cj#636> re: paradise plans & corporate culture


Richard Moore

Dear cj,

        Anyone have ideas for Susan?   Please send to cj with copy to
Susan, so she needn't wait for my posting schedule.

        I'm back in Wexford, gradually unpacking, reorganizing space, and
reentering local culture.  The file on TWA 800 is ready for posting, as
soon as I have time to boil it down.


Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997
Sender: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#633> re: Is there a paradise plan?


I've been "out of the loop" for around 8 months having contracted a job at
a global telecommunications company (which I wrote you about at the time)
and having an inside look at the "big, bad corporate culture". Things were
going along fine. From an almost archaeological perspective, I've been a
participant/observer within the culture... fascinated (and delighted) by
the daily team work with people from other countries, observing the
stalking for gossip/position/power by those who'd been there for many
years, and enjoying the great cameraderie with my own team working on a
substantive, systemic overhaul of the company's systems and business
processes (which is likely to cause a massive culture change within the
company). The $50K paycheck has been seductive, to say the least.

I was beginning to believe that the myth of the corporate mentality was
secondary to how nice these "real" people are and how they're just like me.

After 8 months of contributing my labor, enthusiastic energy and creativity
to this project and the understanding that I would probably be on the team
through 1999-2000,  I'm being downsized and my job will be parcelled out to
internal departments to leverage existing resources. Already my "new" boss
is subsuming ownership of my projects by signing her name as contact for
them. I've become a "non-person"; I never existed and my creative energy
has been sucked into their own performance achievements. Passages from "Das
Capital" are swirling around my heart and soul.

I cannot begin to describe the feeling of depersonalization, with the sense
of being discardable and interchangable. My teammates philosophize it as a
matter of common practice...it could happen to any of us: "you shouldn't
take it personally". Bullshit; it IS personal and it affects my ability to
pay my bills, to remain economically self supporting, forces me back out in
the work jungle vying for another job in the corporate vortex. I am
horrified and saddened by the numbed response to my fate by my boss. It's
as though it's never occurred to anyone that companies exist to provide
jobs for people.

I'm getting clarity regarding my own addiction to the material lifestyle:
the merry-go-round that traps us consumption addicts into soul-less,
corporate clones-- endlessly reproducing our means of consumption and
entrenchment. I'm convinced there's no "corporate conspiracy". We're simply
trapped in this cultural trance, reinforced by  Madison Ave pipedreams and
a belief in a limited universe where only the greedy get the goodies. If I
could just not care about material amenities, I could extracate myself from
the entire scene...walk off into the sunset and move to a commune
somewhere. But, I don't digest vegetarian well; I'm an Aquarius airhead--as
far from an 'earth mother' as you can get; and I am hopelessly joined by
the hip to my power computer and its ever expanding, expensive software,
accessories and upgrades.

Sad, isn't it.

But, at least I still have my soul. And the difference between fair and
unfair is indelibly etched in my consciousness. I just need to tap into the
courage of my convictions to make a stand in the next half of my life. I've
only made four payments on my '97 Honda...only 56 more to go ;-) (sigh). Do
I chase another corporate position that allows me to make the payments, or
sell the damn thing, pick up a servicable clunker and chuck the whole
livestyle? I'm teetering on the brink, but I just turned 50 and am scared
of growing old and penniless in a country that has no regard for its frail
and elderly. I don't want to be warehoused in some babyshit yellow
institution; I want to make a difference in my life and help bring the word
"fair" back into our collective belief system.

In focusing on the "alliance" movement, I notice my absorption in anger and
rage at the corporate system. That rage and anger consume *me* as they stay
in my own body and drain my personal energy. My spiritual principles
suggest I focus on what I want; not what I don't want: that fighting the
enemy only entrenches you in the problem, because that's all your
consciousness is focused upon...and what you focus on expands with the
spiritual attention you feed it. It's far better to disengage entirely:
create the model you want and build from there and know that if you build
it, the disenfranchised will follow as their souls long for something
different. As in "12 step" principles for addiction recovery, community
building has to come via attraction, not promotion...attracting ONLY those
who have bottomed out from the addiction to the old system and are truly
ready for something better...otherwise they bring the dis-ease or
manipulation with them.

So, in your travels...what *successful* intentional model communities have
you heard about?

I'd miss some great friends here in North Carolina were I to leave, but I
want to build my life on something substantive, something oxymoronically,
practical-utopian, something fair and loving to its participants. Many of
the current intentional community models are still *dictatorial* about
conforming to a particular lifestyle or class consciousness...and they
attract middle class whites who are intellectual, like me...reproducing
middle class values (which revert back to the old system from which they
arose)...never fostering *real* change through radical diversity. Without a
celebration of the unique individual, a deep longing for diversity, and a
super-conscious desire to build something democratic and easily
replicable...it all seems self-serving and temporary. Could we build one?
The internet is a great spawning ground.

I look forward to responses from you and your journal subscribers.


Across the planet, we're all one people...we just have different service
Macintosh forever ;-)