Zach Bush, MD is a triple board certified physician specializing in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, as well as in Hospice and Palliative care. The director of M Clinic in Virginia, Dr. Bush has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in the areas of infectious disease, endocrinology, and cancer.
This is a mind-blowing conversation that explores new insights into the mechanisms behind human health and longevity. It’s about the massive and misunderstood impact of industrial farming, chemical pesticides, the pharmaceutical industry and even errant Western medical practices have on both human and planetary health.
It’s a conversation about the difference between the science of disease and the science of health. It’s about the microbiome as a critical predictor of and protector against illness. And it’s an exploration of autism, epigenetics and the mechanics of intercellular communication..
In the hard sciences, which can often feel out of grasp for many lay readers, there are “great thinkers” who go far beyond the equations, formulas, and research. Minds such as Stephen Hawking philosophize about the functions and nature of the universe, the implications of our existence, and other impossibly fascinating, yet difficult questions. Stuart A. Kauffman is one of those great thinkers. He has dedicated his lifetime to researching “complex systems” at prestigious institutions and now writes his treatise on the most complex system of all: our universe.
A recent Scientific American article claims that “philosophy begins where physics ends, and physics begins where philosophy ends,” and perhaps no better quote sums up what Kauffman’s latest book offers. Grounded in his rigorous training and research background, Kauffman is inter-disciplinary in every sense of the word, sorting through the major questions and theories in biology, physics, and philosophy. Best known for his philosophy of evolutionary biology, Kauffman coined the term “prestatability” to call into question whether science can ever accurately and precisely predict the future development of biological features in organisms. As evidenced by the title’s mention of creativity, the book refreshingly argues that our preoccupation to explain all things with scientific law has deadened our creative natures. In this fascinating read, Kauffman concludes that the development of life on earth is not entirely predictable, because no theory could ever fully account for the limitless variations of evolution. Sure to cause a stir, this book will be discussed for years to come and may even set the tone for the next “great thinker.”
Whole-systems thinking has to be a transdisciplinary activity that maps and integrates relationships, flows and perspectives into a dynamic understanding of the structures and processes that drive how the system behaves.
We can reduce the world to a whole just as easily as we can reduce it to a collection of parts. Neither the whole nor parts are primary; they come into being through the dynamic processes that define their identity through relationships and networks of interactions.
We should regard the boundaries that delineate one system from another as places of connection and exchange rather than barriers that separate or isolate.
“I would like to propose a range of missing ‘INDIGENOUS’ PRACTICES & PRINCIPLES from the Eco-Socialist goals of these authors. I agree humanity needs an Eco-Socialism, but deepened in understanding all humanity’s ancient ‘indigenous’ (Latin ‘self-generating’) heritage practices over 100s of 1000s of years. It is in these worldwide systematic indigenous practices that eco-socialist theory can find the tested practices, patterns, results & roots for implementation in our precarious times. Humanity through 7000 years of ‘metal-coin-money’ oligarch-led financed colonial invasion & destruction of indigenous practices & heritage, live in a profound AMNESIA, ignorance & alienation against our ancestral once worldwide indigenous eco-socialism. This ancient recall brings us to an integration, needed for implementing successful social practice in human societies, involving complex human equations. The intensions of these authors are honourable but their proposals need to be based in practice & deep reflection on ancestral systems & the economic drivers within.”
“A social taxonomy that supports the division of political power from economic power is necessary to pose capitalism and democracy as compatible. In the liberal frame, a government that determines when you wake and go to sleep, how you dress, which speech is acceptable, and which isn’t and what you will spend the overwhelming preponderance of your time and life’s energy doing, is totalitarian. In this same liberal frame, if your employer determines these, compliance is freely chosen. The social violence of ‘property’ is the initial condition from which this free choice proceeds.”
“The term ‘Democratic Socialism’ proceeds from a dubious distinction between political and economic democracy. The myth it appeals to is that American democracy reflects the popular will in ways that more straightforwardly hierarchical political systems don’t. The paradox of capitalist democracy has always been the assertion of flat (equal) political representation in the presence of hierarchical economic distribution. Being white, propertied and male were the initial conditions for American suffrage. As late as 2016, functional suffrage was a proxy for economic class. Real democracy begins with economic democracy.”
- Design has a role to play in facilitating heterodox economic transitions.
- Climate change makes ecologically engaged economics and design an imperative.
- Visualizations are tools to conceptualize and reconceptualize economic ideas, models, and more.
- Economies are complex systems that can be mapped using visual strategies.
- Redirected, distributed, regenerative economies are viable alternatives.
Economics is a field under fierce contestation. In response to the intersecting challenges of the Anthropocene, scholars who take a broader and more critical view of current economic models have described the shortcomings of orthodox economic theory along with the severe consequences of its systemic discounting of the environment. Heterodox economists describe how the logic of neoclassical and neoliberal economics disregards the interests and needs of the natural world, women, workers, and other historically disadvantaged groups. Explorations of the household, the state, and the commons as alternative economies open space at the intersection of economics and design for incorporating and valuing the provisioning services provided by the ecological context and the undervalued work provided by certain groups of people. Design theorists, economists, social and cultural theorists, and anthropologists describe the relationship between value and values in ways that reveal how sustainable and socially just futures depend on the priorities (notions of value) embedded in the systems that determine what is designed. With these ideas, design can contribute to economic transitions with conceptualizing, modeling, mapping, framing, and other future making practices. Ecologically engaged, heterodox economics is a basis for societal responses to climate change on a scale that can make a difference.
Anthropocene, Climate change, Heterodox economics, Ecological economics, Value and values, Design transitions for sustainability
Economist and author, Michael Hudson, in his new book “…And Forgive Them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year,” shares with journalist Chris Hedges how Ancient cultures forgave debt cyclically to prevent debt peonage and the rise of an oligarch elite.
The whole focus of classical economics is to tax wealth not income, and obviously, the tax burden was going to fall on the wealthy, on the landlords first and foremost, then on the bankers and then on the monopolists. That was what socialism was, the idea of creating an economy with a circular flow that the taxes would be paid by the wealthy and the government would use this tax revenue to spend on infrastructure, schools, productive credit to help the economy and to make economies more competitive. It seems that in that sense socialism was going to be the most efficient capitalist economy.
I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. Today’s show: The Vocabulary of Economic Deception. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street financial analyst and distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His 1972 book Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire is a critique of how the United States exploited foreign economies through the IMF and World Bank. His latest books are, Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy and J Is for Junk Economics – A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception. Today we discuss J is for Junk Economics, an A to Z guide that describes how the world economy really works, and who the winners and losers really are. We cover contemporary terms that are misleading or poorly understood, as well as many important concepts that have been abandoned – many on purpose – from the long history of political economy.
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.
Decades of increasing inequality, globalisation, technological change, unfettered markets and technocratic politics have given rise to ever more polarisation and populist sentiment. How do we gain a better, wiser politics in the context of these 21st century challenges? Can the progressive parties reconcile the concerns of the disenfranchised and angry without succumbing to xenophobia and anti-outsider sentiment? What are the new ideas and solutions that will help us? Renowned political philosopher Michael Sandel delivers an exclusive address on the future of democracy and our place within it.