Class, Internet, and the Industrial System

Louis N Proyect lnp3 at columbia.edu
Fri Jul 28 13:08:29 MDT 1995


On Fri, 28 Jul 1995 glevy at acnet.pratt.edu wrote:

> 2) the software is non-bureaucratic?  I don't know about that.  It seems
> to me that bureaucratic structure and language is an integral part of the
> software programs;

Louis Proyect:

Certain words become cheapened by their overuse. One such word is
"bureaucratic". When I was consulting with the Ministry of Construction
in Nicaragua on the only IBM mainframe in the country running IMS, the
IBM database, the "bureaucrat" I reported to was a 25 year old Nicaraguan
who had a PhD in engineering and whose specialty was robotics. He left
Germany where he had had a high-paying job and returned to Nicaragua where
his wages were probably less than a 1/3 of what he was making overseas.

What sense does it make to describe someone like this as a "bureaucrat"?
In the transition toward socialism, it will be necessary to employ mid
and high level managers in these and other sorts of jobs. I would remind
you that Che Guevara was just such a "bureaucrat" in the Ministry of
Finance in Cuba, but he had nothing in common with the creatures who
drove the Soviet Union into the ground.


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