DIE, Quiet Quitting, And the Exit of Competence

About the only comfort that I could take away from the initial election of B. Whose-Middle Name-Shall-Not-Be-Mentioned Obama was a small one – a hope that the election of a man of partial color and relatively cosmopolitan upbringing would at last bury the last lingering shreds of AmeriKKKa-Is-The-Most-Raaaaacist-Evah! Alas – it soon became very clear this was a sad, and forlorn hope. The new intellectually powered Diversity-Inclusion-Equity racism came roaring back like a movie serial killer in a twentieth remake of a Hollywood horror flick franchise. A decent regard for civil rights of black citizens has somehow metastasized into ‘DIE, whitey, DIE’ or at the very least, ‘no well-paying prestigious job for you, pale-male-and-stale.’ Never mind if the beneficiaries of these policies appear far less able to perform to the standards which the job requires … it seems to be the intentions that count. It’s no biggie if the bridge collapses, the aircraft collide on approach, the expensive movie bombs at the box office, or the press secretary babbles nonsense when asked a difficult question. The good intentions of DIE conquer all, even reality.

Is this a power-play on the part of the Democrat Party, the intellectual fashion o’ the moment on the part of our educational establishment, vicious class snobbery on the part of a managerial elite, nostalgic for the days of forelock-tugging peasantry who wouldn’t disobey the orders of their petty lords? A combination of all three? In any case, the would-be supreme powers appear to be going all out to demean, demoralize and economically beggar a confident property-owning, independent American middle and working class — a class of citizens which is mostly but not exclusively of European origin, and therefore mostly-sort-of-mainly white under the current popular description.

The results of ‘no job for you, whitey!’ is playing out in several wildly different areas with interestingly calamitous results, especially when it comes to lowering standards of competence in order to favor the chosen minority over those competent but disfavored by the principles of diversity/inclusion/equity. Ace of Spades linked to a post on a website called Film Threat, lamenting the difficulties of writers for TV shows; no cushy writing gigs on a diminishing number of shows unless the writer is anything but a white middle-aged heterosexual. Such experienced writers with a good (or even so-so) track record are being passed by, in favor of the trendy young gay, multiracial female (or identifying as such) – who have no experience and little apparent craft in actually telling a story and engaging more than a narrow audience segment. This would explain how domestic audiences for American TV and movies are crashing in such an extraordinary degree of late. Hollywood at large has established what amounts to a color bar; shafting the competent and experienced in favor of the not-so competent and relatively inexperienced … who then produce movies and TV which only a small portion of the available audience want to watch without a gun pointed at their head.

Another area where this is happening appears to be the military, especially in recruitment, now crashing to heretofore unexpected levels. It was conventional wisdom when I was active duty that generally black troops enlisted to get skills training and experience, mostly on the support part of the long spear. Whites and Hispanics enlisted or were commissioned, on the other hand, for the challenge and experience of being at the tip of the long pointy spear – fighter pilots, special forces, rangers, SEALS, whatever. Those guys (and most but not all were guys) came from a working-class, rural and/or southern background and the combat arms were what they wanted to be and to do. Now if they are still on active duty, they are being treated like moral lepers. Potential recruits from families with a long tradition of serving are snottily informed that they aren’t wanted in this splendid new and diverse military. So the rural working-class southern boys are bypassing the recruiting office, to the surprise of practically no one paying attention. Given the debacle of the Afghanistan withdrawal, any sensible parent or authoritative adult in the life of a potential recruit clearly sees that competent military leadership has left the building. I’m not the only veteran around these days, quietly discouraging any young person from considering a military career or a place in one of the academies.

The more heavily the thumb of the DIE advocates press down on the hiring/promotion scales, the faster the professionally competent will either quiet-quit, quit entirely, or not even be hired in the first place. Anyone not addled by diversity-inclusion-equity at the expense of competence can see this will accelerate the doom loop in the activities cited. Discuss as you wish, and if you have gruesome examples from personal experiences, or insights to share, please do.

28 thoughts on “DIE, Quiet Quitting, And the Exit of Competence”

  1. I will admit that I am also trying to discourage anyone I know and care for from joining the armed forces. And for those in to get out at the earliest opportunity. Leaving aside that one of the Left’s first acts under Biden was an unplanned for bail-out from Afghanistan that was a disaster. There is nothing that stands in the way of something similar happening tomorrow, and that includes the chain of command.

    It is also . . . interesting that there has been open contempt for white males and heterosexuals expressed by the chain of command. Re-education programs on their lack of worth and the aforementioned discrimination being blatant and common. As has been the promotion [in both rank and in publicity about] transvestite/transsexual field grade and above officers. Another interesting phenomenon has been recruiting. Until the recently acknowledged collapse of recruiting, the military has been emphasizing females and non-whites in recruiting materials. Recruiting/retention has gotten so bad that there are even rumors that the videos shown as commercials during the Super Bowl may actually show white males at the pointy end of the spear. I don’t know if they really are that desperate. We shall see, and to be honest it will take more than that to fix things.

    A final key point though is that we have seen that the government has a particularly fluid view of both the law and the Constitution. The Social Contract is shaky. If you have military age kids, do you want to take the chance that they may be ordered to fire on their fellow Americans trying to uphold the law and Constitution? That is a risk that has risen of late.

    Subotai Bahadur

  2. Subotai: “If you have military age kids, do you want to take the chance that they may be ordered to fire on their fellow Americans trying to uphold the law and Constitution?”

    One of the key moments from the end of the Shah of Iran’s rule was a widely circulated video in which armed forces were facing off against protestors. An officer ordered the troops to fire on the citizen protestors. Instead, a soldier shot the officer and joined the protestors.

    Anything that has happened before can happen again. If we had wise rulers, they would remember this. But if we had wise rulers, we would not be having this discussion.

  3. I am a WM, over sixty with white hair and work in a corporate environmental. About two years ago I participated in an event sponsored by HR. The meeting involved 15 employees in a room where we were seated in a square. To be fair, the HR moderator was pleasant professional. To get started, we went around the room and everyone stated how long they had been with the company, their department and job title. Everyone was totally normal until we got to the last person. She was the only one wearing a mask and had personal pronouns. There was no doubt in my mind she was furious that I was breathing her air. I want to call for an immediate vote for who in the room was most likely to believe Jessie Smolett was telling the truth. But I resisted the temptation. As the meeting continued I decided to have fun and was the driving force of the conversation. I was completely surprised when a short film was played which discussed the difference between empathy and sympathy. I immediately brought up my experience in the U.S. Army in the early 1980s where I was introduced to this exact concept. While I didn’t share the exact quote, which I did emphasis, I made it clear it was not for cream puffs. The moral of this story was to move along the edge of mockery. For the record, the USArmy definition I learned, at the Army Recruiting Station at Portland, ME on 5/28/82 was…Sympathy, it’s in the dictionary between syphylis and shit.

  4. As a retired engineer I’m often asked if engineering (of just about any kind) is a good field to go into. My reply for the last thirty years has been an emphatic, “NO”!

    Initially it was that, starting in the mid-90’s, companies were looking for lower-cost design and engineering skills and attempted to outsource to places like India and Bangladesh, later China. This was an unmitigated disaster, since it turned out that those degreed “engineers” or “designers” had no actual skill-sets. In particular our design drafters would typically end up spending MORE time correcting purportedly checked drawings from the offshore sources than if they had simply done the work, correctly, themselves.

    Now the entire corporate world is set up to eliminate competence in the work skills, preferring mush-brained nonsense…it used to be called “politically-correct” (which has as its necessary corollary “factually incorrect”) and has now been re-defined as “woke”. If you’re a competent white male, be prepared to be completely passed over for incompetent non-melanin-challenged idiots. Be further prepared to have to back-stop them to avoid engineering disasters (like bridges falling down or tail assemblies spontaneously detaching from aircraft frames) while they take the credit for the work.

    My advice to anyone with some level of technical competence is to go to a trade school. HVAC repair (heating, cooling) is particularly going to be needed as the new “greener” systems break down due to huge under-design. That kind of work requires both technical savvy (you should see the installation and instruction manuals for our new boiler) and physical work capabilities (plumbing, soldering/brazing, welding, pipe fitting, low-voltage electrical, etc.).

    The main reason to go into something like this is the fact that it CANNOT be outsourced to a foreign country…let somebody in India try to fix a broken pipe in your basement. Another reason is simply financial; you will have zero college debt, you can quickly, within a couple of years, start earning significant amounts of money, and if you are truly ambitious you can start your own company and work for yourself after you’ve learned enough from working for someone else.

    All you have to do is good work at a fair price, and the demand for your skills will be through the roof. We struggle to find competent workmen or women in just about every field, and even now have several projects we’d love to have done, but cannot find a good contractor to undertake them. They’re booked solid.

  5. The main reason to go into something like this is the fact that it CANNOT be outsourced to a foreign country…let somebody in India try to fix a broken pipe in your basement.

    Exactly ! Long ago, when I was in college, a friend and fraternity brother graduated with a business degree then signed up for a carpenter apprenticeship. His plan was to go into construction which, in southern California at the time, was an exploding industry. Skilled trades are about to boom as competent people decide to pass up a DEI college and learn a trade.

  6. Blackwing One – had the same experience in the IT world. Management outsourced a project to India, which came back as a mess that we had to fix. Repeat this twice more. Management then declared that outsourcing was so successful that they would expand it going forward. I left to get a job elsewhere. Military – my son served in the army. His son has decided this would be a bad idea, for obvious reasons, and has been laying cable while going to welding school.

  7. curiosly enough I was watching the adaptation of Atlas Shrugged, that spanned three different episodes, and three different sets of protagonists, from the perspective of a decade ago it was prescient, although it was not as race conscious as this timeline has shown to be,

    the attack on the able, the truly creative by corporate media by government, has a deliterious effect, the number of actors who were a party to it, does suggest something, the unremittingly negative reviews by media that promote the crime think or little tale, says something as well

  8. Anybody that wants to get on a plane had better hope there’s still a few smart folks dumb enough to become engineers, whether Boeing will hire them if they’re not the right color/pronoun is another question.

  9. MCS
    February 4, 2024 at 5:46 pm

    The dropping of standards and requirements in everything; education, military requirements, tested skills for licensing is what may cause our civilization [or at least our society and economy] to fall apart. Everything is interconnected and once on part fails, it brings down other parts. Look at our society and polity and consider what the chances that what you see would be willing and have the discipline to fix things.

    Subotai Bahadur

  10. One the one hand the Left is effing up everything it touches. On the other hand normal people are increasingly aware of what’s been going on while they, the normal people, weren’t paying attention. And it’s obvious that many of the people at the top who assert an authority to reshape our institutions and society are incompetent and/or corrupt. And normal people are still the majority. So maybe all of this ends in a giant political and/or economic reckoning. Or maybe ordinary people respond in ways that prevent the control freaks from getting away with it. Or maybe . . . something else? It looks like we will find out.

  11. I recall a Google exec who was quoted years ago stating essentially that good code was a given, diversity was not, so efforts should go towards moar diversity and not that tedious computer-related bother.

    I may be extrapolating a bit, but I think of that story a lot when I notice how often I see companies touting some extraneous and irrelevant political goal while all but ignoring what sane people would regard as their actual reason for existing.

    Examples are legion and I bet anyone likely to read this has plenty of their own. However, I’d like to note a couple of my favs. First, I “love” how NASA has spent decades wasting money attempting to make another moon landing and obviously failing, without any real explanation of what they’d do once they get there, aside from “science.” However, lately we have a goal- they’re going to send the first woman and first “person of color” to the moon. That’s it- putting diversity on the moon, because diversity. Second, Ford motor company fired thousands of employees involved in the design and production of internal combustion engine vehicles because the company went all-in on the regime’s insane desire to force people into battery powered cars. This is presently blowing up in their political correct faces as people don’t want to buy expensive things that don’t work.

    Apologies as that last might not quite be all about the DEI but in my opinion the vast fountain of rainbow failure that is drowning us all springs from the same source- the country is run by idiots. Some idiots are all-in for battery powered cars, others for DEI, yet others for ESG, etc, etc.

    But they’re all idiots. This isn’t going to end well, but it will end.

  12. We live in the county along side primarily hispanic families. Many of them have in fact started small businesses in cooperation with their extended families. Trucking, hauling, fencing, HVAC, irrigation, landscaping, excavation, paving, concrete, etc. They often live in old trailer homes initially and later when things get going they build modest, but nice, homes on their present property. We get to interact with them by eating frequently at Denny’s and get to see them having a great time with their large and usually mannerly families. Are they legal or illegal? Apparently most are legal. They are property owners, run legitimate businesses and speak at least two languages, crime is not an issue (unlike the north and west parts of the near by metro). They are friendly and considerate. It reminds me of the families I knew in Southern California in the 1950’s. It encourages us.


  13. Until the recently acknowledged collapse of recruiting, the military has been emphasizing females and non-whites in recruiting materials.

    I certainly don’t see every ad placed by the military, but the ones I do see still emphasize women and people of color ™. I may have seen a white male in one particular TV commercial, but I’m not sure, and in any case the other five characters obviously weren’t.

    Anyway, on the topic of retention, I’ve been astounded about what I’ve heard, even without doing any sort of research. I was told by a recently discharged veteran that recruiters would get four points for recruiting a black female, one point for a white male, two or three points for other diverse candidates of categories I forget. Wow. I happened to hear part of a conversation about the huge re-enlistment bonuses that were being given out for the sort of job that that would have had no bonus at all when I was in the military. And I was told by another recently discharged vet that people who had been thrown out because they wouldn’t get the covid experimental medical shot demanded by the regime were getting letters demanding they return to service.

    Mere anecdotes, I know. But I think they provide yet more evidence that something has gone seriously wrong with American governance.

  14. To Xennady’s point regarding “points” for recruiting DEI candidates, I have worked for companies where senior management and HR were evaluated to the point of termination based on the number of said candidates promoted into management. A question to always ask people who promote said policies is whether such promotions are to added positions, which of course is no, and then to ask why they hate white males. Make them own it. Also you would be surprised how many people who promote these concepts really don’t understand that equity and equality are very different concepts.

    It’s a shame that the Dylan Mulvaney-Bud Light episode happened last year and not now because it is tailor-made for Trump to go off on and then segue to what’s going on in the military. Note that DEI policies in the military go back early into the Obama Administration where promotion boards for not only flag but higher-end field-grade commissions were based on DEI criteria and disposition

    I would expect that we will see in the short-term a cresting of the DEI wave, especially after the inevitable military fiasco. The problem with the long-term is that the millennials and Gen-Z moving their way into leadership positions have not only ingrained DEI into their subconscious but cannot conceive of any other approach This is going to take a very long time to fully root out

  15. Xennedy, my daughter has seen chatter in the mil-meme and veteran groups of veterans discharged for not taking the clot shot, suddenly getting letters ordering them back to duty … “Oh, yeah, we were slow processing the paperwork – you’re not discharged at all, so get your *ss back to post if you don’t want to be charge AWOL.” If they have their DD214 in hand, though – they’re out, and out for good. Supposedly, there were only a handful of those discharged for refusing the COVID shot who came back to service, in response to an invitation from the DOD. Those personnel were likely those who had only months left to qualify for retirement.
    I’m just cynically amused at how all-out the news and entertainment media are going all out; the first in all but embargoing news of urban black hoods breaking the law right and left. Some brutal bit of street crime, armed robbery, carjacking, murder? A mass brawl in a bar, fast food joint or entertainment venue? No initial description of the perp – but everyone knows with a high degree of accuracy who dunnit. All the while, the entertainment and advertising media going all out to paint black Americans as wise, noble, kindly, non-threatening … but raw experience in the real world tends to tell a different story.

  16. … but raw experience in the real world tends to tell a different story.

    This is a key problem for the regime, in that reality not only fails to disappear if you stop believing in it, it also doesn’t go away if your pet media hamsters won’t report on it.

    In any sanely run country the fact that some large fraction of the population has suddenly become markedly less willing to serve in the military would be cause for some pondering about why and what could be done. Instead, we get tricks like attempting to force the people nastily thrown out during covid to come back into service.

    This is not a viable solution, long term. I think the rather obvious and relentless discrimination against a certain demographic has begun to bring the regime its just reward- and the regime is reacting with its usual panache.

    That is, flailing incompetence, futile finger-pointing, and lying attempts to pretend everything is fine.

    Interesting times, etc.

  17. “On the other hand normal people are increasingly aware of what’s been going on while they, the normal people, weren’t paying attention. “ (from Jonathan, above).

    We’re watching the devolution of a high trust society toward a no-trust society in real time; it ain’t pleasant now, but there’s a tipping point coming beyond which it becomes agonizing. If the decline can be arrested, and maybe, hopefully, if we’re lucky, reversed, then our children – more likely our grandchildren – may have beneficial futures.

    When trust disappears from the lowest levels of functional society – avoiding air travel because it’s not just this airline that hires diverse-but-incompetent pilots but all of them, when pharmaceutical companies and food processors compromise their output quality, when manufacturers produce shoddy and problem-ridden goods, when drivers avoid bridges because design or maintainence, or both, when cities lose residents because of cost or crime, the citizen has no recourse but to distrust everything and everyone, from government officials and bank presidents down to cooks at the local diner.

    That’s the point at which a complex society falls apart because it cannot function at a sustainable level without a foundational level of trust. So much time is consumed protecting oneself less is available for productivity and it becomes a death spiral. As said by Mike about how he went bankrupt in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises ““Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly;” complex societies which sacrifice high trust on the altar of imaginary benevolence experience the same downward profile. And, just like bankruptcy, landing on zero is painful and if the impact is hard enough recovery, in any reasonable time, doubtful.

    Some may believe there is personal profit in advocacy, and promotion, of such compromises, that physics and facts can be altered, ignored or subverted, that pursuing a philosophical “higher purpose” commands greater respect and recognition, that the inevitable comeuppance predicted by non-believing naysayers can be avoided.

    The fact is, however, that no matter at whose end of the boat the puncture occurs, the entire vessel sinks, and no special credit appertains to the last person to drown; alas, were that more widely understood.

  18. Concordia is in Quebec, Quebec is in the French speaking part of Canada, nuff said.

    If you look at the troubles at places like Boeing/Spirit and the car companies, you’ll see an episode in the near past where they dealt with financial challenges by laying off/retiring the most expensive part of their workforce. Every time the door closes behind one of these people, everything they knew leaves with them.

    A rational analysis would find that these were the very people it was vital to hang onto. These are the people that would provide the background and knowledge to allow the business to continue to expand once conditions improve. Instead, the only reason Boeing is still in business is that Airbus, with it’s own similar problems, can’t possibly build enough airplanes to meet demand.

    The airlines did the same thing, hope nobody reading this is about to board a plane.

  19. “Concordia is in Quebec, Quebec is in the French speaking part of Canada, nuff said”

    I’m a bit familiar with higher ed in Quebec so let me throw my 2 cents in. Concordia while in Montreal is an English-speaking institution, a second-tier commuter school and while it seems to have raised its profile lately there are better options in town. It also has had a recent history of radicalism going back to the late 1990s

    I couldn’t help but notice the names of the “decolonizers.” The Indian/Native/Aboriginal/Indigenous issue plays roughly the same role in Canada as BLM does (or did) in the US, that as a wedge issue that plays on the historical guilt of the population in order to extract concessions. In the same way the Summer of Floyd gave the BLM and other race hustlers juice, there was a similar “case” in Canada where there were allegations of unmarked mass graves of children at a residential school. Note these were simply allegations, the graves were never exhumed, but they provided the impetus to revive allegations of “cultural genocide” and to question the legitimacy of “colonial” and “settler” culture.

    While the movement has been inspired by the works of trendy dead French philosophers, postmodern campus radicalism really isn’t a French thing as their craziness was more in line with traditional Marxism. Foucault, Derrida, and the rest found acceptance in the US and are now being reexported, to the alarm of the French, back to France.

    There is something about 2nd-tier schools and radicalism. Yeah we have been focused on the recent revelations at Penn, MIT, and Harvard but the real pervasive wacko environments are at places like CUNY, George Washington, and Concordia; metro areas where those schools are second banana to more elite institutions. That phenomena seems to be submerged within the overall radicalization of higher ed but I think there is something much deeper in the psychology of the development of cultural storm troopers in sub-elite environments.

  20. I signed away nine years of my life at the tender age of 17 and attended West Point. It was a great decision for me, but I would never advise anyone to make the same decision today. Why? Just look at the content of the yearbook (“Howitzer”) from 1970, the year I graduated, and the content of the latest version.

    The gradually increasing level of incompetence in our society is evident just about everywhere. I recently picked up some coins at an auction in Germany. They were actually US coins, minted more than 150 years ago. They finally arrived after being stuck in customs for the now customary 9 or 10 days. However, a couple of weeks later I received a bill from Fedex for over $200, which they told me had been assessed by US customs in Memphis. The entry cited in the DHS customs tables was for modern jewelry items manufactured abroad. I had to look up the correct customs charge for numismatic collectibles more than 100 years old and send it back to Fedex. Of course, it goes without saying that most countries don’t charge customs duties on their own manufactures, especially if they were produced by the government itself, as was the case for these coins. Fedex replied that I would have to agree to a charge of over $90 in advance, which is apparently what our government charges its citizens for fixing their own mistakes in such cases. I had to fork over the $90 and jump through a few more hoops for them, but that was the end of it. Obviously, the customs officials involved were either idiots or corrupt, and probably both.

  21. Blackwing One above with his comments about getting into the trades is 100% correct. Anyone who is good mechanically will have a well paying job anywhere they want to live in the USA.

  22. Dan and Blackwing bring up good points regarding the trades, let me bring up a point about why colleges will still attract people even though a degree will probably never pay off

    A certain segment of the population, a large one to be sure, crave status. The dirt farmer in 1859 Alabama was kept down by the plantation owners but that farmer could at least look down at the slaves, a clerk in 19th Century Russia or Germany while not part of the aristocracy could say they were better than those who worked with their hand. You don’t even need to go into history, I see it everyday in the workplace when I try to drive performance by my top 10% because most of those people aren’t driven to be the best they can be, they want to be better than others and be recognized as such.

    My observation is that for many people, college is just as much about social status as career prep and while one can think that a good, paying career will produce the needed status that’s not necessarily true in that one can attain status without a good career. Your gender studies students and itinerant adjunct faculty may have lousy earning prospects but they see themselves as socially better because of their degrees and beliefs reflected in them. Better than who? Better than those red-hatted MAGA types.

    Woke beliefs are status beliefs and the ability to use them to lord over their socially inferiors, especially from HR and DEI is irresistible, it’s part of human nature but Authoritarian Rule 101. Just a thought to keep in mind as we continue down the road of chaos that is 2024

  23. Mike – I’m not sure I want anything my life depends on to be made by someone in the nose-in-the-air crowd :)

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