Network Marketing: A Conservative’s Wet Dream

In modern conservatism (and, indeed, historical conservatism) the preferred social structure has been one where those with more money have more power, and are to be trusted because they’re the ones with the money. Money is to flow from the bottom of the socio-economic ladder to the top, and anyone unable to move up the socio-economic ladder fails to do so not because of inherent systemic bias but simply because they are too lazy; the fact that they are presented with few opportunities in the first place is not acknowledged or indeed said to be the result of laziness. A state religion is generally favored (and most conservatives we’re familiar with would want that to be Christianity), and the nonreligious as a whole are looked down upon, followed by anyone not of the preferred religion. Skeptics of the system are simply drowned under misinformation and jingoism (a la Fox News) until they either knuckle under or throw up their hands and leave, and social ostracization of such skeptics is encouraged.

In network marketing, the financial structure is one where money flows from the bottom ‘representative’ or ‘manager’, through their ‘upline’ to the higher ‘regional’ and ‘executive’ and ‘national’ managers via a commission system that pays out a small amount at each level (though the higher-ups get commissions from that many more people). The amazingly high turnover in low-level ‘managers’, as well as their exceedingly high (at least 99.4%) rate of loss is explained by saying that they are simply ‘lazy’ and did not do any work; this is also used to explain any perceived systemic bias against those lower on the totem pole. Attending ‘corporate meetings’, ‘training seminars’ and the like is heavily encouraged to the point where there is a near social mandate, and those who question the integrity of the system are simply drowned by repetitive plaititudes and jingoisms until they either knuckle under or throw up their hands and walk out; association with such skeptics, who are viewed as ‘negative’, is not encouraged as one is supposed to only have ‘positive’ support (read: be surrounded by other people who also agree with the system)..

I’m not seeing the difference, but apparently a friend of mine does. Or something like that — apparently convincing people to join a Ponzi scheme with a 99% chance that they themselves will lose is better than placing all their money on roulette with a 97% chance that they will lose, or even just heading down to the poker table and getting someone to fall for your bluff. At least in the poker game the other guy knows you might be bluffing out your ass — in the case of network marketing, you’re told to bluff by people who themselves are bluffing and probably for the most part don’t understand tha t they’re bluffing, and as a result you yourself don’t even realize that you’re bluffing (and much more likely to lose than those who have already won).

Numbers and maths don’t lie — a problem which becomes obvious when you read through a stack of scripts for the ‘entry level’ manager and can’t find a single reference to initial incom. Guess you’ve gotta pay for that information (or remember it from your initial sales pitch)…and I bet they didn’t expect anyone who heard it to remember what they learned about geometric series in Math 12.

Six days to my twentieth birthday and this is all I can talk about. Wonder what that says about my friend-related situation…*sigh*. And the people who should be reading this probably won’t, because they’re all in the same damn denial that both mindsets perpetuate.

Were it only that I had done due diligence sooner. We had internet there. I can’t believe I didn’t do it right then.

I wish I weren’t still stuck on this, but it’s hard not to be when my birthday’s next week and the most I have to look forward to is what I do pretty much every time I hang out with the same friends I’ve been hanging out with for the past year. When all my different friends, all my new and better friends, are suddenly inaccessible because one of them decided to be a flaming blockhead and become impossible for rationally-minded me to deal with. Because he’s always right, he’s the only one that matters, and I’m just being a mean skeptical gnu atheist…sigh…

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