Note — Apr 05, 2020

After Supply Chain Capitalism

The breaks in the supply chain are “simply” showing everyone what the less privileged have already seen; a grinding market built for turning a profit, ignoring the humans in the chain, and any social responsibility or considerations whatsoever.

The legibility and order of containerized standardization in supply chains doesn’t resolve or erase on-the-ground complexity or risk, it only obscures it from consumers. […]

Supply chain capitalism principles—reliance on outsourced labor, an emphasis on just-in-time delivery, faith in data-driven decision-making, pursuit of economies of scale—have played, at times, an under-appreciated role in the emergence of digitally-enabled inequities that COVID-19 will also likely exacerbate. […]

The insistence that dignity and life aren’t as essential as efficiency and market performance needs to be undermined with a social safety net that protects all people, including and especially workers most at risk, whether faced with a pandemic or simply faced with run-of-the-mill cruelties of capitalism.