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Capitalism, being made of large corporations, tends to have lots of systems, because systems diminish the cost of communication between groups of people, which corporations are. But that is not to say that capitalism likes systems or needs them nor has a systemic nature. Just like Wall St buildings are made of brick and mortar, but bricks are not capitalist per se.

But there in a nasty property of Capitalism (or Corporatism) that could be confused with a system, and that i believe should be avoided, but that will probably not be if we confuse it with”system”: Sameness.

No one was ever fired for buying IBM, and the corporatist way of thinking is, in its very essence, thinking in ways that avoid you being fired. Historically, capitalism grew as groups kept tightly together ruthlessly focused on specific enterprises (the East-Indies Corp chiefly amongst them). The managerial tool of firing everyone that deviates is an obvious (and crucial) offshoot of it.

Therefore you avoid choices that are easy to criticise. And this leads to blandness.

But blandness is very different from a system.

A system is an interplay of chaos and order that expands your possibilities. Blandness is just order, applied without feeling.

The dichotomy between system and no system makes it look like you must give up sensibility to exploit order. It is actually the other way ’round. The more sensibility you have, the more you can use order without getting stale. It is sensibility that allows systems. Maybe even: Sensibility is that which allows systems. And if you avoid systems to preserve sensibility, you actually get a sensibility that is unable to develop.

The opposite mistake, to believe you need to be bland to have a system, is even more insidious (and the reason i wrote this post in the first place).

I need an example: Say you are drawing a font (the letters of an alphabet). Say you have a problem drawing a letter, you draw it a thousand times in a normal way, and it never gets really good. And then you draw it in a weird way and it turns out better. The first mistake i was talking about is using the so-so drawing that fits, making an obviously bland font. But the second mistake is using your weird letter but also trying to make every other letter weird in the same way. And you end up with an weird blandness. You are using disorder, but not in a way that opens up possibilities.

If you use disorder without sensibility you get blandness just the same.

Of course you can use these arguments to justify sloppiness. You do a lazy job and if anyone complains you say they are being insensible. And this is yet another instance of the same pattern, a sort of misunderstanding of discipline. You are saying lack of rules is freedom.

Sometimes weird is just sloppy. It is hard to say which is which, but sensibility is hard.

The whole point is figuring when the universe of possibilities is growing and when it is shrinking.

Said like that, it sounds pretty obvious. But i do see this misunderstanding play out in a lot of contemporary culture.

For example, now it is become common to say “you must respect the girls”. Of course you do. Respect expands your possibilities. You also must respect the boys. But the girl slogan works best. So we turn it into a stale system.

It is easy to frame disrespect to a woman as patriarchy, it is hard to talk about how contemporary culture tends to treat people as objects, even though these 2 ideas come out of third-wave feminism. But respect without rules seems immaterial. Thus we only value respect if it is universally applied without sensibility. We get all the rules of feminism without a hint of the attempt of not treating people as objects.

What i am trying to say is that Fourth-Wave Feminism tries to get sensibility through rules. It tries to bake “respect” into law. The tactics of shaming are obvious (and crucial) offshoots of it.

So it doesn’t matter what you believe or why you do believe so, it matters that you do not step outside of the boundaries of what is acceptable. Acceptability becomes a cage that you cannot go out of, instead of disrespect being a dangerous place to be avoided. At face value both approaches want the same thing, but the difference in perspective cannot be bridged.

This is hard.

Then again, sensibility is hard.

Sidenote 1: The “you” is important in the phrase “thinking in ways that avoid you being fired”. It is not avoiding lay offs in general, it is actually a good thing if someone else gets fired. Thus Corporatism uses human sensibilities, it takes sensibility as an asset.

Sidenote 2: In this context Capitalism and Communism are interchangeable, they are pretty much the same thing, something like big machines made out of meat.


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