09 January 2008

Hypercapitalism and Open Source

I noted before that I find some of Umair Haque's posts on Bubblegeneration a little, er, opaque, but this one seems crystal-clear:

I usually make predictions at the beginning of the year. Not this time. I think 2008 is going to be an important year - and it's important for us all to kick it off with more depth.

What's gonna happen in 2008? The macropocalypse.

It's not a credit crunch, or a liquidity crisis. Unfortunately, it's a lot deeper than most of us think.

Let me try and explain what's really going on here.

The real problem is that the firm - the corporation, as the fundamental institution of production - is deeply and irrevocably broken. It's DNA is in shock. The corporation we've created is a monster; a form of organization growing more pathological by the day.


But think about how food players have created an obesity epidemic. Or how pharma players have spent billions upon billions - to subvert and replace value creation in healthcare with push marketing. Or how Detroit spent continues to focus on coercing people, cities, states, and nations into consuming car afer car - instead of on durable, sustainable long-run productivity and efficiency gains.

The virus is rotting the system from inside. The hypercapitalist economy we've built isn't about deep, sustainable value creation. It's become about simply shifting value from one party to another.

Whether it's from small towns to Wall Street bonuses, or from Chinese migrant workers to Wal-Mart's income statement - what most firms are doing - what they are actively built to do - is exactly the same: actively and deliberately failing to create value.

But the game is fast coming to an end. The emperor has no clothes. The masquerade of value creation is can't go on forever. No economy can survive where value doesn't get created.

It's time.

The need for fundamental, systemic reinvention has never been greater and more pressing. Tomorrow's revolutionaries are going to face the task of reinventing the institutions of production - and they will unleash tidal waves of new value by doing so.

Sounds like a cue for the open source way to me. But maybe I've misunderstood (again).

No comments: