Roland Dürre
Sunday November 2nd, 2014

Wasn’t the Last Millennium Totally Crazy?

In the last century, before the turn of the millennium, everything was different.

In those days, managers still believed in the predictability of the future. What is more: they were convinced that growth is something that can continue endlessly.

People living at the time had the impression that everything can be done and that, thanks to technology and progress, all problems can be solved. After all, humans as the crown of creation felt they were omnipotent – far above the animals. And they believed everything can be controlled.

The motto was: faster, higher, bigger, further and more comfortable.

Engineers and technocrats were in charge. A life without cars was unthinkable. Individual traffic with heavy vehicles and a combustion motor, also for individual persons, was a self-evident human right for everyone – just like the short vacation in the “DomRep” or in Thailand. A society was considered “developed” if the poor, too, could afford to buy a car!

Weekend trips to London or Madrid, just like short vacations to New York or Abu Dhabi helped the people to overcome their boredom in a mundane fashion. Consumption was the method you chose in order to give yourself importance and buy happiness. Regardless, stinginess was considered cool and money was the new religion. Using this concept, it was quite easy to destroy the world.

Professors at university taught us that good managers will never have to react. Instead, they will always act. Because the good ones will see into the future. Just like, in 1968, the chain-smoking and therefore constantly coughing driving instructor, who, due to his looks, was nicknamed “Old Death” had taught me that a good (German) driver will always foresee what will happen in the next second.

The universities also taught us that a manager always has to be free of emotions and personal feelings. Decision making science recommended that, first and foremost, we always collect enough information. Afterwards, you had to evaluate and analyse them absolutely objectively. Only after this step, you would then have to decide in a very rational and logical way, without all emotion. And while doing so, you have to ignore intuition and heuristics as deceptive factors.

This was also the reason they gave why a “normal woman” had no business in management. Because women – with very few exceptions – are just too much driven by their emotions. Obviously, women in “high” management positions were the exception from the rule. And those who were actually looked like men.

Textbooks also said that an organization is good if and only if the highest manager is able to control the entire system as he desires by “adjusting just a few screws”.

Consequently, the companies oriented themselves at military ideals when forming their organizational structures. Hierarchy was the standard, only very few ultra-modern enterprises were bold enough to try a matrix cooperation and even fewer were courageous enough to try “cooperative leadership”. Terms such as self and network organization were out of the question, just like transparency and agility were feared. Everything was dominated by “simple-mindedness instead of diversity”, rather than the “wisdom of the masses”.

Taylorism, moralizing processes and globalization were held to be the success recipe for the economy and to guarantee prosperity for the entire world. All the big enterprises aimed at world market leadership at all times. At the same time, the exploitation of humans and all kinds of resources grew geometrically.

On the other hand, the mass was considered a primitive mob. Citizens were said to be stupid and taken for fools. Marketing manipulated the masses, lobbyism removed their interests. Those who voted in a democracy were considered election-booth fodder. Their wish for peace was overruled with invented and hugely propagated anxieties.

Those who reigned, along with the governments knew a lot better what is good for everybody. They even drew up laws which ignored existing judicial practice and constitutional rights. This is how the citizens were spied on and made fun of in masses. More often than not, this happened in order to satisfy interests and demands of foreign power or powerful concerns.

In extreme cases, even courts of justice were declared no longer responsible. In their place, obscure arbitral courts were instituted. Citizens who had violated tax legislation were severely punished. At the same time, the exact same countries created “tax oases” for concerns.

And worst of all was: the governments believed they could shape order in the world with wars and create peace with weapons.

Well, I am happy that those times are now over.


(June, 20th, 2030)

3 Kommentare zu “Wasn’t the Last Millennium Totally Crazy?”

  1. Klaus Rabba (Sunday November 2nd, 2014)

    Es wird sich nichts ändern im unserem neuen Jahrtausend. Der Paukenschlag von 9/11 hat alle bösen Geister wach gehalten. Die Kulturgeschichte des Orients geht ins siebte Jahrtausend und ist dabei , sich neu zu orientieren. Unsere westlichen Werte stehen dabei nicht an der ersten Stelle der Wertetabelle. Der Rest der Welt durchlebt die neue Ära des Friedmannschen Kapitalismus, der sich unaufhaltsam in der Wirtschaft durchsetzt und in den USA gesellschaftliche Verwüstungen anrichtet. Frankreich sträubt sich noch in den Spar-Dich-Kaputt-Für-Deinen-Aktionär Kapitalismus einzuschwenken, aber das wird diesen sozialistischen Hallodris schon noch gründlich ausgetrieben werden. Deutschland zeigt diesen Sozialträumern beharrlich die kalte Schulter.

  2. six (Monday November 3rd, 2014)

    Tja, ich weiß ja auch, wie’s nicht geht, habe aber sehr wenig Ahnung davon, wie’s gehen könnte.

  3. Andreas Zeuch (Wednesday November 5th, 2014)

    Lieber Roland,

    ich bin gespannt, was die Zukunft bringt. Und wie wir sie gestalten. Gemeinsam, in der einen oder anderen Weise.


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