Don Pablo Edronkin

A Brief Reflection On The Discipline Of Armies As Compared To That Of Corporations.




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The disciplinary system of an Army is much better than its corporate equivalent because at least it is honest, but can it work anywhere?

Employees can sue their bosses and corporations much easier than in an Army, but then again, officers know that they face more stringent disciplinary sanctions if they misbehave with their subordinates. Officers may not talk to subordinates as bosses, and they may appear more up-nosed. However, they are asked to dress even better than executives and at least respond to a code of honour, while businesspeople just respond to the call of money.

Under both systems, you get promotions, but at least within the military, you are able to show your rank by means of new insignia, while in the corporate environment, suicidal or self-promoting upstarts might get an Armani suit better than yours and will look like your own boss.

Corporate workers pretend to be regular citizens, but behave either like slaves or like sharks. Soldiers are at least honest in their intention to really kill other human beings, so if they do so, they are just performing their duty, and since killing is the ultimate way of competition, any other decision such as accepting their surrender or letting them escape is to be a humane one. Therefore, the real behaviour of the typical ant worker of a corporation is expected to be much worse than the ostensible one, while the real behaviour of a solider can only be like what is expected from this person or even better, since soldiers are killers, they either kill or let live, and that is, they perform their duty or act humanely.

And last, but not least, when a corporation sinks, you become an unemployed person. When your ship sinks or your unit its defeated, you become a hero, even if you survive.

So why glorify a kind of entity that in the end will probably give you nothing in return? Self-interest is indeed one possibility, delusion is another. Both these motivations exist in the realm of commercial as well as political organizations; they exist indeed within armies too, but soldiers tend to live under a different set of rules. Companies exist to make money; they do not exist for any other reason and will not exist in such a way, no matter what people say, especially if they are not the owners or stockholders of those companies. Thus, Companies cannot become a second home for anyone more that a shop or a train station, and as long as you understand that, you will be fine. The problem begins the moment anyone starts to believe that it is possible for a company to develop any sort of loyalty towards its personnel. It simply can't.

Should a corporation be managed and leaded like an army? Some might find this attractive and in fact it is not a new idea: After WWII, it was a pretty common thought among industrialists in the United States that as the armed forces were demobilized and soldiers returned home, they could take advantage of an enormous mass of men and women already accustomed to military discipline. So, they concluded, it would be eventually easy to adapt the same kind of rules to the activities of their companies and take advantage of military culture. However, more military discipline was the last thing most of those returning from war wanted; the idea did not work and in fact, the companies that took advantage of the situation were the only few that had made their bets on the desire of the incoming soldiers to form families and homes, and live normal lives. Military disciple words indeed, but in most cases, by far, is something imposed, and people usually do not like imposition, at least in Western countries. That is one of the reasons why ultimately, military draft was limited or even suspended in the last decades of the XX century and replaced by volunteer armies.

In a corporation, generally speaking, the best way to obtain the loyalty of its members is to align their interest with those of the leaders and the organization itself. In simple terms this means turning employees into shareholders. This is what actually the Jewish bankers since the time of Babylon did and still do by marrying among the families of partners and even their own employees. It is no secret that Jewish bankers became immensely rich and powerful; this was not achieved just by financial acumen, but by following a trans-generational strategy of business alliances. (see The Skowronek Bankers). Every Jewish bank, no matter how powerful, was a family business but for their purposes, they worked better than most modern, present - day corporations, and in the end one has to imitate what works and not what seems to work well.

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