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.
The 2008 financial crisis spread from Wall Street to the world almost overnight, threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions, even though its causes had nothing to do with the production and distribution of any of the basic necessities of life. Instead, the crisis erupted because the financial system had become unhinged from its real function: supplying credit to productive enterprises. Finance capital increasingly made its money from complex “derivatives,” which are not claims on a company’s proﬁt (as shares are) but on debts packaged and sold as investments. Immense profits were made, which provided the incentive to create more derivatives, causing debts to be piled on debts, all sold with guaranteed returns. Many of these derivatives involved American mortgages. Since these were backed by a physical asset (the house), they were advertised to institutional investors as highly secure, but the models assumed that housing prices would continue to rise. As it turned out, the housing market was a bad-mortgage fuelled bubble. When it burst, the “mortgage backed securities” became worthless, and banks from Athens to Iceland collapsed. Instead of having to foot the bill for their recklessness and greed, major banks were bailed out with hundreds of billions of dollars of public money. Workers lost their jobs, housings, and savings; Wall Street bankers paid themselves bonuses for the greatest failure of the financial system since 1929.
Marx’s Base-Superstructure Theory (BST) has long been a major object of controversy. It is deeply embedded in a monumental corpus of system-challenging analysis while secondary interpretations are deeply conflicted and rarely reliable. In general, partial takes and opposed propagandas militate against primary-source understanding. Within the last 35 years, a sea-shift of global culture to anti-foundationalist relativism has uprooted the very idea of a common base or ground.
This study examines the system-deciding principle of economic rationality for its logical soundness and effects in global practice. Analysis demonstrates the fallacious structure of the underlying assumptions of homo economicus across theories and institutions, and explains how cumulative destruction of global economic, social, and ecological life systems follows from its life-blind mechanism. Higher-order concepts of life-capital, life-value efficiency, and life-good supply and demand are then defined to bring economic rationality into coherence with terrestrial and human life requirements. Read More
Decoding the US Empire of Chaos: The Global Reversal of the Social Evolution of Humanity Reproduced from: https://www.globalresearch.ca/decoding-the-us-empire-of-chaos-the-global-reversal-of-the-social-evolution-of-humanity/5507118 The interview (transcript below) from questions with Prof. John McMurtry was conducted for the 15thAnniversary of “Geopolitika” a journal of geopolitical and cultural analysis in Belgrade which was broadcast on Radio Belgrade by the weekly show “Silen” on… Read More
Reproduced from: https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-productive-base-as-the-ground-of-society-and-history-marxs-base-superstructure-theory/5623772 The Productive Base as the Ground of Society and History. Marx’s Base-Superstructure Theory By Prof. John McMurtry Global Research, December 23, 2017 Theme: Global Economy, History, Poverty & Social Inequality “One basis for life and another basis for science is an a-priori lie” –Karl Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, 1845. Base-Superstructure Theory (BST) is… Read More
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
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… Read More
The race to the bottom is a socio-economic phrase which is used to describe government deregulation of the business environment or taxes in order to attract or retain economic activity in their jurisdictions. An outcome of globalization and free trade, the phenomenon may occur when competition increases between geographic areas over a particular sector of… Read More