Friday, December 28, 2012

The Gervais Principle (part 1)

Someone sent me a link to the Gervais Principle a long time ago, but it was too long to catch my interest at the time. I kept hearing about it, and someone just recently emailed me again about it, so I decided to actually sit down and read. Essentially it is a theory of how social organizations (specifically businesses, but not exclusively) develop based on the three social roles that people assume -- sociopaths, clueless, losers.

The Sociopath (capitalized) layer comprises the Darwinian/Protestant Ethic will-to-power types who drive an organization to function despite itself. The Clueless layer is what Whyte called the “Organization Man,” but the archetype inhabiting the middle has evolved a good deal since Whyte wrote his book (in the fifties). The Losers are not social losers (as in the opposite of “cool”), but people who have struck bad bargains economically – giving up capitalist striving for steady paychecks.

According to the article, the life cycle of every organization looks like this:

A Sociopath with an idea recruits just enough Losers to kick off the cycle. As it grows it requires a Clueless layer to turn it into a controlled reaction rather than a runaway explosion. Eventually, as value hits diminishing returns, both the Sociopaths and Losers make their exits, and the Clueless start to dominate. Finally, the hollow brittle shell collapses on itself and anything of value is recycled by the sociopaths according to meta-firm logic.

The Sociopaths enter and exit organizations at will, at any stage, and do whatever it takes to come out on top. The contribute creativity in early stages of a organization’s life, neurotic leadership in the middle stages, and cold-bloodedness in the later stages, where they drive decisions like mergers, acquisitions and layoffs that others are too scared or too compassionate to drive.


  • The Sociopaths enter and exit organizations at will, at any stage, and do whatever it takes to come out on top. The contribute creativity in early stages of a organization’s life, neurotic leadership in the middle stages, and cold-bloodedness in the later stages, where they drive decisions like mergers, acquisitions and layoffs that others are too scared or too compassionate to drive.
  • The Losers like to feel good about their lives. . . . They do have a loyalty to individual people, and a commitment to finding fulfillment through work when they can, and coasting when they cannot.
  • The Clueless are the ones who lack the competence to circulate freely through the economy (unlike Sociopaths and Losers), and build up a perverse sense of loyalty to the firm, even when events make it abundantly clear that the firm is not loyal to them. To sustain themselves, they must be capable of fashioning elaborate delusions based on idealized notions of the firm — the perfectly pathological entities we mentioned. 

The Gervais principle:

  • Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.

The entire article is interesting but most relevant for this audience probably is the description of the career of the sociopath:

The future Sociopath must be an under-performer at the bottom. Like the average Loser, he recognizes that the bargain is a really bad one. Unlike the risk-averse loser though, he does not try to make the best of a bad situation by doing enough to get by. He has no intention of just getting by. He very quickly figures out — through experiments and fast failures — that the Loser game is not worth becoming good at. He then severely under-performs in order to free up energy to concentrate on maneuvering an upward exit. He knows his under-performance is not sustainable, but he has no intention of becoming a lifetime-Loser employee anyway. He takes the calculated risk that he’ll find a way up before he is fired for incompetence.

It reminds me of my own experiences being fired from jobs in which, although I was generously compensated compared to a lot of jobs I could have been doing, it was clear to me that my role was to be a worker slave for others to profit off and I had other plans.

There were also very interesting discussions of the clueless, particularly the amazing feats of self-deception required for them to continue their arbitrary and ambiguous roles, the perfect position for a narcissist.

87 comments:

  1. It's been a while.... First :p

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  2. The theory is a nice big thing.

    I think a lot of founder/CEOs are quite psycho (and narcissistic): focused, calculating, ruthless, manipulative, thrill-seeking, etc.

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  3. :) Good Morning my Sociopathworld friends!!!!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Good Morning, Rich!!!
      Interesting article. What I like about SW is we can talk about things as they are, such as this, not how they are supposed to be, as the Clueless do. I got crazy in life because of the Clueless, when I was seeing as a sociopath ~

      Delete
    2. "...when I was seeing as a sociopath ~ "

      I know you put the "~" there Monica, but what do you mean?

      Delete
    3. I guess I put it there because I said I think like a sociopath, when I am on a sociopath board and am, obviously, not a sociopath, so it seemed ironic.

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    4. Monica, I enjoy that about SW too, people here are just more "real" when it comes to giving their opinions/thoughts about things here.

      To me it kinda sounds like a basic pyramid scheme, but than again, ive had a few drinks so I may be on a different "plain" than other people ;)

      Delete
  4. Guess what? I am coming out of the numb. I am beginning to feel. It is you guys. Thank you and I love you, even the curmudgeons( who will remain unnamed)

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    Replies
    1. Good for you, you'll finally be able to moan when you masturbate.

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    2. You have a way with metaphors there ^^

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    3. And what is it with you and the broken record already? You've said this shit about a thousand times. Find something original if you want compassion given to you.

      Delete
    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. Trying not to swear~ You ever tried to come out of disassociation? It is not 1-2-3. In fact, most people never will. I have accomplished a lot to come out the degree I have. I thought people might like to hear because that shows that there is hope. Any more questions :D

      Delete
    6. How did you find out that you were dissociated, Monica?

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    7. I knew I was not right~ so I started investigating on the web to find out what was wrong with me. Shrinks said dysthemic(sp) but that was no help. I found a Phd who specialized in disassociation. I read her website. Then, I called her number and was shocked when she answered and spent time talking to me and helping me to understand disassociation. It is really just a state of shock, from trauma. I bought her program and have been doing it for 3 years. Every little inch of coming out of it is a big thing, to me.

      Delete
    8. I was once dissociated for like a few years. Yeah, I got out of it the moment I understood it.

      It's that the inner constitution of yourself tries to protect itself from something in the outside world they it couldn't handle. It's just fight or flight. The moment you acknowledge it, your body starts fighting it xd.

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    9. It's stupid, but I heard people couldn't come out of it their whole lives xd

      Delete
    10. there's something about monica that she can't accept about herself. i think it's that she actually liked it and can't admit it to herself, she's afraid of whom she'd become if she'd let go.

      You're only doing this to yourself monica. It's just what you probably like to do.

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    11. how old are you and are you fat ?

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    12. You can eat lunch off one of my rolls

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    13. "It's just fight or flight. The moment you acknowledge it, your body starts fighting it xd."

      oh, if you are dissociated you are in flight mode
      defense mechanism? So if you build walls to protect self and ignore, you are not exactly "taking it" you are choosing to ignore, even if it is subconscious. It is like you close your eyes like it does not exist.

      Is this why I cry so much now? Because I did not let myself feel the hurting? I making up for that time all these years later? I could not fight, so I had to do dissociation?

      Delete
    14. oh, if you are dissociated you are in flight mode
      defense mechanism? So if you build walls to protect self and ignore, you are not exactly "taking it" you are choosing to ignore, even if it is subconscious. It is like you close your eyes like it does not exist.

      Is this why I cry so much now? Because I did not let myself feel the hurting? I making up for that time all these years later? I could not fight, so I had to do dissociation?



      YES

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    15. That's sweet. I don't even bother reading anon comments :)

      Monica ;)

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    16. Fucking talks only about food, nothing sexual about it xd.

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    17. Rembrant and Monica sitting in a tree, Kay-eye-es-es-eye-en-gee!

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    18. how is it related to me and monica ? it's about food. xd this one is better

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks0P1u6-OUY

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    19. If you keep watching things like that, you could get violent.

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    20. You know, Rembrandt i am here. You are very welcome to talk to me like I am in the same room. You did read my comment you just do like to talk to me this way so I can abuse you. You must like being a bit abused.

      *clears throat*

      So as your CEO irl, I would just roll eyes and also conclude you are prob a disrespectful person to EVERYONE at the company, and prob willl be with new customers.

      I would not assign you with a role suited for a charming, likable, people person. I would put you in the computer room where you would just be with machines all day. I would give you a base salary with no bonuses, only the minimum raise every year. You do not have a capacity to sell anything.

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    21. He's such a total badass, he can get his ass kicked without even trying.

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    22. Thank you Monica. I have too much to ask so I will stretch out this convo for the next few days. I am hoping that Rembrandt will be present. I enjoy to torture.

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    23. Thank you Monica. I have too much to ask so I will stretch out this convo for the next few days. I am hoping that Rembrandt will be present. I enjoy to torture.

      OK I think you and I can deal with badass Rembrant :D

      Delete
    24. Yeah, I don't want anon in the convo.

      Delete
    25. Aw... why are you guys being so hard on poor Rembrant?

      It's just all in good fun Rembrant, we're just teasing.

      Delete
    26. Shut up Anon 12:00.

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    27. See, that's better now when you ain't talking, whore.

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    28. You guys are being such Narcissists.

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    29. Only a narcissist would say that. ^

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    30. Takes one to know one.

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    31. Good for you Monica!!!! That is fantastic!!!! I remember a week or 2 ago when you very BRIEFLY came out of your numbness and had a feeling of "normality"/ feeling emotions fully...... It seems like with time you will be able to have longer and longer periods of "feeling" your emotions until hopefully you can come out of your disassociated state for life!

      You are doing great and making progress :) Iam happy for you :)

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    32. Thanks, Rich! I know some people, like you, understand what I am saying. I ignore the people who don't or who want to start trouble. Love you, Rich!

      Delete
    33. Rembrant said...

      how old are you and are you fat ?


      really old. only around the ankles... my breasts are like lovely used condoms! abuse me baby.

      Delete
  5. I can already see how this unstable little situation can turn pretty nasty for those involved, with all the competition, sabotage, double agents...

    With all those ideas and rumours going around...
    Fun, fun, fun...

    Just try and stay out of high positions so that you'll evade accountability.

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  6. someone at work once asked me if i'm the boss
    i told him i'm the guy that tels the boss how to do his job

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    Replies
    1. Wow you're so fucking funny, join a fucking show.

      Delete
    2. "someone at work once asked me if i'm the boss
      i told him i'm the guy that tels the boss how to do his job"

      Years ago I was working in a place where the bosses hired a girl as manager and she would call them into their office and tell them what they did wrong, she would nudge them tell them they were not doing things in their best interest, she would just tell them what to do. They LOVED her

      She has/had ptsd/bpd

      No one fucked with her, not the clients or the rest of the staff.

      Delete
  7. Themes for SW RegularsDecember 25, 2012 1:40 PM
    Theme for Anon 6:49

    Your words were my best gift, today. Thank you!


    You are welcome, Themes :)

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  8. What's funny is this principle describes this blog over the last few years too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. only if you throw in trolls and morons.

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    2. or are trolls the bitter clueless?

      Delete
  9. merry xmas y'all!

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  10. anonymous from dec 11 post wrote....
    zoe pleae explain this joke. you want people to have no poison? You want peace among the users and the usees?


    hey, anonymous, in case you're still around, here is my reply. sorry for the lateness.

    people who drain the poison well dry are those who thrive on the poison, on the misery of others. if suddenly this world was transformed into paradise, it would surely kill them.

    What is your goal here? Are you searching to know things or are you just saying how you operate so others can accept themselves. I like you.

    thanks. no goal really. i like ME's posts. and people put effort into what they write here which is nice. i've been looking for other forums but there is not much out there or it's hard to find.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. people who drain the poison well dry are those who thrive on the poison, on the misery of others. if suddenly this world was transformed into paradise, it would surely kill them.

      Oh, I didn't understand. Now I do.

      Delete
  11. continued...
    I don't understand when sometimes you say "tell us how a normal person is out for themselves" like your house contractor.

    and then another day you will point out the sneaky free-loading narcissist.


    what don't you understand, anonymous? please elaborate.

    But you are sociopathic, yes? Just a weensy bit?

    a weensy bit sociopathic = normal. no?

    Do people say you are confusing ?

    not really. i've been told i cut to the chase. i've also had people say to me that they don't understand how i think, or understand my approach. but they were always linear thinking types. i wonder if to the left-brained, the right-brained seem like sociopaths at times?

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    Replies
    1. Oh. You do think very creatively.

      Delete
    2. continued...
      I don't understand when sometimes you say "tell us how a normal person is out for themselves" like your house contractor.

      and then another day you will point out the sneaky free-loading narcissist.

      what don't you understand, anonymous? please elaborate.

      I thought you played both sides of fence. You have said "what is normal, anyway" or something like that. I did not know where you were coming from because you teach how to protect others from danger and you also can think kind of like a badass.

      I understand . You mix and match. I like.

      Delete
    3. i think i use this place like a kind of koan.

      while some here are trying to figure out what side of the fence they are on, i keep wondering is there really a fence? i don't really see the fence.

      i pretend to believe in the fence only because it's real to others. but it's mostly just pretend to me. it's just playing with concepts - the most dangerous drug there is.

      Delete
    4. Please explain, Zoe. What do you mean?

      Delete
    5. i'm aware that i exist beyond my thoughts, that's all.

      sometimes i get so caught up in my thoughts that when i come out of them it feels like coming down from some high, or out of some trance. but then the thoughts come, powerful and compelling, and i fall quickly into their grip again.

      monica, you put your thoughts to work to try and feel again to come out of being numb. but everything that you think you are, the feeling and the numb, is created from your thoughts and only your thoughts keep it going. it actually takes less effort to let go of the thoughts but that means letting of the good illusions as well as the bad. no one wants to do that.

      kind of like the monkey with it's hand in the jar, holding the banana. the jar is the numb, the banana the precious feelings.

      a moment of freedom from thought is worth everything else. i think this is what we're after when we do drugs, but drugs just don't do it.

      Delete
    6. I see what you are saying. I am going to think about it. Thanks Zoe <3

      Delete


  12. Rich could see Medusa diagonally from behind, and bent over at the waist. The crack in the door was only about an inch wide. He had to practically stick his nose through it like a dog to see what looked like her conducting a symphony orchestra from 5 feet above.

    Every 10 seconds or so, she stopped her pee mid-stream, straightened up, shuffled over to the bathtub with her pants down by her ankles, did a cowboy lasso bit, and threw the imaginary rope over the shower curtain. She repeated the bizarre routine about 7 times and then pulled up her pants and told Rich to come in.

    RIch froze outside the door. His face was hot and flushed and all he wanted to do was apologize and run. He almost struck his own face from his overwhelming shame. How many times was he going to spy on her? Was he some kind of sick voyeur now? What was happening to him?

    Medusa calmly opened the door slow and steady as a Stepford wife. She turned and closed the lid to the toilet. "Take a seat, Rich". Her voice was like cream cheese. Temptee.

    "Don't be frightened, RIch. It's time." She turned away and swept her hands across the shower curtain as if it was some gigantic abacus. No, she was leafing through the thousands upon thousands of fishing line-thin strands.

    "It's time you know" Rich's eyes were now staring wider than a full psychopath's. "That's right, Rich. Gold."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like this one ok. I think I may be able to handle a criticism if anybody wants.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousApril 5, 2011 2:59 PM
      "And no, you're not a typical Narcissist. You couldn't be, or you'd be bound to hide from the truth forever."


      Exremely true, if a narcissist accepted themselves they couldn't live.

      Delete
    3. I have remembered this comment every single day since it was made.

      WHy do things negative stick so much longer than the things positive?
      I am leaving this place . It is terrible for me.

      SOciopath here want to make a person hate themself over and over and over . it is part of the sadism. I am tired of hating myself. I do not need another person to do that work, too.

      Please whoever Monica is please please do not pull me back in. Please do not pay me attention. I do not want pain anymore.

      Delete
    4. Man, Fake Medusa
      I love the cream cheese.
      You write like a dream----peanut butter and chocolate :D

      Delete
    5. AnonymousDecember 29, 2012 12:01 AM

      I have remembered this comment every single day since it was made.

      WHy do things negative stick so much longer than the things positive?
      I am leaving this place . It is terrible for me.

      SOciopath here want to make a person hate themself over and over and over . it is part of the sadism. I am tired of hating myself. I do not need another person to do that work, too.

      Please whoever Monica is please please do not pull me back in. Please do not pay me attention. I do not want pain anymore.


      Anon
      I am going to give you my opinion. You can take it, or leave it. You are probably in quite a bit of disassociation, like I was. You want to run, so you don't have to feel the pain, which is under it. In order to come out of it, you must feel the original pain. You don't want to and you are afraid. I will help you, all that I can. My first suggestion( and it will be an unpopular one) is to find a relationship with God, because the pain is so bad that I don't think people can do it, without that.

      Delete
    6. Holy moly, Fake Medusa. Keep going. I am always riveted by your entries.

      Delete
    7. ... You are probably in quite a bit of disassociation ... In order to come out of it, you must feel the original pain

      With all due respect, Monica, your advice holds for those who are neurotic, and not those who are experiencing pervasive dissoiation from extreme trauma. For those people feeling the original pain is likely to retraumatize them. That's why modern therapeutic techniques for such people are cognitive based like CBT and mindfulness (DBT).

      Delete
    8. I hear you, Ellicit, but I disagree, as I feel that this is the ONLY path. Sometimes, there is a single route to get to certain destinations. The only worthwhile goal, to me, is to feel from one's own gut. If not, one won't be free.

      I did not have the level of trauma as some people on here, so I do respect that some people have had much worse situations than I did and may not be able to( nor desire to) do it this way, but I do believe it is the only way to true health and inner freedom. That is my opinion and I stand by it.

      Delete
    9. Fair enough, Monica. I mention this only to point out that, as you say, it is a matter of different strokes for different folks. Also, following the advice to try and get in touch with and reexperience feelings from original extreme trauma can have a disastrous effect upon some people if they were to blindly follow such advice. Could find themselves in the ER, for example.

      Delete
    10. I hear you, Ellicit. I see that my abuse, although bad, was not at the level of many people on here. I respect the people who had severe trauma.
      The main reason I could go through re-feeling what I have is the feeling( and belief) that God is a real presence and a real force and He is with me. If not, there is no way I could have felt the feelings of betrayal I did.

      Delete
    11. Why did he\she do the cowboy lasso hoop thing? I don't get it.

      And what's 'gold' supposed to mean?

      Delete
    12. Rich's eyes were now staring wider than a full psychopath's.

      lol

      Delete
    13. Every 10 seconds or so, she stopped her pee mid-stream,

      yikes

      Delete
    14. does retraumatizing cause person with mood disorders to cycle? they say that a manic break more than 2x will cause more and more. If that is the case, I am out. I do not want the slip and slide in and out of retraumatizing myself. It fucking sucks.

      Delete
  13. Monica and Elicit:
    you are right in that i am feeling so much pain and my awareness is helping me acknowledge trauma. I am feeling so bad but no Ellicit, i am not an ER person right now . I have too much at stake to seek faux shelter there, i do not want tranquilizers, i do not need more chemicals because i am neither manic nor depressed enough, i don't need to be on suicide watch, etc. (I had never needed that in the past, but they always do it.)

    -I know i prob seem suicidal.

    I am extremely tough person. I wonder sometimes whether too tough, but not sure what that means or costs me, tbh. But that is me so i will choose to love it.

    I read a quote that said something like "with love there is always pain." I understand this from my relationship with myself here. I must be loving myself a lot.

    I feel justified at the end of the day. i can say finally I am not crazy, the toxins are there, they got in, they got the better of me. Old therapist did not make a great enough dent. He also said they will always be there i just need to accept and be aware of them. So forever I used to believe i had to accept them. I refuse. I do not want to disappoint myself.

    Am i setting myself up for failure?


    The amount of pain has definitely thrown me for a loop. I do not want to be taken over by the past, be a whoa is me person. I really despise that. -so I am sorry to blame people here. I have triggers just like everyone.

    Fake Medusa is spinning her urine into gold. Urine = sweat, tears, excrement, poison. I was thinking about having her explain this to Rich, but i like him dangling in the dark.

    She has to do the lasso bit to get it over the railing because she is short, and also there is something strong and celebratory about lassoing, harnessing, etc.


    THank you for helping me see that and explain it, Ellicit. I should fix ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I see.
      Its starting to make more sense now... kinda.

      I like that it's light and fun.

      Delete
    2. You are doing great, Fake Medusa. Keep going. You are not alone. Many people understand, but are too afraid to write. You are helping them, too. You just helped me because I feel very weird, today, too. Go Gurl <3

      Delete
    3. oh ok. I am not sure i am retraumatizing now and it will be harmful to my health and cause more cycling.

      Yrsterday night, just before i wrote the entry, I had a mug of rage. threw a wine bottle up and down my place. It would not break. Finally it did but only after i dented plaster wall. It finally smashed it to smitherines when i bashed it a few times on floor. Also, i slammed doors till the glass fell out of a fixture in them. Then i was yelling very badly at my family guest for having triggerd me in a subtle way. I punished with heavy accusations and yelling ..and the violence with the breaking things. then i let her skulk and clean up all the glass. Twas merry.

      do you do violence around family?

      Delete
    4. My ER visit was a minor cardiac arrest issue. I'm not sure what you're referring to there with the fix it question. If you mean the story you wrote, then no, leave it it's great.

      I've been violent to my family. I've severed all contact now.

      Delete

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