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Zuboff and Obama

Posted by: on Jul 19, 2007 | One Comment

She sees the current political climate as characterized by a lack of trust, just as the current market climate is:

People are starved for trust. THere is a desperate need to find leaders and companies that offer true trustworthiness– as measured by truthfullness, authenticity, accountability, and responsibility. Both politics and commerce have been engulfed by lies, corruption, narcissism, and indifference. This has accelerated the growing chasm between individuals and organizations.

But that means an opportunity: “If anyone in business or politics can find their way toward real trustworthiness, they will encounter an unlimited market ready to support them with money and allegiance.” And she points to Barak Obama as a “first mover in this new territory.”

A first mover? I am a big Zuboff fan, but I really do not get this statement. The theme of trust (truthfulness, authenticity, accountability, and responsibility) has been used in small-d democratic campaigning for a long, long time. And “lies, corruption, narcissism, and indifference” are common charges that candidates throw at each other. The fact that Obama is good at convincing people he’s trustworthy does not constitute a sea change in politics.

The Support Economy » Blog Archive » Markets for trust

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1 Comment

  1. Jim
    July 19, 2007

    Agreed: These complaints about trustworthiness, etc. are not new. However, maybe Obama is a “first mover” in a different sense. That is, maybe the idea that Obama is a savior has little to do with what he actually “is” (or will be, or what he can convince people of…) and much more to do with a pressing need by the polis to put their faith in someone…anyone. In this sense, Obama is probably only a “first mover” because there is a complete void…and because we know pretty much nothing about him.

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