I’m also going to break them down into two subtypes

I’m also going to break them down into two subtypes

This is a theme that comes up frequently in testimonies about box-ticking operations and even more so in the corporate sector than in government

Box-tickers are a little similar to duct-tapers, in that they’re really about substituting one thing for another: though, in this case, box-tickers are about substituting appearances for results, rather than labor for capital. Either way, they’re still “employees who exist only or primarily to allow an organization to be able to claim it is doing something that, in fact, it is not doing.” The simple truth here is that it’s sometimes cheaper to act like you’re doing something than to actually do that thing and that sometimes you really can get away with it. To anti-statists, the existence of type 2s might seem like a great indictment of the state – ‘look! It’s not even being effective with our stolen tax dollars!’, they’ll say. But, while it is an indictment (and a cause for hope – what can we get away with, then?) it isn’t a great one. After all, a number of these type 2s would just be enforced by public reputation if they weren’t being enforced by the state. However, it should be noted, public opinion can be deceived as well – or else type 2s wouldn’t exist, either. Still, though: in the absence of the state protecting the owning classes, these firms could be directly punished for their bad behavior. Perhaps institutions could be developed to better track these companies, and see if they really are doing what they say that they’re doing.

Both types are kissbrides.com over at this site about creating appearances rather than results, but type 1s are about creating the appearance of doing something for customers or the public, while type 2s are about creating the appearance of following government regulations

It should be noted that Graeber is, in some ways, more confident that this is a problem of the political economy of hierarchy than I am! He notes that this is at least partially about satisfying the bureaucratic whims of large organizations: “Of course, on some level, all bureaucracies work on this principle: once you introduce formal measures of success, “reality”-for the organization-becomes that which exists on paper, and the human reality that lies behind it is a secondary consideration at best.” This is partially a manifestation of the need for executives to convince other executives that they are important:

Note here the importance of the physical attractiveness of the report. If the ongoing importance of a manager is measured by how many people he has working under him, the immediate material manifestation of that manager’s power and prestige is the visual quality of his presentations and reports. The meetings in which such emblems are displayed might be considered the high rituals of the corporate world.

Many large corporations, for instance, maintain their own in-house magazines or even television channels, the ostensible purpose of which is to keep employees up to date on interesting news and developments, but which, in fact, exist for almost no reason other than to allow executives to experience that warm and pleasant feeling that comes when you see a favorable story about you in the media, or to know what it’s like to be interviewed by people who look and act exactly like reporters but never ask questions you wouldn’t want them to ask. Such venues tend to reward their writers, producers, and technicians very handsomely, often at two or three times the market rate. But I’ve never talked to anyone who does such work full-time who doesn’t say the job is bullshit.

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