"Pressure from below, pressure from above" is the political strategy employed by the super-rich/powerful from ever the first money-grabbing mogul discovered its wondrous effectiveness. Elegantly simple, it's the conspiracy-theorist's nightmare - use the fears of the illiterati, a role currently being played to an Oscar winning circle by the TeaBaggers, as an invisible agent provocateur. Result? Pressure from below via the outcry of the boxes of rox to do something, anything to get rid of the self-inflicted boogeyman. Thank you very much, we, the super-rich/powerful, grant you your wish and will erase the phantom-boogeyman (PB) by erasing something valuable from your grasp, which is as limp as your grasp of what's really happening. Pressure from above.
For most of the 20th Century, the world's PB was (cue the scary organ music)... the Soviets! While a full treatment of the sheer incompetence of the Russians and our being held sucker-hostage to those knuckleheads is well beyond the scope of this comment, suffice it to say that their ICBMs, able to be numbered on the fingers of 1 hand at the time of the fateful Cuban "missile crisis", while growing subsequently to a more respectable PB number, were never under the control of the Russian ballerinas in the Kremlin; all Soviet ICBMs were firmly planted on their launchers because they all had guidance systems manufactured by Hughes Aircraft and controlled, via satellite (US satellites), by, essentially, the Chase Manhattan Bank. CMB's chairman, David Rockefeller, owned SMERSH (smert shpionam, "death to traitors"), the assassination arm of the KGB. Had any smartass member of the Russian military (their asses were the smartest part of their anatomies) gone rogue (is that where Sarah gets that stuff?), to try to alter the Hughes devices, SMERSH would have dropped him in his tracks, wrench in hand.
The corporate world is administered Soviet-style. That's why the Peter Principle supposedly applies - you rise to your level of incompetence, allegedly. But, as anyone who's ever worked in a large corporation knows, Peter frequently gives in to cronyism. And, just try to assert your "rights" in a corporate setting. The corporate officers dictate policy which, unless you want to sue, runs roughshod over that silly notion of your rights in the workplace, since the most rights-trashing policies aren't written down anywhere; try proving that.
As the Kremlin's former behavior, both internationally and domestically, could be determined to be psychopathic (OK, it still is, just wi/a friendlier face), so does the money-grabbing corporation psychopathically pursue profits (see, eg, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit, Prof. Joel Bakan, Univ of Brit Col). Both are subject to, utilize and are tools of the "pressure from below, pressure from above" dynamic (or its reverse corollary); in the case of the Soviets, their clout, their pressure, was actually, relatively speaking, from an even more inferior position than mere nuclear impotence - they were, economically, under the control of Mobil Oil, which, in a previous existence as Vacuum Oil, latched onto the oil franchise in Russia, the quid pro quo from Lenin for the Rockefeller cabal's $1 million gift under the flag of the Red Cross. Sounds a lot like the island of Manhattan for a few strands of beads; those Russkies, hard bargainers, eh? "Pressure from below" is totally ineffective when dealing with psychopaths who deem themselves to be deities, even when dealing w/lesser psychopaths.
BP, as its corporate-pathological-profit-protecting response to the Gulf spill has shown, grabs $ as well as any corporation, seeking first the kingdom of God (where $ is god) by ignoring the impending doom for the Gulf Coast and all who and which depend on the relative purity of its waters, preferring to avoid the fixes which might have immediately and permanently stanched the gusher in the Gulf. The consequences for the Gulf victims were certain with that strategy, though the outcome of the initial maneuvers (designed to keep that well viable and not have to fritter away profits, horrors, on drilling another relief well) were uncertain.
Only wi/the certainty of "pressure from above" has BP gone to the previously unannounced permanent fix of a "top kill" been mentioned. In this case, public opinion, "pressure from below" netted absolutely ZILCH that's been useful from BP. So, what's the source of "pressure from above" to move BP to repent of its sins? Why god, of course ... and, I don't mean the false tinhorn deputy god, Secy of the Interior Salazar, or the would-be sheriff Eric the Holder.
The following comment, buried in the last segment of a lengthy press release from last week, illuminates:
18 May 2010 EDT - CNBC.com
Stockpiles, Oil Spill
Markets continue to monitor the progress of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the attempts by oil major BP [ BP-LN 520.80 ￼ +28.80 (+5.85%) ] to contain the leak.
"The biggest issue in the U.S. is not getting enough attention," said David R Kotok, Chief Investment Officer at Cumberland Advisors.
"If the oil slick gets below the rigs in the Gulf and does so at sufficient intensity it causes those rigs to have to shut down because of safety concerns. Similarly there is a shipping lane risk. You do not take ships and barges through oil slicks. It harms the ships and it is a fire hazard just like the slick would be if (the slick) covered the sea below the rigs."
Ah, so. The 6 other Sisters of mega-oil (which have merged/morphed into 3 others - Exxon-Mobil, Chevron/Texaco/Gulf, Shell) have, from high up on Mt. Oil-ympus (sorry), rendered their judgment on the discomfiture the BP member of the Pantheon has caused them, meaning, it's not in any sense a public relations issue (the Sisters care not about pusillanimous mortals and their frivolous "pressure from below"). In other words, "Plug the damn hole, bitch!" Pressure from above, indeed.
Let's see, BP? Bitch Petroleum. Yeah, that works.