This documentary of the Soviet golden age of technology should be a bit black pilling for anyone working in industry right now.
I’ve spoken with an engineer from the Soviet Union who says that the young guard of manufacturing engineers today are the same as the young cadre of party-trained engineers back then. They were so narrowly specialized to serve as cogs in the Soviet information machine that they couldn’t solve any real-world problems if they’d wanted to—and they didn’t want to solve problems, because that takes time away from the desperate struggle to maintain appearances of hitting unrealistic performance metrics. The difference is that central planners today actually scoff at the idea of understanding the businesses they own, as if they are philosophers’ stones printing creative innovations like paper money. They then give themselves carte blanche to engage in magical thinking, fixing all manner of performance indicators (price, forecasts, polls) as if keeping up the appearance of prosperity on a graph will cause reality to conform to their fiat. Patrick coined this “the arrogance of capital” which I like very much.
Central planning is not, all else held equal, a bad idea—it works very well in a nuclear submarine, for example. However, if all else were held the same then humans would not have the primordial symbol of Ahriman atop a black pyramid in our collective unconscious to represent the panopticon of totalitarianism. The construction of this pyramid is more deterministic of a social process than anything Marx ever fantasized in his scienmagistical dreams, but that may be described another time. What concerns us now is the economic implications: totalitarianism produces ruin because it divorces decision-making power from material suffering, so that positivistic technical solutions are designed with as little exposure to negative feedback from the problem as possible. This produces two political classes comparable to child protective services and orphans, and in a world where the CPS budget depends on headcount nothing is more dangerous than proper parenting.
The engineering profession requires access to capital and cultural transmission of institutional scientific knowledge, which are now monopolized by Ford’s “money interests” as part of the struggle between power brokers to centralize authority and decentralize negative externalities. The result has been to treat creative production like manufacturing, where ideas are matriculated by computers through human processes like components through an assembly line. The utility of creative innovation is now measured by hours billed at a flat rate as if the progress of science were simply the endless repetition of the same rote steps, an algorithm like replacing the spark plugs in an engine. Thus, every professionally “creative” person is now hopelessly specialized and incapable of solving real-life problems, from which they are desperately insulated. Sam Vaknin was right: intellectuals have sold their souls to the state. This happened because, in despising the dignity of the working poor, the social engineers decided it would be better to call everyone a “professional” rather than question the values they used to assign dignity. Everything is now hopelessly confused in a tragicomedy of “sandwich artists”, “Starbucks partners”, and increasing calls to liquidate 80% of the Western population and start over with a new one as if the problem were simply a warehouse full of dead stock.
Thus, we have foremen cajoling assembly line workers to be “professional” and engineering managers apologetically asking CAD sandwich artists to “get their numbers up” so they won’t get in trouble with the accounting department. True-born professionals, the officer class of economic production to whom authority must return and accountability on whom these outcomes ultimately must rest, are given the choice between buying in to this philosophical industrial complex or being systematically excluded from access to the pyramid’s capital and being priced out of institutional scientific knowledge. Is there even a single Randian Superman out there who, saving his pennies from working as a sandwich artist after being blackballed from the professional engineering societies, has spent them on a legitimate copy of Solidworks? We have made private engineering practice illicit for all plausible purposes. Just as there is nothing more dangerous to a corrupt state than the existence of a prosperous neighbor, there is also nothing more dangerous to corrupt capital than alternative capital. These then are the horns of the dilemma: a man who wishes to produce labor-saving devices must either 1) cooperate in the insane political programs of a shrinking managerial class of power-mad social engineers bent on acquiring all capital on earth, or 2) he must start a small business and be crushed within the scapegoating machine for having the temerity to prove a counterfactual which poked these overgrown Egoists right through their insulating delusions of grandeur.
What do we then propose to resolve the underlying paradox of the Technocrat’s Dilemma? Among other propositions: Generation Autonomous Kill Drones with the Eugenic Correcting Factor. (It’s a working title.) Our motto: Boomer Apocalypse NOW!