Rethinking the Military Paradigm | Prof John McMurtry | (1991)

The article begins with an overview of the historic moment of ‘the end of the Cold War’, and of the paradoxically deepening moral, social, and environmental problems posed by the military system. It demonstrates that historical and contemporary analyses of defence and war have dogmatically presupposed the military paradigm, and have therefore failed to recognize the self-reproducing structure of coven premisses and inferences upon which it rests. In laying bare this underlying system of unreason, the analysis demonstrates that the military paradigm’s ultimately self-contradictory concepts of ‘security’ and ‘defence’ repose on unstated interests of social and political rule. Proposing new distinctions between pathological and life-enabling forms of war, and between guilty and innocent combatants, the argument develops alternative, non-military principles of war to guide rational and moral agency

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Forms of Consciousness – Prof John McMurtry | Encyclopedia of ethics

Forms of consciousness have been a central object of philosophical investigation from the doctrine of Forms or Eidos proposed by PLATO (427–347 B.C.E.) to the “forms of consciousness” or Bewusstseimformen excavated by Immanuel KANT (1724-1804). In both cases, they are construed as transcendental, a priori structures of thought. Plato’s Forms are directly apprehended by the intellect in an eternal, supersensible realm of Ideas. Kant’s forms of consciousness constitute an internally regulating framework processing experiential inputs as conditions of their intelligibility. What is remarkable is that in neither of these defining cases of philosophy’s inquiry into forms of consciousness, nor in the subsequent philosophical tradition, has there been recognition of underlying structures of consciousness which organize mental life in accordance with socially presupposed principles of what is good and bad.

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Competition – Prof John McMurtry | Encyclopedia of ethics

As the sea is to the fish, so competition is to life. It is the formative medium through which life moves, reproduces, and dies. If we ask what form or bearer of life is not the result of competition, we are hard pressed to find an exception. Competition is like time: we seem unable to exist outside of it.

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Jeff Noonan. Embodiment and the Meaning of Life | Review by Prof John McMurtry

This book seeks to explain the meaning of life from a materialist standpoint where it faces its greatest challenge – the certain death of our embodied being. Jeff Noonan lucidly argues across metaphysics and moral and social philosophy for the ultimate meaning, not meaninglessness, of human life created by the limit of certain death. The implicit assumption is that there is no otherworldly life after death, or immaterial God source, or destiny of the individual soul beyond this world or any supra-or-extra-terrestrial meaning.

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Public Communication and Power: Talking Capitalism, Theory and Critique with John McMurtry

Abstract: This interview with globally distinguished Canadian philosopher and author, John McMurtry, presents dialogue discussing capitalism, asymmetrical power relations, life capital, social theory, common life interest, life value, global problems, market theology, media, values of the market and free market ideology today in relation to public education, academia, intellectual fads and the broader intellectual culture in relation to enabling public understanding of meaning-making and power, totalising market culture, climate, dispossession, health, influence, energy, labour, income, slavery, corporate welfare, neo-liberalism, the global ecosystem, and inequalities of class and power.

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Understanding Market Theology | Prof John McMurtry (2004)

A standard critical view of the relationship between capitalism and religion is that religion is an ideological cover story for capitalism. Capitalism, it is contended, structures the real world. Religion conceals and sanctifies it in justifying illusions. Marx most famously pressed this view with an enlightenment epigram derived from Voltaire: “Religion is the opiate of the people.” He sought, in contrast, to scientifically lay bare the “real relations of society” underneath.

This paper will explore a deeper possibility – that the classical and neo­-classical market doctrine is itself a religion, and that its “invisible hand” prescriptions regulate society’s economic relations themselves. Beneath the notice of the social sciences, I will argue, market theory and practice together depend on a core structure of presuppositions of a necessary and benevolent design which constitutes an unacknowledged religious metaphysic.

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Life-Value Onto-Axiology and Life-Ground Ethics | Prof John McMurtry

The Primary Axiom of Value is the unifying solution to the open question ‘What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11. It defines the ultimate first principle/s of Life-Ground Ethics, and more comprehensively, Life-Value Onto-Axiology.

In traditional terms and terrestrial parameters, the Primary Axiom provides the unifying criterion and measure of the Real, the True and the Good.

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CAGING THE POOR | The Case Against the Prison System | Prof John McMurtry (2000)

We need to recognise from the outset that prisons are not there for the reasons they are said to be there. In truth, they do not morally reform lawbreakers. They do not protect society from violent criminals. They are not retributive institutions. All of these rationalizations of the prison system are myths. This paper will refute each in turn, and then explain the underlying function of the prison system which has not yet been recognised.

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FASCISM AND NEO-CONSERVATISM: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? | Prof John McMurtry (1984)

Fascism,” the West European movement that achieved its greatest strength in Germany and Italy between 1922 and 1944 under the leadership of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and “neo-conservatism,” the dominantly American movement that has achieved its greatest strength in the United States and Britain in the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s under the leadership of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, arise out of historical circumstances that are strikingly similar in nature. In each case, political power is won by a relatively sudden rightward swing of a minority of the eligible electorate towards a war-like leader, backed by a media-lavished bloc of fiercely ideological partisans of old-line values and national military glory. In both cases, the social context of this unusual and dramatic turn towards the political right is one of perceived and objective cultural crisis. Economically, the shape of this crisis in 1930’s Germany and 1980’s America is eerily similar. There is a precipitous decline in effective demand for industrial commodities; great and growing unemployment; a steep rise in family-farm indebtedness; an unprecedentedly large and increasing public debt; a long-term, “runaway,” postwar inflation; a series of severe balance of trade deficits; historic stock market plunges; and a jolting succession of nonproductive mergers of large corporations and failures of small businesses.

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The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure | Prof John McMurtry (2013)

The Cancer Stage of Capitalism is a modern classic of critical philosophy and political economy, renowned for its depth and comprehensive research. It provides a step by step diagnosis of the continuing economic collapse in the US and Europe and has had an enormous influence on new visions of economic alternatives.

John McMurtry argues that our world disorder of unending crises is the predictable result of a cancerous economic system multiplying out of all control and destroying ecological, social and organic life – a process he describes as ‘global ecogenocide’. In this updated edition he explains the ‘social immune response’ required to fight the ‘macro cancer’, something which has already been shown in developments such as the Occupy movement and the democratic social transformation of Latin America.

In an official global culture increasingly destructive of life, this book shows the necessity and possibility of building a sustainable society based on a universal commitment to life and nature.

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