Who is Prof John McMurtry?

Description

In the University President’s Dialogue in 2006 describing the reason for the special distinction of University Professor Emeritus, the President said: “John McMurtry is an internationally recognized scholar and University professor emeritus-elect who has made outstanding contributions in the discipline of philosophy. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a President’s Distinguished Professor, McMurtry is known for being engaged both in the classroom and the community. He studies the philosophies of politics, economics, education, literature, history and the environment, and his work has been published in more than 150 books and journals. Most recently, he has focused his research on the value structure of economic theory and its consequences for global civil and environmental life. McMurtry was selected by the United Nations as organizing author and editor of Philosophy and World Problems, which will be included in the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems.”

Education

B.A. / M.A.- University of Toronto.

Ph.D. University College London.

Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

FRSC Citation (2001)

John McMurtry is a pioneer of social philosophy. His research has specialized in leading academic as well as public understanding into unexamined normative infrastructures which oppress human and environmental life—decision-excluding education, violent sport as a social paradigm, sexuality as a property-structure, mechanistic Marxism, the denial of children’s personhood, left-right categorization, the military paradigm of war, zero-sum competition, the transcultural logic of censorship, and the global market as a life-blind value system. His work has been communicated across the world and has frequently let to others’ research projects and to public policy formation.

Research

Since full-time research leave, I have responded to two main streams of requested research publication and communication. The first has been keynote lectures, conference papers, articles and chapters with a unifying concern – to lay bare the value syntax of the now ruling world system and its reflective realms of philosophy and theory as blind in principle to their common life-ground and its universal necessities at organic and ecological levels. Logic and scientific method, the nature of the mass media, 9-11 and the 9-11 wars, the corporatization of higher education, and social justice theory have been interconnected areas of this deep-structure analysis. My work in these and other areas is also featured in a full-length film (Zeitgeist), periodic public radio interviews from Chicago-New York (Progressive Radio Network) and other international venues.

My second and principal research and publication stream over the last seven years has followed from the invitation by the Secretariat of UNESCO/EOLSS (Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, Paris-Oxford) to construct, author and edit Philosophy and World Problems as an online multi-volume study relating world philosophies East and West to the determining problems of life on earth from the past into the present global crisis. Three sub-volumes entitled Modes of Reason, Western Philosophy and the Life-Ground, and Philosophy, Human Nature and Society have been constructed and edited with distinguished philosophers contributing to five topic areas in each of these general fields. The longer title study by me is an encompassing step-by-step critical study of world philosophies across fields to explain the inner logic of each canon and school in relationship to universal world problems across cultures and times towards principled resolution in life-coherent terms (as spelled out at the end of this webpage). This research program under the auspices of UNESCO has deployed the new ground and method of life-value onto-axiology to excavate, explain and resolve life-blind presuppositions of the world’s major thought-systems from the ancients East and West to Modern and Contemporary Philosophy, including related theories of the social sciences. The underlying core assumptions and principles of each thinker and school have been critically explained and related to the world in light of three related meta questions:

(1) What are the ultimately regulating principles underlying the distinguishing concepts, arguments and theories of each?

(2) Where do they most deeply fail to take life-and-death issues into account and otherwise mislead us in how to think and live?

(3) How can reason, felt being and action – the ultimate fields of value – comprehend and enable individual, social and ecological life in more coherently inclusive ways across differences and distances?

By following these lines of question through humanity’s most influential theories of what is real, true and good, life-value onto-axiology moves underneath dominant specialty divisions which have increasingly lost their life bearings amidst planetary social and ecological collapse. Two further refereed works have been completed for the UNESCO Encyclopedia to explain the ultimately underlying principles of the major world religions from their primary sources East and West. For a summary outline of the collected works on this project now available under my name at the world’s most comprehensive research site, see the last section of this webpage.

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MONOGAMY: A CRITIQUE | John McMurtry (1972)

“Monogamy” means, literally, “one marriage.” But it would be wrong to suppose that this phrase tells us much about our particular species of official wedlock. The greatest obstacle to the adequate understanding of our monogamy institution has been the failure to identify clearly and systematically the full complex of principles it involves. There are four such principles, each carrying enormous restrictive force and together constituting a massive social control mechanism that has never, so far as I know, been fully schematized.

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‘The Overpopulation Argument’ by Professor John McMurtry

The following are excerpts extracted from McMurtry, John. The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure. Pluto Press. Kindle Edition that addresses ‘The Overpopulation Argument’. “The most established general argument for our parlous condition is that the global crisis is led by ‘overpopulation’ – or more precisely, ‘seven billion human beings overloading the carrying capacities of… Read More

“The Social Immune System” by Prof John McMurtry

3. See the tracking of the pattern McMurtry, John. The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure . Pluto Press. Kindle Edition. The following is extracted from McMurtry, John. The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure. Pluto Press. Kindle Edition where the concept of the “The Social Immune System” is introduced. “THE SOCIAL IMMUNE… Read More

‘Overpopulation’: A Cover Story for the Money Cancer System | Prof John McMurtry

It is not “the rising tide of human numbers” simpliciter that loots, pollutes and destroys the life carrying capacities of the planet. It is what all over-populationists conveniently ignore:

(1) the much still exponentially self-multiplying tides of private money demand on the earth’s resources that drives every degenerate trend in the planet’s life carrying capacities, and

(2) its ultimate driver of limitlessly self-maximizing private profit to the top which now puts more demand on the earth’s resources by a few plutocrats than by 90% of the population .

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The Unspeakable: Understanding the System of Fallacy in the Media | Prof. JOHN McMURTRY (1998)

At the heart of informal logic is its con­cern to detect fallacious structures of reason­ing in natural language discourse. The nor­mal procedure is: where we are able to iden­tify a flaw in premise, inference, relevance or the like in any route of reasoning, we hold that a fallacy has been committed and we seek to demonstrate it. Otherwise put, logical analysis is directed at what is argued, and fallacies are found in this or that par­ticular way of arriving at a conclusion.

This method of analysis is indispensable to sound logical construction of individual arguments, but misses the overall pattern of assertion and non-assertion for the par­ticular claims within it. What has been so far overlooked is that reasoning can be mis­led not only in its steps of making a case, but by what is ruled out from being made a case: not only by what is wrong within this or that route of assertion, but by what is wrong with the structure of these routes of assertion taken together. We have, that is, missed the forest for the trees, or more accurately, for the logical landscape within which the forest and trees are located.

I will argue that there is a deeper, more comprehensive structure of subverting reason that misleads our thinking across propositional routes, and not through any fallacy of any such route. And I will show that this disorder obstructs and deforms our thinking and our reasoning by a general system of deception which has so far operated underneath the reach of our tools of logical detection and correction.

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The Ten Principles and Action for the LIFE Economy | Prof John McMurtry (2002)

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

  1. Constitutional public accountability of currency and credit creation by 100 per cent reserves for private interest-bearing loans.
  2. Public authority’s allocation of investment funds, loan credits, interest rates and taxation levels to select for life capital formation.
  3. Internalization rather than externalization of costs of corporate commodity cycles by conditions of market sales, ban of all commodities of mass destruction, and application of precautionary principles for all market commodities.
  4. Natural capital inventories and well-being/ill-being index to measure and achieve the true efficiencies of economies.
  5. 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.
  6. Repeal of all transnational trade and investment rules which abolish rights of sovereign nations to 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.
  7. Binding environmental-protection standards and schedules of accession in all international trade agreements to eliminate emissions of wastes by natural resource extraction, processing and commodities.
  8. All trade and investment agreements include as conditions of cross-border entry of commodity and commodity-contents into others’ national markets binding accession schedules of labour and social standards on the European Union model.
  9.  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.
  10. All loans across national borders be secured by hard-currency reserves deposited in a 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.

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US Enemies and the Lawless ‘Rule of Law’ by Prof John McMurtry

For weeks of front-end news, a China-Canada rift has gripped Canada. The story-line is endlessly repeated and runs like this: “Experts from both sides of the border agree that imprisonment of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is strictly abiding by the rule of law, and China cannot or does not want to understand how the rule of law works”.

The unifying plot is that Canada must continue to hold the CFO of China’s world-leading telecommunications giant in detention on behalf of a US extradition warrant to uphold the rule of law as sacred.

That it is an extra-territorial demand for no offense committed under Canada or international law is not reported. That the offense alleged is against a unilateral US embargo of Iran by its export controls to which Canada is not a party is deleted across the media and all official statements. Anyone who does not join into this ruling story or connects the covered-up facts of its story-line is drowned out and removed from the public eye, including Canada’s own senior statesman and well-liked ambassador to China.

In general, any revealing questions are silenced. All the legal parameters of the case dissolve instead into the empty slogan ‘rule of law’. Background editors of what can be spoken on the public stage ensure at every level that no diversion is allowed.

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Good Love and Bad Love: A Way of Evaluation | JOHN McMURTRY (1992)

What is missing in the vast history of ideas about love, from Plato’s Symposium to Irving Singer’s recent three-volume study, The Nature of Love, is any philosophical grounding in the biological and the social structural conditions within which love and choices of love take place. Critical consideration of love as a relationship of perilous disease possibilities, of sexist power and dominion, or of proprietary control and repression is by and large absent from 2500 years of inquiry. What is also missing, in consequence, is the development of any adequately cognizant principle of value by means of which we can tell the good from the bad in love in the face of these problems.

In this analysis, I will begin by accepting as love whatever linguistic practice recognizes as love. Usage confers legitimacy on wholly different and incompatible meanings of love, from “altruistic devotion” to “bodily addiction,” from universal concern to private obsession. If there is a unifying sense to these meanings, I will not seek it. The evaluation here will not be in terms of what is and is not love, but in terms of what it is for love in any of its varieties to be good or of value, and what it is for love to be bad or of disvalue.

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