‘The capitalist life crisis’ by Jeff Noonan

The failure of the Durban Conference on Climate Change, (December, 2011) to agree to anything more substantial than that all nations would work together to develop binding targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 is a metonym for the life-crisis besetting globalised capitalism.[1] Because global capitalism subordinates what John McMurtry calls “life-value”  to the expansion and accumulation of  money-value, it progressively undermines the conditions of planetary life-support, human life-requirement satisfaction, and meaningful human life-capacity development and enjoyment.[2]  Resources, relationships, practices, norms, institutions, and forms of life-activity have life-value when they:  a) satisfy objective requirements of human life-maintenance, reproduction, and development, b) thereby enabling the expression and enjoyment of the human life-capacities of sentience, imaginative and cognitive thought, and creative activity in ways which are, c) life-coherent.  McMurtry’s principle of life-coherence asserts that in order to be good, expressions of life-capacity must not only follow from the free choices of the agents who enjoy them, but must also, “consistently enable ecological and human life-together.”[3] In other words, good forms of individual life-capacity expression must contribute to, rather than undermine, the natural field of life-support and the social field of life-development within which individual life-activity is grounded.   The vaunted “liberties” of liberal-capitalist society are blind to the natural and social grounds upon which all good lives ultimately depend.  Hence, capitalism is a system that necessarily generates crisis in all important dimensions of being alive.  In the present essay I will explore the four most fundamental dimensions of capitalist life-crisis and the adequacy of egalitarian liberal, human rights-based cosmopolitan, and twenty-first century socialist responses to them.

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“The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society” – President John F Kennedy 1961

The secretive jurisdictions of international financial centers which claim to be essential for capital growth and development, like state communism, is going to be the downfall of corporate crony capitalism, as both support conformity and rigidity of ideas in a top-down hierarchical pattern as “efficiently” as possible. This is done without challenge from outside; hence the stifling of genuine innovation and genuine resilience and ability to adapt to new knowledge of our destructive potentials in all of life’s spheres of influence and concerns, hence producing the persistent lack of truth and reconciliation and healing of all of the maladies of humanity and the planet. If this is not a form of globalised supranational “communism” now on steroids, where there is pervasive reverse projection, where the meanings of our labels have been tranmorgrified and no longer mean what they are supposed to mean any more, then I don’t know what is!

For example, do we really still have a “free market” and “democracy” anymore? Aren’t these ideals now usurped by the diktats of the financial-military-corporate media-digital collusive complex which now reign supreme where we have concentration of wealth and power at the top? When The Establishment preaches freedom of choice, freedom of mobility and freedom of privacy, are they talking about freedom for entitlement of theirs at the top, while relegating those of us at the bottom to a form of mental, social and debt slavery? Where is the genuine democracy and freedom in that? Should we not have by now an intelligent system that matches unused life resources to unmet life needs by the supply and demand principles of the free market? What about the genuine ability of the electorate to chose a leader of their choice without the rules of engagement being gerrimandered to maintain the power structure in the first place? Where is the economic and political justice in all of this? Again I stand by my claim that the only difference between state communism and corporate croney capitalism is not one of kind, but one of degree and scale, and the reverse projections that the latter creates to block out the obvious consequences of our life destructive and human indignifying machinations.

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Keynote Address by University of Guelph University Professor Emeritus John McMurty, entitled “Rationality and Scientific Method: Paradigm Shift in an Age of Collapse” given on March 19, 2008 at the University of Windsor

This paper explains what has long been missing across domains and levels of analysis: (1) the life-blind inner logic regulating contemporary paradigms of “rationality” and “scientific method”; (2) the reasons why these regulators of thought select for unforeseen consequences of ecological, social and economic collapse; and (3) the principle of life-ground consistency which corrects this systemic incoherence of thought regime.

KEYWORDS: academy, collapse, collective choice, full coherence principle, game theory, life and money sequences of value, mechanism, global market, rationality, scientific method, truth

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