In William K. black’s brilliant exposes of the Savings-and-Loan frauds of the 80s, the operational term he utilized was “control fraud,” which is a fine term for just about anything that occurs in all of our lives in the neoliberal hegemony that I have, vainly, termed, defined, and explicated as “the supersystem.”
The problem comes in applying that to our own working, financialized, socially entangle lives. Are we guilty of “control fraud”? Of course we are. We do not make the known and established working world that is our social reality. We all fake the day, in some form, to get that paycheck, to continue the inherited role, to maintain acceptable social stature, to continue the project of the socially functioning individual.
Some brave, earnest souls, though, react against this soul-killing perpetuation of control fraud, and become whistleblowers, Jeremiahs, refuseniks, public figures of conscience who will be viewed by the vast majority of co-workers and involved on-lookers as “snitch.” C Fred AlLford, in Whistleblowers: Broken Lives and Organizational Power, illuminates the fairly dark lives of our resident martyrs, the whistleblowers, who must find ways to ignore the devastation wrought by their public apostasy upon their intimate lives. Things generally work out well for our better halves of the warring conscience.
Yet in the fantasy corners of the Internets blogging and commenting and writerly postulations, it’s all pure innocence I vs. corrupt and marauding others. No, the warpings and diminutions and terrors of the vast supersystem do not apply to ourselves, – we fight on the world of “elite” power as as pure and fully uncorrupted bastions of righteous opposition and uncomplicated goodness. Every rage-spittling malcontent is somehow not a product of the superssytem, but a lifelong resistance hero.
Only this is never the case. Every job involves its daily evasions, statements of pure fraud, unsubstantiated claims to competence, and puerile non-engagements. Doctor, lawyer, professor, middle manager, corporate sustainability thought-leaders, there are only differences of scale in the control fraud. A few white collar-criminals get sent down the river for decades for doing what is the basic culture of their milieu- bribery, extortion, gross fraud. Wall Street, the building trades, restaurant work, social services in the misery professions- what field of compensated “Work” is not defaced on a hourly basis by combinations of outright control fraud?