Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A long but needed letter to Mr. Oleg Vishnepolsky

Dear Mr. Oleg:

I start following you because the obviousness and rationality of your statements, unfortunately they have led me to the worst of disappointments; I was even going to try to keep my name anonymous, but finally I decided that whoever wants to know what I think can actually know it, it does not matter if I try to hide it, because actually we live in a communist dystopia, where your boss can overshadow your privacy. In short, what I am dealing with here is the bitter experience of those who believe in capitalism; because what you preach is not capitalism properly, but corporatism, which is the very degeneration of the system as economic. In fact, the ideas that you replicate are so perverse, that they only reproduce those of the socialist economy; which being entirely political, ended up impoverishing the countries that suffered it, to the point of misery.

What amazes me is that coming from Latvia yourself, and having studied in the former Soviet Union, you can persist in that kind of thinking; and that makes me wonder that either you do it in bad faith, or simply the feeling of triumph and power have ended up affecting your ability to discern. First I will clarify a concept, to avoid unnecessary digressions when pointing to problems; and it is that of Capitalism Vs Socialism, as one of the most reductive and absurd sophisms in the history of thought and economy; since Capitalism is not about the priority of the system but about its own nature resting in Capital.

Only since then is the possession and management of the means of production becoming important, insofar as they always refer to the production of capital; as a characteristic that is maintained throughout the development of socialist economies, which only change their ownership and not the object of production. That is why the socialist economic model remains capitalist, only that of corporate capitalism; as it’s pointed out earlier, the way in which capitalism degenerates, subordinating production methods to the corporation's own objectives.

The difference then is that it is the corporation what owns the means of production, whether it is formed by the investors or the state; at the same time that, in this way, both subvert the basic characteristic of pure (industrial) capitalism, which allowed the development of modern individualism. It is not difficult to realize then that the real opposition is between corporatism and individualism; that is by the way the dynamic that has marked the history of Humanity from what is known as "slaver society", which was a form of primitive industrial capitalism.

It would be that form of primitive industrial capitalism what collapsed towards the end of the antiquity; giving rise to the development of feudal corporatism, with the social overlap of religious organization over economy. That moment can be said to be symbolized in the coronation of Carlo Magno by Pope Leon III; and it is not idle to remember that the access of Carlo Magno to power was illegitimate, as his father (Pepin the short) was actually the palace head-butler —a form of prime minister—, like the current CEOs of the companies you praise.

The actual corporatist boom responds therefore to a recovery of that medieval authoritarianism, in which relations ceased to be economically determined to be it politically; until the development of the industry returned the push to the urban bourgeoisie, making decline to the nobility, with the arrival of Modernity. Only that can explain the level of absurdity and contradiction postmodern capitalist organizations are experiencing, about which you constantly warn; but it is precisely here that you yourself awaken my distrust, the same about your good faith as about your capacity for discernment, for the very nature of those contradictions. Of course, o knows that you need to understand the metaphysic part of The Capital, the introduction, and not that ideological synthesis printed like biblical extracts.

Are not the executives a parasitic and arrogant bureaucracy, that in it is incorrigible and intellectually bald? Is not the promotion of moral recognition to low-ranking, high-performing employees essentially hypocritical, while the executives keep the material benefits for themselves? Are investors going to be well informed, by executives more concerned about their ego and parasitism than for the good of the companies they manage, especially if they can be forced to resign and move to another company without the bad history? Is not that an equivalent of the socialist bureaucrats, who are passed from one company to another, as they were broken down? Does not all this have a demoralizing effect on those who ultimately produce, the low-ranking workers?

As a result, there are situations in which the absurd reaches levels of vertigo, as companies whose performance is limited by a budget; that to maintain the level of profits they have to be reversed in savings policies on the levels of benefit and salary of the employees, and artificially rise the prices while the executives charge onerous bonuses for supposed merits. The problem with this corruption is that it is inherent to corporatist authoritarianism, which is what ends up corrupting the entire system; and it is not something that can be combated with exhortations or theories that ignore human nature, as morality has not been able to save any religion.

In the end, you function as the reformers of all religions, from the Jewish Jesus Christ to the Christian Muhammad and the Catholic Luther; the problem with all them is that in their extreme abstraction they were unaware of the fallibility of the human, which is not bad nor good but lead by particular interests (ego), stronger as shorter and punctual. The amazing thing is that this is still a problem after the fall of socialism in eastern Europe. What else, if not an aberration, can explain these nonsense, from restaurants with no budget for cutlery to mistreatment of customers by service companies?

How much evil or ignorance are needed to not see that a developed society depends on the strength of its middle class and not of an executive elite, which is nothing but a parasitic bureaucracy? Can’t you see an executive telling denying a promotion to a qualified worker because “experience is not that important” as a real argument, and that argument could be said with straight face? What if as a new normal, a manager can deny a special treat to his best worker in the name of fairness and equality with the worst ones, is that still capitalism? And what about pay the subscriptions to Linkedin —for example— only to find that recruiters only rely on personal contacts so your curriculum and your money is nothing?

I am not a moralist but a practical person, and what alarms me most about all this is not the obscenity of that authoritarianism; in short, arrogance is a form of stupidity, and the only thing that saves us from the arrogance of others is the invincible will of individual freedom. That is precisely what is in danger right now, with the evident tendency to the disappearance of money in the transactions of goods and services; that is already reaching the forms of payment at enterprise level, with the modality of transfer of funds, that tie us more and more to these corporations.

Precisely, the main feature of the rise of medieval feudalism (corporatism) was the disappearance of the currency as a unit of change; which only reappeared with the boom of the bourgeoisie, and the consequent development of Modern capitalism. This fear is not gratuitous, money is a sign in which force as a natural element is culturally reproduced; so that each individual is able to do or not what his means allow him to, but as a faculty that is being violated with this threat to it. This is then an ontological process, which would end up eliminating the individual will, and therefore all possibility of freedom and realization of people as human beings; and this is what you’re leading people with your teaching now, and nobody can say that it’s in a good will, since it’s obvious that you know all this.

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