Marco Rogers Profile picture
26 Apr, 12 tweets, 3 min read
I was talking to @operaqueenie about this at lunch. Fried and all these other Owners would have us believe that people are spending all day arguing about these issues instead of working. I think it's important to address that fallacy.
For the record, it is in fact a fallacy. You cannot square the *record* profits that companies have been posting with this idea that people aren't working. It's incredibly disingenuous and dishonest. So what are people actually talking about?
Here's what Fried says in his post.

"It's a major distraction. It saps our energy, and redirects our dialog towards dark places. It's not healthy, it hasn't served us well."

That's sounds ominous. But it's always worth asking. Who is "us"?
If people weren't getting their work done because they wanted to argue about politics all day, then those people should probably be fired. Are we pretending that companies have a problem with performance management? It's that what's going on?
No that's not it. I think what Fried means it's that *he* is being distracted. Him and other Owners wanna spend all of their time worrying about their business. And instead they're being asked to have an impact on these social issues. That's the distraction he's referring to.
Taking about these social issues is making these white guys feel bad. They have to show up every day and be told they are what's wrong with the world. I can imagine that "saps their energy".
Perhaps not as much as hearing how often people who look like me are getting killed by police. I mean that's what distracts me. That's what takes me to some "dark places". But that's neither here nor there. We're talking about the feelings of white men, and that takes precedence.
My point is this. What we're witnessing is what Whiteness has always done when confronted with unpleasant things. "I'm changing the rules so I don't have to deal with it".

This is no different than "I'm not racist. I just want a nice neighborhood. And you know how they are."
They let too many of us into their gated community and now it's not working for them. So they're closing the gates. That's what's happening folks. Don't miss it. And don't fail to connect this with the long history of white supremacist patriarchal oppression.
I wanna come back to this because I don't think I made the point strongly enough. Taking about politics is not keeping these companies from being successful. But it is easy for bosses to *say* there's a problem and *blame* the political discussion.
If you set out to squash politics at your company, it's a common strategy to suggest that it causes the company to be less successful. If you're company is struggling, it's common to look around and find the things you personally don't like and suggest those are the culprit.
None of these companies have provided any evidence that their work wasn't getting done because of "politics". It's a complete fabrication. Instead what we are seeing is yet more politics at play. It's no longer convenient to be seen as actively supporting social good.

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More from @polotek

28 Apr
Cleaning house.

"Yesterday, we offered everyone at Basecamp an option of a severance package... For those who cannot see a future at Basecamp under this new direction."…
It's worth reading DHH's pay. It's kind a ramble, but there is important information there. He talks about how they failed to facilitate and meditate contentious discussion at the company.
I believe him when he says it felt disruptive. But I blame a lack of clear and decisive leadership. This is where white men like these show they lack the range. That they're not up to the task of navigating an environment where a diverse group of people all get to have a voice.
Read 12 tweets
27 Apr
White guys: Why can't you just not care about what happens to other people?

But I am other people. It's happening to me.

White guys: I mean that sucks, but you don't have to bring it to work. Die on your own time, ya know what I mean?
White guys: We shouldn't be forced to talk about this stuff at work. It doesn't matter right?

It matters to me. I want to talk about it because it impacts my actual life.

White guys: Sorry. By "we" I mean me. I shouldn't have to hear about how you're dying. I'm trying to work.
White guys: Free speech above all else!

That's not how that works. It's about government...

White guys: No! It's a general foundation of our society!

Okay, I wanna talk about this issue...

White guys: Whoa! We're at work. The boss says you can't talk about that stuff here.
Read 9 tweets
26 Apr
More white guys in tech deciding that their company and their money is gonna be separate from what’s happening in the world. - Changes at Basecamp…
Here’s Fried 10 days ago saying the part he “dislikes” about his job is “trying to please everybody”. The writing was on the wall there I suppose.
This is literally what’s happening with a lot of white men.
Read 11 tweets
25 Apr
We got disconnected. We have a new room.…
Whew. We had some pretty bad technical difficulties on Spaces this time. I think it was mostly still a great conversation. But it brought home to be how important it is for the technology to be rock solid.
Read 9 tweets
21 Apr
How do we take back control of our livelihoods? I can tell you where my thoughts are taking me.

One core idea is that we have to create companies that are not wholly directed by the capitalistic profit motive. @operaqueenie is doing a lot of work around things like co-ops.
This has a lot of implications. The company can still be for profit. Just not at the cost of people's health and happiness. Instead, the leadership of the company is beholden to the employees. So it has to balance profit motive with other things that matter.
It's hard for one company to survive in this entrenched market environment though. Instead we also have to think about bringing companies together into a shared ecosystem based on values. One where we choose to do better together and reject the current set of dominant incentives.
Read 4 tweets
21 Apr
Aniyia and I watched this last night, and I want to share it this morning. We've never heard a white man in elected office talk like this. Clear and direct about the problems of racialized police oppression. I recommend watching it in full.…
What struck me about this is not only that the Governor was saying the things I wanted to hear. It's specifically that the language he is using is the language of the movement. It shows how far we've come in changing the conversation. This is advocacy work.
If we can get every elected official to understand these issues the way that Tim Walz now understands them, we might see meaningful change.
Read 5 tweets

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