Saturday, December 20, 2008

High Tech Capitalism Crashes

I always like to remind folks of the boistorous boom minded pro capitalist ideology espoused by the high tech futurist guru's at Wired magazine. Of course they said this just before their own boom busted.

The Long Boom: A History of the Future, 1980 - 2020 By Peter Schwartz and Peter Leyden
We're facing 25 years of prosperity, freedom, and a better environment for the whole world. You got a problem with that?

Today we see that the exuberient predictions of high tech capitalisms endless growth are slapped down by a dose of good old capitalist reality.Capitalism is crisis prone, anyone got a problem with that?

From The Times
December 20, 2008
Electronic Arts cuts 1,000 jobs as sales of games stall

In this case EA has bought up successful Canadian companies and is now closing them. Thanks to NAFTA and intellectual property rights, we all suffer the same fate when America crashes. And when in doubt lie about your intentions. Which has always been EA's modus operendi.

EA cuts jobs, moves Black Box studio
Earlier today (December 19), the Georgia Straight reported that Electronic Arts has announced that it is vacating a facility in downtown Vancouver. The news comes a week after the video-game developer and publisher revealed it was not going ahead with plans to open a new studio in the city’s Yaletown district. During its period of fastest growth, EA was often criticized for buying smaller development studios primarily for their intellectual property assets, and then producing drastically changed games of their franchises. For example, Origin-produced Ultima VIII: Pagan and Ultima IX: Ascension were developed quickly under EA's ownership, over the protests of Ultima creator Richard Garriott and these two are considered by manyas not up to the standard of the rest of the series.

And of course it's all about the bottom line, lining the bosses pockets. After all capitalism is not about production for use value, or even exchange value, its about making a profit for the boss, at any cost. Whether it is high tech or not.

EA Sacrifices Workforce For Income
Videogame maker is trimming staff and secondary titles to bolster profitability.

John Riccitiello is aiming to boost his bottom line at the expense of the top and at the expense of a good chunk of the staff of the company he leads, Electronic Arts. Mr. Riccitiello, age 48, has served as Chief Executive Officer and a director of EA since April 2007. Prior to re-joining EA, he was a co-founder and Managing Partner at Elevation Partners, a private equity fund.

High tech nerds, and high tech pundits and promoters who ignored the reality that high tech capitalism was still just plain old capitalism, thought they were different from the high tech wage slaves working in silicon virtual factories. They learned that under high tech capitalism they too wer wage slaves, the factories were offices with cappacino bars, beds, basketball courts etc. But a sweat shop is a sweat shop regardless if it is air conditioned or not.

In 2004, Electronic Arts was criticized for employees working extraordinarily long hours—up to 100 hours per week— and not just at "crunch" times leading up to the scheduled releases of products. The publication of the EA Spouse blog, with criticisms such as "The current mandatory hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.—seven days a week—with the occasional Saturday evening off for good behaviour (at 6:30 p.m.)". The company has since settled a class action lawsuit brought by game artists to compensate for "unpaid overtime".The class was awarded $15.6 million. As a result, many of the lower-level developers (artists, programmers, producers, and designers) are now working at an hourly rate. A similar suit brought by programmers was settled for $14.9 million

Again nerds and factory workers get sold out by private equity, hedge funds, and the rest of the ponzi crew. 25 year boom my ass. Once again these predicitons of how capitalism has developed a 'new economy; that will boom and not bust are the dreams of those who sold us tulips and the south sea bubble.

Super Bubble Burst
Monopoly Capitalism in Cyberspace

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janfromthebruce said...

Great blog Eugine - a worker is a worker is a worker. Simply put and as we all know or should know - one is a worker when one sells your labour - no matter whether that shop floor is concrete or virtual. One is a worker whether one leaves home for work or works at home. One is a worker whether one sells their labour in exchange for wages or in exchange for piece work. They are all selling sweat equity.

Baiju said...

workers of the world unite
you have nothing to lose
but your work

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