Public Communication and Power: Talking Capitalism, Theory and Critique with John McMurtry

Abstract: This interview with globally distinguished Canadian philosopher and author, John McMurtry, presents dialogue discussing capitalism, asymmetrical power relations, life capital, social theory, common life interest, life value, global problems, market theology, media, values of the market and free market ideology today in relation to public education, academia, intellectual fads and the broader intellectual culture in relation to enabling public understanding of meaning-making and power, totalising market culture, climate, dispossession, health, influence, energy, labour, income, slavery, corporate welfare, neo-liberalism, the global ecosystem, and inequalities of class and power.

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Life-Value Onto-Axiology and Life-Ground Ethics | Prof John McMurtry

The Primary Axiom of Value is the unifying solution to the open question ‘What is Good? What is Bad? The Value of All Values across Time, Place and Theories’ by John McMurtry, Philosophy and World Problems, Volume I, UNESCO in partnership with Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems: Oxford, 2004-11. It defines the ultimate first principle/s of Life-Ground Ethics, and more comprehensively, Life-Value Onto-Axiology.

In traditional terms and terrestrial parameters, the Primary Axiom provides the unifying criterion and measure of the Real, the True and the Good.

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Emotion: The Self-regulatory Sense | Katherine Peil Kauffman | emotionalsentience.com

Katherine T. Peil is the founding Director of non-profit EFS International, whose mission is fostering global emotional wisdom. From a background in Pantheistic spirituality and clinical and social psychology, her lengthy interdisciplinary inquiry into the biophysical substrates of emotion led to the identification of its previously mysterious biological function: as an ancient “self-regulatory sense” – an evaluative perceptual mechanism through which living systems directly participate in self-organizing and evolutionary processes, and one that invites deeper inquiries into the physics of consciousness. This new science also casts light upon innate “biovalues, which scientific methodology has long avoided, as well as vital processes that in-form common spiritual experiences, and the healthy development of empathic moral conscience. It provides a biophysically informed vision of “naturalistic spiritualty”, one that echoes the common wisdom across the great religious traditions, while challenging such time honored assumptions as “sin” and the “good and evil” dichotomy.

A former affiliate of Northeastern University and the Harvard Divinity School, Ms. Peil has spoken internationally on the function, evolution, physio-chemical, and informational nature of emotion, as well as its central role in optimal health, human development, moral reasoning, universal spiritual experiences, and its informative value toward creating nonviolence in a global village. – http://consciousnesscongress.org/session/emotional-sentience-the-nature-of-consciousness/

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Money Capital versus “Life Capital”. The War of Values We Live or Die By. | Prof. John McMurtry

Author of UNESCO’s ‘Philosophy and World Problems’, Professor John McMurtry is questioned on the planetary life-system crisis by media critic Dr. Jeffery Klaehn. 

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CAGING THE POOR | The Case Against the Prison System | Prof John McMurtry (2000)

We need to recognise from the outset that prisons are not there for the reasons they are said to be there. In truth, they do not morally reform lawbreakers. They do not protect society from violent criminals. They are not retributive institutions. All of these rationalizations of the prison system are myths. This paper will refute each in turn, and then explain the underlying function of the prison system which has not yet been recognised.

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FASCISM AND NEO-CONSERVATISM: IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? | Prof John McMurtry (1984)

“Fascism,” the West European movement that achieved its greatest strength in Germany and Italy between 1922 and 1944 under the leadership of Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini, and “neo-conservatism,” the dominantly American movement that has achieved its greatest strength in the United States and Britain in the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s under the leadership of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, arise out of historical circumstances that are strikingly similar in nature. In each case, political power is won by a relatively sudden rightward swing of a minority of the eligible electorate towards a war-like leader, backed by a media-lavished bloc of fiercely ideological partisans of old-line values and national military glory. In both cases, the social context of this unusual and dramatic turn towards the political right is one of perceived and objective cultural crisis. Economically, the shape of this crisis in 1930’s Germany and 1980’s America is eerily similar. There is a precipitous decline in effective demand for industrial commodities; great and growing unemployment; a steep rise in family-farm indebtedness; an unprecedentedly large and increasing public debt; a long-term, “runaway,” postwar inflation; a series of severe balance of trade deficits; historic stock market plunges; and a jolting succession of nonproductive mergers of large corporations and failures of small businesses.

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The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure | Prof John McMurtry (2013)

The Cancer Stage of Capitalism is a modern classic of critical philosophy and political economy, renowned for its depth and comprehensive research. It provides a step by step diagnosis of the continuing economic collapse in the US and Europe and has had an enormous influence on new visions of economic alternatives.

John McMurtry argues that our world disorder of unending crises is the predictable result of a cancerous economic system multiplying out of all control and destroying ecological, social and organic life – a process he describes as ‘global ecogenocide’. In this updated edition he explains the ‘social immune response’ required to fight the ‘macro cancer’, something which has already been shown in developments such as the Occupy movement and the democratic social transformation of Latin America.

In an official global culture increasingly destructive of life, this book shows the necessity and possibility of building a sustainable society based on a universal commitment to life and nature.

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From Environmental Toxicants to the Cell Danger Response of Chronic Diseases to the Healing Cycle | Prof Robert Naviaux

The pace of change in the human ecosystem has accelerated rapidly in the past 30 years. These changes not only affect human health, but the health of plants and animals that share the environment with us. Nine keystone vertebrate, invertebrate and plant species have experienced extinctions or population crashes since the 1980s, and opportunistic human infections are on the rise. These crashes and infections can be traced to changes in metabolism that underlie epigenetics, innate, and adaptive immunity. Epigenetic and immunologic ripple effects have led to new Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes (AIDS) in plants and animals, and Acquired Autoimmune Disorders (AAIDS) in humans and domesticated animals. Autism is one of nearly a dozen new, neuroimmune and metabolic spectrum disorders (NIMS) that have emerged as a consequence of these new combinations of environmental factors that have never before been encountered by the human genome. This talk will showcase examples of AIDS, AAIDS, and NIMS that teach us about the unintended, and often-invisible environmental changes caused by human technological progress, and how these changes can be measured and managed systematically.

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MYTHS OF THE GLOBAL MARKET | Prof John McMurtry | New Internationalist (2007)

Free markets are often presented as the sole solution to poverty and human development. But the global market is inefficient and life-destructive, writes *John McMurtry*.

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