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Crooked Broker Capitalists

Dave Pollard (2007) confirmed that in a ‘crooked broker society’, an Exploiter oppresses a Desperate Supplier. This unbalanced relationship is bolstered by a Procurer who in flip gouges an Addicted Buyer. It’s the underlying nature of unregulated capitalism that drives us towards such a society. For instance, Peter Thiel, a platform capitalist, wrote that, “If you want to create and capture lasting value, look to build a monopoly.”

In platform capitalism, staff (labour) are the determined suppliers, exploited by the platform (e.g. Über, Amazon, Google, AirBNB) as soon as it has a monopoly because the medium of change. Various middle-men then grow to be the procurers, gouging not simply prospects but in addition public companies paid by residents.

In 1881 Henry Demarest Lloyd wrote that, “When monopolies succeed, the individuals fail …“, in his piece denouncing the practices of Rockefeller’s Standard Oil. In 1967, John Kenneth Galbraith warned of the risks of blindly having religion in our company methods.

“The greater danger is in the subordination of belief to the needs of the modern industrial system … These are that technology is always good; that economic growth is always good; that firms must always expand; that consumption of goods is the principal source of happiness; that idleness is wicked; and that nothing should interfere with the priority we accord to technology, growth, and increased consumption.”

Platform capitalism is starting to outline the economic system for the second Gilded Age we’re coming into. It requires 4 contributing components, in my view, which when mixed create an ideal alternative for the ‘uberization’ of virtually any business.

  1. A platform — a cellular software delivered by means of an oligopoly like iTunes or Google Play.
  2. A important mass of customers — upwardly cellular data staff, particularly these in Silicon Valley or the tech sector.
  3. Desperate service suppliers — individuals with no skill to prepare because of weak or non-existing commerce unions of their area, who see alternatives for higher money circulate.
  4. Lack of laws and oversight — bureaucracies that both can’t sustain with expertise advances, or political management that condones poor working circumstances within the identify of progress.

Today, work that may be billed by the hour is turning into a commodity. Any work that may be standardized is a commodity within the eyes of platform capitalists. Any work that may be represented as a flowchart, and finally put right into a software program program, is a commodity. The way forward for labour is in advanced and artistic human work that can’t be commodified. So what can we do?


Social studying can assist us counter the damaging results of platform capitalism. Collectively we’re smarter than any company. Learning by means of communities of apply and data networks permits us to make collective sense. Over the years I’ve met many individuals of their 40’s or 50’s who all of the sudden discover themselves with out work. Most of them should not have knowledgeable community past their group the place they might have labored for a decade or extra. Once exterior the corporate, they’re adrift.

Being an lively citizen-learner by connecting with others exterior our on a regular basis lives can expose us to a variety of expertise, data, and views. In a artistic economic system we’re solely pretty much as good as our networks. An efficient community encourages us to continue learning. A superb neighborhood of apply modifications our apply. The extra usually we modify, the higher we get at it. For instance, my Personal Knowledge Mastery framework was developed from the need to develop expertise to be aggressive within the consulting market. The apply of PKM is one solution to push ourselves to maintain on studying. Active studying in social networks is now not a luxurious.

We don’t want heroic leaders to create higher methods of working. Anyone can train management by serving to make the community smarter, extra resilient, and in a position to make higher choices. Citizen-learners can create higher methods of working. There are already a number of examples of liberated companies. We simply want many extra.

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