New Civilization News: All The World's A Factory    
 All The World's A Factory6 comments
picture26 Sep 2005 @ 12:24, by Richard Carlson

The farther you enter into the truth, the deeper it is.


To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.

---Oscar Wilde

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.

---Rene Descartes

Some 30 years ago, I took my bag of teaching out of public and private schools and into a factory. The name of the company was TRW, which is about as nondescript as you can get, but I soon learned the initials represented the first letter of the last names of the 3 men who founded it. I also learned the 2 factories in our town, which were the last remaining major industry there, were only a toenail clipping in the vast global body of this corporation, headquartered in Cleveland. I decided TRW must stand for The Real World. At one point I even thought those guys could control the weather. Ho ho, clearly I was out of my mind.

Anyway, when I took the job I had a more naive view of manufacturing America. The place had a tutoring and education program especially for returned Viet Nam vets, who were trying to get back on their feet to support that wife and kid(s) that had come along during our "police action" over there. Most of these guys had put a payment down on a house, were settling in to a secure job with high pay and lots of benefits, and needed a program to improve some skills they had that might move them up into management. I thought this was a wonderful way for a corporation to share its wealth with the community of workers upon which it depends.

My dumb ass, the whole program was Federal, something called CETA, paid for with tax dollars and nothing much out of corporate profits. As soon as Reagan was elected, he shut the program down...and 600 of us lost our jobs in a single day. My hometown was ruined for the next 10 years, becoming a typical Appalachian depression. TRW didn't like the atmosphere and soon moved out...leaving Jamestown, New York desolate. Dana, our newborn son, and I no longer could make a living there, and like many others we moved away too.

Another reason I took the job, however, was to see a different kind of decision-making than I had experienced among school administrators. I was correct they are different kinds of people, almost a different species. Educators like a leisurely life, with coffee and lots of chat. You always can put off reviewing that syllabus until next year. Manufacturers like hanging around too, and share a yearning for the life of the country squire. But their jobs are on the line constantly, and one screwup with materials or dimensions and you're out the door.

Of great interest to me was how the factory kept getting changed around. Sure, the big machines were bolted to the floor...but even they could be carted off to another area if need be. The bosses and their little shacks inside the main rooms were always on the move. Everything was collapsible, walls came down, computers and desks were packed up, and moved closer to or away from the action. Engineers and of course Quality Control seemed to manage this stuff. Our Quality Control guy, Marty Kuhre---some distant cousin to my wife---had no background in industry but did have a Masters in Psychology.

I was struck with how like a theater a factory is. Everything is scenery, built to be "struck," which is a theater term...and not a labor union joke. The big bosses come and go, just like movie stars. Shipped in from LA and New York, the managers oversee for as long as it takes for them to be noticed for an innovation---like moving the offices all around---and then they move on up...or hit the bricks. Nobody starts at the bottom and works all the way up, learning the business as you go. You come in as a star...maybe because you were a jock on the college team---or a cheerleader. The factory, like the entertainment business, is all for the buck in the moment...planned obsolescence.

People and cubicles go up and down, come and go, with the mystery of the market, the speed of profit and loss. The higher in the hierarchy, the less one cares about the people involved below you, the community around you. The company moves you on, buys you a new house and sells the old. (You haven't been truly blind until you buy a house from a megacorporation.) You go to the party in the new town welcoming the new guys, and there you parade your trophy wife. It's all part of the show.

So Trudeau's Doonesbury today struck a chord obviously. [link] Sucked dry Iraq, like my hometown, will be abandoned by the big benefactor, in this case Halliburton, always looking for the best corporate welfare deal. Unaccountable to anything but their Free Market Gods, no excuse need be made. Global companies can continent hop...and extend their subsidiaries endlessly. Probably one tentacle will remain in Baghdad just in case a new oil well is found. Is this how we helped rebuilding Europe? I wonder.

Three days before he left public service in 1961, President Eisenhower said, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." [link] Today Bush proposes the Defense Department be placed in charge of Disaster Relief.

In this morning's New York Times, "The first detailed tally of commitments from federal agencies since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast four weeks ago shows that more than 15 contracts exceed $100 million, including 5 of $500 million or more. Most of those were for clearing away the trees, homes and cars strewn across the region; purchasing trailers and mobile homes; or providing trucks, ships, buses and planes.

"More than 80 percent of the $1.5 billion in contracts signed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency alone were awarded without bidding or with limited competition, government records show, provoking concerns among auditors and government officials about the potential for favoritism or abuse.

"Already, questions have been raised about the political connections of two major contractors - the Shaw Group and Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton - that have been represented by the lobbyist Joe M. Allbaugh, President Bush's former campaign manager and a former leader of FEMA."

Their editorial today begins, "As the nation reels from Rita's devastation along the Gulf Coast, any hope for a thorough investigation of government's gross mismanagement of Katrina is quietly ebbing away behind the political levees of Washington. The White House and Republican-controlled Congress, resisting popular support for an independent, nonpartisan commission, remain determined to run self-serving, bogus investigations.

"President Bush has designated his domestic security adviser to deliver the supposedly no-holds-barred investigation he promised after his early embarrassment over Katrina. In a similar retreat, Congressional Republican leaders' ballyhooed promise for a special two-house select committee to fathom government's failures has already been scrapped. Democrats are understandably demanding equal membership and subpoena power - if not a 9/11-type independent commission - for such a task. But the House majority refuses to yield its edge in dominating this politically explosive issue. And the Senate goes its own way, advancing some helpful but totally inadequate ideas for post-hurricane oversight by an inspector general and a reconstruction financial officer."

So much theatre to watch. Is the play still the thing to catch the conscience of a king?

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26 Sep 2005 @ 19:34 by Quinty @ : Warren G. Harding was a piker

Our copy of The Nation arrived today. On the front cover, written large, "Now the Real Looting Begins," boldly appears.

Then there's Frist.

Tom DeLay.

The lobbyists filling the halls of Congress, helping their elected "representatives" write legislation. Making life easier for them, quid pro quo.

Hey, this isn't a matter of ideology, left or right. It's a simple case of thievery gone rampant and rabid. I'm tired of helplessly standing by squawking and screaming while Bushites condescendingly say: "Get over it! You lost, your time will come," as if it were all a game. And what is done is insignificant. "Hey! It's just a game! Get over it!"

The true philosophy of many a corporate man (and woman, though I see it as basically a man's game.)

Open the flumes and hogs gather oinking around in a feeding frenzy. Those who still support this gang in Washington are either (A) morons, (B) willfully self-deluded - I know, it can be hard to give up a dream - I remember watching the Republican House members live on TV vote yes for impeachment in '74, and how the tears rolled down their eyes - or (C) their morality is no different from the corporate takers.

There’s a reason for all that conformity in the corporate world. The insistence on everyone having a positive outlook. Good team players. Good fits. All that jargon that conceals corruption, incompetence, and great ambition. For without that attitude (“Hay, your turn will come! Stop bitchiing and moaning!”) the whole house of cards would fall down.  

26 Sep 2005 @ 23:45 by astrid : Amen to that Quinty....
.... once we've established wht OTHERS do....comes the time to look at ourselves: do I support that and that and that and IF I do; 'HOW' do I do it? Do I want to continue that, or is it more Life sustaining to go in an other direction and what steps can I can take now , to benefit my new Path/Destination? Do I need to turn around in increments (most of us do!) What can I do TODAY?, next month, next year??? etc etc.

HOW HARD CAN THIS BE??????? geeeezzzzz!

"Some Things I never Understand!..."

Every week someone here on ncn alone (not to mention that the Net is full of suggestions -as is our own Hearts ), comes up with good ideas for sustainble Change for IMPROVING Earth's chances to survive us and our own chances to survive our own species!... Last week it was Bushman, talking about the MUCH better Lightbulbs, wiring some of the lights in your House to 12 Volt. MAJOR IMPORTANT IN ANY "DISASTER!!! Yet, HOW many cared?????? My guess is NOT MANY! How many has learned ANYTHING REAL about themselves these past two years, for instance?... Do people really care...???... UNLESS their Life is not abruptly altered by OUTSIDE FACTORS!!!THAT is when people start to change their everyday reality... because they were FORCED!!! OUTSIDE Disaster, Natural or Man-made seems to be the only Cosmic Lingo People choose to "understand" -like I said: because they are forced to!  

27 Sep 2005 @ 00:17 by jerryvest : It's so true that this corporate
greed and political game played by our Administration, Congress, Military and Judicial is disgraceful. Is there anyone in our midst, nationally or internationally, who can step forward, address the world and awaken everyone to the eminent dangers that we face? Who is believable? Who can be trusted? Who is respected?

One of our basic instinctual questions for survival is "Are they Friend or Foe?" It looks as though these politicians all, are our Foe. It's no wonder that humans in our society are becoming more depressed, anxious and stressed--our self-preservation is threatened every day. But, not to worry, the pharmaceutical-governmental- industry will protect, secure and save us for sure. ;)  

27 Sep 2005 @ 01:32 by astrid : What happened to look at oneself???
INSIDE the Box life is ONE way and will always be THAT way!!! If that way has taken the world/Mankind into the shit-hole, it won't take us OUT from there, will it?

We shoud by now know that they -INSIDE the BOX- ARE FOE and go from there: Get out from the Box and then, from that insght start finding our own means and methods!... Don't we have access to any Common sense -or....
Wanna drink clean healthy water: DON'T SHIT in the Water!... Wanna breath BREATABLE AIR , don't SUFFOCATE the air by removing all the Oxygen etc etc... REALLY TOUGH STUFF,eh?!

IF the Boys in the Box want that kind of life, let them have it! why do you have to petition them for something Life has given to you as your Birthright!?!?!?... Now, come on! As long as people refuse to understand that the Mainstream/Establishment's lifestyle is the LOWEST frequency to hold the human form, and with lowest life values, with NO equality, NO true science , NO true CREATIVITY - exept for making more babies- (the rest of the "creativity" there is stolen from people of higher vibrations etc.etc) "consciousness: is another word for CO-creativity WITH LIFE on LIFE's = Cosmic = Universal TERMS/LAWS/ PRINCIPLES! They seem to work, don't they? Life/ Universe has been around a few years, has it not?!...

As long as people continue to look UP to the 'establishment' as theee Bliss /Good Life giver/producer, in which a place in the sun must be chased and strived for every hour of every day.... well then; that person IS DOOMED by his her own stupidity!...  

27 Sep 2005 @ 07:46 by jazzolog : A Note From Lois

----- Original Message -----
From: "loiswhealey"
Sent: Monday, September 26, 2005 2:01 PM
Subject: Re: All The World's A Factory

> Hello, Richard,
> Re the difference between school administrators (laid back, can maybe put
> off curriculum reform to next year) versus corporate managers who tend
> either to rise to the stratosphere or hit the bricks quickly.
> One difference between education jobs and corporate jobs is teacher
> CONTRACTS. Once in awhile a teacher gets fired for fooling around with
> minor children. But with "tenure-like contract," after the first term of
> teaching you may have a job for life. When I was on the school board 20
> years ago, I read somewhere that the number of teachers fired for
> incompetence as teachers had been 1 or 2 in 30 years NATIONWIDE. The good
> teachers protect the bad through the union. Meanwhile, teachers are among
> the few job holders with contracts--union jobs have gone down from about
> 40% 35 years ago to 15% today, and many are OEA or AFSCME workers, i.e.
> they work for "government agencies." Incidentally, I was a classroom
> teacher long ago, in the fifties, and have always claimed teaching as my
> vocation. And I recognize that administrators have less job security than
> classroom teachers (but also enjoy their own group, OASA, which always
> tells school board members that administrators are in charge.)
> Lois Whealey-
> But your insight may help explain why corporate managers are so opposed to
> unions, from which they do not benefit.

It always is a privilege to get a reply from you Lois, since you add so much dimension and experience to the material I try to present. It would be hard to think of---or even imagine---someone so actively involved in community and citizenship.

During my teaching career I never stayed in one place long enough to get tenure...and would have been uneasy accepting it. Tenure is a little like an opportunity never to eat vegetables again. Certainly teachers and professors need protection from an aloof class of administrators, but normal union procedures should be enough. Tenure merely helps the professor climb the stairs of his ivory tower and never again look down.

In my experience both in industry and education, the real plums ripe for picking by the company are people who have risen in union ranks to positions of leadership. The company loves to "promote" into administration someone who was chief negotiator for the union in the last contract. I never could understand how one of those guys could put on the shirt and tie, walk out on the floor as supervisor, and look any former coworker in the eye. But they do it. Those people---and most factory lower administrations are full of them---know exactly what they're doing when they abandon union protection for the country club. If it goes badly I have no sympathy for them.

But all this reminiscing is moot in the face of a cold stonedead labor movement. It was the working man who abandoned the Democratic party and voted in Reagan. Attracted by Ronnie's advertisement of himself as past president of an actor's union and strangled by horrifying inflation constructed carefully by corporate thinktanks, the average joe opted for trickle-down economics. I remember machinists in the locker room talking about giving it a try. They voted conservative Republican then and have continued ever since, even as their own economic interests become more and more obviously ill-served. Reagan's first act was to bust a union...and he bragged he'd do them all in.

And as life became tougher for the working man, what did he do? He flocked to the fundamentalist megachurch...and joined in some kind of ghost dance for the ultimate pie in the sky. Who was it who said Bush's real strategy for getting out of Iraq is the Rapture? My resentment against the working people is strong these days...and maybe others feel the same way. I understand even the Bushies look down upon them, referring to them reluctantly as "the base." Democrats must share the disdain for they have made no move to win them back. But what would happen if they did? The first challenge is to break through into the unreality those people live in, fed by TV 24/7, junk food, gas-powered toys, and 3 church meetings a week. The rage of disillusionment is mighty...and perhaps the wakeup call is the next step. Let us hope it is beginning to happen!


It's almost impossible to sum up and describe the work and achievements of Lois Whealey. One site lists her thus: "Lois Whealey, former VISTA, public policy/Ohio Liaison for National Town Meeting, Rural Action." Certainly much of what she's done for this area in the past 20 years has been with Rural Action, which describes itself as "a membership-based non-profit organization working for just, sustainable communities in Appalachian Ohio. Rural Action trains, organizes, networks and supports a diverse group of citizens for the revitalization of their communities. Rural Action has developed a comprehensive, conservation-based approach to development that builds social and economic capital while restoring and preserving the environment. Our learning session was a case study focused primarily on our sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, arts and heritage and environmental restoration projects, including the Monday Creek Restoration Project. Rural Action's publication, Building Healthy Communities, which describes sustainability indicators and their application to our work, was presented during the session. For further information, check our web site at, or write to Rural Action, PO Box 157, Trimble, Ohio, 45782."  

27 Sep 2005 @ 18:03 by astrid : Thanks for the link!
I love web-sites where people have stopped giving their power to Gov.Institutions and thus taken their own discernment/judgement aka Power, back and instead are now putting it into good use for the Highest Good of ALL! This is exactly what it means when someone says: "step/ping outside the Box!" You are now IN the world = our society, but not OF the World = cover-up, as well as Umbrella word for the establisments -BUREAUCRATIC- institutions!  

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