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Peace and ecommerce Peace and ecommerce
by Linda Lane
2008-03-26 10:14:46
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"In his book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas L. Friedman proposed The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention, observing that no two countries with a McDonald's franchise had ever gone to war with one another, a version of the democratic peace theory."

"The Dell Theory stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell's, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain."

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This is part of a longer piece submitted by Linda Lane. You can read the full submission by downloading the PDF from here: Download full article as a PDF
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The Report

Thesis: China is a likely winner of the information age supply chain through ecommerce by sticking with its successful strategy of continued steady growth, coupled with continuing (the appearance of) a transparent society (where currently major decisions are made by top government and business officials behind closed doors) which manipulate and manage economies at large. In order to be considered a great global leader China should maintain peace and respect for corporate property rights. They need to immediately focus on their serious environment pollution problems to survive. Politically China needs to resolve the long standing, grinding repression of the Tibetan people; it is too expensive in terms of public relations.

The evidence is clear: China has McDonalds restaurants, and with extensive factories they make Dell and other computers. Bill Gates is eagerly pursuing business with China, and the Chinese government has given Microsoft the right to grant post-doctorial fellowships. Key companies invested in technology are willing to go to court to keep the most important Chinese corporate leaders. Kai-Fu Lee, once a vice-president at Microsoft is now Google's manager in China. Mr. Lee was the person at the center of twin lawsuits (suit and countersuit), a battle over which of the two companies would win him to work for them - he may be the ultimate in 'intellectual property.'

Personal information is the feeder fish at the bottom of the information age food chain. China does not believe people have a right to privacy because of how communism is structured; this is true of members of their society until that person is wealthy and thus powerful enough to opt out of it, and even then the appearance of opting in must be kept. Even in the West Intellectual property rights are eroding, which is as it should be, as it is not the same as owning a house, and can be damaging to others on a massive scale such as medical patents for aids, cancer, and other life saving drugs.

The Chinese style of governance comes with a 5,000 year old administrative history of ordering a society consisting of large numbers of people. Because most people in American and the West do not speak their language nor write it, much of China remains a society closed to the English speaking countries. Due to communication barriers the West does not have the very healthy level of respect for China that it should. Even the Chinese written language may give China advantages with online screens unknown in the West with their thousands of dense glyphs, pictographs, and phonetic parts. Currently more than one billion people use some form of Chinese as their native language.

It can be said that he who owns the resources wins; especially true when supply chains are consistent and reliable. This applies to personally identifiable information in the information age as it relates to sales, because personal information is a building block in the information supply chain. Creating mass marketing campaigns targeting not just individuals but very large groups of people is based on creating desire; an example is Steve Jobs and the Apple iPod. This is in addition to knowing what people want, not just what they need.

Meeting the needs of all people in the world is still a goal some people are working towards, while many more others try to capture wealth only for themselves and their investors. From the point of view that in the long run we’re all dead, many investors do not view themselves as breaking any moral or other rules, just trying to get ahead, or make a profit on their investment, which they want right now. This uninformed short sighted view is killing people, and eroding the middle class of nations. Any country that has a middle class will miss it when it is gone; most countries are trying to build their middle class.

Business to Business (B2B) resource supply chains control wealth. Only the wealthy have a reason to protect privacy of information, because the poor and the very poor have much more immediate concerns. Hopefully the Chinese will learn as other countries like Malaysia are in the process of learning, that including diverse ethnic types is not just a ethical ideal, it is a strategy for long term success. This lesson continues to be a painful and costly lesson to the US, which in many ways is exclusionary. Viewing the poor as beggars while subsidizing production with huge remedies is one of the inadequacies that may be overturned as international growth is managed at a global level because it can not be justified as anything other than corrupt practices. By all accounts I read, generosity in international relationships is mythical and with the digital age has only grown worse. Does it matter what you wear while you ask for money or how well educated you are? Apparently it does.

One size fits all privacy will never suit everyone because it is biological and the need increases with education, and its cousin, wealth. Increasingly to have the opt-out choice in terms of privacy you need wealth. That too will changes subtly because as ecommerce becomes pervasive, some system or sets of systems will always knows that you are there in some way.

The patent and copyright systems can be damaging to others on a massive scale by shutting down creativity, and unfairly favoring their protection even against life, due to medical patents for aids, cancer, and other life saving drugs being so expensive to produce or purchase that people are allowed to die as a result. Calls to action for multinational drug companies to reduce these costs, have changed little or nothing in the developing world. This has been featured so well in the headlines and news stories lately that it can hardly be a surprise to anyone that it is a problem – youth know because Digital Rights Management (MRM) is dead.

Ecommerce is a tool and can be used in many ways. Trading is already a cold transaction and to remove it from human context makes it even more so. In accounting they discuss "arms length transactions" - with ecommerce those arms get pretty long. So we can expect that the human repercussions of global ecommerce, driven by the integration of B2B procurement systems, could stabilize and destabilize entire populations unless the planning is very good. That means everyone must hold the keys in some way, and be open to transparency at some level which runs counter to special interest groups. Transparency in action does exactly what it need to do, but which, for example, is not a match for the existing Chinese culture.

Real transparency in global governance with a goal to meet the basic needs of all people living sounds like science fiction, and that is what makes it exciting. It may only become possible due to radically unexpected causes, like education, religious idealism, or a shared social solution of the young through organizations such as www.one.org. Ironically one of the religions likely to have a positive effect in China, and is likely to benefit from is Tibetan Buddhism, long repressed by the current Chinese government.

Ecommerce will not cause peace in the world, educated people working with strong idealism in transparent cultures will. Still my conclusion remains that China is a likely winner of the information age supply chain through ecommerce. We should invest in China.

Click here to download the full article as a PDF


   
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Emanuel Paparella2008-03-26 10:24:27
Those who encourage commerce with China do so under the misguided rationalization that it will be instrumental in encouraging the leaopard to change its spots and become a beacon of free speech and respect for human rights. As I write this Buddhist monks continue to be beaten and killed in Tibet and to its shame, in the EU and the US only Sarkozi and Alexandra Pereira have hinted at a boycott of the Olympics. Carter remains a bad president because he advocated human rights and actually carried out an Olympic boycott.

A modest proposal for all its worth, if I may: how about investing in a democracy which respects its own religious traditions and basic human rights? Its name is India.


Sand2008-03-26 14:20:45
It’s a nice theory but several major US corporations not only collaborated with the Nazis during WWII but had profits from their operations while the war progressed.

There are many affirming sites. Here are two.


http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/jun2001/ibm-j27.shtml

http://thirdworldtraveler.com/Corporations/Ford_Fuhrer.html


R2008-03-27 23:34:58
It doesn't say they'll get any better, it just says they will win from an economic point of view. The undertone is the important part.


Linda Lane2009-09-24 13:11:29
yes, R, totally brilliant of you to say so.


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