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Corporate Zampolit

Soviet military companies and regiments infamously had in addition to regular officers zampolit, or (by the older name) political commissars. The position was as “a supervisory officer responsible for the political education (ideology) and organization of the unit they [were] assigned to.” Tom Clancy to the cheer of his readers has the captain of a defecting Soviet submarine kill the annoying zampolit in The Hunt for Red October.

Clancy juiced up the zampolit’s role for the sake of drama. Reality was more boring, according to one summary.

The zampolit’s official duties tended to be limited to ideological training and indoctrination, assist the commander in maintaining discipline, and to maintain morale…Far from an instrument of totalitarian terror, the existence of the large networks of zampolits tended to exacerbate the tendencies of the Soviet military to be officer-heavy and zampolit would often collude with their military counterparts to cover up evidence of wrong doing. The presence of these semi-autonomous officers did create some friction with their military counterparts, especially since a zampolit’s endorsement was crucial for promotion, but in practice the system was relatively benign.

Zampolit are thus no different than corporate Diversity directors or other relevant HR staff.

Zampolit enforced ideological conformity, so does HR. Zampolit needlessly swelled officer roles, therefore increasing bureaucracy and causing inefficiencies, and so does HR. Zampolit conspired to keep secrets, so does HR for favored officers and employees. The zampolit’s endorsement was crucial for promotion, and so is HR’s.

Every company of any size now has a Diversity officer, or very soon will have one, who herself is in charge of a corps of HR apparatchiks. Just as, I’m sure, ordinary soldiers and sailors would have dreaded being sent to a zampolit for a corrective session, ordinary employees fear being “sent to HR” over a diversity or -ism complaint.

Just ask Google’s now ex-employee James Damore of his experience with HR. He was fired for writing, in public, that hate fact that men and women are different. Ideology says they are not—though it is always allowable to point out instances where men suffer in comparison to women.

Since HR flacks have no real job beyond complying with insurance- and government-mandated paperwork, they must invent work for themselves to justify their existence. Most of this falls under ordinary bureaucratization, like inventing new and ever-longer review forms and procedures. Or to write and update “policy” manuals that never diminish in size.

But some of it is diversity related, and must be, since they are meant to be seen as ideological enforcers. Google (to stick with the example) even issues a diversity “annual report”. Judging by its length—and this is only a wild guess—I’d say it took at least one man-month to complete. Make that woman-month. Google’s Diversity & Inclusion Officer is a non-male.

This woman was compensated what must be in the high five figures, or perhaps much more, to write “First, the responsibility and work to achieve a more diverse and inclusive Google is shifting from a primarily People Operations and grassroots-led model, to one of shared ownership with Google’s most senior leaders. Google’s leaders are focused on, and committed to, accelerating our progress.”

This can be rendered in plain language: managers were told quotas will be tightened and enforced. That rendering, given it only took a couple of seconds to write, thus represents a considerable cost savings. But Brown, the non-male Diversity & Inclusion officer, does not want to make what she does look easy.

So she also wrote: “Second, we are further increasing transparency. Google’s publication of workforce representation data in 2014 helped shape the current industry conversation on diversity in tech. We aim to take the conversation—and our work—to the next level as we further refine our approach, so this year we’ve published new and more detailed workforce representation data.”

In short: employees were also told quotas will be tightened and enforced. It’s not clear what the “next level” will be. A good guess is that pain will be involved.

None of what Brown writes has anything to do with writing better code or creating nifty, marketable algorithms. It is instead pure ideological education and enforcement.

It is well to study Brown’s report, for if your own company doesn’t produce one like it, it soon will, as I said. Since victim groups and ideology shifts in time, so too will report contents. But that corporate zampolit must only grow in size and importance is assured.

Does this make America a communist country?

15 thoughts on “Corporate Zampolit Leave a comment

  1. I started working at Ford Motor Co. in the 1950’s and continued in the auto industry until retirement at Chrysler. To me each company seemed like a Communist organization especially at Ford which inculcated a sense of fear. The was a special plain clothes police force (“gum shoes”) that might arrive at any time to just “look around”, all managers kept their door closed, profit improvement programs(PIP) i.e., layoffs could come at any time, entire departments would suddenly disappear and no one would give an explanation, long term employees would disappear with explanation, etc. etc. When diversity came into being, i.e., more women (1 point), black women (2 points) , we were assigned the person with no choice. Managers who objected were either fired or were placed in an “attitude adjustment” program. I was very happy to retire.

  2. “Third, we are taking a more systemic approach to improve outcomes in workforce representation,
    and to create an inclusive culture. Our company-wide strategy is anchored in
    further operationalizing four longstanding commitments . . .”

    Systematic operationalization you say? Quotas! Quotas! Quotas!

    Nothing gives me warm fuzzies quite like the possibility of one of the world’s largest technoglomerates holding more information about me than the U.S. government and deciding my philosophical outlook on life is ultimately incompatible with the Brave New SJW paradigm (especially when, for whatever stroke of brilliance, that company removes its “Do no evil” statute from its corporate code of conduct? What’s the implication now!? Poor taste and no tact, IMHO) .

    I best be off to an early start to get me a prime spot in a new Gulag.
    I kid, comrades.

    But on a more serious note: it seems to me that this sort of organized effort (offices/officers of diversity and inclusion) is only possible when one has the vast capital resources of a Google or overly-incentivized academic bureaucracy; the rest of us mortals are simply trying to survive. In more shoestring operations these sorts of departments and positions would never be considered operationally necessary due to the waste of resources—we’ve got a business to run, ya know? But perhaps Google, reaching a certain level of success and complexity, must needs mandate such initiatives to improve quarterly earnings; although in my humble and worthless opinion it’s counter productive. But hey, what the heck does a guy like me know? I’m sure they got financial analysts and engineers up the ying yang concluding that this is logically and critically the next step in Google’s ascent to higher earnings per share—like firing or not promoting employees who don’t espouse the company line—while paradoxically espousing that diversity and differing opinions are critically essential to the success of the organization. Guess some of those poor slobs picked the wrong kind of “diversity.”

  3. “Yin and Yang” not “ying and yang”.
    Yin is feminine cool, dark, gentle, quiet.
    Yang is hot firy, dry, loud, masculine.
    (…aPpaently. )
    Thomas was on to something when he said females were defective and born of a south wind which is moist, or some other comedy.
    I had it on authority of a submariner captain, blow by blow account of where the movie was not true to life and where it was correct. Hot water there, too.

  4. McChuck,

    Beat me to it.
    Ms. Brown might object to “Herr”, though.
    “Frau Kommisar” is probably too much as well.
    There is still much work to be done on the Diversity front.

  5. Here in Montreal, a city with a large Jewish community McGill imposed a quota system to limit the number of Jewish students in Law and Medical Schools despite superior grades to both Anglo and Francophone students (religious and secular) right up to the sixties. This at a time when the education system was in no way whatsoever inclined to give Jewish students any sort of “advantage” at all. They were winning at a game where they had little control of the rules. I have no idea if Columbia, or John Hopkins had similar protocols in place…but it would not surprise me. A Jew could not join a Gentile club, or book into a Gentile hotel. So they created their own, and ironically were then castigated for keeping apart. I despise the new quotas and PC system of numbers as much as the next bloke, but don’t kid yourself that we are blameless.

  6. All of the hatred-based communism which is now openly emerging in the United States… we all know where this leads, where it must lead, where it can only lead, and that is to the camps.

    And it is obvious, it must be obvious, they do hate you with unbridled passion. They are unified in their hatred of you, it is their main unifying point. It’s pointless to argue about why or where it came from. The Rubicon was crossed a long time ago.

    I won’t bother repeating Solzhenitsyn’s quote about burning in the camps later, you all know it. The key point is this: don’t let them take you. If we had any brains at all we would deal with them preemptively right now. Systems of power that are based on hatred always end in mass murder. ALWAYS.

  7. We all look forward to Ms. Brown voluntarily stepping down in order to make her position available to a person of color.

  8. @BrianH

    Hahaha well said! What if as a “privileged” (and boring), tax-paying, heterosexual caucasian male I actually identify as a woman of color, thereby making me some sort of bi-racial trans black lesbian woman? Do I get first dibs? That identity has to be worth at least 4 DIVERSITY POINTS. How does/will a more progressive worldview make rational decisions at that level of absurdity (given that you could potentially actually have a candidate like that). Reminds me of this comic I saw yesterday:

    https://me.me/i/i-am-against-abortion-uu-5orry-dude-but-only-women-8410794

    Ir’s all a bit queer to me. . .

  9. The Political Commissar has been alive and well in the Amerikan Public School system for quite some time. When I worked as a Teachers Aide at a high school in of all places, North Idaho, I saw it with my own eyes. I was told the only “Free Speech Zone” was behind the locked doors of the Teachers’ Lounge. The faculty there was, by and large, scared stiff to say anything which might be construed as politically incorrect. Madness.

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