MEMBRANE OF THE SELF: MARKETING, BOUNDARIES, AND THE CONSUMER-INCORPORATED SELF | Eugene Halton and Joseph D. Rumbo (2007)

Much has been written about the various strategies that marketers use to target variously situated consumers in contemporary society. The more sophisticated of these strategies rest upon the notion that each consumer, as a self, represents a site of contestation over the very definition of his/her selfhood. Whereas the marketers’ objective is to create selling messages designed to colonize each and every self in accordance with the desires of their corporate clients, such messages may be at odds with the development of a healthy, uncorporatized self.

Marketers use widely varied demographic and psychographic (lifestyle) techniques to group consumers into narrowly defined and purportedly unique market segments. Celebrants of advertising and consumer culture tend to argue that the sphere of consumption offers consumers untold liberating possibilities for constructing identities and projecting unique, highly personalized images of self (Firat & Venkatesh, 1995). We contend that all of these purportedly unique constructions of selfhood are nothing more than permutations of what we call the consumer-incorporated self, a self compromised by marketing ideology and brand affiliations in which consumption practices displace self-autonomy.

Unsurprisingly, the myriad strategies that marketers have developed for reaching different consumers typically derive from the predominant model of the self found in college-level textbooks on marketing management. Across the pages of these touchstones of marketing wisdom unfolds the template for the consumer-incorporated self, an idealized model of self that renders the consumer in largely behaviorist and cognitivist terms, subject to manipulation. Sprinkling marketing theory with influences culled from motivational psychology and neoclassical economics, this dehumanizing notion of self reduces the consumer to a combination of rational calculator and passive recipient of marketer manipulation.

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A Selection of articles on “The Gift Economy” by Genevieve Vaughan | gift-economy.com

A Gift Economy is the material interaction of a community based on the direct provisioning of needs without the mediation of exchange.

I believe that in every life there is an original economic mode that is based on unilateral giving and receiving and that is prior to the interaction of exchange, which is giving in order to receive an equivalent return.

Unilateral giving has been made problematic by religions that frame it as extraordinary and saintly and by structures of domination that force one-way giving by the weak to the powerful. There is a very commonplace and necessary area of unilateral giving in every life, however, and that is in the mothering of little children who cannot give back an equivalent of what they have received. Someone must give unilaterally to them or they do not survive. This requires the identification of the child’s needs and the provision of appropriate goods and services that will satisfy them.

Unilateral gifting , which occurs at the beginning of life, can be practiced by anyone , female or male, family members or even by whole villages, though in our society it is usually considered the work of the birth mother. Nurturing establishes bonds of mutuality and trust between giver and receiver and it is extended (replicated) more by imitation than by obligation.

This giving/receiving need-satisfying mode can be seen as the logical forerunner of all other economic modes and they can be seen as variations upon its theme. For example, bilateral transfers or exchanges are a variation, a contingent doubling, of unilateral transfers.

When there is a time variation the transfers can take place in a mode of debt or obligation – which still maintains a root in the first step of the unilateral gift. Gifting can continue into adulthood as the basic principle of distribution in groups without markets such as hunter gatherers and it also remains as a main mode within family units even in market based societies.

The maternal gift economy is a relational economy. It differs from Maussian gift exchange in that the ongoing relationships are not created by the obligation to give back but by the mutual alignment of the direct need satisfying interaction. There is also turn taking, in which each takes on the role of giver or receiver in turn but without constraint or conditionality and giving forward, passing on the gifts to others in the community, creating mutuality with them as well. Property held in common can appear in the role of giver, which those who use it align together in receiving, sharing and passing on, creating a ‘commons’.

The mode of distribution of goods to needs that is embodied in mothering gives rise to strong emotions in both parents and children and these reinforce interactive templates that are elaborated throughout life. Gift based communities maintain positive emotions and high levels of trust while the ego oriented logic of exchange produces suspicion, defensiveness and exacerbated individualism.Even when market economies have changed or depleted the context, gifting among individuals and groups continues to create positive community bonds.

The gift economy has its unconscious origin in the womb (Jordan) and it is the structure of the early childhood Evolved Developmental Niche (Narvaez). After the child is born, it is thus the economic and social context in which the brain development studied by interpersonal neurobiology takes place, where brain organization is sculpted epigenetically by human relations (Siegel).

The maternal economy is the setting of our mental development, and giving-receiving is the template for basic functions like knowing and communicating.Both in the history of the species and in the trajectory of every life, giving-receiving comes first.

The economy of a community that has retained its continuity with maternal provisioning and its logic, is what I am calling a ‘gift economy’. The gift interaction has its own transitive logic which can coexist with the market’s ‘identity logic’.

Giving gives value to the receiver while exchange gives value to the things exchanged and to the self interested exchanger.

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Measuring regenerative economics: 10 principles and measures undergirding systemic economic health

 Abstract

Applying network science concepts and methods to economic systems is not a new idea. In the last few decades, however, advances in non-equilibrium thermodynamics (i.e., self-organizing, open, dissipative, far-from-equilibrium systems), and nonlinear dynamics, network science, information theory, and other mathematical approaches to complex systems have produced a new set of concepts and methods, which are powerful for understanding and predicting behavior in socio-economic systems. In several previous papers, for example, we used research from the new Energy Network Science (ENS) to show how and why systemic ecological and economic health requires a balance of efficiency and resilience be maintained within a particular a “window of vitality”. The current paper outlines the logic behind 10 principles of systemic, socio-economic health and the quantitative measures that go with them. Our particular focus is on “regenerative aspects”, i.e., the self-feeding, self-renewal, and adaptive learning processes that natural systems use to nourish their capacity to thrive for long periods of time. In socio-economic systems, we demonstrate how regenerative economics requires regular investment in human, social, natural, and physical capital. Taken as a whole, we propose these 10 metrics represent a new capacity to understand, and set better policy for solving, the entangled systemic suite of social, environmental, and economic problems now faced in industrial cultures.

Keywords

Regenerative economics | Resilience | Economic networks | Self-organization | Autocatalysis | Socio-ecological systems | Network analysis

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Macroeconomics with Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell and Martin J Watts, Birmingham – 11th May 2019

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies
Published on May 20, 2019

The Gower Initiative for Modern Money Studies was delighted to host this event at which founding proponents of Modern Monetary Theory, Professor Bill Mitchell and Warren Mosler, were joined by their colleague and fellow internationally respected author, Professor Martin J Watts.

Following the launch in March of the textbook ‘Macroeconomics’ and the inauguration of the MMT training college later this year the event focused on giving academics, teachers and the wider public the tools with which they can take a more critical approach to the subject by comparing and contrasting heterodox and orthodox approaches to theory and policy.

This event aimed to challenge preconceptions about how money works and explained how such an understanding offers a lens through which we can develop solutions to the pressing economic, social and ecological issues we face.

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A Selection of Articles on Modern Monetary Theory by L. Randall Wray | neweconomicperspectives.org

Table of Contents

♦ MODERN MONEY THEORY: THE BASICS
♦ Taxes and the Public Purpose
♦ CREATIONISM VERSUS REDEMPTIONISM: HOW A MONEY-ISSUER REALLY LENDS AND SPENDS
♦ Tax Bads, Not Goods
♦ DEBT-FREE MONEY: A NON-SEQUITUR IN SEARCH OF A POLICY
♦ Why Money Matters
♦ MODERN MONEY THEORY: How I came to MMT and what I include in MMT
♦ An MMT View of the Twin Deficits Debate
♦ A Conspiracy Against MMT? Chicago Booth’s Polling and Trolling
♦ A Must Read: Why does everyone hate MMT?
♦ HOW TO PAY FOR THE WAR Read More

FULL EMPLOYMENT & EMPLOYMENT GUARANTEES – By Randall Wray (2009)

Economic stimulus packages can never satisfactorily address the real problem of unemployment and underemployment in market economies, according to Randall L. Wray. He estimates real unemployment is close to 30 million people or 20% of the workforce in the USA. But there is an effective and affordable to achieve full employment through direct job creation programs financed by the US Government. In this webcast, Professor Wray discusses the short and long term causes of unemployment, the right to employment, the hidden costs of unemployment, the unrecognized benefits of full employment, theory of how job guarantee programs can effectively balance full employment and currency stability along with practical examples of successful programs. This presentation will be of interest to all those looking for a realistic practical strategy for addressing the problem of unemployment. Wray is Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College in New York. He is author of numerous books including Money and Credit in Capitalist Economies and Understanding Modern Money: The Key to Full Employment and Price Stability. For a complete bio and list of Professor Wray’s publications and links to working papers, click here

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Cannabis: Moving from Insanity to Industry | Dr. Patrick Martin MD

Cannabis: Moving from Insanity to Industry Patrick Martin May 15, 2019 According to Einstein, insanity is, “Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”. Since colonialism, we have been doing a same thing.We have been acting out a deception that caused the demonization of a plant that has profound medicinal and industrial… Read More

SEVEN DEADLY INNOCENT FRAUDS OF ECONOMIC POLICY | WARREN MOSLER (2010)

OVERVIEW

Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy

  1. The government must raise funds through taxation or borrowing in order to spend. In other words, government spending is limited by its ability to tax or borrow.
  2. With government deficits, we are leaving our debt burden to our children.
  3. Government budget deficits take away savings.
  4. Social Security is broken.
  5. The trade deficit is an unsustainable imbalance that takes away jobs and output.
  6. We need savings to provide the funds for investment.
  7. It’s a bad thing that higher deficits today mean higher taxes tomorrow.

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The Cocoyoc Declaration (1974) | Johan Galtung – TRANSCEND Media Service | International Organisation | Le Monde diplomatique

October 8-12, 1974 a symposium on “Patterns of Resource Use, Environment and Development Strategies” was convened in Cocoyoc, Mexico by the directors of United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Maurice Strong and Gamani Corea. The rapporteurs were Barbara Ward for resource use and the environment and Johan Galtung for development strategies. That part of THE COCOYOC DECLARATIONadopted by the participants–is reproduced below, with a certain sadness: it is as valid today, more than 30 years later. The two directors received a three feet long cable, from the US State Department, rejecting the declaration entirely. Signed by: Henry Kissinger.

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The Life-Ground, the Civil Commons and the Corporate Male Gang | Prof John McMurtry (2001)

ABSTRACT

Scientific and everyday language have long lacked generic concepts to identify the market’s underlying systems of natural and social reproduction. In consequence, expropriation and destruction of these ecological and civil infrastructures by monetised capital expansion has evaded understanding. This investigation provides the conceptual bearings required to understand what has occurred and its modes of resolution by explanation of the long overlooked “life-ground” and “civil commons”; their evolving “social immune system”; and a “life-value calculus” whereby to assess authentic social development and retardation. At the same time, the analysis explains the causal structure behind a world-wide degradation and confiscation of life infrastructures whose principal victims and resisters are unwaged women. Finally, the argument distinguishes the civil commons and the life-ground from notions of “the global commons”, “the life-world” of Habermas, and the now dominant concept of “civil society.” Throughout, the analysis draws on real-life examples to demonstrate deep infrastructures of human life advance and regression which have eluded the received paradigms of social and political analysis.

RÉSUMÉ

Depuis bien longtemps, il manque dans le langage scientifique quotidien de notions générals pour identifier les systèmes de la reproduction naturlle et sociale qui sont à la base du marché. Par conséquent, l’expropriation et la destruction des ces infrastructures écologiques et civiles par l’expansion du capital monétaire échappent à la comprehension. Pour expliquer ce phénoène et ces modes de résolution actuels, cette étude fournit une base conceptuelle des notions ignorées depuis longtemps, telles que la «base vitale», la «commune civile», le «système immunitaire social» qui en émerge, et le «calcul des valeurs vitales», notions par lesquelles on évalue le vrai développement social ou le retard. Par ailleurs, l’analyse démontre la structure causale entre la dégradation mondiale et la confiscation des infrastructures vitales dont les principales victimes et opposantes sont les femmes au travail non rémunéré. Enfin, l’analyse différencie la notion de la commune civile et de la base vitale de celles des «biens publics globaux», du «monde de la vie» de Habermas, et de la «société civile» qui dominent dans le discours présent. L’analyse se sert des exemples actuels pour illustrer les infrastructures profondes des progrès et des reculs de la vie humaine qui ont échappé aux paradigmes de l’analyse sociale et politique actuelle.

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