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„Komunismus znamená v pravém a úplném smyslu bludné učení, že nikdo nemá míti žádné jmění, nýbrž aby všechno bylo společné, a každý dostával jenom část zaslouženou a potřebnou k jeho výživě. – Bez všelijakých důkazů a výkladů vidí tedy hned na první pohled každý, že takové učení jest nanejvýš bláznovské, a že se mohlo jen vyrojiti z hlav několika pomatených lidí, kteří by vždy z člověka chtěli učiniti něco buď lepšího neb horšího, ale vždy něco jiného než je člověk.“

Karel Havlíček Borovský ve svém časopise „SLOVAN“ 26.7.1850


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Batka IvanBatka Ivan

One crisis, the pandemic one, has passed, and there are already voices about an other crisis, the crisis of inputs. Perhaps we should think it over and stop to use the word crisis in this context. I have been saying for a long time that we are in a transformation. In short, there is a fundamental, I would say, tectonic change, similar to the one in 1928-1932.

***

Ivan Bat'ka, owner of FOSFA


Even then, someone called it a crisis, and people still talk about that period as a crisis. It was certainly not an easy time, and it had its crisis effects, but what was crucial? First of all, the profound transformation of the economy. That is what is happening now. The current situation is unsustainable, there have been major technical, technological and geopolitical changes, and at the same time the civilisation, especially our European civilisation, seems to have reached its peak. No prosperity lasts forever, and to think that we can maintain prosperity without doing anything about it, that others will do it for us, is an unworkable model. So where we are today, that is only the result of our long-term approach to solving problems.

Disconnected worlds don't work

An unnamed multinational company recently assessed the current situation as a great confirmation of how it is possible to operate remotely, to run a business in Europe from somewhere in the Pacific Islands. I do not think that is the case. Generally, things cannot work that way. Yes, there are certain activities that can be done in isolation from other processes, but they are almost exclusively creative things. You can write, play, paint, compose music... But there are activities that you can't do remotely. Home office as a standard model can't work, you take people away from the processes and social connections as well.

We're not in a crisis, we're in a transformation. First of all. And secondly, we are in a situation of our own making and one that we have been working towards for a long time. It's like when you get used to training. You can tell yourself a hundred times that you'll start again tomorrow. Most of the time you don't start, you just get fatter and less fit and then when you really have to run out on the field, you're just surprised that you don't run half of it anymore or tear a muscle. In other words, where we are is a reflection of our laziness and desire for comfort. And as in every empire, whether it was Egypt, Rome, or others, it comes to a moment of decadence, arrogance, and stupidity in the ruling class that buyes its power with the cookies they hand out to the common people.

Candy won't solve anything

After all, we too have become accustomed to all sorts of bonuses and subsidies for everything. Compensation for the rain, for a sunny or cold weather, and finally for a dry season. After all, the nature has worked this way throughout the history and we have managed to survive to this point without compensation. Today we simplify the situation and gratefully accept a band-aid for every sore, a candy for every cry. Yes, there are parents who throw a bag of candy to their child for every problem and have them sit in front of the computer. The problem is, for the moment, solved. And then there are others who try to understand and explain, to motivate. They try to work with the child. It's certainly less comfortable. But the question is, in the first case, how you raise your child, what he gets accustomed to and what he will become.

The zoo syndrome

This is the situation we are living today. We have created a feeling that everything is self-evident and the so-called entitlement generation has arisen. Like parents in the former case, we solve every economic problem. And we have what we can call the zoo syndrome. When you put animals from the wild in a zoo, they lose their basic instincts. But they learn to lift their left paw for food, treats or a scratch. Then you take them and return them to their original environment, where you took them from and where they belong, and amazingly, they don't survive a day. I think that's the biggest problem today - we interfere with everything. The wisest politician is the one who distributes subsidies to business, schools and scientists. It determines which way their fields should develop and defines the environment in which we should move. This is despite the fact that this politician has never run a business, has never run a school, and has never run a scientific institution.

One thing is striking. We in Europe, in particular, know very well the results of the work of such a politburo in the former Soviet Union, that the economy there completely collapsed. Yet we are building ourselves, voluntarily, a new Western politburo of our own. I am quite worried that we may get really cold in the winter. Because it is already clear that Europe's energy policy is in ruins and will lead to collapse.

A kilo of bread is a kilo of gold

The problem is that a politician never makes mistakes. When something doesn't work, the politician has a fix-it model - let's find the culprit and compensate the people, flood them with money. But it was not so long ago, during the Second World War, when a kilo of bread was worth a kilo of gold. I mean, money doesn't keep us warm. Money can buy almost anything. As long as there is someone who is both able and willing to deliver what we want. And if he has the technical means to do so. Electricity and gas, as it turns out, cannot be replaced by money. So the solution that we have agreed to, which is to print more and more money, is not the solution. It is true that money can also be burned, but it only warms up a little and for a short time. We must stop looking for culprits and go back to the root cause. We have energy prices at multiples of US prices and we are losing competitiveness in the long term because of this. Not to mention the fact that we have moved production out of Europe and are losing skills and capabilities. Just as a surgeon who hasn't operated for ten years loses them.

We need to return to the fact that work is not evil and a mere tool for making money for enjoyment, but that work cultivates and advances people and society as a whole. That is not happening in this environment and in this time.

The only certainty is chase

Many of today's businessmen are going as far as to say that the times do not offer certainties because business, in their view, needs certainties. I am fascinated by this. After all, in the real world the only constant is permanent change. Anyone who wants to talk about certainties in business has understood nothing. It's a zoo of certainties. And even there, your security is only temporary.
Seeking certainty is creating an artificial environment. That's what we've had now, for the last decade. The peak of Europe, thanks to prosperity, made us feel that things are a given and certain, but that is an illusion. It is, unfortunately, a natural characteristic of man that he likes to succumb to illusions. There are many wonderful, strong and healthy companies in the Czech Republic and in Europe. Their problem is that they are part of a platform, a system, which is, of course, dysfunctional and rotten. And it is only a matter of time before these healthy companies also start to rot. Put the healthy apples in the basket where the rotten ones are. It's only a matter of time. And complicating matters is the fact that the dysfunctional system cannot be changed by the efforts of individuals. That's bad news.

Doomed to worse times

The logical question is whether the current situation has a solution. I am convinced that it does. We just need to think about the kind of world we want to pass on to our children. I cannot be proud of the picture I see today. Almost all national banks and politicians are playing the game Every Day is a Good Day. So they don't solve the problems, they postpone the problems until the time when they come after them. And I am afraid that the only way to change this is really through transformation, but that will only come to fruition when things are really bad.

But that time may be approaching unexpectedly fast. Where we are today is a question of moral attitude, as Bata pointed out a century ago. Millions of people have died for ideas in the past. Today there are growing voices that it cannot work any longer. I myself am convinced that it should not have worked a long time ago, which shows that I do not really understand it at all. Yet, or perhaps that is why I still believe that the real collapse will pass us by, that we can still avoid it. On the other hand, we are well on our way to experiencing it. Perhaps we need to experience a real shake-up to realise that the promises of politicians will do us no good. That their mistakes, and ours, which we have been buying into for a long time and senselessly, cannot be redeemed with money.

3.10.2021

***

Article in Czech>

J.Š. 19.10.2021

 

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-1 #2 Jan Šinagl 2021-10-20 14:09
... It makes me sad that we keep chasing our tails around and around like a dog chasing its tail, repeating the same phrases... and missing the point completely. So once again: energy is expensive because we have cut out traditional sources and not replaced them in full with green ones. And the green ones we have built in insufficient quantities are one, not enough, two, unstable and unreliable, subject to the vagaries of the weather, and three, expensive.
So what is likely to happen if we start a subsidy program for green production? Well, of course it will make energy more expensive and less of it! That's just the law of economics. They teach it in second semester in college economics - that subsidies reduce quantity and increase price. The laws of physics and mathematics and economics can't be cheated and tricked. We can't really get away with not understanding them either. This is all fundamentally wrong. We need to reject emission allowances, abolish subsidies, and ditch the push for supposedly 'green' energy....

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ...
-1 #1 Jan Šinagl 2021-10-20 14:07
American economist Paul Robin Krugman (*1953), Nobel Prize winner in economics (2008): 'Some countries grow slowly because they have high debt, others have high debt because they grow slowly. The latter is what we are in danger of."

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