Welcome to the Brave New World
Party Political broadcast on behalf of SPECTRE given to
Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada
on October 2, 1998
by Ian O. Angell
Professor of Computer Science, London School of Economics
Personal advisor to Ernst Stavro Blofeld
Welcome to the future. Welcome to a world as different from today, as
is from the pre-industrial age. Welcome to Spectre: We are NOT the Special
Executive for Counter-Espionage, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion. The James
Bond myth, that the state is good and global corporations (we in Spectre)
are bad, is blatant propaganda on behalf of the nation-state; a morality
tale told by tax collectors.
We're merely global capitalists, and we are tired of the vicious lies
pouring out of the nation-state; lies that categorize global business as
criminal, just because we refuse to kow-tow to mere politicians. The nation
state is dead. James Bond, the patron saint of civil servants, the thug of
state, is now just another dirty old man. Welcome to our Brave New World.
But why new? New, because new technology is forcing new order upon an
unsuspecting world. The future is being born on the so-called information
superhighways, where everyone in the world (at least those who can afford
it) can talk to everyone else. Anyone bypassed faces ruin. We're on the
verge of a new revolution, an Information Revolution, that is taking us out
of the Machine Age, into who knows what .... into that Brave New World.
But why Brave? Brave, because this is not a world for the timid. None
the brave will win here. The certainties of the twentieth century are
collapsing. The twentieth century is over. It ended at the Berlin Wall in
1989. Everything is changing, and I really do mean everything: politics,
economics, society as a whole. And I really do mean change; not the nice
neat change that snake-oil salesmen peddle in their change management
seminars; not nice tidy transition, but severe and total dislocation with
the past. Top of page
Organizations, like Spectre do not identify with, are indifferent to,
particular country, and relocate (physically, fiscally or electronically) to
where the profit is greatest and the regulation least. We think globally,
because we communicate globally and because our shareholders, our executive,
and our employees are spread out across the globe!
We are virtual enterprises at the hub of loosely knit alliances, all
together by global networks: electronic, transport and human. We assemble to
take advantage of any temporary business opportunity; and then we separate,
each company moving on to its next major deal. We are project-based, and
developed around complex information systems.
The information system IS the virtual enterprise; it IS the headquarters;
and it can be based virtually anywhere in Cyberspace. And while in
cyberspace the apparent size of the firm can be amplified far beyond the
physical reality. You are what you claim to be; you are what you can deliver
via telecommunication networks.
Global business will desert factory or office if the demands of workers
excessive just like Timex did when it abandoned its Dundee site. They sent
in the helicopters and took what they wanted; they waved to the
demonstrators fuming below, and left the local authority with useless real
estate. We are changing the nature of work. With the networked portable
computer and the mobile phone, we are turning office workers into road
warriors, and squeezing 30% more work out of them. The virtual office is
merely a mobile node in a telecommunications network. Cars, homes, airports,
aeroplanes are now just extensions of the office.
The all-knowing company (just-in-timeshare) information system will
establish the exact location of each and every employee, and messages for
her will be delivered directly, just-in-time, no matter where she is in the
building, no matter where she is in the world. I say she, because the
workplace (whatever that is) will be feminized. In the UK women already take
up 44% of the jobs. Because of the changing nature of work, and the freedoms
delivered by home-working, the Henley Centre predicts that women will take
on 80% of all new jobs being created in the next decade. Top of page
Companies will shed office space. Offices can be hired on short time
perhaps within even just a few hours. Hotels, railway stations and airports
are already supplying temporary office space. We in Spectre don't pay any
rent at all. We hold our meetings in the lobby of the best hotel in town,
and all for the price of afternoon tea.
The demand for space is a tiny fraction of the supply: And so the value
commercial real estate will enter free-fall. There are going to be very bad
times ahead for the owners of office blocks. So don't get tied into
long-term office leases; there are bargains galore around the corner. Sell
your property shares quickly before the meltdown.
No office, means: no rent, heat and light, insurance, and the number
support jobs can be slashed: tea ladies, security men, cleaners,
receptionists, canteen staff, porters, electricians, plumbers, carpenters,
janitors. All the jobs that supported the workplace of the Machine Age are
now endangered species in the Information Age.
Companies will use fewer workers to cover the same work load. Those
enough to be in work, will have to work harder, for more hours each week,
for less pay, in less secure jobs: and they had damn well better be grateful
for it. No longer tied to a single location, we are free to exploit the
workers. Management can finally get its revenge and kill off those damn
trades unions. We can really shaft troublesome workers. In Spectre we don't
even look them in the eye. We fire them by E-mail.
For humanity is polarizing into two employment categories: the financial,
intellectual, cultural and business elite (the knowledge workers) the
Alphas; and the rest (the service workers). It is time to rid ourselves of
the backward looking idea that work involves physical effort. Of course
labour is needed - but there is a world full of labourers out there. It is
that rare commodity - human intellect - that is the stuff of work in
No company can survive without its Alphas, but it can replace service
workers with robots or export the jobs anywhere on the globe. Offices,
factories and headquarters will move from high cost areas to low cost.
British Telecom Directory Enquiries for London is based in Scotland.
Companies can just as easily move abroad. ICL, the British computer company,
runs main-frame help line from Poona in India. Courage, British institution,
makes all its toys in China. A host of countries are out there making you an
offer you can't refuse. Top of page
Meanwhile, money, which is merely a means of facilitating economic
transactions, has itself become electronic information. What constitutes
money can no longer be monopolized by the state. Money does not have to be
created legal tender by governments. Like law, language and morals it can
emerge spontaneously. Such private money has often been preferred to
government money, but government has usually soon suppressed it (Hayek). In
the age of Internet can government keep suppressing it? Hayek's vision of
the Denationalization of Money can now become a reality.
The real issue is not dollar bills, but Bill's [Gates] dollars; every
corporation will issue its own electronic money. Such trends make taxation
of profits and regulation of the process almost impossible. But a real
competitive advantage for those who are willing to trade their expertise in
this electronic market.
We Alphas are the real generators of wealth. Our income will increase
substantially. We will be made welcome anywhere in the world. Foreign
entrepreneurial investors with 1 million at their disposal can bypass the
usual entry rules into the UK.
But poor Britain has been very slow off the Mark, with the added
embarrassment that none of the migrant rich want to live there. In the
United States, there is a fast-track immigration policy for businessmen who
can offer $1 million and employ 10 people. In 1993 six hundred millionaires
emigrated to America.
However, service workers are a net loss. There are a billion new workers
the global marketplace. It is no accident that most Western companies are
instigating major downsizing, delayering and outsourcing programs.
The motto for everyone is "add value or perish!"
There is no room for sentimentality in this Brave New World. Companies
ask, and answer, some very brutal questions concerning which workers are
resources and which are liabilities. Acting in this way they are not being
callous, unscrupulous, unprincipled or immoral. "Nature is not immoral, when
it has no pity for the degenerate." (Nietzsche).
Of course, out-of-touch politicians, both the knaves and the naive,
the words - training - in New Technology and - jobs - through growth,
pretending they can conjure up new jobs for the huge number of
soon-to-be-unemployed - it's not that simple. For technology is the problem,
not the solution. Productivity is delivered by a technology needing only a
few machine minders growth comes from the intellect of knowledge workers,
not from the labour of service and production workers. Top of page
States must learn that they are now just a form of commercial enterprise
they will have to be run like corporations. Governments, like all other
organizations will have to survive economically on the efforts of an elite
few and no nation-state has an automatic right to exist.
Now the Alpha chooses to give his loyalty freely and voluntarily; loyalty
no longer an accident of birth. It is individual, not tribal; contractual
not judicial; it is made consciously on the basis of unashamed rational
self-interest. If the state can't produce quality people products, in
sufficient quantities, then it must buy it from abroad.
Each state must scour the globe for elite knowledge workers, no matter
their age, sex, religion or race. Drag them off the planes if necessary.
These entrepreneurs, who can flee, will be immune to taxation. Tax credits
and tax holidays will be the name of the game everywhere.
Governments have no choice. They must submit to the will of global
enterprise. The British government had to bribe the Chung Hwa Picture Tube
Company with 80 million to open a factory in Scotland.
In order to attract the elite with their knowledge and money to enliven
economy, Alphas will be expected to be less taxed and not more! Arbitrage
pressures, exploitation of price/tax/regulation differentials mean the end
of progressive taxation. Companies can demand that its senior executives be
given diplomatic status: no income tax! When Leona Helmsley said only the
little people pay taxes she was making a prediction. Strapped for cash,
governments will tax anything in solid form: we will see taxes on fuel, food
and clothes. Property taxes will rise: in 1913 60% of US tax revenues came
from property; today it is 10%; in 2013 will it be back at 60%?
But nobody wants more service workers; each state has a surplus of its
to support. Barriers will be thrown up everywhere to keep out alien service
workers. It is already happening. In California, proposition 187 bars nearly
two million illegal immigrants from schools, welfare services, and all but
emergency health care.
How long before there are differential rights, for differentiated citizens,
identified in data base, and policed by smart cards? How long before the
notion of Human Rights is as outdated as the Divine Right of Kings?
The fact is - many too many are born. Top of page
The state was devised for the superfluous ones. Mass-production methods
needed an over-supply of humanity; the Machine Age spawned the nation-state,
but with its demise what is to be done with the glut as we enter the
Information age? Not only will state be pitted against state, but also
against area, town against town, even suburb against suburb.
Global corporations have shown that the nation-state is too small for
big things and too big for the small things. Nation-states will fragment.
Rich areas will dump poor areas. The number of states in the United Nations
will increase from its present number of 184 to over a thousand. Belgium
will break up. So will Italy, Spain, France and Germany. and what about the
United Kingdom(?) which has never been truly united. How soon before the
rich South-East of England realize the benefits of discarding that black
hole for taxes north of Watford?
And what will replace the nation state? We Alphas, tired of supporting
ungrateful masses, are on the move to hot spots modeled along the lines of
Hong Kong, Singapore, Liechtenstein. We are reinventing the medieval City
State as the Smart City at the hub of global electronic and transport
An independent cosmopolitan City State of London makes real economic
Think of it! Home rule for London inside the M25 orbital motorway.
The Free City of London can be a tiger economy attracting in global
corporations, but only if we chop off the dead hand of the Mother of
Parliaments, the sleaze-machine of Westminster. If the House of Commons
really wants to help London, then they should move to Birmingham.
The lights are going out for wide sectors of society, And for whole
categories of employment. Involvement in the black economy, in essence an
alternative economy, is the only option open to the losers who are surplus
to requirements in the legitimate economy. We re entering a new Dark Age: an
age of hopelessness, an age of resentment, an age of Rage. Redundancy Rage
is appearing among the unemployed. Newly redundant workers attack senior
management and their ex-colleagues in the workplace, on the street and in
their homes. A certain Los Angeles company has had five senior executives
murdered in the past two years. Grudge terror, whether the grudge is real or
imagined, is reality: just think of the unabomber in the US and the Mardi
Gras bombers' attacks on Barclays Bank in the UK. Top of page
Societies are re-stratifying; new elites are appearing. The rich are
richer, and the poor poorer. We are already witnessing the emergence of a
rapidly expanding underclass. The streets of London are again littered with
beggars. In the transition we can expect massive civil unrest and disorder.
The soon-to-be-have-nots - have nothing to lose and will riot. This is what
happened in France in the winter of 1995, when workers and students took to
the streets in defense of their cradle-to-grave welfare system.
It happened in Belgium, South Korea and Germany. German coal miners
subsidized to the tune of 150,000DM each year! It can't go on. This is the
economics of the madhouse, and the lunatics are in charge of the asylum.
These crazy politicians cannot indefinitely keep buying votes and still hope
to fend off the inevitable.
Real world crime is finding a counterpart in Cyberspace: computer variants
of protection rackets, blackmail, murder, kidnapping, smuggling,
counterfeiting, fraud, threatening behaviour, vandalism (fax graffiti) and
pornography will inevitably appear.
Don't look to the police for help. With the lack of government resources,
the main role for state police, perhaps the only role, will be the
maintenance of civil order. Governments are control freaks, they will never
give up pushing the population round. But because of the lack of revenue,
other police duties, such as solving crime, which today you take for
granted, will increasingly be outsourced.
Today in the US there are nearly three times as many private security
as there are public police - even in the UK the figure is two to one. The
eleventh biggest police force in the US is the New York Schools Authority.
The natural order is reasserting itself: the police are not there to
the masses, they are there to protect the property of the rich from the
masses. Lack of government funding may mean the end of the Welfare State,
but the rich will always find money for security. The security of Alphas is
going to be big business, perhaps the only growth business in the
Information Age. Whenever anyone asks me for career advice I always say: if
you can't be a knowledge worker... be a policeman.
So this is not a time for despair, quite the opposite. It is a time
opportunity for the few, a great opportunity for YOU. It is in such times
that new empires are made - today that means new global business empires.
For a few companies the future looks very bright. Top of page
Information technology has liberated the elite few, from the mind-set
the moralities of the tribe. We ignore tribal loyalties. There are enormous
opportunities for those who have the vigour and vitality, the nerve, to
break free of the limitations of tribal boundaries drawn from the past, and
who have the vision to redraw their own orders, their own future.
It isn't going to be easy, and it isn't going to be nice. "I have often
laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no
claws" (Nietzsche). Societal evolution is not benign. Evolution is by nature
red in tooth and claw; it spawns carnivores as well as herbivores. The
carnivores of Spectre care nothing for democracy or the rules of parliament,
that are representative of herbivores. Grass eaters beware, the jackals are
circling, the hyenas are laughing. Specter's time has come. Why not join us?
In this brutal and brutish world remember Baudelaires' words: "one is
punished for being weak, not for being cruel."
>From your expressions I seem to have shocked many of you.
It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and
few by deceit. I'm discouraged, but not surprised.
But whether you like it on not, you are faced with a very simple choice:
create your own future, or fall into somebody else's; take control of your
own destiny, or be at the mercy of another's whim.
Grab hold of the future. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world:
the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." (George Bernard
Shaw). Top of page
SPECTRE is very unreasonable. And Spectre is going to win. Global business
is not your enemy - populist governments are. Petty politicians are merely
moving the deckchairs on the Titanic: we've already launched the lifeboats.
Spectre is the government in waiting. We will create our own new world
order. Don't think you can deny global business. For remember, those who are
not with us are against us.
Take the advice of Niccolo Machiavelli. On his deathbed, a priest asked
: do you renounce the devil and all his works? To which Machiavelli replied
: "This is no time to be making enemies."
Don't make an enemy of global business. Why not join us? The choice
Where will you fit in? will you fit in?
END OF TALK
PROF. IAN O. ANGELL
Oct. 2, 1998 to Alliance of Manufacturers & Exporters Canada
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