Is Blue MauMau a social media propaganda system?

April 15, 2010


Does Blue MauMau provide just a cynical illusion of debate?

One of the ways you control what people think is by creating the illusion that there’s a debate going on, but making sure that that debate stays within very narrow margins. Namely, you have to make sure that both sides in the debate accept certain assumptions, and those assumptions turn out to be the propaganda system. As long as everyone accepts the propaganda system, then you can have a debate.

Noam Chomsky

Three or four people talking at each other does not constitute much of a community.


Corporatism v. Democracy: What concept really won WWII?

April 8, 2010

Franchising degrades humans.

I use World War II images for a reason.

I think democratic societies won the battles but lost the war against totalitarianism. The tyrants wear business casual.

John Ralston Saul has made an important contribution to my thinking by writing The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense.

One of his key definitions:


Among the most important yet most rarely used words. Better than any other it describes the organization of modern society.

Corporatism is the persistent rival school of representative government. In place of the democratic idea of individual citizens who vote, confer legitimacy and participate to the best of their ability, individuals in the corporatist state are reduced to the role of secondary participants. They belong to their professional or expert groups – their corporations – and the state is run by ongoing negotiations between those various interests. This is the natural way of organizing things in a civilization based on expertise and devoted to the exercise of power through bureaucratic structures…

The surface argument of corporatism has always been that democracy is inefficient, ineffective, corrupting, subject to whims and emotions. Corporatism, on the other hand, presents itself as professional and responsible. It promises to deliver prosperity by helping those who know how to do their jobs properly and in concert…


The Second World War was about many things, but at its heart is was a battle between two concepts of civilization – the one based on individualism and democracy, and the other one corporatist authoritarianism. Theoretically the democratic individualists won.

Yet since 1945 corporatism has advanced with even greater strength and now has a real hold on day-to-day power.

Somehow we seem to have lost World War II after all…

What makes modern franchising most offensive (to me) is its corruption of mom-and-pops’ individual labour and basic human rights (speech, association). It produces serious and long-lasting physical, mental, spiritual and ethical disease (dis-ease).

Franchising is not alone and may not even the most severe but this but this is an area I know about, so this is why I write.

Price as a false obstacle

March 10, 2010

Everybody uses money as an excuse for their actions or inactions.

Salespeople learn this early and should never forget it.

They are skilled in looking at the meaning  beneath the obstacle that is thrown at them.

Almost 95% of the time, cost or expense is not the real reason for not buying a good or service. It’s an easy way to brush off some person, or in franchising’s case, the threat that the franchisee wants to deny.

Leaders sell themselves first and then their goods and services 2nd.

That’s the challenge and the reward.

Self-fulfilling prophecy: Franchisees are a skittish, easily spooked & dull beast-of-burden

March 2, 2010

Common observations about women a few decades ago.

Franchisors often make the same ignorant assumptions about franchisees.

If the words “Jews”, “blacks”, “indigenous peoples” were switched with franchisee, this rhetoric would be seen for what it is: hate mongering toward an identifiable, at-risk population.

Self-fulfilling prophecies are the primary barrier in modern franchising.

Self -fulfilling prophecy:

a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. Although examples of such prophecies can be found in literature as far back as ancient Greece and ancient India, it is 20th-century sociologist Robert K. Merton who is credited with coining the expression “self-fulfilling prophecy” and formalizing its structure and consequences.

As I observe franchisors closely, it is breathtakingly apparent that they haven’t cracked a management or social science textbook in 40 years.

Franchisors can’t see the solution because they don’t get the fucking problem.

Their paternalism blinds them to the reality that franchisees’ want: 1% to do with $ and 99 per cent acknowledgement that families have a right to a decent level of material security.

Hint: It’s about freedom, missy.

Freedom from your over-reaching which causes financial ruin.

Debt creates slaves and slaves are indeed revolting. In ways that you will cause from your willful adherence to an authoritarian ideology.

Why do more franchise laws leads to => investment failure rate?

December 10, 2009

Simply put: Risk compensation.

People adjust their behaviour when they feel they are in a “safer” environment. They take more chances.

Over time and when studied as groups, the “accident” rate stays constant, if not increases.

This concept has been proven with anti-lock brakes, bicycle and downhill ski helmets, seat belts and sky diving. Source

Winter Driving: Strap on those winter tires, put the flares and blankets in the trunk and clean the windows at the 1st snowfall. Congratulations: You will unintentionally drive just as fast, follow just as closely and brake just as late  (when compared to good road conditions) than if you were “unprepared”.

Paradoxically, the more and better pre-sale due diligence you do, this increases your risk of financial failure.

Blaming individuals doesn’t work. This is a very complex field of psychology and risk compensation is just one factor. Mercifully, these human factors are getting much more understood, proven and manageable.

The challenge in the future will be to design an investment evaluation regime that “nudges” people into legitimate franchised business opportunity “vehicles”.

Without this innovation, the carnage will continue at the same rate.

Or get worse.

Paul Newman on common human charity

December 3, 2009

A man with no enemies is a man with no character.I’d like to be remembered as a guy who tried — tried to be part of his times, tried to help people communicate with one another, tried to find some decency in his own life, tried to extend himself as a human being. Someone who isn’t complacent, who doesn’t cop out.

I am confounded at the stinginess of some institutions and some people. I’m bewildered by it. You can only put away so much stuff in your closet. In 1987, the average CEO against someone who was working in his factory was 70 times. It’s now 410 times.

Paul Newman, 1925 – 2008

On his love for food.

When I realized I was going to have to be a whore, to put my face on the label, I decided that the only way I could do it was to give away all the money we make. Over the years, that ethical stance has given us a 30 per cent boost. One in three customers buys my products because all the profits go to good causes and the rest buy the stuff because it is good.

The embarrassing thing is that my salad dressing is out-grossing my films.

It’s all been a bad joke that just ran out of control. I got into food for fun but the business got a mind of its own. Now — my good Lord — look where it has gotten me. My products are on supermarket shelves, in cinemas, in the theater. And they say show business is odd.

Over $280 million has been generated for charity since 1982.

Newman’s Own

Charity to your franchisor: Had enough yet?

November 20, 2009

Almost all franchisees I have met are very generous individuals that know they rely on humans for thier success.

But  everyone’s got their limits and no one wants to be played for a fool.

When the franchisor volunteers them too much, they tend to get a little lippy.

They remember how a few years back they were treated with respect, could expect to be treated fairly and could trust their business partners.

Nowadays, it just seems that it’s all one way.

Someone made the observation that their franchisor wanted to as their advisory council members to spend +20 hours of their time (for free) in reviewing the latest version of their operations manual.

I suggested that every one is free to support whatever charity they want but the Salvation Army was looking for volunteers this Christmas season to man their kettles.

Some hands are extended in gratitude in the true spirit of charity. Others are not.

Faith, hope and charity are basic human characteristics that form an important level of trust in our society. Without basic trust, the wheels of industry would grind to a halt.

Some franchisors think they’re not in the human values business.

They’ll learn.

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