"Bad employees come up with problems - or excuses; good employees come 
up with solutions"
(New Management mantra)

Mething Michael was right with asking the question about the internal 
workings that made the VW clusterf%$#&^*k 'happen'. And I also think it 
has to be analysed and answered before we move further - it's not the 
paramount issue, Jaromil and John are right about that, but tackling the 
issue is a prioritary, necessary condition to be able to go forward. The 
more so since the mechanism is not limited to the 'commercial' world, it 
is universal.

Besides the above, another concept to keep in mind is "plausible 
deniability". It is what the now ousted president of VW invoked "I am 
responsible, but I didn't know" - bit strange for someone having 
asserted before he knew every screw of a Beetle, but that's not really 
the point. The point is that subalterns are expressivily prevented, 
forbidden, to tell superiors about problems and risks which might slow 
or even halt 'advances' (be it in the form of profits, political gains, 
academic credits etc etc etc). Incidentally this also (partially) 
explains the quandary whistleblowers find themselves in.

And there is nothing recognizablym, demonstrably, - within the system - 
evil about it. As they say at M$ "it's not a bug, it's a feature".

Modern Management and its governmental equivalent 'New Public 
Administration" function, like the rest of the neo-liberal system, on 
the principle of externalising the burden and the liabilities downwards 
the pyramid and internalising all benefits and credits upward. Of course 
that is in itself nothing new (it is known in French as "faire payer les 
lampistes"), but it has reached a rare degree of sophistication in our 
times, in parallel with the ever growing technological complexity. Its 
most disturbing aspect is that it has been mentally internalised by all 
parties in a form of particularly perverse TINA, blanking out 
everybody's conscience, and even consciousness, from the top to the 
bottom of the pyramid.

The bad news is that this situation is not amenable to improvement. Any 
attempt at it turns out into fighting the symptoms, not the causes (VW's 
new directorate's statements are surrealistic manifestations of this 
approach) and even more probably into what was (un)funnilly called in 
the former DDR "verschlimbesseren" (betterworsening?).

Cheers from p+2D!
(Meanwhile in Athenes ... ;-(

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