Scenario 1999: Arbeit begetting Arbeit (Pt. I of II)

The Administrators of State and Social Enterprises looking for highly qualified Students may be many and come from countless different Industries and Professions, but they are all looking for one very specific personality. They are looking for someone who knows how to handle themselves in the State of Total Mobilization and how to contribute Arbeit and Geld for when it really matters. They are looking for somebody who could step into the roles embodied by the Figure of the Arbeiter. What they expect out of each and every Student, upon graduating from secondary school or the university, is the newfound ability to marshal Life-Energy toward one very simple goal within economic life: “the greatest Quality of Arbeit for the Least Quality of Geld.”

Our Bottom Line, Not Theirs!

Administrators, while searching for prospective Students to become Civil Servants of their Enterprises, want to know if somebody will be able to bolster the WP (Work-Productivity) and minimize the WI (Work-Intensity) of their Vocation. They also want to know if they will be able to live within their own means of production. This is of course the Work-Standard’s version of “the bottom line” in Production for Dasein. The momentous challenge of trying to ensure that the least QM (Quality of Geld) will be achieved through the highest-possible QW (Quality of Arbeit). When Administrators find some ambitious, headstrong youth who can talk a great deal and can then contribute the necessary Arbeit and Geld to the Life-Energy Reserve, they will have fulfilled their purposes in finding new prospective Civil Servants.  

What is the difference between our true bottom line in Production for Dasein and “the other bottom line,” the one shared between Production for Profit and Production for Utility under Neoliberalism? Their bottom line is one where the “Private Sector” and the “Public Sector” can find the greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld. The Managers do not care about the Quality of Arbeit because they consider that as a means of securing Kapital and pay down any and all Schuld emanating from their overall costs. There is no wealth, no economic growth from the actual production process and their subsequent distribution and sales; there can only be the Kapital and Schuld from within any given transactional sale. If they think Kapital Accumulation is achieved by Technology, they will do it unless overruled by Technology’s ruler, the Figure of the Arbeiter. The true Arbeiter governs Technology; Technology never governs the Arbeiter.    

The search for new Employees in Production for Profit and Production for Utility by the turn of the 20th century saw the Employers’ Managers preside over entire bureaucracies of people dedicated to that very endeavor. This “bureaucracy” became known as “Human Resources (HR),” a Jeffersonian concept that began as an idea spawned from the Utopian Socialist Robert Owen and that Technocrat Charles Babbage. It was one befitting for the “Division of Labor.” One should never forget back in The Work-Standard (2nd Ed.) that Pure Socialism, be it Scientific or Artistic, found Utopian Socialism to be an absurdity. The “Division of Labor,” on the other hand, has led to the “Alienation of the Arbeiter” by a technocratic Bourgeoisie. Both HR and the Division of Labor reached their apexes in the egregious “Fordism-Taylorism,” whose Welfare Capitalism was chastised in The Third Place (1st Ed.) for perpetuating the same problems. The sooner one finally learns about the Jeffersonian and Neoliberal origins of HR, the quicker it becomes apparent that the Work-Standard must have its own preferable alternative to HR.      

Once it became apparent that pouring obscene Quantities of Kapital would no longer be practical by the Death of Bretton Woods in the early 1970s, the excessive wastefulness and inefficiencies of Fordism-Taylorism needed to be abandoned. As the Quantities of Schuld became too much, which became corroborated by Liberal Capitalists within the Accounting Profession from Work-Standard Accounting Practices (1st Ed.), the Hiring Managers of HR gradually caught on to those promising advancements in computer and information technologies commensurate with Financial Technology (Fintech). Further developments in the mass communications capabilities of computers would later give rise to the World Wide Web (WWW) by the 1990s.

It was throughout the 1990s that the Managers of HR were swayed by the possibilities of the “Applicant Tracking System (ATS)” and the “Job Posting Website.” The former promised to make their search for potential Employees easier, the latter a recent digitalization of older newspaper advertisements that informed people about open positions.

The Economic Calculation Problem Revisited

When scrutinized by the Work-Standard, ATS ceases to become relevant to the sort of “Political Organization Problem” as posited by the likes of Martin Heidegger and the Brüder Jünger (both Ernst and Friedrich Georg). Rather, it has far more in common with that “Economic Calculation Problem” posited by the likes of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich von Hayek. Neither Problem was entertainable prior to the Phenomenology (the philosophical study of human consciousness and experiences) of Edmund Husserl. Yet the latter, as opposed to the former (which the Work-Standard prefers), is more applicable to the problems of ATS and Job Posting Websites by way of HR and its relation to Fordism-Taylorism since the early 20th century. After all, Henry Ford combined Prussian administration and American ingenuity to realize the assembly lines of the Ford Motor Company. Vladimir Lenin, towards the end of his life, repurposed both to yield the NEP (Novaja Ekonomičeskaja Politika; New Economic Policy). That was how NEP helped the Soviet Union achieve a State Capitalist Planned Economy prior to Josef Stalin.

What can be said about ATS and Job Posting Websites with regard to HR and the Economic Calculation Problem? A single open position for a privatized commercial firm on Job Posting Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor or Monster will have hundreds or thousands of potential applicants. In a world order where the Jeffersonian Empire of Liberty reigns and where the digital realm is defined by the WWW, there will be a guaranteed deluge of information that no HR Department will ever keep up. It is senseless to assume that any HR Department will ever be able to choose the right person.

With OECD-Type Student Economies contributing to the existences of privatized commercial firms developing ATS software and Job Posting Websites on the WWW, it becomes inevitable for Market/Mixed Economies and Parliaments to speak of a “talent shortage” or that “people do not want to work.” Such rhetoric are phenomenological expressions of economic phenomena that has only been realized for about long as the WWW. If it was happening in the 2020s and 2010s, it was probably happening in the 2000s and 1990s. Those ATS software developers and Job Posting Websites create Kapital from gathering personal information on Jobseekers and selling it off to the highest bidder.

The Accounting Professions would identify the items in these transactional sales as Intangible Assets whose Quantity of Kapital is based on continued access to that information. On a larger scale, however, it resembles a sort of Income Tax, a redistribution of wealth, from within the Market. Parliament is not the one committing the redistribution of Kapital here; it is a lesser Civil Society within the actual one which Parliament ostensibly governs.

How does any HR Department figure out how to make the right choices when there no real way of knowing how much Kapital somebody will bring in if hired for an open position? How does any Jobseeker know if the HR Department and Manager were able to find the necessary Zeit to read their “Resume” or “Curriculum Vitae” (two documents that will no longer exist in Production for Dasein under the Work-Standard)? How does the privatized commercial firm, regardless of size or composition know if their Incentives are being properly conveyed to HR? And how does any Hiring Manager know if they are interviewing the right person among hundreds or thousands of seemingly qualified Jobseekers?

Does one not realize how similar this dilemma is to the sort of problems raised by STEP (Soviet-Type Economic Planning) and why even the Soviets were scrambling to find an adequate replacement for their Command Economy, like the Kosygin Reforms or Perestroika in the late 20th century?  

Suppose there is a single open position within some economic organization among the Private Sector or the Public Sector, the Market/Mixed Economy or the Parliament. The open position requires that somebody is qualified to perform the position to the best of their ability where Kapital and Schuld are concerned.

Now, there are 210 Jobseekers interested in that one open position. Everyone has the same educational level, the same skillset, the same years of experience, the same internships, the same certifications and licenses, and the same types of references. There is no way an HR Department will be able to discern which of those 210 Jobseekers is going to generate the greatest Quantity of Kapital for the least Quantity of Schuld. There is no way a Hiring Manager can reliably compare the Value of the Kapital brought into an economic organization by 1 Jobseeker when compared against the other 209 Jobseekers. There is no way that the Employees and Managers in need of somebody to fill the open position will ever be able to know if any of those 210 Jobseekers will not only perform the tasks expected of them, but also contribute to the overall work environment. And the only “Price Signaling” that is occurring here is how much Kapital was being offered for that open position when posted on the Job Posting Sites of the WWW.

Questions for Jobseekers and Students

What affects a Planned/Command Economy operating under Production for Utility deserves to be reapplied to a Market/Mixed Economy operating under Production for Profit. That is why Production for Profit and Production for Utility have far more in common with each other than Production for Dasein. At the same time, there are implications here which remind the Author of the fact that the stratified, hierarchical command structures of the German and English-speaking worlds extend to the economic life as they do in the political life and the social life.  

  • Imagine that one is competing with 209 Students for a single open position. In these circumstances, it becomes necessary to differentiate the Self from the Totality. It works the same way with the issuance of medals, badges, awards, prizes or promotions to the next highest Social Rank. Why not extend that same experience on the National Intranet whilst delineating the professional and personal lives of the Self?   
  • How does one Student differentiate themselves from the other 209 Students?
  • How does one perform a “Socialization of Young Minds,” which will involve getting to know not only the people but also their priorities and what they are expecting from whoever is chosen to fill that position?
  • How does one develop an intimate familiarity with the production processes of that position?
  • If Hamiltonian Economic Planners cannot arbitrarily dictate to Administrators how much Arbeit must be done for this amount of Zeit and for that Price, why should Administrators of any Enterprise let some Jeffersonian HR Department leverage similar diktats?  
  • Are Administrators supposed to recruit the Students or Are Students supposed to choose which Administrators to work for as Civil Servants?  
  • Shall the Student Tournament cut out the middlemen, namely HR Departments, Job Posting Websites and ATS software applications, their eliminations recognized and upheld by both Student Government and the Council State?
  • And shall State, Social, Student, Digital and Foreign Enterprises contribute Arbeit and Geld from searching for prospective Civil Servants and training them to perform specific roles?

Categories: Digital Realm

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  1. Update (17 April 2023) – The Fourth Estate

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