nettime's_sustainable_ethic on Tue, 15 May 2001 20:11:56 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> new [2] economic ruins digest [lebkowsky, content-wire]

"Jon Lebkowsky" <>
     RE: <nettime> RVINS OF A NEVV ECONOMII DIGEST [lebkowsky, weishaus]
"" <>
     Re: <nettime> Ruins of a new economy

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From: "Jon Lebkowsky" <>
Subject: RE: <nettime> RVINS OF A NEVV ECONOMII DIGEST [lebkowsky, weishaus]
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 07:09:46 -0600

> I'm no ecomonist, but I do know that capitalism is about money, which is
> what capital is. Wealth is to capitalism what gold medals are to the
> Olympics. The more the better. Where do you introduce morals into such a
> system?

"Capital" is actually defined as "accumulated goods, their value,
accumulated goods or possessions for the production of income."  Money is
just a fundamental medium of exchange, representing the value of goods and

> It also goes to population growth. Capitalism needs constant population
> growth to make new consumers, which, at the same time, is destroying the
> planet, already overrun with humans, crowding out habitate of
> other species,
> destroying the land, water, air. Capitalism, too, needs raw materials in
> order to produce goods for sale, and these are running out. It's
> a neurotic system on the border of insanity. It needs intensive therapy.

My argument is that there is nothing inherently loony about owning and
trading "capital" until you move from an ethics of sustainability into a
moral void where greed grows without ethical constraint.

> But, I think, if history is the teacher, change will only come
> after major world-wide catastrophes. What we can do now is expand the
> conversation to include more & more people, especially young people, to
> change the perception of capitalism that the corporate media
> gives. Only by creating healthy minds will the system will be seen for 
> what it is.

I tend to agree. Speaking with an environmental expert on another subject,
global warming, I heard a similar comment: he said that sanity about the
environment would probably come only as the result of one or more
environmental catastrophes. A sobering slap in the face. If and when
catastrophic events occur, we will hopefully have laid the groundwork in
education, which aligns well with your suggestion that we should "expand the
conversation to include more and more people."  And I agree that we should
change the perception of capitalism, but I don't think this means adopting
some alternative to capitalism. There will always be "capital," in the sense
that there will always be trade, and in the sense that self-interest will
always be an aspect of our human existence. I think the enemy here is greed,
not capitalism.


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Date: Sun, 13 May 2001 10:51:03 -0400
From: "" <>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Ruins of a new economy

I have been waiting for a new  age for a long time. Patiently.

When  I could do my job and communicate with the universe without moving
from home, and
possibly to live in a nice healthy place far from polluted cities and mad

Now, this is happening for me, slowly but surely. 

I believe what has died is the absurd speculation of those who overvaluated
and ramped 
trying to make millions about the new economy. It's a good thing those
frauds went down quickly.
Most of them were ill conceived and badly managed projects that were using
the wrong technology.

I hope to find the time soon to publish the whole story, 

The new economy is the sum of all microeconomies  that use the internet to
carry out their processes and be competitive. It is doing fine and it will
grow fast.
The ruins that we are looking at, in my opinion, belong to those projects
that were camouflaged
under new economy label, but that were very old traditional speculative

I think the internet deliver efficiency, and the death of the speculative
projects is 
a part of that process.

Here are excerpts from a posting
to noweurope that summarise where I see the new economy has a role, a vital
one, for many of us


I urge people to rethink what we are here for; to change the way things are
( Let me know if I am in the wrong list now, that  was the mission when I

There are many new economy lessons to be learnt from the doom ....

The concept of new economy is still largely undefined, and there is a lot
of work to be done.
Some of the most inefficient market forces may be very resiliant to change,
and I believe they are responsible, in part, for some of  the failures that
we are seeing.

The networked society and the online economy represent 
one of the major shifts of our times, as predicted in some form by some 
luminaries (and visionaries) about a decade or two ago,

The paradigm - if you forgive me the usage of a much abused word - is still
largely unexplored, and in my opnion, distortions and 'vices of form'
are corrupting the model even before it is implemented.

(Let me know if what I say is too complicated or incomprehensible in any
way, I can change register and try to make myself clearer if necessary)

Some of the new economy  principles I advocate, just in case
someone wants to dispute them:

Use the internet to carry out business processes
Be lean  and efficient (diy if you can)
Be your own boss/participate in ownership
Keep  hands on, at all times
Share knowledge and tasks thorughout the user base
Save the planet!

Well,  new economy means a lot to me, and many others
whose businesses are, or will be, online only.


Approximately  one year ago I was sitting in the city drinking a coffe
with an editor friend of mine, he does investment news. had just been floated and was hurting bad.

I said "N, I think someone in the city is ramping up the dotcoms and make
them fail because they dont want things to change"
"N. said I think so too" We never disucssed this again.
We know how things are.

The fact that all the major banks and corporate investors  have started
in new economy may be part of the problem. I do not have ha problem with
money , quite like the power it gives me when I have it actually, 
but most of the money has been around so many times, it is so dirty.
(dust, blood, cocain, gunpowder, depleted uranium, you name it)

Do you think investors want things to change? Why would they?
They just want more money, that's all. And their greed corrupts the seeds
of change.

The debate about having a good healty sustainable economy that
lives within ethics is a long standing one, and I shall not continue it
But I include 'save the planet' in my commandments for the new economy
(because by not travelling to work every morning I save fuel and pollution,
and paper)


long live the internet


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