Friday, 24 July 2015

Soviet Europe

The beginning of the nineties saw the end of the Soviet Union and the collapse of one of the reigning economical systems of the world. The communist experiment seemed to have failed entirely and capitalism appeared to be the sole credible and functional system of the future. So we all thought…

As time progresses, more questions are raised concerning the merits of capitalism and its capacity to be the effective sole system of our societies. The 2008 crisis came as stark warning of the frailties of the system. The long lasting side effects of that crisis demonstrate that capitalism may not be a long term solution. The amazing aspect of some of those capitalist shortcomings is that they are very similar to the ones that made communism collapse.
First and the most relevant is human nature. Both systems were shaped following an ideological line but they were afterwards moulded to fit the everlasting strengths and weaknesses of human nature. One of those most relevant weaknesses is greed. This ever present trait of human nature seems to be able to overcome any ideological boundaries and to format systems to serve a few versus the majority of the populations.
The second aspect is the way how the pillars of capitalism operate nowadays. Yes, we are talking about the multinational corporations and the corporate culture. With the top layers living on a world of their own (in every facet), the major corporates are divided between those that effectively do the work (hamstering relentlessly, subject of the cost to serve jurisdiction) and those that manage and lead through charts, metrics, maps, boards and fashionable concepts like Lean and Kaizen. This last layer, where idiocy is cultivated and targets are reached through imaginary ascending chart lines, is becoming dangerously similar to those former nomenklatura members that were running the economy on five year plans, where goals were deliriously reached every single time. Bonuses, not progress, is what they aim for…
The fact that competency has been submerged into oblivion among the major employers of our times, is, by itself, the most serious threat to capitalism as we know it. Companies function through complicated networks of influence, bribery, local autocracies and nepotism. Recruitment is done based on personal likes and dislikes, law of the minimum effort and basic ignorance of human resources concepts. HR departments constantly feed companies with incompetents and dubiously skilled elements. The results, in the long term, will be catastrophic for the companies, the economies and capitalism itself.
The outcome may be, my dear reader, that we will see the fall of both systems, brought by very similar causes. Its up to the EU politicians to prevent that in the current EU territory. It was enough to see the Soviet bloc collapse. Lets avoid the same fate for what could become a…Soviet Europe.

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