The Primary Axiom is realised in the real world by the following complete set of universal human life necessities and their defined criteria/measures of all life goods, capital and efficiency which govern any life economy, as distinguished from the dominant private money-sequencing economy called ‘capitalism’ whose financialization since John Locke is increasingly life-blind in principle. Read More
What I hope to do in this article is to use what insights I have gained so far from my expertise as a medical specialist in terms of diagnosing and the treatment of diseases and see how far I can go in applying Professor John McMurtry’s life-value compass to the insights I have discovered along the way. I will draw heavily on my article, The Secret to a Healthy Nation – in-depth article based on presentation given at Operation Rescue’s fundraiser on October 3, 2015, and the critique of it by Prof McMurtry in The Secret to the Ill-Health of Nations. Read More
In Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World, HRH The Prince of Wales declares: “At the heart of the matter lies a crisis in our perception – the way we see and understand how the world works.”
And Albert Einstein once said, “It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”
I believe these assertions hold both important truths and great wisdom. Together they offer critical insight into the root cause of the crisis in economics and, in turn, the crises facing civilization. More than bad behavior or selfish people, or some fatal flaw in human nature, I believe it is our failed economics and reductionist finance driving our decision making that is the source of our accelerating and interconnected social, political, and ecological crises. The institutions that run the world are directed largely by good people who are victims of this crisis in perception, failing, in Prince Charles’ words, to accurately “see and understand how the world works.”
That we subscribe to flawed economic theories may seem a trivial matter. But at a time when the all-powerful global economic system is running on a theory that no longer fits the cultural realities of what human beings value and the physical realities of how the natural systems of planet earth actually work, we are in trouble. Now is such a time. We are in trouble.
Because our flawed theories of economics blind us to our impending crises and are ill-suited to addressing them—and because economics has become, in a very real sense, the universal religion of modernity—the gospel of economics is leading us towards a cliff.
We are trapped, seemingly incapable of altering course for fear of collapsing the system that is leading us to collapse. We have created for ourselves, the ultimate prisoner’s dilemma. Read More
In this paper I use the example set by Prof. Jan Szargut as point of reference for a brief look at the current state of thermodynamics—the doctrine, its reach and importance. I start with my first encounter with Prof. Jan Szargut in 1979, and I show how his work influenced mine. Next, I review the structure that underpins thermodynamics as a discipline: the laws and the self-standing phenomena that they underpin, and graphic methods that convey these principles. Along the way, I draw attention to a recent trend that is caused by the inflation in scientific publishing due to the internet: the most common mistakes and misconceptions in thermodynamics, and how they are being spread. In sum, this paper is a call to action, to value, improve and defend the science of thermodynamics. Read More
This study examines the system-deciding principle of economic rationality for its logical soundness and effects in global practice. Analysis demonstrates the fallacious structure of the underlying assumptions of homo economicus across theories and institutions, and explains how cumulative destruction of global economic, social, and ecological life systems follows from its life-blind mechanism. Higher-order concepts of life-capital, life-value efficiency, and life-good supply and demand are then defined to bring economic rationality into coherence with terrestrial and human life requirements. Read More
This essay was delivered as a commencement address at the University of California–Berkeley School of Public Health on May 17, 2015. Reflecting on events spanning from 1990 to 1999 to 2015, when I gave my first, second, and third commencement talks at the school, I discuss four notable features of our present era and offer five insights for ensuring that health equity be the guiding star to orient us all. The four notable features are: (1) growing recognition of the planetary emergency of global climate change; (2) almost daily headlines about armed conflicts and atrocities; (3) growing public awareness of and debate about epic levels of income and wealth inequalities; and (4) growing activism about police killings and, more broadly, “Black Lives Matter.” The five insights are: (1) public health is a public good, not a commodity; (2) the “tragedy of the commons” is a canard; the lack of a common good is what ails us; (3) good science is not enough, and bad science is harmful; (4) good evidence—however vital—is not enough to change the world; and (5) history is vital, because we live our history, embodied. Our goal: a just and sustainable world in which we and every being on this planet may truly thrive.
What lessons reside in the CCJ referendum failures in Antigua/Barbuda and Grenada? A resounding win in an election does not automatically translate to referendum success of one’s position. The Office of the Prime Minister is not invincible, notwithstanding its far-reaching powers. Caribbean people understand the value of checks and balances on the exercise of political power. Read More
Guess Who’s Sleeping With Our Insecurity Blanket? For many people the “military-industrial-complex (MIC)” brings to mind the top twenty weapons manufacturers. President Dwight Eisenhower, who warned about it in 1961, wanted to call it the military-industrial-congressional-complex, but decided it was not prudent to do so. Read More
There are lots of things coming together, economic crises, ecological crises, social crises. My friend and mentor Fritjof Capra once said if you follow the rivers of these crises upstream, you meet a crises of consciousness, a crises of perception. A crises of how we see our selves and our role in this living planet. Read More
The term planetary health—denoting the interdependence between human health and place at all scales—emerged from the environmental and preventive health movements of the 1970–80s; in 1980, Friends of the Earth expanded the World Health Organization definition of health, stating: “health is a state of complete physical, mental, social and ecological well-being and not merely the absence of disease—personal health involves planetary health”. Planetary health is not a new discipline; it is an extension of a concept understood by our ancestors, and remains the vocation of multiple disciplines. Planetary health, inseparably bonded to human health, is formally defined by the inVIVO Planetary Health network as the interdependent vitality of all natural and anthropogenic ecosystems (social, political and otherwise). Here, we provide the historical background and philosophies that have guided the network, and summarize the major themes that emerged at the 7th inVIVO meeting in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. We also provide the Canmore Declaration, a Statement of Principles for Planetary Health. This consensus statement, framed by representative participants, expands upon the 1986 Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and affirms the urgent need to consider the health of people, places and the planet as indistinguishable. Read More
The Liturgy of the Word in Church today connected more dots of meaning and understanding to all life than I could have imagined. It has implications for all of us as many of us proclaim in our Constitutions to be One Nation under God and lose sight of the Primary Axiom of our Faith that has been revealed to us in our Judeo-Christian Scriptures. The epiphany which I had in church today was that the Primary Axiom of my Faith resonated very well without conflict and contradiction with the Primary Axiom of Life-Value which has become the cognitive engine of my life-grounded spiritual growth and development. And what I have grown to realize, from this life-grounded lens, is that the Word of God is in truth and in fact infallible, but where we fall short and become fallible is in the interpretation of this Word and its application to the embodied flowerings of all of our felt side of being, thoughts and actions as manifested in all of our life’s beings, becomings and doings. Read More
IN RECENT years a major transformation in the understanding of health and disease has taken place. The emphasis has shifted from a simplistic, reductionist cause-and-effect view of the medical model to a complex, holistic, interactive, hierarchic systems view known as an ecologic model. That shift may be so profound as to constitute a paradigm shift or a change in the collective mind set and world view regarding what the rules are and what is possible.1
An ecologic model of human health is consistent with the broad field of human ecology, which is “the study of the interactions of man and human society with the environment. It is concerned with the philosophy and quality of life in relation to the development of biological and geological resources, of urban and rural settlements, of industry and technology and of education and culture.”2(p1)
To paraphrase Pierre Dansereau,3 human ecology is the study of the issues that lie at the intersection of environment and culture. Public health lies within the broad field of human ecology.4 A public health model of the human ecosystem, such as the one that follows, helps greatly to clarify the interaction of culture with environment within the context of the holistic, interactive, and hierarchic nature of health. Read More