On my ‘Real World IT Blog’ I am wondering why we are still in the Dark Ages of IT. While writing it I found that I put too much emphasis on the political context. Therefore you will find the social policy aspects right here.
I find that there are visions, illusions and lies. Visions are in principle good but they don’t typically include a working solution. A vision in itself does not justify the means. Too many visions are unfortunately solved by an illusion and quite a number of them with a lie. I distinguish an illusion from a lie by intent. An illusion is a wrong belief, but a lie has the intent to harm.
I fight against the illusions and lies about technology and I fight for common sense and compassion in times when growth of revenue and share prices have replaced a human focus. Do I sound like a communist or socialist? Maybe, but I am not! I am a free markets capitalist in the diction of Milton Friedman. Read his 40 year old book ‘Capitalism and Freedom (1962)’ to understand why that is the case. Using firm logic and believable compassion he makes a case for a liberal capitalism that convinces me. I recently read Joseph Schumpeter’s Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, (1942) that to me is nothing more than an overly elaborate and hard to follow religious praise of socialist ideas. Surprisingly enough, Schumpeter did however invent the term ‘entrepreneur’ and in stark difference to Karl Marx does not promote the rule of the proletariat, but makes a strong case for a ruling elite who knows what is best for everyone else. Schumpeter believed that the intelligentsia elite could analyse everything and then use economy as a political tool. This falls in line with my reading of Thomas Sowell’s ‘Vision of the Annointed’ in which he explains how ‘Self-Congratulation as a basis for social policy’ is used to prove that it is good enough to have a vision without an idea on how to make it actually work.
What has that to do with Information Technology? A lot. IT is today a political subject inside and outside the corporation. IT people too have become experts in the art of self-congratulation.
Governments on the other hand hope that IT will enable them to control the monsters – that they created by the wrong kind of taxation – by creating more and more regulation and follow-on auditing. They actually MIGHT bring them under control by regulating them to death. Governments who do not properly tax rising corporate share value at their source are the new Frankenstein. They pretend to save their constituents from the wrong-doings of the job devouring multi-national monsters, but they are the ones who created them because they need them as an opponent.
This is a very complex problem and I don’t say there is a solution. It will correct itself in time and maybe the coming crash will be big enough to start a rethinking. I seriously worry however that the looming crash will be once more (like World War One) a reason for some government to start a war to take people’s mind off the failing economy.
The same actually true for the subject of climate change. The vision replaces proof and it is immoral to doubt it. You are being paid by the oil companies? There is no proof that there is a global warming – they call it now ‘climate change’ – caused by the carbon dioxide. But the right kind of lobbying – i.e. Gore’s populist and totally unscientific movie – will put huge amounts of research budgets into scientists pockets. The current price hike on oil is caused by the stock market speculation and everyone is happy. Governments, stock markets and certainly OPEC, a globally sanctioned OIL MONOPOLY that is highly illegal in most countries. Saudi Arabia makes ONE BILLION DOLLARS A DAY in oil sales. But are you aware that our governments make at the same time TWO BILLION DOLLARS in taxes from it! Obviously it is more in Europe than in the US or other countries. So who is more to blame for the high prices? Governments only too happily point at OPEC and the stock markets.
Even the green parties and activists are happy about the high price of energy – except that they wanted the price to be hiked by taxes so that they could put the money to GOOD USE. Obviously it would be the green people that would decide what is good and what not. Does no one realize that it is the green movement that is ultimately responsible for the current exorbitant price of energy and oil in particular? Had they not lobbied so much against nuclear energy we would be much less dependent on fossil fuels. The idea that everyone should constrain himself and not use so much energy is a pipe dream that belongs to the days of communism. To no surprise, I see the green parties as the new communists, who want put each and everyone under supervision and control. Therefore the alliances of socialists and ecologist movements are not surprising.
Let me remind you about the ‘Waldsterben’ panic of the eighties in which all forests were going to die within a few years. Before any of the planned improvements in the release of chemicals took hold the panic stopped because the forests recovered by themselves and no one spent another thought on it. Obviously, ecologists now claim that they saved the woods without having the slightest of proof. Well done and we idiots fall for it.
In any case, oil will be huge business even after it has been burned. Has anyone yet understood what GOLDMINE the CO2 Credit Trading will be mostly for governments? It will be huge, even a lot bigger than the licensing of communication bandwidths that we pay for with out telecom charges. In truth it is nothing but hidden taxation, should you wonder about it. The people trading it will make a huge amount of money too. Possibly the CO2 trading at least will move the attention of stock market speculation off raw materials and thus allow prices to normalize. But who knows … socialist as well as capitalist governments will find a way to mess it up.