Felix Stalder on 5 Dec 2000 04:02:27 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] Re: <nettime> Fw: Enemies of the Future

>Hasn't anyone noticed that the NASDAQ is *DOWN* 50% overall and Barlow's
>vaunted DOT.Communism has fallen 90%+ since April, 2000?

We all have noticed that, how couldn't we. But the question is: does it
matter? Personally and immediately, it doesn't matter to do me. I do not
own high-tech stock. Zero. But that's besides the point. As far as the
bigger picture is concerned, I doubt if it matter that much. Yes, some very
vocal egos have been hurt. The layoffs so far have been trivial in numbers
and many have affected people who have desired skill sets. It's not like
closing of the closing of coal mines in the 1980s.

Yes, the NASDAQ is down 50%.; for the shortsighted. Bad luck for the
day-traders. But overall, say, over five years, or even two years, the
index still has risen. What has changed is that some opinions fell out of
vogue that were pretty ludicrous to begin with, such as "the internet
economy will swallow everything else". AOL/TimeWarner seems more like the
exception than the rule. Or, social security can be stabilized through the
stock market. Just invest your retirement money and go golfing.  Did you
honestly believe that?

The high-tech boom looks like the railway boom in the 19th century. Lots of
up and down on the stock market, great hopes, great psychological potential
(after all, the locomotive was the first major machine that was "in
public", rather than inside factories, railroads were the biggest, most
expensive and most complex industrial endeavour at the time). Eventually,
some got very rich, some lost a lot of money, other earned or lost mediocre
sums. In the wake, Europe and America were transformed, a new degree of
market integration was realized, mass production became even more
important, and a modern form of nationalism was born.

As much as it seemed to contemporaries, the financiers at Wall Street, or
the Rothschilds in Europe, did not constitute a secret government and the
world as they knew it did not end. It changed, and so does it now. But the
falling of the NASDAQ indicates nothing but a slower pace if change, it
indicates historical continuity. The New Economy is new, but its hardly the
first one to be so.


Les faits sont faits.

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