American Corporate Management Wants to Outsource Everyone

by Greg Somerville

Why support native consumers now loaded with possessions?

They have not yet realized the full logic of their preferences as to the characteristics of their ideal consumers. But it has long been clear that no long-term empowerment of workers, no privately funded social safety net, no widespread unionization of American labor ever appealed much to American corporate management. All of these left-wing objectives have always seemed an irrelevancy to their program of building consumer appetite and habituating the American public to greedy buying.

The connection of such greed to the peculiar sort of economic growth upon which modern capital accumulation abundantly flourishes is clear as well. Consequently, no one volunteers to upset this applecart, especially since its perpetual loading and unloading seems to depend upon a strict adherence to public support for a national politics of apple pushing. If a cultural imbalance has grown perceptible as the concomitant of such strict adherence to capitalist dogma and to frenzied purchases, it has not nourished answering critiques. Our educated elites, unsure of almost everything except their palpable dependence on stock portfolio valuations which are unfortunately liable to downside risk from the results of socialistic queries regarding corporate legitimacy, have mostly luxuriated in an impotent political puzzlement, wonderfully effective in maintaining their social distance from the less tutored workforces.

But this program is unsustainable. American corporate management, with levels of perception varying across the industrial and commercial spectrum, but accelerating now, has spied a greener pasture where it hopes to ride herd. Offshore, how unspoiled the workforce is, how docile, how needy, how eager to aspire to the consumer possessions which already line the expanding shelves of our almost entirely settled landscape! And the totalitarian regimes of this modern time teach us so much regarding the logical independence of democratic self definition from harsh norms of workplace discipline! American management has every reason to admire examples of rising worker productivity uncluttered by energetic traditions of widespread cultural attainment or even of personal security. Certainly the American heritage of a right to bear arms can have no contribution to make toward the smooth operation of servile labor under an authoritarian directorate. And oddly, a growing ability to purchase consumer goods hardly requires penetrating political inquiry or a questing philosophical turn of mind. In fact, virtually none of the features of democratic choice or liberally fostered culture prove absolutely necessary to economic and military hegemony. How convenient! And what a revelation, considering the drawbacks so obvious in a society where inherent conflicts must fester between unbridled accumulation of capital and public expectations of increasingly assured prosperity and dignity.

We have come a long way from yeoman farmers. The citizens of modern America are each born into an economy and a culture they did not personally invent or approve, of course. But while we still have the option, we can exercise democratic control over certain factors which will be implicit in shaping our common destiny. There is a conceptual bankruptcy now apparent to everyone except those bent on foreign adventure. And some of those adventures bid fair to cost us dearly, even though they may be justified in the eyes of some profiteers.

If the American worker is widely acknowledged by American management to be too expensive to maintain, then the answer is not for American corporations to cut their losses and hire foreign substitutes. If those advancing this policy pretend that economic science compels this bogus decision, American workers must remind the corporations how they are created and for what purpose. Our people cannot become superfluous to our plans. Our science does not serve an abstract formula, especially if such service is motivated by the enrichment and aggrandizement of privilege. Public good organizes and prioritizes our objectives, not private gain and envious greed.

If American corporate management now finds unprofitable the retention of a labor force too softened by consumer satisfactions to perform with sufficient discipline, and finds that the labor force is so accustomed to receiving the benefits of privately funded entitlements which were once useful in cultivating staff loyalty, no longer required, and which a consumer-driven marketplace cannot afford, that benefit givebacks must cause levels of resentment and workplace instability impossible to hide from investors and customers, are these findings good reason to go elsewhere for labor?

It is growing obvious to every observer that the American community cannot simply perform a consumer role. It will run out of money. More significantly, it does not simply live to buy and sell. Changing our vision of ourselves from buyers and sellers to a more inclusive, embracing, and fulfilling notion of community definition, structured by more democratically empowered conclusions which flow from a process of American self definition, will take a lot of work.

This is a new assignment for the American workplace. This is our modern responsibility. If we are not up to this challenge, there are experts already working hard to profit from our loss.