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The Post Capitalist Society

To paraphrase Peter Drucker in his book, Post Capitalist Society , what Karl Marx envisioned has been achieved in America, and true capitalism is alive today in China.

Marx wanted the wealth of companies to be in the hands of the workers. This has been achieved in the West through the holdings of pension funds. Capitalism, taking personal financial and business risks to create wealth, is now the China story. So from an economic perspective, China is capitalist and we, in the west, are the opposite. To make this convolution worse, Wall Street hijacked our wealth and lost it. This dark side of the “Post Capitalist Society” kind of sucks!

Drucker also points out that when new capitalists are successful in North America, governments usually go after them, as has happened with Microsoft, Google, Dell, and others. This disturbing and unfortunate reality kind of takes the fun out of pushing the boundaries.

Governments are bringing in more regulations in an attempt to prevent the kind of situations that lead to financial crises from recurring. Many of these regulations require more disclosure from companies in an attempt to create transparency. Transparency should be a good thing, as better information should help individuals be better investors; it takes out the risk. So maybe it is good, but psychologically, more disclosure makes boards of directors and executives cautious and risk-averse. Risk aversion kills innovation and gives true capitalists a significant advantage over the cautious. The cliché no risk, no reward comes to mind.

Fortunately, there are still many innovative companies in America with brave leaders. In large public companies like {complink 379|Apple Inc.} and small private ones like Boston Power, innovation is at the heart of their success and our collective future. These companies are part of the bright side of the “Post Capitalist Society” making the world a better place. They are not risk-averse!

Closer to home, the company I run (Lytica) is constantly driving new innovation. One of our products, FreeBenchmarking.com, enables price transparency for electronic components in a secure and confidential manner.

Reflecting on what I have written above, is price transparency good for the electronics supply chain, or, for that matter, any supply chain? My answer is absolutely yes in the near term for the supply chains of early adopters. In the long term, it has the potential of being transformational, which has both good and bad consequences.

Transparency will change the industry. Early adopters will build lower cost and more secure supply chains because of their access to a wealth of new information. Late adopters will spend a lot of their time reacting to intense competition rather than creating it. What’s your answer?

8 comments on “The Post Capitalist Society

  1. Ariella
    July 6, 2011

    I haven't read Drucker, but that sounds like an argument based on stacking the deck. The communist system that Marx envisioned has never been realized, except in fiction. It is a utopian vision. Sure, you could focus on certain component  that signify a capitalist system at work in China and contrast them with components that seem socialistic, but that doesn't prove anything except that nothing is simple. We do not have a completely capitalistic society because we do have regulations that prevent us from achieving the utopian vision of people like Ayn Rand. Though her ideals were the opposite of Marx's, they, too, can only live in fiction.

  2. SemiMike
    July 7, 2011

    Thanks to both author and first commentor.

    As an ancient American, I can see a long way back, and the mix of private and govenmental ownership of innovation, investment, and recovery is certainly complex and amazingly balanced in my opinion.  The semiconductor industry, in which I still work at age 75, is classic example of that messy mix, in spite of some CEO Ayn Rand fans.  A regulated economy is much like a “regulated militia” in its various interpretations.  Democracy works.  China's capitalist model is much like early National Socialist model, and hopefully they have learned by Hitler's bad example not to add world domination by war to the mix.  Modern media supported by our chip technology may calm the megalomaniacs or at least let the dissenter's voices be heard.  So like it our not, China will learn to share power outside of the single party. A balance will be reached.

  3. itguyphil
    July 7, 2011

    I hope we're not going into a Post-Capitalist society. Capitalism with its 'creative destruction' methods works. Things go up and things go down but it's not always good to abandon things when they don't work out as we would like, especially with the aid of bad economic polies and incentives. Capitalism is still our best option moving forward.

  4. Ariella
    July 8, 2011

    On this topic, I found this  quote “There are moments of good management and moments of bad management, and it's up to us to identify the moments when China has been at its best and try to take the lessons from that” in an extract of an interview about the views of Yasheng Huang,  the author of Capitalism with Chinese Characterisitics. 

  5. itguyphil
    July 8, 2011
  6. jack90
    March 8, 2014

    The novel predicaments that the leading earth commonwealths further in distinct the United States own entered in a announce capitalism computer of output where the leading is no longer introduce since it does nay relates to digit soul or house besides to a series of groups such as coverage companies.

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  7. itguyphil
    March 18, 2014

    Huh? I'm confused about this one…

  8. michaelmaloney
    September 14, 2018

    Innovation is clearly the key to the better future . But you know what is heartening, it's that there are so many young minds who are being encouraged and nurtured to think and be creative. If you think about it, we didn't have an Elon Musk until very recently, there are tons of other movers and shakers who only stepped out into their potential in their later life. There is still so much more opportunity to come – there is the next Einstein or Newton somewhere out there, I'm sure of it! 

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