Apr 022020

Steve Schapiro Muhammad Ali, Monopoly, Louisville, KY 1963


It’s funny how things go sometimes, how times roll -not just the good ones-. I said last week that all the world’s “leaders” had failed terribly, and I’m not taking that back. They all failed to a horrific extent at their no. 1 task when it comes to Disasters, Pandemics, whatever their respective governments file these events under: Prevention. But now we’re in a whole new world.

Now these failed leaders move into a situation they actually MAY be able to handle. That is, the -crisis- management that inevitably follows AFTER the failure at their no. 1 task of Prevention. They MAY be able to pull this off because it’s what they were trained to do: be little managers. You know them, because every company these days is full of them, and some will make it to biggest little manager status, through blind ambition and/or licking up to previous little managers. Some may even become government ministers. Core characteristic: these people don’t act, they re-act. Prevention is a job they’re absolutely not qualified for

Trump, Macron, BoJo, Merkel, Rutte, Xi, Abe, Conte, you name them, they’re all little managers, they’re not leaders, they have no ideas or visions, at least not original ones. People with original ideas don’t become politicians, not in the climate we have created since the 1950’s. The 20th century was poor anyway when it comes to vision, it was all about money, and no great vision has ever been derived from that.

The last century had Gandhi and Martin Luther King -and I would personally add Muhammad Ali-, and that combination says a lot about what we could have become vs what we have. In a way, the world chose money over itself. The 20th century was when Faust won, when humanity sold its soul. That it also sold its home, its planet, seems almost irrelevant compared to that.

We could have chosen peace, health, we had people willing to give their lives so we would understand why, but we thought: nah, let’s go to war, there’s got to be more profit in that.


But okay, so they all failed at Prevention and now they get to shine, as long as that lasts. It’s now a matter of preventing -too- widespread poverty and hunger, of “selling” a certain number of deaths as unpreventable, and mostly of making stressed out people feel more comfortable. But there are still pitfalls along the way, and they won’t all make it past them in one piece.

The ones who presently pose as leaders even see their popularity ratings rise as they start “little managing” their territory. Because they failed in their no. 1 task, there are huge shortages of medical equipment etc., but they are -helped by their media- perceived as credible when they claim this was unforeseeable, since after all, all their neighboring little managers also failed at Prevention.

In actual reality, on January 1, the day after China told the WHO there was a problem in Wuhan, all the little managers should have been checking, with all the even littler managers working for them in the Disaster and/or Medical fields, whether all of the prevention apparatus in their countries was up to snuff, the protocols, the staff, the hospitals that might be needed, the production facilities, it’s a long list. Instead they all chose to ignore the WHO warning, and preoccupied themselves with their economies instead.

Just the fact that they waited for the WHO to say something says enough: it’s the perfect organization for all their excuses: hey, they didn’t warn us soon enough! And the little managers would be partly right: the WHO functions no more or better than they themselves do. Not when it comes to Prevention.

Still, at the $58 million or so we pay them a year, the WHO has no business waiting for a country that harbors an epidemic, to tell them it does. Because 99 out of 100 times, such a country will first try to hide the epidemic. Its leaders, too, are little managers who focus on their economies. The WHO’s job is to be there before it happens. And so you’re right, they fail exactly where the little political managers also fail: Prevention. There’s no doubt that there are brilliant people working there, but they’re all still managed by little managers.


Can we blame our own respective political little managers? To an extent, sure. They didn’t do what they promised to when they swore their respective oaths. But maybe just maybe we should blame ourselves more, for picking little managers to lead our countries in the first place. We could have known that they were never going to be more than 2nd rate “leaders” who were never going to deliver more than 2nd rate societies.

These people have no vision of a better world, all they are capable of is “managing” the world they find in ways that make them more popular, and the only way to do that is to make people -feel- rich. They do that by encouraging behavior that destroys the planet, they do it by exporting 90% of medicine production to China, they simply sell everything that’s not bolted down just so you will like them sometime in the next four years, and screw the next forty. Hey, they’re not complicated creatures.


In the process, though, far too many lives have been lost. And we should do something about that, something to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But that means we need to change the entire process that today self-selects exclusively for little managers. Don’t forget: a world made up of little managers will only ever select one of their own to succeed them. So get them out of the selection process.

And you might say an actual leader should have the chops to make everybody like him/her enough, but that begs the question: what were the odds of Martin Luther King being elected president of the US in the 1960’s? No, the system has really been due for a major change for a while.


For now, the only thing to do is hope the little managers are better at step 2, Crisis Management, than they were at step 1, Prevention. Because there are no ready alternatives. When they say stay home, that’s the best thing to do right now. It’ll be challenged soon enough. ‘Letting nature do its thing’ is not a great idea, because it would overwhelm our societies in no time, in all of its facets, and bring back the Middle Ages. We’re better off breaking it down step by step than all in one go.

The US making it to no. 1 in cases and soon deaths, and COVID19 soon making it to no. 1 on the list of causes of death in the US, is bad enough. All those press conferences where none of the little managers wear face masks while their usefulness is obvious, are a shameful exhibition of incompetence. Trump should be the first, tomorrow. Be the bleeding example. Teach people how to make them. Nassim Taleb says it’s about Asymmetry: “Error FROM NOT wearing masks is vastly costlier than the error FROM wearing masks.”

Let’s hope the little managers don’t all fail at securing food supplies as well, because it looks like those may be badly needed soon. Right now in the US, the narrative is Monsanto to the rescue of all the farmers who have trouble with Stay At Home and other measures, who can’t get farmhands. Yeah, let’s poison ourselves to survive. Brilliant.

And the little managers will say: look, we gave all of you unlimited amounts of money, and it hurt!, so you can’t blame us. Because that’s how they think, they think in money only, and therefore there is nothing that it cannot solve.



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Home Forums Little Managers

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    Steve Schapiro Muhammad Ali, Monopoly, Louisville, KY 1963   It’s funny how things go sometimes, how times roll -not just the good ones-. I said
    [See the full post at: Little Managers]



    1. go to school and learn what to do

    Emergency and Disaster Management Programs

    2. Get a job

    3. Make a plan

    4. Delegate

    Dr D Rich

    The Navy fired him.


    But they socially promoted Dave Tam, now CEO Beebe Health Delaware. Decisions have consequences.


    Thank you, Raul. Very observant and succinct. You’re correct. Stay at home is all our “leaders” can say/do at this point, having reached the point of failure on any other front. Here in NY it hits very close to home now. Commenters who think we should just let this thing frolic about and run its course are really not considering the ramifications of thousands of people dying at home and laying there rotting until something can be done about it. (ps … anyone who believes China’s fatalities at this point needs to stop smoking whatever it is they’re smoking. Or maybe I need to start smoking whatever it is they’re smoking)

    Anyhow, keep up the good work. Stay well. Thank you.


    That’s a whole lot of words just to say that if it looks like a psychopath, and it walks like a psychopath, and most importantly, if it talks like a psychopath, then it is most likely a psychopath.


    Leadership does not require original ideas. Those are untested, so they shouldn’t be used widely until there’s some record. Plenty of knowledge existed to respond to the early warnings, including the original intelligence that China was lying about its numbers. Disruption for its own sake is contrary to long term community stability, the goal of community motive.


    I have to confess . . . . I have a dark side, and the black angel perched over my left shoulder is whispering things in my ear that speak to the dark side, the part of me that wants to see the world burn. I see the curves starting to flatten. I see the daily numbers in Italy and Spain start to go down, and part of me feels . . . disappointment. Rising numbers are so much more exciting. The US promised to be a sh*t show, and it didn’t disappoint in the beginning, but now things are starting to change, the logarithmic charts are starting to flatten and it . . . disappoints. I was expecting, if not hoping for, something far worse. So I read criticisms of the recent policy response, arguments that the authorities have overreacted, arguments that they are destroying the economy and ignoring the socio-economic repercussions, and my dark side is divided. One one hand, I would love to see a major country say “to hell with flattening the curve, this is all an overblown hoax, we are over-counting fatalities and under-counting the number of infections, we will stay open for business” — and watch the consequences of that experiment play out. Let Bolsonaro get what he wants. Let everyone out of their houses, pretend like everything is back to normal, and just watch what happens! The more body bags, the better. On the other hand, the ongoing economic destruction also feeds my dark side. I want the Fed to fail. I want to see the elites crushed. Right now I see elites worried about the consequences of angry, hungry people in the streets, and that fantasy also plays out in my mind. These elites decry the destruction of the economy, but how many of them will self-sacrificially step aside when they get sick and there is a shortage of ventilators? Somehow I imagine Elon Musk pushing to the front of the line saying “Me first, me first. I can pay!” and I am really, really curious to see how scenario that plays out.

    Back to reality, of course this is not what I want. I do not want people to suffer, especially people I know and love. I know doctors on the front line in the US, and I worry about them. Yes, there are many wrongs in the world, including a corrupt financial system that deserves to fail, a corrupt health care system that should be dismantled and rebuilt. And maybe this crisis will be the catalyst that speeds our passage through this fourth turning. I would like to get through this as soon as possible. I am optimistic that life will be better, though probably a lot different, once we get to the other side. I hope to live through this so that I will see it with my own eyes.


    On asymmetry: is the impact of locking up dysfunctional families, with all the violence and addiction, less than letting them out? Is forcing individuals who live alone, and may be susceptible to mental illness due to loneliness, less than letting them go out? Is the possibility of these extreme behavior control measures being taken advantage of by our elites less than letting people make adult responsible decisions? I have to say I am just not sure, but these are the costs on the other side. I guess we will all see.

    Maxwell Quest

    Ali, just seeing his picture inspires me, knowing that, here and there, great people are placed among us to lift us out of our own slavery.

    I see that Boogaloo and I are on a similar wavelength.

    I’m not sure how much will be required for the pyramid’s cap (monied interests) to relinquish even a little control of their dominion. Speaking from personal experience, a swift two-by-four between the eyes was often needed to affect a needed course correction. Let’s hope this pandemic will be the impetus for some long-overdo national course corrections.


    I was around for the 1970s oil crashes and going off the gold standard. The gasoline lines abbreviated both Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter Presidencies. Today is horrific. It is a combination of the Spanish Flu Pandemic and the Great Depression. It guarantees that the next President will not be Joe Biden or Donald Trump. Why? In response to the 1970’s, the Oligarchs seized control of the Western Empire and throughout installed compliant second-rate incompetents to oversee government. Cost cutting, profits and markets ruled. The sentient billionaires must realize their wealth is at risk. One of them will try to be the savior. For sure it will not be Donald J Trump or Elon Musk. Neither is competent enough to be emperor. Donald fired the USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain who tried to save his crew from coronavirus illness. Elon donated thousands of useless CPAPs with the Telsa logo slapped on the boxes to hospitals not ventilators. There may not be enough time left to prevent unrest and restore democracy and to provide jobs, food, medical care and shelter for all. If chaos prevails, North America and Europe will devolve into a patchwork of nuclear armed military autocracies, feudal estates and mostly No Man’s Land in-between.


    Beautifully written, Ilargi.
    Sadly, in the end, Tarrou- who “gets” it- dies. (Camus)
    So much for sainthood.


    It is a rare government that is ever prepared for the future.

    There are always people that are aware of the future and try to warn everybody. Naturally, nobody listens!

    Somehow people manage to muddle through just about everything thrown at them, even if it isn’t pretty.

    The US and Canada will somehow get through this but there will be casualties along the way.

    The little people will as usual pay the price, not the rich.

    Raul’s little managers will see to that!



    This article highlights the flip side of the covid response.



    Which do you think is better for the long run:

    Scenario A: Send people back to work to preserve the system, a system that works extremely well for the 0.01% (and fairly well for the top 10%, but offers only servitude for everyone else, especially those under age 30), a system that forces almost everyone to put their lives at risk just for the opportunity to compete for the crumbs, a system that distracts with so many anxieties that they never have the opportunity to contemplate real change.

    Scenario B: Order people to stay at home, preserve their health, and contemplate for hours on end how they are getting screwed by the current economic system, and how the world would be a much better place if we collectively let this hyper-financialized corrupt system collapse under its own weight. No, waiting this out is not “economic suicide” — except for those who will be caught with their pants down in an over-leveraged, hyper-financialized economy. Let everyone in quarantine order all the remaining pitchforks for sale on Amazon, along with all the available stocks of toilet paper, as they contemplate how to become an active part of moving this civilization into the next phase of history.


    Kevin Ryan

    Who is listening?

    Could the Covid19 Response be More Deadly than the Virus?

    Could the Covid19 Response be More Deadly than the Virus?
    The economic, social and public health consequences of these measures could claim millions of victims
    Kevin Ryan
    Apr 1, 2020

    The initial, alarming estimates of deaths from the virus COVID-19 were that as many as 2.2 million people would die in the United States. This number is comparable to the annual US death rate of around 3 million. Fortunately, correction of some simple errors in overestimation has begun to dramatically reduce the virus mortality claims.

    The most recent estimate from “the leading US authority on the COVID-19 pandemic” suggests that the US may see between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, with the final tally likely to be somewhere in the middle.”
    ” how to become an active part of moving this civilization into the next phase of history.”

    I’m still contemplating

    Dr. D

    I’m sorry, where is the Federal legal mandate to control medicine and the economy? I don’t seem to find it in the documents or the Amendments. So now when they don’t do what they don’t have mandate for, they’re not doing what they are required to do, which is not to do it.

    Don’t know why I bother. It’s not their job. It’s YOUR job. Clearly you misunderstand what the nation was about. You ain’t no baby. They ain’t your daddy. It’s up to you and the nation can’t be better than the aggregate of the people.

    “they all chose to ignore the WHO warning”

    They did not. The WHO did not issue a warning. They also still today are defending China and are not recommending masks. Because at every step they have been anti-science and are anti-science still. Our administration stood out ahead and bucked the WHO, the CDC, and everyone on earth by stopping flights AGAINST the lack of warning that still persists today. But you’re right that all organizations exist to pass the buck and prevent blame from responding to the status quo.

    The managers are decisively NOT better at reaction than preparation, already proven. They will grab power and kill multiples people than if they’d done nothing, like the tin pot Hitlers they’ve been since before I was born. There was never a time or event I can remember this did not happen, and it won’t happen now either.

    I would say luckily that statistically it’s not dangerous, but when these guys are running it, it IS dangerous. Not that anyone will die, since the death rate is very low, we have at least two cures, and if you get a ventilator you won’t live anyway, but because they will turn the planet into a Stalinist nightmare that will kill 100 million a year for all eternity, while you demand it and cheer it on. So if you want a new Assange every hour for 1,000 years, go ahead.

    In the meantime, they can kill 10-50x more people economically, with the shutdown, but so long as they’re starved and stabbed instead of dying on vents that don’t help them, it’s all great!

    Yes, absolutely the Roosevelt should abandon their post for a disease that has a 98% survival rate. Soldiers are never in danger or killed, and there’s always something new to surrender.

    Why bother? If you don’t know where the real danger is by now, nothing will help you.


    Boogaloo you suggest scenario B as benign with no health repercussions. If you believe this you have not been watching enough Jerry Springer.
    I am no fan of the current system but the folks in my neck of the woods that are getting thrown out first are the small businesses.
    Question: how long should the world shut down? Note places that shut down in Asia opened and are now shutting down again. My position is that shutting down the world for this virus is simply not feasible– people who survive the virus will die from despair.
    I am not against sick people being isolated, but this mass quarantine causes as many social problems as the health problems it is supposed to solve.

    Tree Frog

    Ali vs Obama.

    Mesnch vs Putz.


    The truth is that absolutely all the leaders are now in a new world, not just the heads of state. Managers of enterprises, both small and large, should take all measures to support the companies after the quarantine. Some workers were transferred to part-time jobs at our work, but I heard that people were fired in other firms. Our company switched to care management software for optimization, and it became more convenient for me to work. During such crisis situations, you can immediately see which professions people need more and whose services the demand is growing, and whose services are falling.

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