Friday, August 3, 2012

Market-free zones in market societies

Blog post at Valve

A long, fascinating post about what corporations are, how they arose, what their role is, and how they could change in the future.

As mentioned in the post, reading the Valve survival manual is critical for comprehension of what Dr. Varoufakis is talking about.

Some highlights:

  • Valve differs in that it insists that its employees allocate 100% of their time on projects of their choosing. 100% is a radical number! It means that Valve operates without a system of command. In other words, it seeks to achieve order not via fiat, command or hierarchy but, instead, spontaneously. [This is followed by some history regarding Hume vs Hobbes, with further reference to Smith and Hayek]
  • Capitalist corporations are on the way to certain extinction. Replete with hierarchies that are exceedingly wasteful of human talent and energies, intertwined with toxic finance, co-dependent with political structures that are losing democratic legitimacy fast, a form of post-capitalist, decentralised corporation will, sooner or later, emerge. The eradication of distribution and marginal costs, the capacity of producers to have direct access to billions of customers instantaneously, the advances of open source communities and mentalities, all these fascinating developments are bound to turn the autocratic Soviet-like megaliths of today into curiosities that students of political economy, business studies et al will marvel at in the future, just like school children marvel at dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History museum.
Well worth a full read, particularly by those who've worked in a corporation.