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We Need Militant Nationalism
#61
(07-18-2017, 12:23 AM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(07-17-2017, 10:39 PM)Classic-Xer Wrote:
(07-17-2017, 10:16 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: We may shift to that, but in our saeculum, scarity economics still rules the roost, and has recently taken over the country. The unravelling memes in power the last (and current) 40 years period have seen to it that whatever prosperity may happen in a dawning information or green age is not distributed equally or fairly, but captured by the elites who run the system for their own benefit and wealth. So we are in an industrial age crisis this cycle, because it may be a crisis in which a transition to an information age saeculum takes place. That is, IF the progressive side wins because the millennials will have stepped up to the plate, as they haven't done yet.

The reason the saeculum cycles are less firm in other countries is that they have gradually blended with the anglo-american one, as the new world culture has developed. Other Western countries were already running almost parallel, since The West was a common culture going back millennia. Sometimes, when people forget or ignore that we are one world civilization now, as of the last 120 years or so, this confuses peoples' view of the cycles.
We aren't even close to being a one world civilization. How many belief systems still exist in the world? How many languages? How many religions? How many cultures? Are we down to just one or even close to one?????  I don't think so.

Ha ha! We have all of that just in our own country. All countries are becoming multi-national and multi-ethnic now. Borders are falling, no matter how upset you Trump voters are over this. No, we can't be separated. We trade with all the world, and so does everyone else. Media, culture, transportation, the internet, cross all boundaries. We in the USA learn from all the world's traditions and histories. Many of us are as fully influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism and its arts as we are by Christian and Jewish traditions. The world's nations are all moving toward freedom, democracy and socialism, slowly but surely. And toward green economics and technology too. The environmental crisis knows no boundaries. And neither do economic crises; nor markets. And wars elsewhere affect our lives here. No, we are one civilization, and have been for over a century; and you can feel it humming. We are one humanity, and we have passed the point of no return on that.

I know, Mr. X_84 says we need militant nationalism. And there's some truth in that; we don't want a one world nation without some good local representation and local interests too. The USA has some good ideals, although now they belong to everyone else too. And there are still bad guys, just as there are criminals, and security systems are needed to deal with them. One world civilization does not mean automatically that world peace has been achieved. Anymore than the existence of "Western Civilization" meant that western nations didn't fight each other.
True, I've seen a lot of countries fall apart over the years. I expect to see more nations fall apart & divide during the rest of my lifetime as well.
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#62
(07-18-2017, 11:39 AM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(07-17-2017, 10:16 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: We may shift to that, but in our saeculum, scarity economics still rules the roost, and has recently taken over the country. The unravelling memes in power in the last (and current) 40 years period have seen to it that whatever prosperity may happen in a dawning information or green age is not distributed equally or fairly, but captured by the elites who run the system for their own benefit and wealth. So we are in an industrial age crisis this cycle, because it may be a crisis in which a transition to an information age saeculum takes place. That is, IF the progressive side wins because the millennials will have stepped up to the plate, as they haven't done yet.

The reason the saeculum cycles are less firm in other countries is that they have gradually blended with the anglo-american one, as the new world culture has developed. Other Western countries were already running almost parallel, since The West was a common culture going back millennia. Sometimes, when people forget or ignore that we are one world civilization now, as of the last 120 years or so, this confuses peoples' view of the cycles.

It's a structural "feature" (bug?) not a "Progressive" vs "Conservative" (or Left vs Right) issue. The system designs we inherited from the "Industrial" Era are ill fitted to the emerging state of play. We do see instances of alternative means such as crowd sourcing and crowd funding ... these means are outside of traditional "Capitalism," "State Capitalism," "Democratic Socialism" and the Totalitarian renditions of "Communism" and "Socialism." These instances of alternative means give us hints of what is to come, even while the outlines are still shrouded in thick fog.

"crowd sourcing" and "crowd funding" seems a non-sequitur. As I see it, the lingering industrial era is expressed by the lingering regression of the conservative, right-wing powers. The progressive/left side must win if we are to emerge from the industrial era with the foundations of the future intact. Once such a victory occurs, and only then, I agree there will be systems that take us beyond the traditional distinctions.

I see these as new age and green in nature, and will transcend the current battles between individual freedom and collective responsibility. In the ecological view there is mutual inter-dependence in all living things. In the new age spiritual view, there is more than political power to develop and consider in systems design and maintenance, but also the human, creative and consciousness aspects of personal and social fulfillment to consider. Information systems will continue to streamline and make less physical and more integral and world-connected our operations and interactions. 

We can't get to these levels in our politics, however, until we go beyond and defeat the right-wing "free market ideological" resistance based on industrial capitalist greed and agricultural-age superstition. Totalitarian collectivist systems are also not fit for the new systems and lifestyles to come.  If this victory over these relics of the past does not occur, then we remain stuck in the industrial age in our politics and in our other retrograde institutions. As General MacArthur said, there is no substitute for victory.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#63
Do you think those internet crowd approaches eliminate the need for taxes, government social programs, safety nets and regulations which the right-wing calls "socialism" and is the bone of left-right contention in our politics today?
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#64
(07-19-2017, 01:25 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote:
(07-18-2017, 11:41 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Do you think those internet crowd approaches eliminate the need for taxes, government social programs, safety nets and regulations which the right-wing calls "socialism" and is the bone of left-right contention in our politics today?

No.

Ultimately they may reduce or eliminate what we now consider to be normal Capitalism as well as aspects of other competing systems.

They do provide an alternate structure and perspective. A lot of the Agricultural and Industrial Age was pyramid or hierarchical, with kings, presidents, CEO or dictators on top. Croudsourcing, etc... provide a means for little folk to network through computers, to work together without giving control necessarily to some guy on top. He wouldn't necessarily be able to claim a piece of the action and contol.

It is hardly enough, not what we have seen to date. It is possible the perspective might take us further than one would think. However, it would only be part of the solution.
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#65
Crowdfunding is exactly free market capitalism, at the finer grained level permitted by modern technology.  People provide advance funding - capital - with a promised benefit if the project is funded.  It would be difficult to imagine a more free market mechanism.

Crowdsourcing involves people who take advantage of free labor from the public to build something of value, which they often then exploit for money.  It's actually amusing to see people critical of capitalism to embrace this arguably most exploitative aspect of the modern economy.
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#66
I guess one might have to ask what is good and what is bad about capitalism.  A semi free market where prices are mostly determined by supply and demand might be a feature.  Looking at planned communist economies and western attempts at wage price controls doesn’t want me to let go of that.

At the same time, we have a huge division of wealth.  A tendency towards hierarchical pyramids and economy of scale during the Industrial Era is considered problematic by many.  Too few grab the bulk of the wealth and power.  This might not be considered problematic by those who identify with the rich and practice tribal morality, but it is considered a problem by many.  If improved communications and programmed manufacturing can overcome hierarchies and economy of scale, there might possibly be some sort of shift.  If the government tweaks stuff, say, to give advantage to ma and pop owned stores rather than a franchise, one might produce a balanced inclusive economy.

That’s just a beginning.  Developing an inclusive economy in an a stretch of time when automation is reducing the number of jobs is going to take a lot of changes, and a bunch of wealth and power is in the hands of those who profit from the Industrial Age pattern.
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#67
(07-19-2017, 08:52 PM)Warren Dew Wrote: Crowdfunding is exactly free market capitalism, at the finer grained level permitted by modern technology.  People provide advance funding - capital - with a promised benefit if the project is funded.  It would be difficult to imagine a more free market mechanism.

Crowdsourcing involves people who take advantage of free labor from the public to build something of value, which they often then exploit for money.  It's actually amusing to see people critical of capitalism to embrace this arguably most exploitative aspect of the modern economy.

I don't know if crowdfunding is what either Warren or X_84 says it is or not, but I thank you Mr. X for mentioning it, because it means I got a question right on a repeat episode of Jeopardy today!
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#68
(07-20-2017, 07:48 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: I saw a poll today indicating that a majority of GOP members polled were OK with the Trump Campaign having met with Kremlin people to help facilitate Kremlin interference in the 2016 Election. I did not leave (the majority of) the GOP, the (majority of) the GOP left me. There was a time when the majority of the GOP were good Americans and rock ribbed pro Western conservatives. That day is apparently long past. I have moved beyond political parties, at least for now. My sole affiliation is with the USA. I am a Real Nationalist.

Something I thought about today is what constitutes a red line for Real Nationalists. I'd say, if that anti Western, pro Kremlin GOP faction don't get under control soon, that is a definite red line. After that I see two outcomes. One outcome is, judicial process apprehends and liquidates the domestic enemy. Failing that, we will see the second outcome, namely, extra-judicial liquidation.

In this second scenario, some billionaire or set of them will support a militia of Real Nationalists, funding their armaments and training. Yes, it is warlordism I am describing.

If the choice is between warlordism and becoming some Vichy or Quisling appendage, give me warlordism any day of the week.

On political web forums you get talk like this. I'm used to seeing more from the red NRA and Militia corner. You see enough encouragement of the spiral of rhetoric and violence to keep me on spiral watches. Last summer, Black Lives Matter were pushing it a bit. This year, there was that ad from the NRA, and an abundance of stuff like the above.

But if anyone does something big like OKC, the establishment plays a theme of 'this isn't how America changes.' Well, that theme isn't entirely true. Violence is how America has changed in the past. Somewhere, though, violence has to a great degree left the culture. Martin Luther King? Hippies? We can blame what violence we have seen lately on 'lone nuts'. The violent activists aren't organized and tend to suicide tactics, preventing them from building on their efforts. It might also be that police work has improved. It has become harder to build a large organized group without getting infiltrated by some alphabet soup police or intelligence agency.

And we've got the unraveling pendulum. Parties hang onto the White House and Congress for 4 or 8 years. That being the case, people can see an electoral failure coming and see little need to take or risk lives. To me at least, Trump's election seems not a red triumph, but a particularly clumsy and brief swing of the pendulum into red territory. Yes, we have to minimize the damage done by Trump's red swing, but the question is whether the blue reaction can bust the pendulum pattern and restore stable collective crisis values.

This isn't to say some things aren't worth fighting for, or that violence is obsolete. Right now, though, the unraveling pendulum seems to be swinging fully. There is still a futile search for a red politician that can make the unraveling memes work.
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#69
(07-22-2017, 06:06 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(07-20-2017, 07:48 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: I saw a poll today indicating that a majority of GOP members polled were OK with the Trump Campaign having met with Kremlin people to help facilitate Kremlin interference in the 2016 Election. I did not leave (the majority of) the GOP, the (majority of) the GOP left me. There was a time when the majority of the GOP were good Americans and rock ribbed pro Western conservatives. That day is apparently long past. I have moved beyond political parties, at least for now. My sole affiliation is with the USA. I am a Real Nationalist.

Something I thought about today is what constitutes a red line for Real Nationalists. I'd say, if that anti Western, pro Kremlin GOP faction don't get under control soon, that is a definite red line. After that I see two outcomes. One outcome is, judicial process apprehends and liquidates the domestic enemy. Failing that, we will see the second outcome, namely, extra-judicial liquidation.

In this second scenario, some billionaire or set of them will support a militia of Real Nationalists, funding their armaments and training. Yes, it is warlordism I am describing.

If the choice is between warlordism and becoming some Vichy or Quisling appendage, give me warlordism any day of the week.

On political web forums you get talk like this.  I'm used to seeing more from the red NRA and Militia corner.  You see enough encouragement of the spiral of rhetoric and violence to keep me on spiral watches.  Last summer, Black Lives Matter were pushing it a bit.  This year, there was that ad from the NRA, and an abundance of stuff like the above.

But if anyone does something big like OKC, the establishment plays a theme of 'this isn't how America changes.'  Well, that theme isn't entirely true.  Violence is how America has changed in the past.  Somewhere, though, violence has to a great degree left the culture.  Martin Luther King?  Hippies?  We can blame what violence we have seen lately on 'lone nuts'.  The violent activists aren't organized and tend to suicide tactics, preventing them from building on their efforts.  It might also be that police work has improved.  It has become harder to build a large organized group without getting infiltrated by some alphabet soup police or intelligence agency.

And we've got the unraveling pendulum.  Parties hang onto the White House and Congress for 4 or 8  years.  That being the case, people can see an electoral failure coming and see little need to take or risk lives.  To me at least, Trump's election seems not a red triumph, but a particularly clumsy and brief swing of the pendulum into red territory.  Yes, we have to minimize the damage done by Trump's red swing, but the question is whether the blue reaction can bust the pendulum pattern and restore stable collective crisis values.

This isn't to say some things aren't worth fighting for, or that violence is obsolete.  Right now, though, the unraveling pendulum seems to be swinging fully.  There is still a futile search for a red politician that can make the unraveling memes work.

The only rationales  that I can see for Donald Trump are

(1) that he makes mistakes that no President could get away with deep into a Crisis Era that Americans must recognize as dangerous and destructive so that people in leadership can reject in times in which such blunders are more catastrophic. The rest of the world can now treat the USA as under the rule of a blunderer whom Humanity can out-wait. Thus in three and a half years,

Face it: Obama didn't sort out that much in what works and what doesn't. His 'mature Reactive" style is good for clean government and perhaps one big program of economic reform or giant infrastructure. It may be that it takes a spectacular failure like Buchanan or Hoover  whom people thought necessary going into a Crisis that they didn't see coming who then greatly underperforms expectations is what America needs before deciding on something better.

(2) that he alone can force Americans to rediscover some old fundamentals that created a success in the past thet we have become
too 'soft' to accept. Monopolistic profiteering and sweat-shop exploitation generate the profits that maximize the potential for economic growth that allows us get the sort of economic growth that solves many problems. In return we accept mass suffering and tolerate ostentatious displays of indulgence among economic elites who prove for all that the true stewards of wealth. In return people are expected to believe that if they suffer now, then at least their grandchildren will live in an age so prosperous that it won't matter that a few plutocrats own three-fourths of the economy

I doubt that it can work. It is possible to get economic growth without consumer indulgence, as shown in the example of the Soviet Union  with its Five-Year Plans.

Yes, someone graduating from college should be delighted to take a first adult job that involves 60-70 hours of work each week, often in something that looks unpromising... in nasty roles as cold-calling, customer retention, bill-collection... even if this is retail or restaurant work it creates good habits for middle-class roles in business. But that is burning the candle at both ends. Remember: the new America doesn't need much of a middle class. There was't much of a middle class in America until after World War II, when Big Business decided that in the wake of fascism it was necessary to keep people working and that in the specter of Communism it was best that people not feel cheated.

This said, Donald Trump stands for something that will prove a failure either due to economic or social reality.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#70
When I put on the scarcity filter, a lot of the above seems really skewed.  We don't have enough jobs to go around, so we push those that have jobs to work harder and increase productivity?  We're letting business interests dominate rather than the government balancing the economy overall.
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#71
(07-20-2017, 09:57 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: I guess one might have to ask what is good and what is bad about capitalism.  A semi free market where prices are mostly determined by supply and demand might be a feature.  Looking at planned communist economies and western attempts at wage price controls doesn’t want me to let go of that.

At the same time, we have a huge division of wealth.  A tendency towards hierarchical pyramids and economy of scale during the Industrial Era is considered problematic by many.  Too few grab the bulk of the wealth and power.  This might not be considered problematic by those who identify with the rich and practice tribal morality, but it is considered a problem by many.  If improved communications and programmed manufacturing can overcome hierarchies and economy of scale, there might possibly be some sort of shift.  If the government tweaks stuff, say, to give advantage to ma and pop owned stores rather than a franchise, one might produce a balanced inclusive economy.

That’s just a beginning.  Developing an inclusive economy in an a stretch of time when automation is reducing the number of jobs is going to take a lot of changes, and a bunch of wealth and power is in the hands of those who profit from the Industrial Age pattern.

We have a very effective way to limit the exploitation of labor/consumers/contractors by powerful economic actors: confiscatory taxation.  Note how unlikely it is that this will be deployed by politicians beholden to the donations provided by the people and corporations they would be taxing so heavily.  The GOP actually wants to make things worse by cutting taxes on the rich and corporations, so this will only be tried in response to a calamity or epic proportions ... a true 4T event. 

I don't see that as the long term solution, but it would change the dialogue away from the one we seem stuck in today.  FWIW, I have yet to see any solution that addresses the rapid economic changes we're facing, but one will have to be found or chaos will eventually ensue.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#72
(07-24-2017, 02:15 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: When I put on the scarcity filter, a lot of the above seems really skewed.  We don't have enough jobs to go around, so we push those that have jobs to work harder and increase productivity?  We're letting business interests dominate rather than the government balancing the economy overall.

Too true, and unlikely to change.  The only voices calling for real change are the few soldiering on in the left wing of the Democratic Party, or outright anarchists of the left.  We need a real crisis to trigger a real response, and the power brokers of both parties aren't listening to anything other than the money.  Mike Alexander is looking at the potential of a huge recession -- bigger than the Great Recession.  He may be right. 

I don't see any other crisis situation that that the moneyed elite haven't been able to manage. After all, we've been in war mode since 9/11/2001 with no exit plan in sight, yet the volunteer military is more than happy to go off and fight if the money is right.  There was a poll of active duty military personnel, and they are happy as clams because their funding went up.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#73
(07-25-2017, 03:33 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(07-24-2017, 02:15 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: When I put on the scarcity filter, a lot of the above seems really skewed.  We don't have enough jobs to go around, so we push those that have jobs to work harder and increase productivity?  We're letting business interests dominate rather than the government balancing the economy overall.

Too true, and unlikely to change.  The only voices calling for real change are the few soldiering on in the left wing of the Democratic Party, or outright anarchists of the left.  We need a real crisis to trigger a real response, and the power brokers of both parties aren't listening to anything other than the money.  Mike Alexander is looking at the potential of a huge recession -- bigger than the Great Recession.  He may be right. 

I don't see any other crisis situation that that the moneyed elite haven't been able to manage. After all, we've been in war mode since 9/11/2001 with no exit plan in sight, yet the volunteer military is more than happy to go off and fight if the money is right.  There was a poll of active duty military personnel, and they are happy as clams because their funding went up.


Big economic downturns can result from a gross failures of the social order in connecting rewards to efforts, people to their abilities, and economic elites to conscience. Maybe such failures do not invariably lead to so nasty a correction of the mores of economic policy, but it is hard to see how such failures lead either to spectacular growth or social concord.

If it takes another Great Depression to wring the cruelty, selfishness, and corruption out of our economic and political elites, then so be it. Elites with such vices can debase any economic reality. The successful transition to a post-scarcity society will be neither swift, uniformly satisfying, nor easy. Just think of how difficult the transition from semi-feudal agriculture to early industrial life was in Russia, China, and the former Indochina and how badly the leaders of the capitalist regimes botched that transition. Just think of how hard the transition was even when the political leaders were wise, competent, and humane.

Unpleasant as it may be for many, the post-scarcity society sounds much like the Communist end of history that Karl Marx predicted (as opposed to the "socialist" order established under Communist Parties). Maybe capitalist societies can achieve Marx' prophecy without undergoing the horrors of the nightmarish Marxist-Leninist orders that rival fascism for dehumanizing tyranny. But American capitalism still relies upon a harsh system of command and control just to maintain the elite status of the owners and bosses.

Just think of what happens when scarcity disappears as a control. Status symbols will lose the meaning that they once had. Virtual reality can ensure that someone living in an apartment that has a delightful view (irony intended) of a stockyard or slag heaps. if any at all (we could see giant apartment complexes in which apartment buildings inside might have no outside view whatsoever), will be able to select some other view (let us say, Lake Como? the Champs-Elysees? the Grand Canyon? The Golden Gate Bridge? Mount Kilimanjaro? Sleeping Bear Dunes? The sky as seen from the Hubble Space Telescope?) Maybe an inside apartment that looks onto nothing would be particularly desirable in a place like Camden, New Jersey. Command-and-control systems work best if they can inflict at the least shame (as in, "You're fired!" or "Life imprisonment, ADX Supermax"), pain (torture and beatings), or the consummate fear (death, especially in a particularly gruesome and painful way). 

I see Donald Trump as an attempt to return to the harsh command-and-control order of early industrialization. Life could be very good for anyone who had a good living without doing genuine toil for people who had no concern for the happiness of a worker. But for most people, life was long hours of pure drudgery under brutal management for the barest level of survival. Of course it wasn't for as many years -- even with the early start at it by the kiddie sof the working class, life for the industrial toiler was nasty, short, and brutish. He will fail. His ideology is nearly a century past its prime.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#74
Well, Detroit in 1955 was a good place to live if one could get a job  in the automobile industry or could make a good living in a business that had auto workers as clientele. Detroit was a good analogue to the Silicon Valley that we now know -- a place of high wages, high real-estate values, and plenty of opportunity.   

Here is one Detroit-made car from 1955:

[Image: images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR5CWIyK8PPv-3pA0Bdv-K...XHuK-KZ-3w]

"Ask the man who owns one". The slogan may be sexist by contemporary standards, but the year was 1955.


Packard made good cars in its day, but that day would soon come to an end.

But note that I compared Detroit in 1955 to Silicon Valley today, and that could be a good warning. Detroit priced itself out of almost every manufacturing activity not related to the auto industry (the biggest non-automotive manufacturing company based in Detroit was Borroughs Corporation, office machines), and when Detroit-area auto manufacturers lost dominance and even moved into other places in an industry no longer growing, Detroit was in big trouble. See also "coal" in Appalachia.

In view of the automotive industry in Detroit and the generational theory, I can imagine what might seem unthinkable -- that Silicon Valley could be like Detroit was in the mid-1980s. Losing dominance as an industry shrinks in relative share of the economy and decentralizing away from the area of its birth?
 
Oh, well.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#75
The difference between SV and Detroit City is that industries and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are always coming up with new technology, and there's always a race (that I'm glad I'm not involved in) to get out the next new thing. And with leaders like Elon Musk and the leaders of google and facebook here, among many others, Silicon Valley tech and industry is always diversifying and entering new fields. Detroit car companies, by contrast, got stuck in ruts and got spoiled and complacent. They did not focus on improving the product, or on fuel efficiency in a time of energy crises; especially in the 1970s. Management was more old-fashioned and top-down conventional. Japanese makers outstripped them in the 1980s, and they have been and still are slower to get going with electric cars to answer the needs of today. And by now, they have all left Detroit anyway. That was also because of the 1967 riots and the ensuing era of high crime there, as well as the complacent management style of Detroit city leaders.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#76
I dunno, I think it's an interesting comparison. Nobody in Detroit (or anywhere else) in the 50's could have foreseen the 70's energy crisis, let alone predicted competition from Japan at the scale that it came. We simply don't know what the future threats to Silicon Valley will be - who knows, maybe its continuous diversification will be its Achilles heel in the years & decades to come.
"But there's a difference between error and dishonesty, and it's not a trivial difference." - Ben Greenman
"Relax, it'll be all right, and by that I mean it will first get worse."
"How was I supposed to know that there'd be consequences for my actions?" - Gina Linetti
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#77
(07-26-2017, 02:20 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: The difference between SV and Detroit City is that industries and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are always coming up with new technology, and there's always a race (that I'm glad I'm not involved in) to get out the next new thing. And with leaders like Elon Musk and the leaders of google and facebook here, among many others, Silicon Valley tech and industry is always diversifying and entering new fields. Detroit car companies, by contrast, got stuck in ruts and got spoiled and complacent. They did not focus on improving the product, or on fuel efficiency in a time of energy crises; especially in the 1970s. Management was more old-fashioned and top-down conventional. Japanese makers outstripped them in the 1980s, and they have been and still are slower to get going with electric cars to answer the needs of today. And by now, they have all left Detroit anyway. That was also because of the 1967 riots and the ensuing era of high crime there, as well as the complacent management style of Detroit city leaders.

Most of the car companies were actually pretty diversified, but not anymore: The gas crises and the Great Depression took their toll.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#78
(07-26-2017, 04:48 PM)David Horn Wrote: The gas crises and the Great Depression took their toll.

I won't say they didn't have anything to do with it, but at least what I saw of it was more of concentration of expertise and market. The buildings I worked on had names on the side like Sylvania, GTE, General Dynamics and Verizon. I never left any of those companies, mind you. My military service division just got sold and they changed the signs on the building. The sort of projects I worked on as part of that division included a simulator for a squadron of ICBMs, a front end for a commercial telephone switch that allowed it to handle military security and precedence protocols, computer networks that moved information around in basements of nameless three letter agencies, and a satellite terminal and dish antenna that mounted on the back of a heavy Jeep.

Now, there was a need for all this stuff, but it didn't fit all that well with what a lot of the companies who performed the work they were doing. What did it have to do with light bulbs, TV sets and telephones? Names like Raytheon, Lockheed and General Dynamics fit better. (Lockheed has long had non-airplane groups.)

I assume the car companies were working under a similar theory. Lots of folks were trying to focus on what they did best. It's the opposite of diversifying, but some decades it is the fad for how you are supposed to do it.

About that time, Campbell's was trying to sell ketchup, while Heinz came out with a line of soups. Depending on who you are trying to push out of their core business, diversification doesn't always work.
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#79
(07-26-2017, 12:01 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: But note that I compared Detroit in 1955 to Silicon Valley today, and that could be a good warning. Detroit priced itself out of almost every manufacturing activity not related to the auto industry (the biggest non-automotive manufacturing company based in Detroit was Borroughs Corporation, office machines), and when Detroit-area auto manufacturers lost dominance and even moved into other places in an industry no longer growing, Detroit was in big trouble. See also "coal" in Appalachia.

Part of an industry dominating a specific area is the ability to steal experienced trained employees from other companies in the industry and region. Thus you get a surplus of software and electronics people near where the Stanford graduates started their businesses. That's all it really took to form the critical mass that built a dominant regional specialization. There would be lots of places with cheaper housing, cost of living, and other expenses, but it considered prudent to open an electronics start up near all the other electronics start ups.

Silicone Valley is not alone. Route 128 around MIT is another high tech region. I was on loan for a while at Colorado Springs, which got kick started by the Air Force. I was near Atlanta for a while, and Philadelphia. There are quite a few high tech universities and users of high tech that breed engineers of one useful flavor or another.

It wasn't that different with Gilded Age manufacturing jobs. Sure, a good part of it was other stuff. If a city had a good harbor or was located at the base of a navigable river, or there were sources of iron and coal about, you had a huge leg up. Cheap immigrant labor didn't hurt. There are lots of ways to form a mass of what is needed to get something going.

Plymouth and Carver MA have the right sort of low laying land to grow cranberries. For a long time, it was the only place cranberries were grown. The local restaurants and town halls are still full of pictures of cranberry harvests and 'bounce tables' where young ladies selected the highest bouncing and thus ripest and healthiest berries from the rest. A few years back, the local landowners abutting a lake downstream of a cranberry bog shut down the bog. They were so blatantly overusing fertilizers that the lake was becoming overgrown with weeds, algae and moss. The local cranberry industry was no longer powerful enough a job creator to keep the local government firmly in their pocket. The industry had become badly outnumbered by Boston commuters living ever further from the city. The industry is now moving to other states where the local government is looking harder for jobs.

Not sure how much this has to do with anything other than to suggest it can be complicated.
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#80
(07-26-2017, 08:30 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(07-26-2017, 04:48 PM)David Horn Wrote: The gas crises and the Great Depression took their toll.

I won't say they didn't have anything to do with it, but at least what I saw of it was more of concentration of expertise and market.  The buildings I worked on had names on the side like Sylvania, GTE, General Dynamics and Verizon.  I never left any of those companies, mind you.  My military service division just got sold and they changed the signs on the building.  The sort of projects I worked on as part of that division included a simulator for a squadron of ICBMs, a front end for a commercial telephone switch that allowed it to handle military security and precedence protocols, computer networks that moved information around in basements of nameless three letter agencies, and a satellite terminal and dish antenna that mounted on the back of a heavy Jeep.

Now, there was a need for all this stuff, but it didn't fit all that well with what a lot of the companies who performed the work they were doing.  What did it have to do with light bulbs, TV sets and telephones?  Names like Raytheon, Lockheed and General Dynamics fit better.  (Lockheed has long had non-airplane groups.)

I assume the car companies were working under a similar theory.  Lots of folks were trying to focus on what they did best.  It's the opposite of diversifying, but some decades it is the fad for how you are supposed to do it.

About that time, Campbell's was trying to sell ketchup, while Heinz came out with a line of soups.  Depending on who you are trying to push out of their core business, diversification doesn't always work.

Business leaders try to act longsighted, but most are like Trump: tactical with a very short horizon.  This is even more the case today, since the idea that we should embrace disruption means that a year is a strategic limit.  I'll wager that the disruption meme dies entirely before the neo-Prophets are old enough to kill it .. which they will if it still exists by the time they get old enough to wield a little power. 

These shortening time frames are in direct conflict with the theory, though.  If the theory hold water, the underlying dynamic must come from outside the power elite.  I sincerely hope so.  The economic elites haven't done much for anyone but themselves since the dawn of time.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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