I’m not sure whether anybody is paying attention, but it looks like lately there is a ton of mounting evidence that Naomi Klein’s “disaster capitalism” is in fact the new base standard for any form of capitalism.
Let’s examine some evidence. Let’s see what Slavoj Zyzek says on this account:
…we are now entering a period in which a kind of economic state of emergency is becoming permanent: turning into a constant, a way of life. It brings with it the threat of far more savage austerity measures, cuts in beneﬁts, diminishing health and education services and more precarious employment.
Naomi’s own words:
What we have been living for three decades is frontier capitalism, with the frontier constantly shifting location from crisis to crisis, moving on as soon as the law catches up.
Now after a bit of thinking this is the exact model Software Industry employed. Industry creates it’s own disasters to profit selling means to clean up the aftermath. Case in point: Antivirus industry. Where it started is with Microsoft and alike who were too busy pumping out new products to pay any attention to fixing existing ones. It’s like hitchhiking on a runaway train – you climb aboard for a ride when it’s moving slow but then after a while you can’t jump off – it’s moving too fast and you can’t really stay because you know tracks end someplace… So Microsoft software was buggy and full of holes which were instantly exploited by virus/trojan-makers. Instead of Microsoft plugging those holes – we saw the rise of industry responding to those problems: Antivirus. After that one took off there was no stopping it: Microsoft became partners with those same companies now they can’t screw them over and all of sudden fix everything, and why would they – nobody pays for increased security – people are conditioned to pay for “new and shiny”. So now this hydra has 2 heads, but it gets better: spammers catch on and we see the rise of botnets. Botnets provide the means for bruteforce attacks of systems that are otherwise well-protected. And you’ve got yourself third head. That monster is growing and heads multiplying.
Now look at this from the user perspective: user by now is conditioned that his/her machine is in constant state of “disaster” and doesn’t mind that state anymore since they don’t know it could be any better. Which only strengthen position of monopolies of Software Industry. If you look close enough – every “big player” plays by that book: Oracle, IBM, SAP, etc. It’s all covered by “to err is human” logo which in fact covers the ugly truth: features sell, security doesn’t.
Which is where Open Source enters the scene. Lets make a ridiculous assumption that Microsoft was producing Open Source OS to begin with. What’s the point for Antivirus companies to produce Antivirus if they can go straight to MS code and fix the vulnerability in the first place? Now for Microsoft it’s “bad business” for two reasons: somebody fixed their code and proved they know nothing about what they do, and they killed off a potential branch of “partner companies” that otherwise could feed Microsoft. So instead of spending money on fixes, code control etc. they are actually earning money by extending their partnerships and keeping an image of impenetrable corporate entity.
On closer examination Software Industry doesn’t follow capitalist ideas anymore (moreso than any other industry). Current techniques employed by software industry are more totalitarian, something that is indeed dear and near to any disaster capitalist. Corporations do not compete anymore – they are too busy screwing each other:
What is Microsoft doing suing companies producing Android-based devices? It’s the most blatant racketeering scheme of them all. Nobody ever saw MS claims, defendants are not the ones in position to argue since they are not the one building the platform – they are merely hooked on it. It is cheaper for them to just pay off MS so that they can get back to building handsets and other devices.