Open Society & Open Minds Start With An Open Economy

A friend of mine made a panegyric to Apple, Inc. Many of his followers applauded. Some expect Apple to become the first trillion-dollar corporation (in market value), and are thrilled by the notion. Others say that Amazon will get there first…

Kudos to the giant tech monopolies! say those whose (materially winning) morality is just the win. Most people can’t be winners, so they settle for applauding, and “supporting” winners (even when the winners win to their own detriment!) Do I have to be the first to decry this form of emotional fascism? Supporting winners because they win, is defeating to the self, and others! That hysterical behavior should be handled with extreme caution!

Moreover, and indeed, winners can profit from self-feeding exponential effects, the phenomenon at the root of plutocracy: the more power one has, the easier it is, to get even more. However, too much power in too few hands is intrinsically inhuman. Indeed, prehistoric humans didn’t live, and thus didn’t evolve, that way. And too much inhumanity is intrinsically evil.

I believe that open products, such as the open source model is superior than being dependent upon a particular corporation. The open-source model is a decentralized software-development model that encourages open collaboration. A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public.

Open societies are better than too much power in too few hands, as Pericles and philosophers around him pointed out, 25 centuries ago.

Be it only because too much power in too few hands kills innovation, democracy, justice, equality, hope, civilization, the climate and coast lines.

These are the stock values, BUT they are roughly proportional to the revenues of the companies in question, and the explosion of the latter has everything to do with the monopolistic positions they were allowed to acquire by the US government (it may have to do with their spying potential, direct inquiries to the NSA). GAFA (Google Apple Facebook Amazon) has three times the revenue of IBM + Microsoft + Intel (or so). Google and Facebook monopolize 75% of US media income from advertising!

The monopolistic tech economy which has developed in recent years is a disaster for innovation, democracy, morality or even cognition. I still own an old Mac, and when Steve Jobs had his own computer company (after being fired from Apple, and before being re-hired!) I bought one of his (very expensive) state of the art computers. Still have it. Also owned ipads… So I am not anti-Jobs or anti-Apple, by any means.

But I practice the open economy, open tech, with a  way better laptop than any Apple sells presently, etc. Please excuse my negativity, but I have seen a Fed judge pass an outrageously biased, pro-monopolistic tech judgment at 11 am, resign at noon, and accept a 5 million dollars payment from Facebook at 2 pm… (I can hear the powers that be, applauding in the distance…)

While an ex-president goes from super yacht to private island, to super yacht, a plutocrat reigns in the White House, while the National Rifle Association gives millions to key US politicians. Each. Meanwhile the European Union has proclaimed there are no tax havens in Europe (thus, by that token of measure, none anywhere in the world). And Vlad Putin insists to show his might, from forbidden military neurological chemical weapons, to nuclear powered nuclear armed cruise missiles, perpetually flying around the world, or, at least, South America.

But there is worse: an entire generation is molded by Zuck’s conception of relationship, a gooey notion of search, and willingly offering all of one’s privacy, so the wealthiest can get wealthier and more powerful, while they pay back the “innocents“, in the Medieval sense of the term, with a sense of tribal rage to soothe their simple minds

Open society brings open, thus stronger minds, as Aspasia told her husband Pericles, 25 centuries ago (and Pericles needed to be told, because, as he himself recognized later, he was not as smart as the circumstances required, by a very long shot; his banning of immigration, and his little plans about how to fight the Peloponnesian War backfired dramatically, with extreme prejudice to civilization: his sons were considered non-citizens, thanks to their dad, and his war plans brought the “plague”, devastating Athens!)

As the fate of Athens, and thereafter, of Greek democracy and even civilization, clearly demonstrated, stronger minds are not just a luxury, they are key to the survival of the noblest aspects of the human spirit (the Roman Republic made a similar demonstration, itself partially a consequence of the preceding one). We think, thus we survive…

Patrice Aymé

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11 Responses to “Open Society & Open Minds Start With An Open Economy”

  1. pshakkottai Says:

    Hi Patrice:
    “I believe that open products, such as the open source model is superior than being dependent upon a particular corporation”

    Hindu religion (paganism) is the same way (as also that of ancient Greeks and Romans), unstructured, uncontrolled and free for all.
    Abrahamism is like a powerful corporation, each single source and tightly controlled.


    • G Max Says:

      If I get Patrice’s drift well, Roman LAW acted as a counterbalance for Abrahamism. Also memory of Rome and Greece


      • pshakkottai Says:

        Definitely! Yes.


      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Indeed, that’s the big difference with the countries which got Islamized, where counterbalancing didn’t happen. Even in Iran, where secular law had ruled for 25 centuries prior, Zoroastrianism was a religion, not a body of secular law… In the West, there were TWO Latin written laws, or even three: old Roman law, then Salic law (which soon became extensive), and finally refurbished Latin secular law from Justinian’s Constantinople government…


  2. G Max Says:

    How come Trump doing pretty much nothing about GAFA? WHAT about his war with Bezos?


  3. EugenR Says:

    Since the dawn of humanity two kinds of mangement systems could be differentiated, the top-bottom or bottom-top systems. These two economic-political management system were implemented intermittently in different communities and at different times. At the top-bottom economic-political systems, the authority to allocate resources is centralized, while in the bottom-top economic-political systems, many individuals are involved in decision process, about resources allocation.

    The hunter-gatherer societies the tribal system implemented in its simplicity, most probably used rather bottom-top management system. Then with growing population and its concentration adjacent to rivers, used for transportation, communication and irrigation’s in arid places, a centrally managed government, started to implement rather top-bottom management system. The top-bottom management systems, used in new kind of agricultural settlements, cities, was not based anymore on the need to communicate with every significant part of the society, considering their particular interests and opinions, when concluding a joint agreements with every part of the society but on representative social political system, where the top management was supposed to represent the bottom masses. The more complicatedly structured societies, that couldn’t be based any more on individuals acquainted to each other, needed universal laws issued by central authority. So were created the empires, like the Egyptian empire, and later the Roman empire, indirect descendant of the Egyptian empire, or the Summer culture, that was subsequently followed by the Parthian empire. In between the early Summer culture, emerged other empires, that eventually collapsed and were many times temporarily replaced by culturally less developed societies, mostly managed in bottom-top system. So it happened, when the Roman empire, that was very much centralized, and managed as top-bottom management political-economic system, was destroyed, and small barbarian kingdoms, managed rather as bottom top systems replaced them.

    The same question of these two management systems on the scale of whole social grouping, modern states, is present also now in the modern economic systems. Until quite recently, a highly ortodox top-bottom political system was implemented in USSR and its satellite states, the so called “Socialist Countries”, while in the so called “”Western  Countries”, namely Western Europe, USA and other American continent countries, Japan and some Asian countries implemented the so called “Market Economy”, or alternatively some may call it “Capitalistic Economy”, management strategies. While “Socialist Countries”, tried to implement their top-bottom management economic system, in all levels of economic activity, with growing orthodoxy, the “Western Countries” implemented their bottom-top economic system with less rigidity, while according to the temporary public mood, fashion or political opportunism, they shifted from more orthodox bottom-top management economic system to the partial top-bottom system. The Socialist countries used the centrally managed top-bottom management system to concentrate political power in hands of the political leadership of few, while the more flexible market economic systems created a partnership between the political leaders and the economic leaders. Since the early nineties of twenty century the top-bottom economic system collapsed with the collapse of the “Socialist” economic system, and whole block of countries, with about five hundred million people joined the market economy. Adding to it China with the more gradual but with same aming process of decentralization of resources allocation management, and practically most of the world economy, in very short time period joined the market economy. It is not surprising that the capital based market economy thrived for almost twenty years since then.  

    The market economic system adopted with warm welcome hug the newcomers in the global economic system, with all their huge resource allocation, these underdeveloped new markets needed. New opportunities for more efficient resource allocation gave new opportunities for capital to generate higher yield. This gave new opportunities for the capital, accumulated in the pre collapse capital driven market economic entities to use their accumulated capital from the past,  management know-how, and consumers oriented technology to allocate production capacities to the new participants in the global market economy. The famished consumers in these new markets at beginning absorbed more and more from the production capacity of the Western economic entities. Together with it new production facilities were built in these new economic regions, utilizing the relatively low production costs, with technologically and intellectually relatively well educated population.

    The huge global corporations, used skillfully their accumulated capital and know-how, to increase their wealth and with it their political influence, on the local, but mainly on the global scale. This partnership caused evergrowing concentration of capital and as well political power, process that stand in contradiction to one of the pillars of the market economic system, widely distributed entities with capital and resource allocation capacity, fiercely competing among each other. This process concentration of capital and political power, caused growing concentration of decision making processes about allocation of resources. Again a process heading toward  top-bottom management economic system seems as taking over the economic decision process.


  4. Patrice Ayme Says:

    [To Eugen R…]

    As prices disconnect from production, as you point out, it costs ever less to maintain the Plebs… As was the case in Rome, 2,000 years ago… Hence the interest, even necessity of a guaranteed income… Also invention is not THAT capital intensive (doesn’t compare with the Suez Canal). In its bottom line, it depends only upon universities… Thus the core of the economy is PUBLIC. Private capital is more of a vampire, even if it is an intelligent vampire, SpaceX style…

    Looks like China has understood all this very well… And Europe, with its “austerity”, not at all. Trump, though is catching up fast. It was hilarious to see the pseudo-left press in the USA contradicting Trump about Amazon…

    New York Times and Washington Post (owned by Amazon’s boss) insisted that Amazon paid SOME taxes, contrarily to what Trump claimed… Right, some taxes, some local taxes, but NO US Federal Income Tax in 2017….


  5. Scott Says:

    Patrice, why pick on NRA? Planned Parenthood also gives multiple million dollars to politicians, and they have no members, just patients. Planned Parenthood lies about their math concerning abortions, “Only 3% of our procedures are abortions” while never telling people that procedures are “checking into the clinic, filling out intake forms, talking to a nurse, talking to a doctor, talking to a psychologist, talking to a nutritionist…there’s 6 procedures right there…The NRA meanwhile sells memberships to like minded people, who then pools the money to buy influence with lawmakers, yet the NRA is not a recipient of tax dollars. Under the guise of healthcare for the poor a large portion of our citizens justify abortion, the actual killing of a human embryo. The Embyro is not a mass of cells, it is genetically different than the mother with its own blood type. Margaret Sanger, the founder of planned Parenthood was a racist of the first order, and yet PP is held up as some moral example of what we a society need to emulate if we are truly to be a “caring ” and “loving” society. Good Grief.

    As for OPEN MINDS…well to me that’s a direct by product of the education system. compare the reading lists of high schools from 1900 vs today…the government is getting the EXACT product they desire out of the education system. ITs taken 80 years, but the goal is almost complete. A closed minded, brainwashed, “drink the koolaid” ( see how connected to another of your articles-Jim Jones) young adult who thinks they are educated. The current plutocracy aka the political elites cant stand and can not understand how TRUMP happened. They are the smartest people in the room, don’t believe me, ask them, and we didn’t go along with what we were told to do- Elect Hillary. HOW dare we! Maybe we are opening our minds just a little.

    Trump is a manifestation of a large number of people, uneducated as we are, telling the politically connected class to Bugger Off.


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The NRA is neither here, nor there. First, the name “NRA” is misleading: National RIFLE Association. France is full of RIFFLES. Like for shooting boars (lots of, millions of, boars in France, and they get discriminated against) Still those French RIFFLES are hard to use to kill people en masse (mass killings in Paris by Islamists used smuggled war weapons)

      When the NRA defends handguns (with big magazines) and war weapons, it’s the US population which pays the price, but said population is led to believe statistics lie: most people killed are not killed by a riffle used to kill deer, but by someone enraged from their closest human environment.
      Suppressing war weapons would just reduce school and mass shootings, not prevent US Americans to kill their own families, as they apparently dearly enjoy to do…


    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I think the “Democratic” elites understand how and why Trump got there, but they are petrified that the common people would understand it too. So they affect NOT to understand, and spread their lies…


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