You Can Change the World: The Global Citizen’s Handbook for Living on Planet Earth

Description from amazon.com is: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00J2ANQV4 You Can Change the World: The Global Citizen’s Handbook for Living on Planet Earth Kindle Edition by Ervin Laszlo (Author), Masami Saionji (Author), Mikhail Gorbachev (Introduction), Paulo Coelho (Preface) You Can Change the World: The Global Citizen’s Handbook for Living on Planet Earth should be required reading for anyone who cares about… Read More

The WAY to TRUTH is through LIFE-valued reasoning and understanding

1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in Goda ; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will… Read More

The (Un)Intended Consequences of Dysfunctional Belief Systems

If you have been following the latest happenings around the world, it would be frighteningly obvious that we have in our midst global twisters of social, political, economical and environmental crises all seeming to coallesce to create a perfect storm of creative destruction so as to herald a New World Order out of these Global Disorders.  What troubles me so… Read More

The sharing economy: an alternative to capitalist exploitation? by Jeff Noonan

Political consciousness of systemic social problems produces opposite responses in groups differently situated in a social hierarchy. From the standpoint of exploited and oppressed groups, the recognition that they are determined by systemic socio-economic and political forces manifests itself as (more or less developed) demands for a different social system. From the standpoint of the ruling class and its ideological supporters, recognition of the same systemic problems (or, perhaps more accurately, recognition that systemic problems have become so widely obvious that they can no longer be plausibly denied) manifests itself as creative attempts to creatively name novel elements of the unchanged system in ways that make the change sound systematically transformative. Occasionally, these opposite strategies cross one another, as when the name of what system opponents take to be an alternative and the creative naming practiced by those trying to save the existing system are the same. I propose to examine the phenomenon known as the “sharing economy” with these considerations in mind. To avoid damaging political confusion, the referent(s) of the name must be carefully examined to see a) whether system opponents and system-supporters mean the same thing by the term, and b) whether the name really does refer to an alternative social system, and, if so, whether it is likely to solve the problems its supporters believe it will.

The answer to the first question is ambiguous. There is much overlap, but not identity, in what system opponents and system supporters refer to by the term “sharing economy.” The overlap centres on the technological platforms of social media and peer-to-peer networks which open up new possibilities for identifying common interests and linking people with goods or skills to exchange. The difference concerns the extent to which these possibilities can be realised within capitalism or constitute the rudiments of an alternative to it. Thus, system opponents and system supporters do and do not mean the same thing by the sharing economy, but both are convinced that the technologies involved are crucial to its nature. The second question is not as difficult to answer, but, as we will see, there is still some ambiguity. Even in the best sense of the term, I will argue, the sharing economy cannot solve the systemic problems typical of capitalism. While “to share” is a verb widely assumed to name a universally valuable moral disposition, a more careful analysis reveals that sharing is not always completely good. Even if it were always good, I will further argue, it is not the best moral foundation for the institutional structure of a democratic life-economy alternative to capitalism. While sharing and the technologies that allow it to occur beyond the spatial and temporal confines of local communities can be an important element within a democratic life-economy, there is no technological fix to the problems of global capitalism, and solution to the problem of exploitation, oppression and alienation demand an end to the structure of material dependence of life on commodity markets that sharing on its own cannot guarantee.

I will develop this argument in three steps. In the first, I will attempt to bring some clarity to the idea of “sharing economy,” highlight what system opponents and supporters see in it, and uncover the hidden moral ambiguity at the heart of sharing as a social practice. In the second, I will focus on the way in which ‘sharing economy” is understood by capitalist system supporters, exposing the ideological function of “sharing” in this use and the capitalist truth behind the ideology. In the third I will return to the problem of sharing as the moral foundation of an alternative economy, and argue that alone it cannot satisfy the key conditions an alternative would have to satisfy to prove itself morally and economically superior to capitalism. Instead, the moral foundation of a democratic life-economy is universal need-satisfaction and its institutional infrastructure is not peer-to-peer networks but democratically governed public institutions that ensure universal provision of natural and social life-requirements to each and all.

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Why is an Ounce of Prevention less valued than a Pound of Cure?

Over the past two decades of my study of and my practice in medicine, I have always been perplexed by the disconnect between the principle and the application of the proverb, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Given the meteoric rise of non-communicable physical, mental and social diseases and the cost of their treatment and their burden to society, I would have guessed that policy makers would have made health promotion and disease prevention a top priority, and resources locally, regionally and internationally would have been invested in elucidating the determinants of health promotion and disease prevention and implementing the wisdom of that enlightenment.

Truth be told, much has been discovered over the past decade on adverse childhood experiences and the long-lasting effects on physical, mental and social diseases. Also Sir Michael Marmot and his collaborators have investigated the social determinants of health and have shown unequivocally that social gradients of inequality in terms of access to the basic means of life growth and development does in fact affect life expectancies and disability-adjusted-life-years. Given this trove of empirical data to guide our policy and decision makers, one would have thought that major steps would have been taken at the local, regional and international levels to remedy the social deficiencies in our homes, our schools and workplace environments. This would then serve to minimize adverse childhood experiences, (in addition to the adverse experiences of the adolescents, adults and the elderly) and would also serve to optimize the social, economic and political environments to produce enabling policies that would inform and encourage healthier lifestyles and behaviours. Read More

The Regulating Group‑Mind by Prof John McMurtry – Sage Encyclopedia of Case Study Research

Can also be found with references at: https://ia601704.us.archive.org/33/items/2.encyclopediaOfCaseStudyResearch/2.encyclopediaOfCaseStudyResearch.pdf  pp. 790-794 What do the following phenomena have in common – the Pushtan honor code, the Spanish Inquisition, female genital mutilation, and academic mobbing? They variously express the value syntax of the regulating or ruling group mind (RGM). The RGM is a discrete structure of thinking which… Read More

Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. on Mindsight, The Emerging Mind, Mindfulness and Neural Integration, and Interpersonal Connection, Self-Awareness and Well-Being

An Introduction to Mindsight by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. Published on Jul 18, 2013 “Mindsight” is a term coined by Dr. Dan Siegel to describe our human capacity to perceive the mind of the self and others. It is a powerful lens through which we can understand our inner lives with more clarity, integrate the… Read More

Understanding the Cancer Stage of Capitalism – Review of John McMurtry‘s Book – By Giorgio Baruchello

Reproduced from: http://www.globalresearch.ca/understanding-the-cancer-stage-of-capitalism/5349620 While US President Barack Obama bangs loud drums of war, the Pope (the first of the Catholic Church to choose the name of Francis) accuses “the great ones of the earth [to] want to solve” the world’s crises “with a war… Because, for them, money is more important than people! And war is… Read More

Collection of articles by Prof John McMurtry from Global Research on Life Value, Human Rights, Civil Commons, Economic Efficiency and Social Justice

Part 1 – The Rights of the “Human” over the “Non-Human”: The Undeclared World War of Human Rights versus Corporate Rights. – 31 December 2011 Part 2 – Life Value, The Common Life Interest of Legitimate Rights and Social Justice  – 8 January 2012 Part 3 – Human Life: Beyond Money, Ideology and Productive Forces – 11 January 2012 Part 4 – The Universal… Read More

Corporate Globalization versus The Civil Commons by which People’s Lives are Sustained by Prof John McMurtry

Reproduced from: http://www.globalresearch.ca/corporate-globalization-versus-the-civil-commons-by-which-people-s-lives-are-sustained/29236 EVOLVED CIVIL COMMONS VERSUS CORPORATE GLOBALIZATION: A PERFORMANCE EVALUATION ACROSS UNIVERSAL LIFE GOODS by John McMurtry The facts of daily life in developed society have been so painstakingly and historically constructed across generations to enable universal access to the life goods of evolved humanity that we need systematic understanding of how provision of… Read More