The Power-Elite’s World View

The reason today’s politicians, economists, business leaders, academics, administrators and commentators are failing so badly is because they have yet to use the scientific knowledge that has become available in the past half century to co-create VIGDEOCs (Viable Innovative Gaian Democracies, Enterprises, Organisations and Communities) that can define and resolve the dilemmas that baffle the current system.

They are working within a set of theories and practices that go back hundreds of years. Here is a summary of how they see the world by the Canadian philosopher, John McMurtry.

  • Each country is first and foremost a competitor in the global market and should act according to its own interests.

  • All states have a right to use all resources within their reach.

State governments

  • Are the ultimate source of civil order.

  • Should keep out of the markets.

  • Should encourage trans-national companies to play a full part in all national and international decisions affecting global trade and development.

Representative democracy

  • is the nearest approach to an ideal democracy that is practicable in the real world and is the true guardian of a free society.

Science and technology

  • We can ignore the ‘doom-mongers’ because science and technology will always find solutions to the problems that worry them.

The market economy

  • All human needs express themselves in the market place in monetary terms and therefore the market will lead to optimal solutions for all problems.

  • Permanent economic growth is desirable and necessary, with no inherent environmental or human limits to the conversion of life into saleable commodities.

  • Individual consumer desires are permanently increasing, unlimited and good.

  • Those who do not or cannot express themselves in the competitive process are a problem, but not one that calls for radical reflection.

  • The great majority who have only their labour to sell must do so.

  • Ever larger trans-national corporations are perfectly natural.

Market forces

  • Competition is the dominant principle governing relationships of all kinds.

  • Freedom to buy and sell in money exchanges is the basis of human liberty and justice.

  • Profit maximisation is the engine of social well-being and is not to be hedged by public regulation or ownership.

  • Private property s good in all things.

  • Information is a proprietary and marketable good and a legitimate means for acquiring wealth, power and privilege.

  • Aggressive individualism on the part of individuals, companies and states is acceptable.

With minor variations, those ideas have dominated human affairs for at least 200 years and have their roots in much earlier times. They go back 2500 years to Plato and Aristotle, 500 years to Machiavelli, to the Westphalian Treaty of 1659, and the thinking of John Locke and Isaac Newton, and, of course, to the free-market theories of the French Physiocrats and Adam Smith and Ricardo that have shaped the dominant economic paradigms for well over 200 years.

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3 Comments »

  1. […] adopt and act upon an ecologically-based world view is that their unexamined mental maps, their “Theories of Action” stop them learning how to do […]

  2. […] Lovelock’s political Theories in Use seem to be  aligned with those of the global elites as John McMurtry summarised […]

  3. 3

    An abismal knowledge of macroeconomics seems to be a criterion for anybody who feels he can make a comment here. We are all so cleaver in knowing what is wrong and so poor at REALLY knowing how to fix up the US of A.

    There is a way and it is not new. see: http://www.progress.org and become aware that the problem is not one of money and debt but one of opportunity that is being held back.

    By speculating in land values, much of it is being held out of use and the cost of using the rest is far too high. We need cheeper land and even if the amount of bankrupcy is huge, about 10 trillion Dollas by my estimate, the losses due to unemployment over the next 5 years is at least 10 times greater. The calculation is simple to make but the leglislation to create cheep land is much harder due to the failure to see what is gong on from sufficient a distance. It is the fear of bankrupcy that is holding the unemployed out of work.

    Even if the price of land were slowly caused to fall, by taxing land-values instead of people (income tax), there would be more jobs created and more money in the householders accounts for buying consumer goods and consequently the land-lords would not be able to spend the same sums on luxuries. A gradual change over 5 years would allow the specuylators time to invest thir money more sensibly for creating durable capital goods not wasted on land and debt.


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