In the early nineties, in my late twenties, I worked for Symantec, a large American software company (of Norton fame).

It was only my second serious job, so I was still very wet behind the ears.

One day, we got an email from the big boss, explaining that we were entering some kind of shitstorm and were in for a rough ride.

In those days, the PC industry was booming. So what was the big deal? Well, Symantec was going to fall slightly short of the 15% growth that it had enjoyed in recent years. By a few tenths of a point.

I was totally incredulous and baffled. I couldn’t believe the company was that profitable, and I couldn’t see how missing the mark by a few tenths of a percent could possibly be anything but a non-event…

So that’s when I discovered that capitalism was severely fucked-up.

Fast forward about 10 years. At the time, I was working for the largest “Web Agency” in France. Our clients were the biggest corporations in France.

And they were spending tens of thousands of dollars to build insipid Web sites with no added value for anyone (except the Web Agency’s bottom line).

And companies like Netscape had a bigger valuation than GM.

There were idiots around me who actually believed what they were doing had some kind of intrinsic worth, but most of us didn’t. The techy nerds and the graphic designers thought the Web sucked, because it was so constraining compared to say, PC software or print. Top management thought their clients were insane, but cynically gave them what they wanted.

So when the Internet bubble burst, most of us were only surprised that it had taken so long to happen.

Most people I know have known that the system is totally insane for a long time.

The ultra-free market EU has been a zealous defender of the system. Modern socialists in Europe have accepted the system, settling for managing collateral damage as their raison d’être, which is why they are as naked as the right.

Pyramid schemes are illegal in France. Yet the global pyramid scheme wasn’t called into question until it collapsed and imperiled the “real economy,” or what’s left of it after years of being beat into a pulp by the system.

I’m glad it has collapsed. It means there’s an opportunity to screw our heads on right. But I’m not holding my breath…

12. December 2008 by sknob
Destination: Blowin' off steam | Leave a comment

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