Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
That wouldn't be stable if the technical caste found itself some politcal ambition.

I have a doomery view, and assume we'll see another major war, which will be a game changer for people's attitudes. I'm not even sure the neo-aristos are the problem - it's more about how they have mindshare than the fact that they exist.

And in Toobz world, mindshare is going to be an increasingly fragile thing.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 07:35:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That wouldn't be stable if the technical caste found itself some political ambition.

The modern corporate structure and the narrow specialisation of technical specialists has been quite successful in suppressing political ambition (and not teaching the relevant political skills to those who may have any such ambition).

Yes, the technicians can make the system stop working. But why should they? Their feudal overlords provide them with a steady income, access to their favourite toys and enough excuses to ignore the huddled masses.

The crucial point would be to isolate the technical specialists from direct exposure to poverty - as long as they, their families and their immediate surroundings are kept pretty, it is a simple matter to instill the kind of smug superiority and/or convenient excuses for inaction that permit people to ignore widespread human misery.

Oh, it would not work perfectly - there would be dissenters. But the genius of modern managed democracy, from the perspective of the feudal elite, is that dissenters are alright, because the oppression is not sufficiently self-evident that individual dissent can cause a cascading reaction.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:06:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Debt slavery is also a powerful force. Once your tehnicians have mortgages they have to pay for the next 25 years they will be very reluctant to put their stable salary in jeopardy.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:28:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They've been very successful at suppressing politcal instincts.

But it's a feature of feudal systems that repression spreads, and status differentials continue to increase.

It goes against every leadership caste instinct to give mere technical underlings a decent slice of the pie, for the same reason that it goes against their instincts to pay workers a decent wage so that can continue to participate in the economic game.

MBA culture is inherently authoritarian. It buries the motivation under economic rather than racist or political rhetoric. But whatever the language, a key motivation is that it hurts to share.

So I wouldn't expect leaderships caste members to be capable of the self control or strategic thinking required to keep a technician caste fat and happy - not for long, anyway.

This is already happening in the US, where science, engineering and IT jobs have virtually no security.

Now - imagine the possibility of adventurous technical types building trap doors or dead man switches into critical systems.

The means to do a lot of damage are already there. So far, it's only the false rhetoric of inclusion that's preventing actual rebellion. And in the US at least, that rhetoric is unlikely to still be convincing by the end of the decade.

 

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's an interesting idea. But looking at the amount of pressure that has historically been required to induce spontaneous (let alone organised) acts of sabotage, I'd say that we're quite a way from that yet.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 09:38:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rather than acts of sabotage I was pinning my hopes on the ability to build some sort of "free" shadow network piggybacking on the official infrastructure and bypassing the "closed" "official" network almost entirely.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 10:37:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting idea. Any more.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 11:54:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's implicit in cyberpunk lore...

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 05:28:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Something like Freenet?
Freenet is a decentralized, censorship-resistant distributed data store originally designed by Ian Clarke.[4] According to Clarke, Freenet aims to provide freedom of speech through a peer-to-peer network with strong protection of anonymity; as part of supporting its users' freedom, Freenet is free and open source software.[5] Freenet works by pooling the contributed bandwidth and storage space of member computers to allow users to anonymously publish or retrieve various kinds of information. Freenet has been under continuous development since 2000.


Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 03:37:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I completely agree here.

And again, there is a big difference between large inequalities and a feudal system.

In a feudal system you can not have 20 % with very good resources and 30% more with proper working conditions. In a feudal system, the cast is 5% of the population and all the services and goods are performed by the masses.

So afeudal system is jsut not possible.

The reason why I think the inequality system is unstable is precisely because the cast is not smart enough to keep the unequal system under control and because aggregate demand fluctuates strongly leading to large changes in the power structure of the elite. I only ahve to look at the inequalities in the US at the beginning of the century or Brazil in the 80-90... they al finished.

On the other hand , the semi-feudal system in an economy based on agriculutre is going smoothly in Central America.. an the rich there atre just not that rich.. and they always emigrate. So tehya re not really the global elite... imagine a feudal lord in El Salvador without a place like Houston or europe to go for the medical treatment, the computer updates...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 06:32:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ThatBritGuy:
we'll see another major war,

the one on gaia isn't enough?

where do you think, TBG, and is it a WW? obviously our little skirmishes in afpak and iraq don't count...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 7th, 2010 at 03:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Impeachment gets real

by ARGeezer - Jan 17
25 comments

A Final Warning

by Oui - Jan 10
112 comments

Environment Anarchists

by Oui - Jan 13
4 comments

Occasional Series