The past few weeks have focussed the world on tyranny as one Arab tyranical regime after another was brought to heel by their citizens. In IT we have tyrants of our own: M$, Oracle, Apple among others. Common characteristics of monopolists in IT and tyrants in the world’s affairs are:
- the desire to have monopoly for reasons of efficiency, unity or to maximize power/profits,
- seeking monopoly/unitary leadership but with no patience to earn it through good works,
- going beyond the social norms of behaviour to achieve monopoly, and,
- eventually holding that the tyrant or monopolist is naturally in the position of power.
No doubt there are situations where central control is beneficial but to claim it is the way things should be when we know Nature revels in diversity as a means of building strong and durable ecosystems is wrong. Eventually this concentration of power leads to preservation of inefficiency/evil and the tyrant or monopoly falls apart. The lust for achieving and maintaining power at all costs kills innovation and enslaves people. My favourite example of this is M$ whose 100K staff earn tens of $billions annually. That’s about $6million each, beyond all reason. The value flowing to the corporation is the work of others, the slaves. Libya earns $billions from oil and their few million citizens earn an average of a few dollars per day. All the wealth goes to the few and the rest are slaves, working cheaply.
We have seen the brutality tyrants exhibit when their power is threatened. The same is true of M$. M$ takes steps to eliminate competition, not just to compete. That is evil and illegal.