05 February 2009

Failure: incompetence as key

In this second installment in our Failure series, we will explore how incompetence breeds failure and especially how incompetence is born and bred by the State power.

You all know Mr. Incompetent, in one way or another. You all know the type of person who lazes about the office, with an unpleasant personality and an entitlement complex a mile long and an inch deep. Or more likely, he doesn't work at all, preferring to slouch all day, collect a subsidy check, and play loud music all night long, thus disturbing your sleep if you are unfortunate enough to reside next door to him. But incompetence does not always render itself so highly visible. The most destructive incompetence can be concealed under quite innocuous guises.

Incompetents are extremely self absorbed and thus sometimes lose sight of their responsibilities, the results of which ends up affecting others negatively. They may or may not be narcissists, but that is only relevant when it comes time to assign blame in the wake of failure. Incompetents are not necessarily malevolent. Oftentimes they do not mean to cause problems due to their self focus. Incompetence is a natural result of the drift in their thoughts toward items other than the task at hand. They may be consumed with worries about important personal issues (such as finances, always a worry in these difficult times), or perhaps they are afflicted with autism spectrum disorders which render it more difficult for them to focus on something other than the self. No matter what the cause, excessive introspection, aka minor incompetence, leads to a lack of focus on the task at hand and is highly likely to lead to mistakes, errors, and careless sloppiness in performance of tasks, thus breeding incompetence.

Lack of focus means that data may be entered incorrectly, or details may be misremembered or forgotten completely, or small but crucial steps may be skipped, or items may be misplaced or mistakenly destroyed. This is the basis for systemic failure down the road.

Then there is major incompetence. Major incompetents have, for lack of a better expression, a moral comportment that does not lend itself to ease of use in larger society. For them, incompetence and failure are byproducts of deliberate gross negligence caused by egregious self-indulgence. These folks include your standard issue subsidy seekers, welfare moochers, pathological narcissists, resource hustlers, and loss-socializers. Many of these folks are drawn to government as a source of sustenance, whether vocationally or otherwise, since government by definition does not disappear or otherwise suffer ill effect due to the consequences of failure. Indeed, unlike anything observed in private industry and contrary to every moral law imaginable, the State sector uses each and every one of its numerous failures as an excuse to aggrandize even more power and resources for itself! 

This, of course, explains the reason for the existence of that multiplicity of incompetent souls which populate and staff the State apparatus. A system built on a foundation of incompetence, and where the proper consequences of incompetence are non-existent, is virtually guaranteed to fail, every single time. And in a system of falsely begotten privilege where the greatest unearned benefits percolate to the top, it can be assured that the most aggressive major incompetent hustlers will rise to the occasion to seize them.

Major incompetents are deftly able when it comes to self-benefit and obtaining what they want. It is in the remainder of life, in performing responsibilities which benefit others, that they fail so dramatically. And with greater responsibilities, the potential for failure only rises and the scale of failure increases accordingly. The Imperial bureaucracy is liberally peppered with examples past and present of this phenomenon (see "heck of a job").

It is clear that the State harbors much incompetence and failure in the world. Due to the special architecture of public power which insulates those in its service from accountability and responsibility, it is clear that even if all State actors performed their jobs with at least a basic level of competence, the State would inevitably fail. In short, the mechanics of socialism require a sort of god-king who will know the unknowable, who will comprehend all parameters that in larger society are the responsibilities of many diverse actors who may never encounter each other. Such is the fantasy of the idolators of the State throughout history - to identify this superman who will be able to perform this unperformable task and finally fulfill the most cherished wish of all loafers through the ages: to obtain prosperity without the expenditure of effort.

With parameters this impossible to meet, is it any wonder that State incompetence and failure occur with all too frequent regularity? Is it any wonder that those god-kings in whom we place our hopes to perform economic miracles always fail to satisfy, while only serving to impoverish us in the meantime?

Such is the impact of incompetence on all of us. The next installment will go further in depth in researching the link between the State and failure.

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