This blog article was initially composed in July 2016 and completed in August 2016. It was not posted then as I sensed that doing so would have been premature. Given the recent spate of local, regional and international events, I sense the time is now right and ripe to bring Prof John McMurtry’s life’s work to a more general audience in a less sterile and more engaging conversational format based on email communications between myself and Prof McMurtry.
Hopefully, this missive would help open up avenues for a better understanding of the human condition, the challenges we face in understanding the brain, consciousness, the self, the mind, all of our social constructs, and would serve as the foundation for follow-up posts that would attempt to build a fully-life coherent account of our past blunders and hubris, and how we can better learn from the errors of our past, to help to consciously and coherently create a more socially-shared and participatory-prosperous future based on peace and harmony for people and planet.
There is an unholy alliance between our money system, business management practices and our politics. I have come to this conclusion recently based on the happenings here at home and in the wider global arena.
All three, based on credit creation, vocational management, and public policy creation and implementation, respectively, revolve around a monoculture of ideas that reinforce each other in self-serving ways. They manufacture dysfunctional disorderly behaviours at all levels from the individual up to our institutions, be they local, regional or international. These initial public goods and services have been captured by private-money vested interests, and are manipulated for self-serving wants out of greed and fear of scarcity, not out of love for human and community development and self-sufficiency.
I have lost faith in the institutions of our society, be they our schools, churches, businesses and as of late our government. Instead of being beacons of enlightenment, they have become shadows of endarkenment. We have heard recently from an economist that about 88% of our students are being left behind. Our churches are failing in reaching out to the spiritually sick and are now only preaching to the choir. Our businesses are more concerned about profit and the bottom line, rather than the social and environmental consequences of their lack of engagement in their communities. And a government of national unity appears to be united in name only.
How is it that these institutions which are supposed to mold our minds, hearts, hands and policies, are failing miserably in their fiduciary duty to provide the highest standard of care and stewardship for the people they serve? And why instead of seeing progress on these fronts, are we seeing uncertain days ahead? And finally, why instead of seeing the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we are in fact in the majority witnessing disease and death, mental and debt enslavement, and the production and distribution of misery?
Professor Richard A. Werner has conclusively shown that the invisible hands of the modern market are commercial banks which create money out of nothing!! (Can banks individually create money out of nothing? — The theories and the empirical evidence, How do banks create money, and why can other firms not do the same? An explanation for the… Read More
It all started exactly two weeks ago with a flat tyre. I had been preparing to go to Church when I realised that my left back tyre was flat and that a screw was lodged in the rubber. So I had resolved to replace the tyre with a spare, go to Church and have it fixed… Read More
About two years ago, a patient was gunned down by an assailant in the emergency room at the Joseph N France General Hospital an hour after I had seen and examined a patient in that very same room. Yesterday, there was a police chase and the firing of some shots on the street several yards from my home of abode. And three days ago, two security guards were gunned down and one succumbed to her wounds outside of a shopping mall in the heart of town. What these three incidents in particular, and violent crime in general, have taught me, is that no one of us is safe, as stray bullets could have affected me or my family or my friends if ever we were in the wrong place or at the wrong time, at work, at home or even at the shopping mall.
What I endeavour to do in this article is to share with you some insights I have gained from trying to come to terms with the social determinants of health and to show you that we are not just dealing with a criminal justice system, but in truth and in fact we are dealing with a public health and mental health issue that calls for immediate, short-, medium- and long-term strategies, that use the practices of prevention and rehabilitation in its full armament of action. We have to now accept that law and police enforcement, prosecutions in courts and incarcerations in prison do not deal with the upstream determinants and root of these antisocial behaviours, and that a holistic approach by all sectors, be they governmental, business and civil society, have to be implemented if we are going to make a dent in the tsunami of criminal activity that is hijacking our nation and has the potential to derail the social and economic growth and development of our people in the Federation.
The race to the bottom is a socio-economic phrase which is used to describe government deregulation of the business environment or taxes in order to attract or retain economic activity in their jurisdictions. An outcome of globalization and free trade, the phenomenon may occur when competition increases between geographic areas over a particular sector of… Read More
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
“Natural capital’ is an understandable attempt to put a value on our living planet and all the services it provides for us, writes John McMurtry. But it fails by measuring nature in dollars and cents. We need to develop a new concept of ‘life capital’ that must be preserved from exploitation and degradation no matter… Read More
What I hope to do in this article is to use what insights I have gained so far from my expertise as a medical specialist in terms of diagnosing and the treatment of diseases and see how far I can go in applying Professor John McMurtry’s life-value compass to the insights I have discovered along the way. I will draw heavily on my article, The Secret to a Healthy Nation – in-depth article based on presentation given at Operation Rescue’s fundraiser on October 3, 2015, and the critique of it by Prof McMurtry in The Secret to the Ill-Health of Nations.