3. See the tracking of the pattern McMurtry, John. The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure . Pluto Press. Kindle Edition. The following is extracted from McMurtry, John. The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure. Pluto Press. Kindle Edition where the concept of the “The Social Immune System” is introduced. “THE SOCIAL IMMUNE… Read More
Reproduced from: https://www.globalresearch.ca/global-system-collapse-genes-and-human-nature-are-not-the-cause-of-world-chaos/5653137 Global System Collapse: Genes and “Human Nature” Are Not the Cause of “World Chaos” By Prof. John McMurtry Global Research, September 06, 2018 Author’s Note: The text of this article has been drawn from an online debate at Science for Peace, Department of Physics, University of Toronto, September 2018 There is a popular… Read More
The following are excerpts extracted from McMurtry, John. The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure. Pluto Press. Kindle Edition that addresses ‘The Overpopulation Argument’. “The most established general argument for our parlous condition is that the global crisis is led by ‘overpopulation’ – or more precisely, ‘seven billion human beings overloading the carrying capacities of… Read More
Below are two emails I penned yesterday and disseminated which I am reproducing here (with minor spelling and grammatical corrections). Dear Colleagues: It is fitting that this be shared as I have been following Prof Werner’s work over several years and there is life-value consilience between McMurtry’s (LVOA), Galtung’s (Peace Studies), Eisler’s (Cultural Transformation… Read More
To be honest, I backed into the academic profession after trying almost everything else. Until then, I perceived the academic’s work as a disconnection in symbolic spheres, “merely academic”. Only as I came to recognise that concepts are the governors of action did I realize that the real action was thinking through the life-blind programs I saw all around me. Since thinking through is the vocation of the university, that is where I ended up. But I am getting ahead of myself.
I had to experience the university first. From the day I was an 18-year-old on campus, it was the freest place I had ever been – freedom from the external routines of job and school, freedom from the authority structure that deadened my life-pulse, and freedom to be really good with the best. Eventually I got the idea of the searching mind as a common horizon that stretched from behind and opened over the millennia, and I never got over the exhilaration. It was like being timeless and unbound.
But it took me a while to get there. I began as a typical active boy. I did not like being in a classroom when I could be moving and self-directed, and I did not like exams. I just knew through high school that I had to do everything required “to get a university education”. This was a given in my family, but I had no idea of any career. The idea always seemed to me a closure. That was the beauty of the university. You did not have to choose a career. Who knew what you would want to do then when it was now, and you were still learning what really interested you. Intelligence is interest, I figured out early on.
A job? For me, it could be working in the prisons with the most oppressed people in our society, those who are caged, or it could be, at the other end, the applied psychology of advertising which fascinated me by tapping into people’s desires. Or it could be a lawyer like my father and two older brothers – my context was full of the legal profession. But I hated the idea of having to call judges “my lord” or being ingratiating to the rich. Perhaps I could be a writer since I’d published erratically since I was 12. But once in university, the questions faded. I was so busy giving myself full speed to what the academy had to offer that I had no time for the pre-laid road of a “career”. I blessed the university as a place where freedom from a career was possible – approximately the opposite conception of today when it is reduced to an instrument of “the job market”.
Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 8, No. 2, 1991 pp. 201-209 How Competition Goes Wrong JOHN McMURTRY ABSTRACT The article begins by identifying a set of hitherto undisclosed contradictions of meaning and value attributed to a basic structure of our existence—competition. It seeks to resolve these contradictions by showing that there are two basic forms… Read More
Video above from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9F2TWZ1xfJI Reproduced from: https://911inacademia.com/about/ About Awarded for “Documentary Achievement” at the University of Toronto Film Festival, this film documents academia’s treatment of critical perspectives on 9/11 by examining impairments in professional inquiry, the usage of terms functioning as thought-stoppers in academic discourse, the epistemological implications of basing the official 9/11 narrative’s foundation on testimony obtained… Read More
Reproduced from: https://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and-peace-the-lost-principles-of-science-and-value/5456055 War and Peace: The Lost Principles of Science and Value Peace Activists Blame the Enemy without Science or Life-Value Compass By Prof. John McMurtry Global Research, September 14, 2015 In recent months we have seen one ‘peace activist’ organization after another framing global conflicts in US war-propaganda terms. There is no criterion of… Read More
WAYS OF UNIVERSAL LIFE: THE TAO, HUMAN HEARTEDNESS, AND ZEN JESUS Keywords: aesthetic, being and non-being, body, Chuang Tzu, Confucianism, death, desires, Five Relations, good and evil, First Peoples, human nature, human heartedness, Jesus, koans, Legalism, Lao tzu, life needs/necessities, life-coherence principle, love, male/female, Mencius, Mo Tzu, mind, money, Nature, Neo-Confucianism, principles, propriety, self-other, subjectivist… Read More
When the UNESCO-EOLSS Secretariat asked me in 2004 to organize a Philosophy Theme for the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, I accepted with an ultimate commitment. We were united in our shared concern for the future of life on the planet, and the world itself needed what philosophy can offer – critical examination of first principles and underlying value assumptions at a system level. The cumulative degradation and collapse of the globe’s life-carrying capacities was by then undeniable to thoughtful people, and I had already published much research on the unexamined value system regulating the globe. With the sciences and economics misleadingly claiming value neutrality, and philosophy and the humanities not engaging the value- system problem at a planetary level, I sought to meet a seemingly impossible task of explaining world philosophy across specialties and areas while coming to grips with the emergent world crisis. Forging explanatory connection between ruling thought systems and the deep-structural problems of civilization had long been central to my research, and so I understood this invitation as a call to enlist the deepest and most comprehensive resources of philosophical analysis to explain philosophy across schools, to lay bare the fatally misguided assumptions and their consequences pressing in upon us, and to spell out a life-coherent way of reason to move forward. “How to live” has been philosophy’s ultimate question since the ancients and “what is good and true”, or not, has been its unifying quest. Common problem and method of understanding it whole were joined by this project.
Organization of the Chapters
The work found in this publication has two major ‘volumes’ of explanatory analysis. The first is my Theme Essay on Philosophy and World Problems which is written in a cumulatively building explanation to fulfill the project in one unified volume. Its 12 chapters are set out in full in the Table of Contents ahead. Here I shall only summarize their research and findings in a very general way. Analysis begins from our current human condition with an anatomy of the global crisis in terms of opposed and unexamined value systems (Chapter 1). The next chapters then critically analyze and move beyond the immutable idea of the good as happiness and release from pain (Chapter 2) to critically excavate other general theories of value across classic and leading contemporary forms (Chapters 3, 4 and 5). The self-evident basis of all that human beings truly value is spelled out from the “primary axiom of value” with the “ultimate value fields of thought, felt being and action” explained and illustrated across problems and domains (Chapters 6, 7 and 8). The human subject and the manifold value systems constructed across cultures are then explained as the rules by which individuals and societies live whose validity or invalidity, justice or injustice can be objectively determined by life-value analysis in theory and practice alike (Chapters 9, 10 and 11). Rational choice and scientific method across contemporary theories are then critiqued in light of the life-coherence principle as the missing imperative of human reason and of the global system itself (Chapter 12).
The second ‘volume’ of original essays is by experts who have been selected to cover all the life-relevant fields of contemporary philosophical inquiry. Their essays cover three meta areas of philosophy, with each meta area consisting of a set of four or five essays. This organizing framework complements the all-inclusive Theme Essay by providing specialist accounts of major topic fields by philosophers with internationally recognized capacities of research in these fields. The three meta areas are: (1) Onto-Ethical Philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the present with overviews from a life-grounded standpoint covering virtually every known figure and school of philosophy up to contemporary environmental theory; (2) Modes of Reason consisting of systematic coverages of logic, science, natural language argument, and market rationality; (3) Philosophy and Society investigating competing historical and contemporary views of human nature, democracy, and human rights.
Philosophy resists conclusions because its method across disagreements – like modern science to which it gives rise – always leaves issues open to counter-argument and furtherance of understanding. This is how philosophy differs from religious, sectarian and other dogmas and closed systems of thinking. Yet agreement across the research contributing to this work is implicit or explicit on one meta principle: whatever is incoherent with organic, social and ecological life requirements through time is false, and evil to the extent of its reduction and destruction of life fields and support systems.
Members of the UNESCO-EOLSS Secretariat patiently supported and counseled on this complex “magnum opus” over six years. My former PhD students and now distinguished professors, Jeffery Noonan and Giorgio Baruchello, have been close and outstanding co-researchers and explainers of life-ground philosophy and the method of life-value analysis across philosophy’s domains. James Robert Brown, Alex Michalos, and (as joint authors) Tony Blair and Ralph Johnson have written definitive overview texts for the project as masters in their fields. Kai Nielsen has explained why he thinks that received moral philosophy in which he is a noted leader has been impoverished in facing the world’s problems. Jerry (G.A) Cohen contributed his renowned essay on non-market reason and community before his tragic passing. My longtime partner Jennifer Sumner has been an invaluable social-science researcher into the life-ground and the civil commons and has provided all-sided life support to the project.