Thursday, May 20, 2021

Reason number 356 why Marxism fails

This is a partial thought. Please forgive me for not having closure on it.

Productive people

I contend that motivated people in the most jobs are three times more productive than unmotivated people.

There are exceptions. The assembly line, for instance. The movement of the line clocks production. Whether you are motivated or not, you are going to tighten the nut holding on widget HJK or you will not have a job by the end of the shift.

High end knowledge work it is probably far more than three-times. The motivated person designing the chips that go into the next generation of smart-phones, for example. Or the person designing the production machinery to make those chips. A motivated person in that position might be twenty or one-hundred times more productive than a going-through-the-motions person.

Frederick Herzberg's motivational theory

Herzberg made the radical discovery that factors that demotivate people are different than the factors that motivate people.

Based on the language, people naturally assumed that the same factors either motivated people or demotivated them based on their abundance or scarcity.

Herzberg determined that a person who was not demotivated was not necessarily motivated. They were null.

People could list all of the things that demotivated them: Dirty workspace, coworker played crappy music, bad air, hot, difficult job.....

Management could resolve all of those issues and the employee could still lack motivation.

There were three factors that motivated employees:

  • Clear 'ownership' of a job and the output
  • Recognition of a job well-done
  • A sense that the work was meaningful

The motivated employee would push-through demotivating environmental issues and still succeed.

How does Marxism mesh with Herzberg's motivational factors?

Not so spiffy.

First of all, Marxism eschews "ownership". The State owns everything. Marty Imhof cannot point at an injection molding and tell his wife "I did that". Some knob will instantly pipe up "You didn't build that."

Historically, managers in Marxist economies pencil-whipped production and quality performance. For recognition to have any impact, it must be genuine. Hearing a slacker get praise for meeting a (pencil-whipped) goal takes all of the specialness out of recognition.

Marxists flip recognition on its head. In their hearts they believe everything is a zero-sum-game. If Henry Ford or Thomas Edison had more, it is because they stole it from somebody. Being more productive or more frugal becomes an invitation for accusations of theft. Most people want to avoid that kind of recognition.

The "sense of the work being meaningful" evaporates as the managers game the targets. Marxism is a top-down enterprise. If they measure the number of units shipped, the factory ships carpet tacks. If they measure by the ton, the factory makes railroad spikes. The production has no connection to people's actual needs and it is impossible for somebody to become energized by going through the motions to meet capricious targets just to make their boss look good.

Furthermore, there is something in the DNA of Marxist to reduce work to the most lamest, most brain-dead level. Marxist theory posits that Nature is nothing and Nurture is everything. Under Marxist theory, very Komrad is a potential brain-surgeon or ballet dancer or industrial athlete. Every seed has the ability to grow into a Giant Sequoia or Cattleya Orchid depending on where it is planted*. That flaw would be exposed if any work element was beyond the ability of a mentally retarded alcoholic. To avoid exposing this fatal flaw in the foundation of Marxist theory, all work had to be enstupidated to the nth degree.

That deliberate enstupidation poisoned recognition and meaningful.

Marxism poisons the only three factors that can motivate employees. That means that except under very controlled environments, Marxism reduces production by a minimum of 65% and in the highest value-added venues by up to 99%. Guaran-damn-teed.

In all fairness, Marxism might be the best system if everybody is a mentally retarded alcoholic.  Let's not find out.

Trofim Lysenko, head of Soviet Agriculture under Stalin

*You laugh, but the head of Soviet Agriculture announced that common grass seed would produce bumper crops of wheat if planted in wheat fields and cultivated and fertilized as wheat. It had to be true because Marxist/Leninist theory predicted it.

Actual scientists who pointed out the stupidity of this idea soon found themselves in Siberia chipping ice off of train cars.


  1. Lysenko could be Putin's uncle, from the look of him.

    One of the metrics that Wall Street uses measures revenue per employee.

  2. Very good article. This should be required reading for every teacher and student in the country. As well as every manager and executive in business. Well done !

  3. I recall reading something from Gates to the tune of his best programmer being thousands of times better than his next best,
    Seemed a bit hyperbolic, but who knose?

  4. Sakharov, on Lysenko:
    He is responsible for the shameful backwardness of Soviet biology and of genetics in particular, for the dissemination of pseudo-scientific views, for adventurism, for the degradation of learning, and for the defamation, firing, arrest, even death, of many genuine scientists.