Celebrating Crisis: Towards a Culture of Cooperation | Elisabet Sahtouris | worldbusiness.org

Humanity, like all other species of Earth before and with us, is evolving — and evolution, for humans as for all species, is neither predictably linear nor solely Darwinian. Earth’s nearly four billion years of evolutionary experience reveals reliable patterns that give us hope, inspiration and valuable guidance for getting ourselves through the unprecedented confluence of enormous crises in which we humans quite suddenly find ourselves. Here we see the evolutionary Big Picture, including the amazingly complex lives of our remotest bacterial ancestors, who had Earth to themselves for fully half of evolution, and much of whose experience we seem to be mirroring now. They engaged in hostilities, generated global crises of hunger and pollution as great as ours today, and solved them without benefit of brain! Along the way they invented electric motors, atomic piles and the first World Wide Web of DNA exchange; then, in the greatest of all evolutionary ventures, formed cooperatives that became nucleated cells. These cooperatives were the basis for the evolution of our own hundred-trillion-celled human bodies, which role model amazingly sustainable economies. Learning from newly revealed problems and solutions in biological evolution, we too are finding out how to survive and even thrive into a better future despite — perhaps because of — our greatest challenges. That would indeed be cause for celebration.

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THE BANKS AND THE CANCER STAGE OF CAPITALISM: FROM CAUSE TO CURE | Prof John McMurtry (1997)

(Abstract)

There is a hidden war of value codes in the world today. On the one hand, there is the life code of value: Life → Means of Life → More Life (L → M of L→ L1). On the other hand, there is the money code of value: in its classical form, Money → Commodity → More Money ($ C → $1). In its carcinogenic form, this sequence becomes: Money → More Money → More Money ($ → $1 $2  $n). The latter money sequence of value is decoupled from any commitment to life function and is driven by the lending and investment cycles of banks. This paper demonstrates the carcinogenic properties of this sequence at the social level of life-organization.

The second part of the paper proposes a remedy. The first step consists in making the government-conferred privileges of banks – creating money by credit and lending others’ money stocks at compound interest – accountable to society’s life requirements. The second step consists in returning central banks to their constitutional mandate of lending to governments rather than alienating this function to private banks. The article concludes by arguing that the great obstacle to Canada’s and other countries’ economic well-being is the abdication by governments of their sovereign powers over society’s money supply, and the long cultivation of public ignorance on this ultimate issue of public policy and value decision.

John McMurtry
Department of Philosophy
University of Guelph

Bank of Montreal Distinguished Visitor Lecture, Trent University, March 13, 1997. Read More

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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Why is there a War in Afghanistan? | Prof John McMurtry (2001) | scienceforpeace.ca

The following article was part of a Science for Peace Forum and Teach-In, about How Should Canada Respond to Terrorism and War on Sunday December 9, 2001. A speech was made there by Professor of Philosophy, John McMurtry. It looks at a wider and deeper issue of totalitarianism that is creeping in, or, as McMurtry suggests, continuing in more earnest.

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Your Money or Your Life: John McMurtry and Martha Nussbaum on the For-profit Assault upon Life-capabilities | Giorgio Baruchello (2011)

Philosophical reflections by John McMurtry and Martha Nussbaum are presented in this article qua projections of the capabilities approach to life that has been developing in the humanities and social sciences over the past twenty-five years. In particular, it is shown how both McMurtry and Nussbaum reveal that human life is under attack not solely because of the eco-biological collapse denounced by the world’s scientific community at its highest levels, but also in many of those socially evolved civil commons that contribute to the flourishing of life’s capabilities and, in essence, make life worth living. What is more, a common causal root is found behind this ongoing two-pronged assault upon life capabilities, that is to say, the defining search for ever-increasing profits of the global free-market economy.

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Good and Bad Capitalism: Re-thinking Value, Human Needs, and the Aims of Economic Activity | Giorgio Baruchello (2009)

The world is experiencing a twofold crisis. On the one hand, the global, virtualised economy is collapsing and, in its fall, it is bringing down significant sections of the real economy. On the other hand, the environmental collapse of the planet is also marching on, and there is no clear sign that this may stop soon, for the most commonly discussed paths for economic recovery seem to rely upon further spoliation of the Earth’s life support systems. In this book chapter, the reader is to encounter an account of this twofold crisis in light of the deeper axiological grounds that are causing it. To this end, the present author refers extensively to the theory of value developed by Canadian scholar John McMurtry, according to whom: “[F]inancial crises always follow from money-value delinked from real value, which has many names but no understanding of the principle at its deepest levels.”

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Capitalism and Freedom: The Core of a Contradiction – An Essay on Cornelius Castoriadis and John McMurtry | By Giorgio Baruchello (2008)

0.0 Capitalism and freedom is not only the title of a 1962 book by Milton Friedman playing a pivotal role in asserting worldwide the neoliberal paradigm, but also the slogan that leading statesmen, politicians and opinion-makers have been heralding in recent years, in order to justify, amongst other things, the slashing of welfare states and the invasion of foreign countries…

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Modern monetary theory and its critics | real-world economics review

Modern monetary theory and its critics

3 October 2019

Introduction: Whither MMT?
The editors
2
Alternative paths to modern money theory
L. Randall Wray
5
Initiating a parallel electronic currency in a eurocrisis country – why it would work
Trond Andresen
23
An MMT perspective on macroeconomic policy space
Phil Armstrong
32
Monetary sovereignty is a spectrum: modern monetary theory and developing countries
Bruno Bonizzi, Annina Kaltenbrunner and Jo Michell
46
Are modern monetary theory’s lies “plausible lies”?
David Colander
62
What is modern about MMT? A concise note
Paul Davidson
72
Modern monetary theory: a European perspective
Dirk H. Ehnts and Maurice Höfgen
75
MMT: the wrong answer to the wrong question
Jan Kregel
85
Modern monetary theory and post-Keynesian economics
Marc Lavoie
97
Money’s relation to debt: some problems with MMT’s conception of money
Tony Lawson
109
The sleights of hand of MMT
Anne Mayhew
129
Tax and modern monetary theory
Richard Murphy
138
Macroeconomics vs. modern money theory: some unpleasant Keynesian arithmetic and monetary dynamics
Thomas I. Palley   
148
MMT and TINA
Louis-Philippe Rochon
156
Modern monetary theory: is there any added value?
Malcolm Sawyer
167
The significance of MMT in linking money, markets, sector balances and aggregate demand
Alan Shipman
180
The political economy of modern money theory, from Brecht to Gaitskell
Jan Toporowski
194
Board of Editors, past contributors, submissions, etc. 203

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BE STILL AND KNOW LIFE-VALUE ONTO-AXIOLOGY – A collection of essays by Prof. John McMurtry | globalresearch.ca

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Table of Contents

  • I. THE RIGHTS OF THE “HUMAN” OVER THE “NON-HUMAN”: THE UNDECLARED WORLD WAR OF HUMAN RIGHTS VERSUS CORPORATE RIGHTS
    • Right to Life: From Right-Wing Slogan to Life-Grounded Comprehension
    • Intrinsic Life Worth and Humanity’s Universal Being
    • Projecting Personhood onto the Non-Human to Deprive the Human
    • The Life-Value Onto-Ethic in Contrast
  • II. FINDING THE LOST LIFE-VALUE GROUND AND MEASURE: THE COMMON LIFE INTEREST OF LEGITIMATE RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
    • Capabilities: Regrounding Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum in Life Need and Value
    • Individual Differences and the Life-Value Criterion and Measure of Legitimate Rights
    • Thinking Past the Life-Blind Paradigms
    • The Universal Human Life Necessities
    • Universal Life Needs the Basis of All Legitimate Rights
  • III. GROWING THE LIFE GOODS BASE: BEYOND MONEY, IDEOLOGY AND PRODUCTIVE FORCES
    • Why Marx Does not Solve the Problem
    • Predictable Downfall of Human and Planetary Life Until Life-Value Turn
    • From Moral and Legal Philosophy to Marxian Revolution: The Missing Life-Ground
    • The Modern Blind Eye: No Life-Value Standard to Steer Productive Development
    • The First Requirement of Social Justice: Re-Grounding in Universal Human Life Goods
    • Recognising the Human Vocation Above All
    • Right of Access to Universal Life Goods: The Missing Argument
  • IV. THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN LIFE NECESSITIES: THE LIFE GROUND OF ECONOMICS AND HUMAN RIGHTS DEFINED
    • Blocking Out Life Necessity: The Compulsion of High Theory
    • The Universal Life Needs and Goods: Explaining the Base of All Rights and Obligations
    • Beyond the Invisible Hand: Naming Humanity’s Universal Life Necessities and Goods
    • How to Test the Universal Life Goods and Necessities for Validity
    • Sufficiency and Insufficiency of Provision Recognised by Life Capacity Margins
    • Thinking Through “From Each According to Ability, To Each According to Needs”
  • V. RECOVERING THE BASES OF OUR LIVES FROM SILENCE AND OCCUPATION: THE HUMAN VOCATION, THE CIVIL COMMONS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
    • Being Human: Why We Must Work for Our Own Life Good and Others’ at the Same Time
    • The Civil Commons: Real Economic Base and Social Correlative of the Human Vocation
    • The Corporate-Rich War on Civil Commons to Expropriate and Degrade Them for Profit
    • From Commons-Blind Theory on Both Sides of Class Division to Life-Goods Economy and Justice.
    • Regaining the Lost Bearings of Civil Commons as First Premise of Human Evolution
    • From Corporate State versus Social State to Life-Coherent Rationality
  • VI. EVOLVED CIVIL COMMONS VERSUS CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION: A PERFORMANCE EVALUATION ACROSS UNIVERSAL LIFE GOODS
    • Re-Setting to the Common Life-Ground of Our Existence
    • Economic Advance and Social Justice Both Decided by Universal Provision of Life Goods
    • Atmospheric Goods
    • Bodily Goods
    • Home and Habitat Goods
    • Environmental Integrity
    • Life-Protective Goods of Security and Healthcare
    • Cultural Life Goods
    • The Good of Human Vocation
  • VII: WHY CONTEMPORARY JUSTICE THEORY FAILS: THE MISSING COMMON INTEREST OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND REASON
    • Abstracting Away Everything that Ultimately Matters: Mapping High Theory’s Correspondence to the Life-Blind Ruling System
    • G.A. Cohen’s Egalitarian Rescue Remains Within the Ruling Alibi as First Premise
    • Economic Science and Pareto Optimum/Efficiency Unmasked in Principle
    • Rawlsian Justice as Trickle-Down Myth in Formal Costume
  • VIII. BEYOND EQUIVOCAL EQUALITY AND MASKING MYTHS: GROUNDING JUSTICE IN WHAT WE ALL NEED TO LIVE AS HUMAN
    • From Rational Plan of Life to Human Vocation: The Ultimate Moral Regrounding
    • Life-Ground Ethics Rejects a Career Plan as a Universal Good of Justice or Morality
    • Linking Life Right and Obligation at System-Wide and Historical Levels
    • The Life-Coherence Principle, Civil Commons, and the Human Vocation
  • IX. REGAINING THE REAL ECONOMY FROM THE CANCER SYSTEM: THE CHOICE SPACE FOR HUMANITY’S EVOLUTION OR DESTRUCTION
    • Evolution of Humanity by Rules of Life-Enabling Economy and Justice
    • Progressive or Regressive Meta Pattern of History?
    • The Corporate-State War Against Human Evolution
    • Recovering the Real Economy in Principle and Fact
  • X. THE SOCIAL STATE VERSUS THE CORPORATE STATE: FROM EUROPEAN FASCISM TO GLOBAL MONEY-SEQUENCE ABSOLUTISM
    • Social State Evolution versus Corporate State Growth: The Battle Lines Defined
    • From the Depression, Anti-Fascist War and Decolonisation to the Corporate Occupation
    • The Morality of Corporate Rights: No Rights Except for Private Money Sequences
    • Social Justice and Economic Integrity: The Life Code in Social Defence
  • XI. THE LIFE-AND-DEATH WAR OF RIGHTS SYSTEMS DEFINED
    • Defining the Global Corporate Mechanism in Formal Terms
    • The Age-Old Life Economy of the Civil Commons versus the Corporate-Rights System
    • Holding and Advancing the Life-Ground of Resistance: Clarifying the Civil Commons of Economic and Human Rights Around and Under Us
    • Beyond Amnesiac Despair: The Life Economy and Human Rights Base Already Won
    • The Real Private Sector is the Opposite of Global Corporate For Profit
  • XII. HUMANITY’S EVOLUTION AND THE GREAT REVERSAL: AN ANATOMY OF THE CORPORATE RIGHT COUNTER-REVOLUTION
    • Getting Our Historical Bearings in the Turning-Point Time
    • The Great Reversal
    • The Historic Choice Today
  • XIII. HISTORY’S LONG WAR FOR LIBERATION: RECLAIMING THE LIFE RIGHTS WHICH HAVE BEEN WON
    • The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    • Societies’ Life Rights Against Corporate Fascism Across Borders
    • Resolving Confusions of Meaning to See the Historical Pattern Across Generational Time
    • Reclaiming and Moving Beyond the Human Life Rights That Have Already Been Won.
  • REFERENCES

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A Manifesto

In the capitalist system, the prime directive enshrined in law is to maximize profit for the shareholders, and not to optimize benefits for all stakeholders, inclusive of workers, customers, communities and our planet.  These are treated as externalities so as to privatize the gains and socialize the losses.

In this system, workers are seen as a cost (a liability) and if the capitalists can automate what workers do, and thus bring the cost of “labour” to zero, they would do that readily to maximize profit gains.  Also having a bumper stock of unemployed people keeps the price of labour low (according to market supply-demand principles), hence the manufacturing of poverty and economic refugees, which can be stopped in a heartbeat if there is the local and global political will to end tribal “wars” and destabilizations within and without……

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