Friday, June 4, 2010

Modernized Craft guilds to revive Detroit and help remote areas produce goods.

Modernized craft guilds as a means to revive Detroit and also as a means for remote areas and or inner cities struggling to develop economically in order to their propects for economic progress in the face of pervasive and mean spirited off-shoring mainly by multi-national corporations to the People's Republic of China. The dramatic photo is meant to shock and force people to realize that this is the nature of the regime that Benedict Arnold CEA's are off shoring to.

The problem facing western societies is that the current existence of offshore labour on a truly massive scale is a relatively new phenomenom since the fall of the Berlin wall and the PR China's entry into the WTO. This has permitted large corporations with good contacts mainly in the PR China and or by hiring N. Americans from the PRC knowing Mandarin or Cantonese and who to pay the inevitable kickbacks to the means of crushing their local current and or potential rivals without the necessary infrastructure and or the indifference to the implications of their decision to offshore (those without a conscience). The vast army of eager to please cheaper labour that isn't overly concerned with the environmental degradation of their country as well as their blatant exploitation effectively doubles as a club to keep those who haven't already lost their jobs in the west in line and is effectively morally bankrupt and ultimately self defeating for those coporations that so engage in off shoring as they are effectively planting the seeds of their own destruction.

It's in this environment of managerial bliss that the creative individual is increasingly marginalized and his efforts often muted and in the case of Detroit an entire city. The Wal-Martization of the world means that corporations force inventors and artists to sign humiliating contracts resulting in their essentially handing over the rights to their creations for relatively little in return and without even a guarantee of long term employment with the corporations in turn off-shoring the work to the oprressive PR of China etc...: the old social contract has ceased to apply.

There is a great deal at stake as those societies which engage wholeheartedly in creative endeavours stand to be in the best position possible to deal with the plague of off-shoring by modern day Benedict Arnolds/Quislings. Western de-industrialization and a falling birth rate have resulted in a surplus of industrial and educational types of buildings in remote areas (not cities -but is so in Detroit- as they end up becoming Condos) to be available in some parts of the world and are frequently owned by the state due to the non payment of taxes and or disrepair. My solution would be to permit these buildings to be made available to a new type of social construct called Modernized CRAFT GUILDS that would have temporary non-profit status for 3 to 5 years provided that they firstly produce something, have a one worker one vote structure, have an equitable share in the net profits of the worker owned co-operative and not be a polluting entity. The temporary non-profit status would permit this new social construct to acquire the equipment, machinery, educational liasons and the infrastructure necessary to get started and off the ground. The approximate prototype for this idea is the Mondragon worker owned co-operative in the Basque region of Spain which currently has approximately 120 000 members with a typical individual equity of ~ 60 000 Euros, a pension plan, health care system, supporting technical university and an extremely low unemployment rate due to an extensive retraining system. Google: Mondragon + BBC + Youtbe to get an historical perpsective of the mondragon co-operative. For the record, 2012 in the international year of the CO-OP. The ideal craft guild would be an assemblage of architects, engineers, artists and production technicians who would enter into mutually beneficial contracts respecting their individual rights and not excessive in their demands and allowing for both horizontal and vertical growth. It would be unwise to limit this idea to merely arts and crafts and furniture etc... as I see this idea being applicable to the full range of economic activities especially high technology activities such as packaging of commodities, software development, electronic production and generic pharmaceutical production and could permit western societies to effectively compete against the military dictatorship that is the PR China, a regime who's days could be numbered as it is being held together by an iron fist. Egypt collapsed relatively quickly and there were no less than 100 000 incidents of revolt against the Communist party of China in 2011 caused mainly by severe disatisfaction with the economic inequity of life in the PR China.

Patents, copyrights and designs would be owned by the their creators with a 10 % royalty fee for the FIRST invention reverting to the guild in order to enable the continuity of the guild's existence. The idea is permit the benefit of the collective but to also encourage individual innovations via recognition and profit. Guild types can cover the entire spectrum of creative activities but the special status of the modernized guilds would be dependant upon their being engaged in CREATING goods and or services that are not readily available and not simply being job shops which in reality would have them compete with existing companies and merely be subsidized competition and would in effect be moving work from one entity to another. A prime example of this is Formetal which is a school/company in Montreal which in reality uses 'students' for a period of six months which are paid for by Emploi Quebec which is the welfare agency. ALL machinery is paid for by government grants as well as a great deal of their overhead: this is not a viable option but unfortunately it is considered to be a great economic development tool but is in reality blatant exploitation of both the 'students' AND the taxpayers. This entity is run by RESO which gets ~ three million or so a year in order to 'improve' econmic prospects for their area but in reality resort to misguided self benfitical and exploitive measures such as Formetal.

It should also be an objective of the guilds to disavow any government assistance whatsoever except for the building and renovation assistance. Donations would be tax deductible and in effect corporations could be helpfull to these entities as they will be eager to gain tax credits that could acrue from the donation to these temporary non-profit entities instead of simply scrapping frequently funtional equipment due to the tax code pertaining to the preogressive depreciation of physical assets rendering assets to be worthless from a taxable/asset evaluation perspective. Donations in the form of machinery and or construction materials which typically end up in the scrap yard thus ending this illogical activity. The supreme irony is that a good deal of these machines end up in the PR China thus increasing the probability of a further erosion of the formerly industrialized West's ability to compete effectively against a military dictatorship that has murdered 34 to 76 million of it's own citizens between 1949 and 2011 (depending upon which of the 15 different assessments you consult, a typically usefull one is either 'Le Livre Noir du Communisme', Agence France Presse and or the Walker senate sub committee on mass murder by the PR of China).

I believe these guilds can work within the capitalist system and even creates greater flexibility for western capitalism to survive and yet be more equitable with they're simply being another social construct such as the corporation or the permanent non-profit entity. Modernized guilds can offer society the benefits of invention and creative production in order to combat the flood of cheap imports produced by having limited production capabilites as part of the guilds' structure. Prototypes, proof of concepts and short production runs in the least should be possible and even existing corporations can benefit from the concept as they can farm out their research and development to these entities. The ideal model would be something like a Bauhaus type assemblage of creative people eager to be pathfinders for a new alternative method of ethically producing products and services and finally push back against the PLAGUE of substandard and questionable products made in unsafe and under unfair terms.

Marketing can be carried out via the internet through Kijiji, Craigslist, Hoobly and Ebay etc.... in order to bypass the lowest price is the law of Wal-Mart etc... This would permit a closed loop between the creators/producers and the end consumer thus guaranteeing the integrity of the design and manufacturing process and at least allowing the possibility of options for consumers. A seal of the guilds along with details as to how the product or service was created and or manufactured could be given providing the consumer that cares the peace of mind that he/she is part of the solution rather than a part of the problem.

All potential members of these possible guilds should have a proven track record of creativity without any financial assistance completely independant of any institution so as to demonstrate the ability to think outside the box and survive with limited or even no resources as anything is possible with government handouts such as what is pervasive in Quebec (Bombardier, Pratt & Whitney et al) but things get far more difficult without easy handouts. Non profits and NGO's are not a viable option to pursue this idea as they have a tendency to suffer from a permanent dependency mindset and are in effect cut off from global economic realities as well as not having the requisite individual drive to create and prosper from what I have observed as they tend to simply worry about retaining their jobs and the status quo (It's been two years and Haiti has hardly progressed despite having many millions donated to NGO's). This is about creativity and not getting on a gravy train, the soft life is for those hiding out in universities or think tanks pontificating as opposed to being in the front lines trying to repulse the onslaught of unethically and environmentally unsoundly produced items from the PR China, it's tough love, sink or swim.

The original craft guilds didn't have a steady stream of government handouts to rely on and yet they managed to bring about the basis from which the industrial revolution sprung forth. The impact of creativity should not be underestimated as it has taken a single mother scraping by in England to being a billionaire. How many other J.K. Rowlings have yet to see their creations see the light of day due to the narrow limitations of what creatively challenged/narrow minded managers deem will work or not. I believe modernized guilds can be a medium by which society can be transfromed and the rights of the creative better promoted and protected.

This way the current prevalence of societies begging and pleading corporations to invent things with extremely generous R & D tax credits and employ people in the western world when in reality they are merely re-inventing the wheel and buying off the shelf items instead of doing "actual" research and development, can be offset by a system that gives little but receives a great deal. Large corporations are getting money from all levels of government on the pretense they are developing products with the intent to produce locally but there is enormous off-shoring of even what little research is actually done, how much of this is copied and pasted from outside sources and called 'Canadian' research and then asking for the handouts ? Large corporations talk a good game about free market capitalism but they are so hooked on government handouts that they are very far removed from free market capitalism and there needs to be injected into the system a grass roots people serving system to counter the callous indifference of global croney corporatism and it's pathetic junky and mafia (in terms of who they hire) like moralities regarding their crass pitting of one jurisdiction against another for the purposes of extracting the largest handouts. This is far removed from the capitalism of the 1960's and beforehand, it's what I call extortion: give us handouts or we'll move the plant to China, give us excessive research and development handouts even though there are no noticeable differences in product development of processes etc.. and give us interest free or no interest loans that more likely than not to ever be repaid. The system is severely corrupted as to make it a jury rigged assemblage of incoherant and conflicting messages that are sent to people as to how they can be truly effective and constructive citizens.

Thanking you in advance for your consideration, Robert Hennecke.



  2. The above link is about houses being basically given away meaning that they can be used by worker owned home based businesses allowing for self employment and revitalization.

  3. This is meant to demonstrate an alternative form of economic interaction that bypasses the top down petty dictatorship that one typically finds in corporations. I am not advocating all of north America create this system and throw out the corporation, I am suggesting it as an alternive to the corporation in order to im...prove the lot of those who are not dealing well with pervasive off-shoring to the PR China and the concentration of wealth into the hands of the few.

    This is a link to an article written by Carl Davidson about his trip to the Basque region of Spain explaining sets of functional worker owned co-operatives that were started in post war Spain as a way to recover from the damages done during the Spanish civil war by a priest.



  6. Hackers based in China enjoyed widespread access to Nortel's computer network for nearly a decade, according to a report.

    The hackers – who appeared to be based in China – had unfettered access to the former telecommunications giant as far back as 2000, according to Brian Shields, a former Nortel employee who launched an internal investigation of the attacks, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    They “had access to everything”, Shields told the Journal. “They had plenty of time. All they had to do was figure out what they wanted.”

    Over the years, the hackers downloaded business plans, research and development reports, employee emails and other documents.

    According to the internal report, Nortel “did nothing from a security standpoint” about the attacks.

    Corporate espionage is a growing problem for North American companies, with the majority of attacks coming from China.
    China's embassy rejects cyber spying allegations

    Last November, a group of U.S. analysts said there were as many as 12 different Chinese groups participating in cyber attacks on U.S. companies and government agencies.

    China has rejected allegations of cyber spying, with its embassy in Canada saying "Cyber attacks are transnational and anonymous. It is irresponsible to prejudge the origin of attacks without thorough investigation and hard evidence."

    The embassy added that China's government "strictly prohibits" hacking and "stands ready to step up international cooperation in this field."

    The long-term attack on Nortel isn’t the only time a Canadian company has been targeted by hackers.

    During BHP Billiton’s hostile takeover bid for Saskatchewan’s PotashCorp, hackers traced to China targeted Bay Street law firms and other companies to get insider information on the $38-billion corporate takeover.

    Those same hackers also targeted Canadian government computers in fall 2010, targeting the Finance Department, the Treasury Board, and Defence Research and Development Canada, a civilian agency of the Department of National Defence.
    Nortel attacks went unreported

    Nortel, currently selling off assets as part of a 2009 bankruptcy filing, failed to disclose the attacks to potential buyers of its patents and business units, according to the Journal.

    During the investigation, the telecom giant made no effort to determine if any of its products were compromised. Nortel, as a publicly traded company, would have been required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose any “material” risks to investors.

    According to Shields, Nortel discovered the hacking in 2004, and the company’s silence put acquiring companies at risk. Three former Nortel executives are currently on trial for allegedly tampering with quarterly results in order to trigger millions of dollars in bonus payments.
    With files from The Associated Press

  7. Motorola sues Huawei for stealing intellectual property.

    US mobile phone maker Motorola Inc has filed a lawsuit against Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co of conspiring with its former employees to steal intellectual property over a number of years.

    The Chinese networking gear maker, which is under the scanner of the Indian security agencies, had also been sued in 2003 by networking giant Cisco Systems for stealing its router code, which forced Huawei to remove its routers from the market.

    The Motorola suit suggests that Huawei was running a complex espionage plot involving five former Motorola employees, four of whom held Chinese citizenship and another who held dual, US and Chinese citizenship.

    The five were under the direct charge of Shenzhen-based Huawei’s founder and CEO, Ren Zhengfei, a former People’s Liberation Army officer, who is reported to have close links to Chinese intelligence agencies.

    Schaumburg, Illinois-based Motorola had originally filed a suit in 2008 against Lemko, which was set up in 2004 by one of Motorola’s ex employee Shaowei Pan, who become its chief technology officer, of stealing trade secrets of the company.

    Motorola added Huawei’s name in its July 2010 addendum to the suit, claiming that Lemko, also based in Schaumburg was established under the directions of Huawei on the garb of an equipment vendor to Huawei but with the sole purpose of facilitating Motorola’s Chinese employees to pass on the company’s intellectual property to Lemko, which in turn, passed on to Huawei.

    Huawei’s name was added after Motorola found numerous emails of Motorola product specification documents marked ‘Motorola Confidential Proprietary’ sent to Ren Zhengfei and JinLong Hou, Huawei’s vice president of wireless communications.

    “Defendant Shaowei Pan was a trusted senior engineer and director of architecture working full time at Motorola on the development of new products and new technologies for Motorola…However, as set forth below, defendant Shaowei Pan and the others were clandestinely engaged in new product development for Huawei,” according to the amended complaint filed by Motorola on 16 July.

    Shaowei Pan is accused of transmitting proprietary and confidential Motorola specifications for the Motorola SC300 base station transceiver, a component used for internet protocol soft switching technology for cellular systems to Ren Zhengfei and Jin Long Hou.

    “Attached please find those document about SC300 (CDMA 2000 1X) specification you asked,” Pan wrote in his email sent to Hou. Motorola said that Hou acknowledged receiving the email.

    Lter, Huawei and Lemko started marketing the equipment based on Motorola’s stolen technology.

    Motorola said in its complaint that before a judge ordered him to hand over the data to US authorities, Shaowei Pan tried to remove all contents from his home computers using file-destruction software, but Motorola said that it was able to recover some evidence from his computers that revealed the elaborate operation run by Huawei.

  8. Part 2 of the above article regarding Motorola's civil suit against the state financed and spied for by the People's Liberation Army of the PR China.

    Motorola claims that prior to Huawei setting up the elaborate plan, Shaowei Pan had held a meeting with Ren Zhengfei in Beijing in February-March 2003, where an agreement for the transfer of Motorola proprietary information was hatched.

    Hanjuan Jin, who joined Motorola in 1998 as a software engineer, also worked secretly for Lemko since 2004 and was able to access the company’s internal computers and steal confidential information and pass them on to Lemko.

    She was caught in 2007 with a one-way flight ticket from Chicago to Beijing by US Customs officials just as she was about to board the flight. Her baggage contained $30,000 in cash and more than 1,000 paper and electronic propriety documents related to Motorola’s communication network technology.

    Another former employee of Motorola was caught buying Motorola mobile handsets in large quantity, for which he sent unlock codes and dump files to Lemko to enable it undertake reverse engineering and bring out a similar product in the market, a Chinese speciality.

    Huawei said a statement this week in that its relationship with Lemko was only based on a reseller agreement and has no other relationship with the company just like the agreement it has with Motorola to resell Huawei’s wireless equipment.

    “Based on our review of the complaint so far, the complaint is groundless and utterly without merit and Huawei has great respect for the rights of intellectual property holders,” it said in its statement.

    Although Motorola has presented strong evidence in the court, it will find it difficult to bring Huawei to book in the US just as Cisco found and was compelled to settle out of court, say analysts.

    At the most, the ex Motorola and Lemko employees could be charged.

    If Motorola follows the case to its logical conclusion and takes the help of the US lawmakers, Huawei could be banned from doing business in the US, say analysts.

    The related theft of its communication network technology is still relevant to Motorola although it sold its telecommunications network equipment business this week to Nokia Siemens for $1.2 billion as Motorola has still retained the iDEN business, substantially all the patents related to its wireless network infrastructure business and other selected assets.

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