There were three thought provoking articles I read yesterday: Who owns the earth?, Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems, and Authoritarian Politics in the Age of Civic Illiteracy. Taken together, they highlighted several major flaws in the way we think, feel and act with ourselves, each other and the planet, and how the ruling paradigm which has put money-value above life-value has been the root cause of all of our life-disabling ways.
The ruling class, also known as The Establishment, along with their mind-bending public relations complex – The Corporate Media, make us totally dependant now on authoritarian rules as we have been “dumbed and numbed down” and “programmed” not to think critically and imaginatively out of their box of manufactured monetary-market life-disabling rules that they have unbeknown to us “graciously” bestowed on us for our own “good”.
However, when many of us have unplugged from this life-debasing philosophy operating at the heart of our ecogenocidal systems, many of us become paralyzed by a form of feared and learned helplessness and hopelessness, as we are unable to formulate and operationalize a better life-valued political and economic system that would be a convincing and viable alternative system to neoliberalism that has bemused and bedevilled us over the past several decades.
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.
Before I do so however, you may question the authenticity and validity of the approach of putting life-value analysis and critique as the new base of “reprogramming”, as you may correctly question its basis here as we are now replacing one set of ruling authoritarian value, that of The Establishment with that of another, a Primary Axiom of Value. Although this may be true, there is a major difference here as we are creating a bottom-up foundation that is no longer ruled by fallible men, but now we are graciously guided by an Infallible Principle – the Life Coherence Principle, which will strengthen our resolve and confidence that we are on the right path of healing and solidarity.
John McMurtry’s THE PRIMARY AXIOM AND THE LIFE-VALUE COMPASS provides the solid foundation for all that follows. I will quote a “small” excerpt from his paper so that you can see the rational and logic of his appeal to the primacy of life value in all of our deliberations:
“…6.1. The Primary Axiom of Value
X is value if and only if, and to the extent that, x consists in or enables a more coherently inclusive range of thought/feeling/action than without it
Where these three ultimate fields of value are defined as:
thought = internal image and concept (T)
feeling = the felt side of being (F) / senses, desires, emotions, moods
action = animate movement (A) across species and organizations
x is disvalue if and only if, and to the extent that, x reduces/disables any range of thought/experience/action.
+V = >LR+ and −V = < LR where L=Range of T-F-A and /= and/or
6.1.1. The Unlimited Validity and Applicability of the Primary Axiom
The value of all values (Vv) is distinguished from other principles of value by six features which demonstrate its ground as of unlimited validity. That is, it is:
(1) Self-evident insofar as its denial is nonsensical;
(2) Universalizability across all domains and issues of value judgment insofar as there is no domain of value to which it does not apply;
(3) Presupposed in value judgments and conflicts across domains;
(4) Objective insofar as its value is independent of anyone’s recognition;
(5) Sovereign in that it overrides any other value in cases of conflict;
(6) Measurable in degrees of worth insofar as greater/lesser ranges of thought, felt being and action can be decided from any given reference body of value;
(7) A contingent pattern in long-term evolutionary and historical development.
These criteria together indicate a value ground of unlimited validity – what any ultimate, universal and applicable theory of value must show.
6.1.2. Sliding Scale of Good and Bad: An Introduction
All good and bad and their degrees are decidable by application of the Primary Axiom of Value. Anything qualifies as better/worse by the greater/lesser range of life value it bears or enables in the fields of life value.
Choices are, in turn, better or worse as they enable or disable these fields of life through time, T … T, as illustrated ahead.
All values/disvalues of all kinds – moral, aesthetic, technological, and in general whatever admits of better/worse predication – and their value choices are decidable by application of this sliding scale of measure (demonstrated from Section 6.6 onwards).
6.1.3. Reference Body of Value Judgment
Any such value judgment must, however, always relate to a reference body of value from which the judgment is made so as to move beyond the free-standing absolutes by which value understanding has long been bedeviled in every age and culture.
We now proceed to step-by-step explanation and testing application of this parametric of value across the fields of life by horizontal and vertical axes of measure of greater and lesser value, explaining transformative implications for value judgments and problems across domains.
6.1.4. Ultimate Value Test
All that is of worth consists in and enables life value to the extent of its experienced fields of thought, felt being and action (intrinsic value), and what underlies and enables these fields of life themselves, life support systems.
This is the generic frame of all values and evaluation by life-value onto-axiology. What does not take into account all of these parameters of value is partial to the extent that it does not.
6.2. The Fields of Life Value
The fields of life value – thought, felt side of being, action – include all that is of intrinsic value, or value in itself. It therefore follows that whatever does not bear thought, feeling or animate movement is not intrinsic value, although it may be of instrumental value.
6.2.1. Intrinsic and Ultimate Values
Life support systems – any natural or human-made system without which human beings cannot live or live well – may or may not have value in themselves, but have ultimate value so far as they are that without which human or other life cannot exist or flourish.
6.2.2. Vertical and Horizontal Dimensions of Life-Value
All life whatever has intrinsic value insofar as it itself moves, feels, or thinks. The measure of its value is, in turn, the extent to which it expresses or enables vertical-depth and horizontal-breadth of life range on these parameters. In short, the more life fields the better, and the more range on each and all together, the more value is borne…”
Pathways to obesity and diabetes. Adapted from Obesity and diabetes in vulnerable populations: reflection on proximal and distal causes.
Relational epidemiology between chronic disease and climate change. Adapted from Obesity, Chronic Disease, and Economic Growth: A Case for “Big Picture” Prevention
The Three Principles of Bruce Alexander’s Dislocation Theory of Globalising Addiction. Adapted from Addiction as Seen from the Perspective of Karl Polanyi
Schematic representation of an iceberg for NCDs. Adapted from Noncommunicable diseases in the South-East Asia Region: Situation and response 2011.
Clinical course of a disease: four prevention stages. Adapted from AFMC Primer on Population Health A virtual textbook on Public Health concepts for clinicians: Chapter 4: Basic Concepts in Prevention, Surveillance, and Health Promotion
A synthetic view of the mental capital trajectory and factors that may act upon it. Adapted from Mental capital and wellbeing: making the most of ourselves in the 21st century
(Please click on the image to enlarge)
Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions Freamework. Adapted from Innovative Care for Chronic Conditions: Building Blocks for Action. GLOBAL REPORT, 2002, WHO
“Onto your article SHN which moves into these second-order spheres of fuller understanding. I use caps for clarifying emphasis of the most basic points. Everything said is in light of reading and annotating your rich paper.
You summarize in a way I fully agree with when you say (caps added): “This brings us to the ROOT CAUSE OF ALL OF THE CAUSES and it is here where we will find the GEOPOLITICAL AND SOCIOECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH.” (p. 26)
Here I would exactly target conceptualization with, more exactly, “GLOBAL SYSTEM DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH”. ‘Global system’, in turn, is primarily THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM ULTIMATELY REGULATED BY THE PRIVATE MONEY-SEQUENCE MULTIPLIER which increasingly pervades all domains of life and life conditions to grow only itself and override life needs and means to do so. CSC-2 (the book) is the spelling out of this meaning, with the money sequence multiplier ($—>Life as Means—>More $ with superscript indicators as found in CSC-2). This SYSTEM DETERMINANT AS ULTIMATE REGULATING LAW OF GLOBALIZATION (hereafter TMSS = transnational money sequence system) IS the root cause of all causes of all growing pathologies in the world SHN identifies. This is THE GENERAL SYSTEM LAW that completes your SHN diagnosis, and can be tested and explained in any case.
This “root cause of all the causes” is behind and selects for/determines all of the SET OF DEFINED, ONE-WAY AND DEGENERATE TRENDS identified in CSC-2, but also in your article SHN at the organic level. Its increasingly absolute regulator is what has been masked and unseen not by conspiracy but by a-priori system life-blindness.”
The challenge now is to use the big picture insights gained above and reverse engineer or better yet backcast our rules of engagements at all levels now regrounded and rebased and reformulated on the primary axiom of life value, and make our pedagogy, socialisations, business, economic and political models finally life-coherent.
We can start with a Life-Coherent Positive Policy Environment, which links Life Communities to Life Care Organizations to help promote better Life-Value Outcomes for all Life conditions, be they at the planetary, social or individual level. In this case we have expanded the model provided by the World Health Organisation to link inviduals, families, community partners, and life care systems, and along the way helped to keep them informed, prepared and motivated via a life-value enabling mindset, that would form the social immune system that protects against life illness, infirmity, disability and premature death, and enhances and protects all that is life enabling in the individual, natural and social spheres that are now known to interdependently interact and symbiotically influence each other.
We can then proceed to understand how our life-value enabling mindset can guide the development of our mental capital to determine whether it is life-enabling or life-disabling, and then fashion our home, school, play and work environments so that our mental trajectories produce more of the life-enabling positive effects and less of the life-disabling negative outcomes. This is where we can develop objective life-criteria to determine if our interactions at the individual, social and environmental levels are life-enabling or disabling, and by monitoring and evaluation outcomes based on where each lies on a sliding scale of life-enablement or disablement, we can democratically prioritize where our life-currencies need to be invested. This is a form of life-modular point-of-care on the grandest scale imaginable. The global system now becomes the “patient”, where individuals (second-order organismal life hosts) become the “cells”, our families become the “tissues”, societies (sociological life hosts) become the “organs”, the energy, information and transportation infrastructures of our natural and man-made ecological environments become the “organ systems”, and the entire planet (planetary life host, also known as Mother Earth/Gaia) can now be seen as the primary and ultimate first-order “organismal life host”. This would give new meaning to the term that the health of the planet is the wealth of the planet, and by extension the societies and individuals it supports.
And finally, since we are not rebuilding our human-systems from scratch, and we have many among us who are wounded life-souls, we need to apply the four preventative strategies, which can now be called life-protective strategies. First, we deal with rehabilitation and healing, then screening and monitoring, then immunizing our mental capital against life-disabling concepts and enhancing and priming a deep understanding of the primacy of life protection. By helping to carve our cognitive map in our formative years that encourages critical thinking, social engagement and communal imagination in ways never thought possible before, our youth will be well on the way in sharing their ideas and cooperating with each other, instead of creating barriers to the sharing of ideas and life-necessities that is sad to say the modus operandi of our life-irrational, hyper-competitive, self-utility maximizing, neoliberal world in which we find ourselves today.
And it goes without saying that since no one owns the the planet and its life-supporting, nurturing and developing systems, we can now accept Mother Earth as part of the civil commons with a new found civic literacy, and finally fashion our international laws and other rules of engagement that are now based on the primary axiom of value and are fully life-coherent and life-protective. Thus we would be well on our way to boldly going where no one has ever gone before! The final frontier is not without – in the space coordinates, but within – in the life-value coordinates of our ultimate fields of life-value of thoughts, felt side of beings and actions!!
It is only then would we finally become psychologically, socially and environmentally reintegrated and reconnected and made whole again and contented with our just and rightful place and no longer alienated or separated from the whole, then the addiction and desire to hoard and accumulate and waste and pollute will give way to the vocation of responsible stewardship of all of our life-capital resources. As an added bonus, instead of making our system of laws more complex, the simplicity of the primary axiom of value would make our deliberation with each other less ambiguous and above all more life-purpose-driven and would help re-build our trust capital that underguirds our life-enabling social cohesion as we become more transparent and accountable to each other and the planet, hence solidifying our grounded/bottom-up approach to creating a true life-valued social democracy.
May Godspeed be with each one of us as we work together, hand in hand, heart in heart, and mind in mind, to create a Life-Valued New World Order based on mutual respect, mutual concern and mutual caring for all life-value that supports, nurtures and catalyses the development of true purpose and meaning in all of our lives, now and forever.