Excerpted from: Value Wars: The Global Market versus the Life Economy. London and Sterling, Va.: Pluto Press, 2002., p 219-220
The Life Economy Manifesto
- Constitutional public accountability of currency and credit creation by 100 per cent reserves for private interest-bearing loans.
- Public authority’s allocation of investment funds, loan credits, interest rates and taxation levels to select for life capital formation.
- Internalisation rather than externalisation of costs of corporate commodity cycles by conditions of market sale, ban of all commodities of mass destruction, and application of precautionary principle for all market commodities.
- Natural capital inventories and well-being/ill-being index to measure and achieve the true efficiencies of economies.
- Repudiation of all debt of societies incurred without the consent of the indebted people or already paid by debt servicing, and institution of an international currency clearing house to prevent attacks on the means of exchange of sovereign nations.
- Repeal of all transnational trade and investment rules which abolish rights of sovereign nations to foreign capital controls, negotiated performance requirements of foreign capital use of domestic resources, and retention of homeland ownership of natural resources, electromagnetic bandwidths, and public service budgets.
- Binding environmental-protection standards and schedules of accession in all international trade agreements to eliminate emissions and wastes by natural resource extraction, processing and commodities.
- All trade and investment agreements include as conditions of cross-border entry of commodities and commodity-contents into others’ national markets binding accession schedules of labour and social charter standards on the European Union model.
- International corporate charter binding all parties selling or investing across borders to comply with minimum labour and social security standards, commodity cycle environmental protections, international standards of public communications across borders, minimum level of corporate taxations, maximum level of market share, and international criminal law.
- All loans across national borders be secured by hard-currency reserves deposited in a world reserve fund as fiduciary authority for administration and extension of debt issuance in accordance with international standards of life-capital security and development.
Action: self-organizing life-space reclamation across misused arable lands, forests and fisheries, urban concourses and coastal waterways, public education, policy and other life-ground sites in accordance with codified life-standards.
The slogan “Marxism is dead” was proclaimed almost immediately after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Very soon after, a strange ideological inversion occurred. In place of the “inevitable victory of the proletariat” espoused by Marx, there was the “inevitable process of globalisation”, a line now adopted by corporations, politicians and the media the world over. John McMurtry unravels the moral contradictions inherent in this “new world order”, and argues that it cannot succeed because it is based on essentially inhuman values. Connecting across a broad spectrum of issues including the Iraq and Balkan wars, the Asian and Russian meltdowns, ecological collapse, the privatisation and deregulation of public institutions, and the principles of technology, neo-classical and Marxian economics, McMurtry’s compelling study lays bare the battle lines of an emerging global ethical war. Tracking social uprisings across continents from the rural landless and women’s movements of the South to the workers, students and civil alliances marching in the North, the author’s original “life-ground ethics” explains the unseen bonds uniting people across cultural and class divisions. Defining the clear choices available to us, and taking apart the official line of “no alternative”, John McMurtry delivers not only a devastating philosophical critique of globalization, but also offers us a new economic manifesto, based on principles and human values.
John McMurtry’s new book is a tour de force, one of the most devastating critiques of the global market paradigm that has been written to date. McMurtry’s intellect is razor sharp and his arguments are developed and exercised with a remarkable depth and precision. This book marks McMurtry as one of the most important moral philosophers of his generation.– Peter McLaren, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
John McMurtry is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Guelph and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is the author of the multi-volume Philosophy and World Problems, written for the UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, Value Wars (Pluto Press, 2002) and Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System (1998).