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Business in Crisis: Vulnerable to Attack

by Reflex Monday, Feb. 21, 2011 at 11:43 AM

Sectarian leftists love to moan about the power of capitalism. It seems it cannot be upended or even reformed. Activists are hooked on hopelessness. Is it any wonder why activists are caught blindsided by events like Tunisia, Egypt, and Wisconsin? These recent actions are manifestations of resistance against the presumed neoliberal order.

There are two podcasts I've been watching that have given me hope. Both are "bourgeois" or capitalist podcasts. One is the Harvard Business Review's HBR Video IdeaCast. The other is Stanford's Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders. These are emissions of "information" from two of the elite universities. While they aren't quite at the top of the power-pyramid, they're pretty close.



A constant theme in both podcasts is that capitalism is in crisis. They're optimistic about capitalism pulling through, but it's always vague.

At best, these talking heads are being disingenuous. They're the amiable neoliberal front for the violent back-office operations that create the "peace" upon which the so-called "free market" operates.

These are, after all, intended for naive students of business. At some point, the strongman needs to emerge from the shadows to impose "austerity" and "budget cuts" to the workers. Informing the kids that Guantanamo-like psychological warfare is part and parcel of market discipline would be "like, a total bummer."

So let's review some great themes that keep re-emerging:

Capitalism is in Crisis - it's unable to create new value, so profits are derived from clever trading. The illusory bubbles in value lead to market crashes, and the suffering is absorbed by workers.

Simplicity - businesses have become complex, and the owners are less able to make decisions. Solution is to outsource complex tasks. But they don't know why complexitiy has emerged: it's because of global markets and a lack of clear sources of value.

Sexism, Racism and Nepotism - the glass ceiling persists. Nepotism persists. Talented people are disillusioned.

Social Responsibility - capitalism has made enemies globally. It's exploitative practicies have harmed communities. They are having problems growing -- indicating that popular resistance to business is effective!

Motivation - the rich have enough money, but what they desire is fulfillment. They've sold their lives for capitalism, and are in anguish. They end up diverting that negative energy to the workers.

Privatization - it forges ahead, charging more and delivering less. It's a market bubble -- it sells, but cannot deliver, because the political and economic resources aren't there. This will eventually burst, leaving workers poorer.

Of course, these scions of (post)industry don't say this directly. You have to read between the lines. But what they describe is a disconnection between their own values, stated organizational values, and reality. They don't know what's up.

They sense it, but don't know it.

We're all working class now, and in pain. We should sharpen the pain into a hard point, and use it to stab the heart of capitalism, again and again!
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