumentalization and commodification of our society. Humans become numbers, profit becomes God.
Last Men, Machine-Men, and Pleasure Pods; how degenerate modernity has become.
I will tell you something: Working in these fields is a descent into hell. You may climb back out, but something is irrevocably lost. The devil does not allow you to leave fully intact.
And make no mistake, their religion, the worship of the almighty LINE, is a worship of destruction. Of hollowing out. Of emptying living out of life. It is not only soulless, but actively soul-destroying. No sacrifice is too great. The Line must continue rising.
An Interesting Explanation of Narcissism
I doubt many of you care much about comics, and even fewer about comic adaptations, but there is a tv show called Legion that is one of my favorite tv shows of all time. Highly recommend. Anyways…
In Season 2 of Legion, Jon Hamm was hired to do voiceovers for these mini videos that played either at the beginning, or in the middle, of each episode. One of them, titled Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, is far less about Platonic metaphysics, and far more about narcissism. Here it is:
While the definition of narcissism narrated by Hamm here likely wouldn’t be cited in the DSM-V, I think it gets to the core of what narcissism is and I think it applies strongly to the kinds of people who work at places like McKinsey. The Spreadsheet Sociopaths.
The most alarming delusion of all: that other people don’t matter
Hamm uses the idea of the shadows from Plato’ Cave and rather than tying it to a metaphysical system, he ties it to the psychology of narcissism in modern society and especially of confusing a world seen through a prism with the real world.
Unlike the allegory of the cave, where the people are real and the shadows are false, here, other people are the shadows. Their faces, their lives. This is the delusion of the narcissist. Who believes that they alone are real. Their feelings are the only feelings that matter, because other people are just shadows. And shadows don’t feel, because they’re not real.
But what if everyone lived in caves? Then no one would be real. Not even you.
Ultimately, when we reduce our fellow man to numbers in a spreadsheet, when we become alienated from them, we have turned them into shadows. And we too, have become shadows. A kind of perverse collectivism emerging out of individualism. Every person, reduced to a shadow.
And so we return to the spreadsheet sociopaths at McKinsey and elsewhere throughout the Techno-Babylon full of eggs in suits who dictate our lives. Absentee ownership, rent-seeking, the “gig economy”. Techno-Babylon is at the center of the evisceration of the heart and soul of our culture and society, and, ironically, the hollowing out of our economy.
Ultimately, the corporate bootlickers supporting “free markets” (which don’t exist and don’t work even if they did exist) simply empower the spreadsheet sociopaths to destroy societies and plunder their wealth while they impoverish the people.
This narcissism that Legion puts forth is at the core of so much of our society and its issues. Perhaps one can associate it with some variant of “alienation”. I intend to read Lasch before pondering that further. But in the end, a uniform opposition to the rent-seeking and soul-sucking aspects of our economy is an absolute necessity. If the GOP will not stop gargling the balls of corporations and their lobbyists, destroy them. If the Dems continue to welcome the corporate bootlickers and neocon ghouls into their party over the next 4 years, destroy them too.
Do not be confused. These people do not give a damn about you. To them, you are just shadows. Little machines that they can optimize to squeeze a few more cents of profit out. Nothing more. Do not grant them loyalty. Do not show them kindness. Treat them as the hostile force they are. And become far more than just a shadow to them.