Is CORRUPTION the invisible hand of the free market?
In my search for understanding of why life-capital at the planetary and social levels of life organisation are being spoiled and deprived while money-capital in terms of the money indices like the global GDP and stock markets continue to increase over time, I am beginning to believe that we have a global corrupt system in which public office and public resources (life-capital) are being captured and abused by private entities for private money-capital gains. I will be using as my ground of understanding Prof John McMurtry’s life-value analysis in this discussion to shed light on this global corruption that seems to have its hands working behind the scenes invisible to the majority of us.
First of all, all public resources are life-capital and should be accepted as the primary axiom of this analysis. The reason for this bold statement is that all life capital were never of our individual private making but were created by distributed, interrelated, interdependent and recycled natural processes via trial and error or via nature’s research and development program over billions of years. All that we can see, hear, taste, touch and feel were created by the dynamic geophysical biochemical processes that pervade the air, water and earth which capitalised on the fire (energy) from the sun via intermediary processes of photosynthesis, fermentation and respiration to produce all of life and the life supporting systems of the ecosystems of our planet.
Given that our sun is a second generation star that was produced by the implosion of gases after the explosion of a supernova, even a case can be made that the ultimate source of energy and protection of life capital is derived from the sun and the radioactive elements forged within the supernova explosion itself. All fossil fuels and their petrochemical products and byproducts in use today are derived from ancient life capital (oil and gas from ancient phytoplankton, and coal from trees) and all life capital are protected from the mutagenic effects of harmful solar and cosmic radiation by the magnetic field surrounding earth – which was created by the movement of molten iron in the core of earth that is powered by the radioactive elements.) So as you can see, all of the life supporting and protecting systems were in place before even humans came on the scene or before money capital was even imagined or even invented.
When we did arrive, for 99% of the time of our being here, we were organised as small-band hunter-gathers, and although there were challenges along the way and we lived among other geophysical and life entities that were faster and more powerful than us, we managed to survive and use our brains and hearts, literally and figuratively, to live in harmony and with respect and awe with other life capital with which/whom we share on the planet.
Our brains were eventually hardwired over the eons of evolution to serve three main coherently inclusive functions – from homeostasis/homeorhesis/life regulation as governed primarily by the brainstem and cerebellum, social engagement and decision making as governed primarily by the limbic system, and communal imagination, rationalisation and engagement with all human and non-human life capital primarily governed by our neocortex. Given our vulnerabilities and frailties and immaturity of our species in the early developing years in terms of our brain development and its plasticity and environmental exposures, parenting practices and early childhood care-giving became crucial and pivotal to providing the nourishing and supportive environment to facilitate soft-wiring of our brain to align in harmony the information processing and output of the brainstem, limbic systems and neocortex to steward the individual, community and the planetary resources to the best of our imagined abilities.
As our knowledge base grew, we began to mythologize the life supporting and protecting systems of the planet and instead of appreciating these system were public goods and should be accessible to one and all, we projected these life supporting and protective forces to supra-natural entities like gods, and supposedly, some of us were “blessed” with “divine” rights and entitlements to exclusive access and control of the natural resources of the planet. Hence came the domestication of our minds, and by extension our brainstem, limbic system and neocortex to serve the domestication of plants, animals, people, the life supporting system of the planet and more so the laws, which became the rules of engagement of “civilised” life functioning among us the people and the planet. Although barter was the means of exchange initially, commodity money was invented (a social construct) to serve also as a means of exchange, and a unit of accounting.
Unfortunately, and this is where I intuite the corruption began to creep into our social constructs, it became a store of value and also a standard of debt repayment as it now allowed those who have control of the money supply to corrupt the rules of engagement in terms of their laws, canon, rituals and traditions to serve vested private interests, rather than steward those rules of engagement for the pubic good (i.e all life capital).
Hence arose the priestly ruling class and their retainers and the “race of labourers” opposed by the prophetic class who sensed this corruption and spoke out against it given their level of understanding. Although they used the language and imagery of their embedded and embodies mythologies to raise awareness, appreciation and understanding of the transgressions by the ruling class, many of them across the domains of time and space were silenced. We know of them as many of their works have survived over the years in our scriptures and body of knowledge, as we sense this Hegelian dialectic playing out over and over again between the priestly ruling who aligned with money private interests and the prophetic classes who aligned more with the life supporting and protective systems (even if not explicitly, but implicitly) and spoke on the behest of the “race of labourers” who in those systems had no voice or rights to life capacity development to begin with.
As our population grew, instead of our social level of life organisation in terms of institutions, laws, policies and regulations being based on life supporting and protecting principles, in order to maintain control of the masses, the money system was corrupted and made scarce. Instead of credit creation being a public good that served all life capital in terms of a means of exchange and unit of accounting to monitor and evaluate human transactions and its effects over time and space, these functions were subordinated to its use as a store of value and a standard of debt repayment, which favoured more the vested interest of the minority ruling class and their retainers than the majority of all life capital. So instead of our collectively constructing a social life support system in terms of institutions, policies, rituals and traditions that harmonise and allow the production and distribution of scarce means of life goods to all, the ruling priestly class selected for and legitimized by fiat (not based on any natural life principles and the explicit consent of the governed) corrupting anti-life principles now based on a money-valued system of social organisation that served the vested interest of the minority ruling class and their retainers and not the majority of the others including non-human beings and entities.
The founding fathers of our modern political economy and natural philosophy wrestled with this tension between public life-goods and private money-capital and it is made clear if one goes back and reread the works fo John Lock, Adam Smith and Charles Darwin with this discerning lens. What is of note here is that partial understanding of their works were selected for by the ruling class, funded and institutionalised if it consolidated their self-legitimized but corrupt powers of control. (That which supported life capital and the majority of humanity and sentient beings was blinkered out.) They had no choice if they wanted to hold on to their fabricated and manufactured power to use and institutionalize their hegemony via tools of deception, fear and violence to resolve conflict that had been created by the corrupting influence on the social and planetary level of life organisation. If instead we had collectively created a social life supporting and protective system based on optimising life-value principles instead of maximizing money-value principles, our tools and their institutions would be based on truth, hope and nonviolent resolution of conflicts, which would form the bedrock of transparency, accountability, and good governance, the true anti-corruption principles.
To illustrate the point I am trying to make, let us consider Adam Smith’s invisible hand of the free market concept, which posits that if we all acted to maximise our individual self-interest, without any social regulation and control, the unintended benefit of this free market of exchange of goods and services would be a society that would be better off than if it was regulated by any socially binding principles. Although we have theoretical and empirical evidence to prove that this is pelucidly false, many of the disciples of this false evangelisation accept this doctrine on blind faith without any evidence for it provided. Even worse, this dogma has been enshrined in our institutions of governance, economic policies and trade agreements, and given its failure to bear life-fruits and preserve and protect the social and planetary fabric of life organisation, it has accelerated their destruction and has co-opted the services of the media-academic-religious-information-weapons industrial complexes to become further entrenched and emboldened to do their bidding.
I am therefore led to believe that Adam Smith had intuited a partial understanding of the factors involved in the healthy management of the household of our communities and by extension the planet, and had unwittingly confused maximisation of money-valued self-interest and the money-valued market, with optimisation of individual human life capacity with the growth of life capital on the planet. Both worldviews are diametrically opposed to each other in terms of assumptions, objectives and goals, and the means and methods to achieve their flourishing. The former is based on income and wealth production, investment and distribution, and the later is based on universal life necessities, its investment in collectively producing, sustaining and protection all of life capital and its distribution. By ensuring that everyone has access to the universal human necessities of life, where our full physiological, social and communal capacities are nurtured and enabled, we would have virtually created a social life supporting system that guarantees without exception the continued sustenance, integrity, transparency and accountability of our life supporting systems both at the societal and planetary levels, for us now, for all of our non-human neighbours and for those to come.
For those of you who do not think our true nature is life cooperation and investing all of our physical, mental, and social resources in tending that garden of life capital, and that we are by our nature selfish and competitive beings that need a monetary system to restrain our negative tendencies to fight “red in tooth and claw” in a “dog eat dog world,” I urge you to reconsider, as our best understanding of our thought, feeling and action guidance system, our brain, tells a different story.
“In my view, the most glaring error in the triune brain theory concerns its conception of the functions of our brain cortex in the control of aggression, an error that is unfortunately shared by many throughout the brain sciences, psychology, and the humanities. The error is that our aggression, especially as it is expressed in warfare, is generated by the evolutionary older parts of our brains and that control of aggression must be exercised by our cortex over these older brain systems. Bluntly stated, the correct proposition, based on evidence from both biological and social observation and experiment, ought to be: the expression of aggression (and sex) in humans is related to our cerebral cortex. The refinement and duration of aggressive experience and behavior expressed in humans is a function of the evolutionary later-developed outer “shell” of the brain rather than of processes organized by the core parts of our brain. In short, no animal lacking this highly developed cortex would distinguish between Roman Catholics and Orthodox Catholics and carry out “ethnic cleansing” accordingly.” p. 334
“Dynamical system theory, the formation of stabilities far from equilibrium is not just a frill in our understanding of evolution. A complete theory of evolution needs to be based on the contextual interrelatedness of all parts of living beings and the interrelatedness of the living beings themselves. A self-organizing diversity and refinement in design is continually being created by these relationships. For humans, self-organization becomes extended throughout life by way of learning— which entails self-organizing processes in the brain.” p. 347
from Pribram, K. H. (2013). The Form Within: My Point of View
Like all social species, we evolved for social attachment, atunement and engagement with each other, and via our communal imaginations we evolved to see all life capital as interconnected and interdependent from the beginning of time until the end our own time. Over the one percent of human evolution, the life-protecting, sustaining, nourishing, engaging and communal hardware of our brain have been soft-wired NOT to self-organise in our individual and collective life interests, but to self-organise in the best interests on the private ruling classes, in all of their manifestations over time and space.
Our worldviews or should I say of lifeviews have been corrupted by the money-value concept of store of value and standard of debt repayment which is the true invisible hand of corruption that has perverted all of our modern institutions, policies, “trade agreements” and the proxy wars as we have destroyed our individual bodies with diseases, our families and communities with forced displacement, and our natural habitats in our search to individually and collectively maximise the monetization and financialization of all life necessities, services and relationships. These public resources are being privatised by our public officials on the behest of private special interest groups, and private money-capital is being subsidised by public resources to maximise profit as they systematically undermine and diminish the life potential on the planet. Given our complicated laws and policies that serve to legitimise this corruption which is life-bland and invisible to most of us, if we do not reset our mindset, our pedagogy and policies to be life-value compatible and fully, inclusively life coherent, we would be aiding and abetting this corruption of abusing our entrusted power in public office for the public good, to enrich private money-interests.
We have a duty and obligation to make visible this invisible hand of corruption in all of its manifestations, and I hope you can help me in sharing this as far and fast as possible in your spheres of concern and influence, to effect the much longed for transformation our hearts and mind know is not only desirable and possible, but tantamount to the survivability of our species given the crises of climate destabilization and nuclear armargeddon that are upon us.
Pribram, K. H. (2013). The Form Within: My Point of View
Narvaez, D. (2014). Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)