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Re: <nettime> VW
Michael Gurstein on Sat, 26 Sep 2015 18:03:27 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> VW


Thanks Ted, very useful.

I guess what I'm curious about is the motivations, individual and/or
corporate thought processes/incentives etc. that underlie the initial
decision to go down this path and then the multitude of decisions at various
levels up and down the organization to continue on this path.

It seems to me that it is somehow the equivalent of those US politicians who
insist on sending porno pictures of themselves via unencrypted emails to
(supposedly) teenage girls. It is very hard to see the risk reward
calculations here making any sense given that the outcome of eventual likely
exposure is catastrophic and fatal (from a career/corporate perspective)
i.e. why on earth they would risk it given what would be at stake? 

Further to this what was their perception of the broad environment in which
they were perpetrating this fraud.  Did they not understand the (likely)
inevitability of exposure.  Were the short term rewards such as to overcome
any concern with the longer term penalties?  Were they sufficiently arrogant
to think that they were too clever/important to be exposed and if exposed
too important to be allowed, in the neo-liberal scheme of things, to be
compelled to bear the full and likely consequences of their actions?

In the case of the individuals electronically exposing themselves, the
matters could be perhaps explained by individual psychopathology but is this
an explanation that makes sense for the second largest auto-maker in the
world? In some ways this is even more egregious than the other automobile
scandals as revealed by Ralph Nader for example where faulty engineering and
internal corporate imperatives led to an on-going attempted cover-up. This
one was a deliberate conscious willed action to commit serious fraud by
presumably multiple individuals in a company which employs 600,000 people
and is one of the mainstays of the largest economy in Europe.

Some insight into what went on in the decision processes might be very
revealing about the nature of the global corporate climate is in these days
of corporate triumphalism and the ascendance of their political enablers.

Mike 


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