J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 03-24-2018

Nieke Nouwen: Microcredit: Solution to poverty or false ‘Compassionate Capitalism?

Het debat uit bovenstaand beeldfragment past mijn inziens volkomen in het kader van deze blog. Medegrondlegger en aandeelhouder van de Grameen Bank en adviseur van het ILO, pleit voor de microfinanciering als oplossing voor de armoedeproblematiek. Zij wijst erop dat we er niet vanuit mogen gaan dat het leveren van kleine leningen aan armen een adequate oplossing is voor alle soorten van armoede in alle omstandigheden. Onder invloed van het huidige economische beleid en de massale buitenlandse directe investeringen in onroerende goederen, worden de Indiase boeren ontnomen van hun gronden. Een oplossing die de landrechten van deze boeren respecteert en waarbij de eigendommen van de armen niet beschouwd worden als iets dat gewoon door de rijke elite opgeëist kan worden, is essentieel in de strijd tegen armoede. Microkredieten hebben in deze case allesbehalve gezorgd voor empowerment van vrouwen en heeft hen in tegenstelling beroofd van hun productieve capaciteiten. Susan Davis blijft echter overtuigd van de positieve effecten die microkredieten kunnen hebben op de ‘livelihood’ van armen. Met dit citaat tonen we aan dat de aanhangers van de microfinanciering de oplossing van armoede zoeken binnen het huidige marktsysteem. Armoede kan enkel en alleen maar beëindigd worden door het uitschakelen van het systeem dat armen berooft van hun gemeenschappelijke rijkdommen, levensonderhoud en inkomens. Op het diepgaande betoog van Shiva, had Davis, als aanhangster van microkrediet geen adequaat antwoord klaar. De huidige internationale armoedestrategie moet afstappen van deze exclusieve gerichtheid op economische groei en kapitaal en moet meer aandacht schenken aan structurele oorzaken van armoede. Naar mijn mening sluit deze laatste gedachtegang volledig aan bij de mensenrechtendimensie van armoede van Shiva.

Keywords: [“van”,”Het”,”een”]
Source: https://armoede.wordpress.com/microcredit-solution-to-poverty-or…

Passion for Justice

These economist shared different perspectives with regards to where the emphasize for a new model of global Capitalism should be. First it is accepted that unregulated capitalism or Market Fundamentalism has failed us. Of primary importance now is the stabilization of the market and on this note I did notice that many economist did agree with a strategy for stabilizing the financial institutions. The market should be transparent and held to public accountability. International laws governing trade and financial flows should be developed and enforced. The International Financial Institutions should promote access to capital to developing nations. Public regulations should be carefully developed so that they safeguard the public from market volatility but that they do not obstruct the flow of the market. Behind these ideas another basic premise seem to hold favor with these economist. One cannot of course look to the market alone to produce a virtues system since the market itself is value free. This is where our political and social institutions come in, to nudge the market in a way that it can bring financial growth and prosperity while making sure that it does so in a way that can compassionately address the needs of all who are affected by the market. As we are a religious community we do not attempt to offer actual economic policies, but in this blog we would like to highlight an economist who offers some interesting insight into policies that some of us feel may bring about a compassionate form of capitalism. Hernando De Soto is a famous Peruvian economist who promotes the cause of bringing capitalism to the poor by giving people in developing countries an actual opportunity to have access to capital and basic protection of rights to property as well as basic human services and needs.

Keywords: [“Market”,”economist”,”Capitalism”]
Source: https://passionistjpic.wordpress.com/tag/capitalism

Conscious Capitalism

The Conscious Capitalism movement challenges business leaders to re-think why their organisations exist and to acknowledge their companies’ roles in the interdependent marketplace. From a Zappos to Whole Food, Southwest Airlines to Patagonia, the Container Store to Google, they’re generating every form of value that matters: emotional, social, and financial. They’re doing it for all their stakeholders. Not because it is politically correct but because it’s the ultimate path to long-term competitive advantage. Conscious Capitalism is the system-level effect of a substantial number of companies practicing the four tenets of a Conscious Business as defined below. Instead they have a higher purpose that generally reflects the desire to make the world, their community, their sector better in some tangible way. It is this higher purpose that attracts and inspires dedicated, passionate employees and loyal customers. Conscious LeadershipLeaders of Conscious Businesses are highly self aware and conscious themselves – they know who they are; what they value; have a clear sense of purpose and can inpsire and align all stakeholders around that purpose. Conscious Leadership is an alternative term to Servant Leadership. Such leaders recognize that their role is not to line their pockets but to serve all their interdependent stakeholders. The most important task of a Conscious Leader is to create and sustain a healthy corporate culture that allows the interdependent stakeholders to flourish; that informs and shapes the unique brand proposition of the company and that enables the enterprise to achieve its greatest potential and benefit the most. This involves developing strategies, structures and processes that are in alignment with the firm’s purpose and core values.

Keywords: [“Conscious”,”purpose”,”stakeholder”]
Source: https://conscioustourism.wordpress.com/conscious-capitalism

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 02-21-2018

Bernie Sanders Went to Rome to Discuss the Immorality of Unfettered Capitalism

For more from The Nation, check out our latest issue. Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Support Progressive Journalism The Nation is reader supported: Chip in $10 or more to help us continue to write about the issues that matter. Travel With The Nation Be the first to hear about Nation Travels destinations, and explore the world with kindred spirits. Did you know you can support The Nation by drinking wine? Pope Francis and Bernie Sanders met one another Saturday morning, before the pontiff flew to Greece to show solidarity with migrants and the senator flew to New York to renew his campaign for the presidency. “I told him that I was incredibly appreciative of the incredible role that he is playing in this planet in discussing issues about the need for an economy based on morality, not greed,” said Sanders, who, though he differs with the pope on a number of issues, has hailed the pontiff for repeatedly attempting to focus the global discourse on issues of economic injustice. What mattered more was the purpose that brought Sanders to the Vatican. The Democratic presidential contender took two days away from the campaign trail to speak at a Vatican conference that highlighted concerns about capitalism that have long occupied the church but that Pope Francis brought to the forefront by decrying “An economic system which leads to this tragedy; an economic system which has at its center an idol called money.” Sanders has made no secret of his regard for the pontiff’s economic analysis. Before leaving the Vatican, he told reporters: “I have been enormously impressed with Pope Francis speaking out and his visionary views about creating a moral economy, an economy that works for all people, not just the people on top.”

Keywords: [“issue”,”Pope”,”Nation”]
Source: https://www.thenation.com/article/bernie-sanders-just-met-with…

Passion for Justice

Financial Times recently offered an insert magazine on “The Future of Capitalism.” This debate brought in great economist such as Alan Greenspan, Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Gary Becker and others. These economist shared different perspectives with regards to where the emphasize for a new model of global Capitalism should be. First it is accepted that unregulated capitalism or Market Fundamentalism has failed us. Of primary importance now is the stabilization of the market and on this note I did notice that many economist did agree with a strategy for stabilizing the financial institutions. The market should be transparent and held to public accountability. Public regulations should be carefully developed so that they safeguard the public from market volatility but that they do not obstruct the flow of the market. One cannot of course look to the market alone to produce a virtues system since the market itself is value free. This is where our political and social institutions come in, to nudge the market in a way that it can bring financial growth and prosperity while making sure that it does so in a way that can compassionately address the needs of all who are affected by the market. As we are a religious community we do not attempt to offer actual economic policies, but in this blog we would like to highlight an economist who offers some interesting insight into policies that some of us feel may bring about a compassionate form of capitalism. Hernando De Soto is a famous Peruvian economist who promotes the cause of bringing capitalism to the poor by giving people in developing countries an actual opportunity to have access to capital and basic protection of rights to property as well as basic human services and needs.

Keywords: [“Market”,”economist”,”Capitalism”]
Source: https://passionistjpic.wordpress.com/tag/global-economy

Profits with a Purpose

To reintroduce myself and the purpose of this blog- my name is Katie and I’m a senior journalism student at UNC-CH. This semester, I’m studying Conscious Capitalism and how it’s been changing free-enterprise capitalism as a whole. I’ve begun reading the Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey and Raj Sisodia’s book Conscious Capitalism. What is Conscious Capitalism? In his book, Mackey states his vision for Conscious Capitalism: “Together, business leaders can liberate the extraordinary power of business and capitalism to create a world in which all people live lives full of purpose, love, and creativity – a world of compassion, freedom and prosperity.” Conscious businesses are businesses galvanized by higher purposes that serve and align the interests of all their major stakeholders, according to Mackey. These are businesses with conscious leaders who care about their people and the company’s purpose. Conscious businesses understand that stakeholders really matter. Mackey recalls the unexpected happening-dozens of customers and neighbors came to the store to help clean and fix the store. The support from other stakeholders was remarkable- even suppliers offered to resupply Whole Foods on credit. Mackey stated, “The flood demonstrated to us that all our stakeholders have the potential to form close relationships with us, to care and to commit intensely.” He then posed the question, “What more proof did we need that stakeholders matter, that they embody the heart, soul and lifeblood of an enterprise?”. Whole Foods is not alone as a conscious business that creates multiple kinds of value and well-being for all stakeholders. Next time, I’ll discuss what Conscious Capitalism is not.

Keywords: [“Conscious”,”Capitalism”,”stakeholders”]
Source: https://profitswithapurpose.wordpress.com/2013/09

J.R.’s Zaphne Blog News for 02-06-2018

Biblical Capitalism in Uncertain Economic Times

Let’s examine how Christians might think about matters of the economy, capitalism, and government. For a recent and very real example, the whole mortgage mess is traceable to two government interventions: the Federal Reserve Board’s keeping interest rates too low too long in the early part of this decade, and government’s persistent pressure on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make loans to people who could not afford them! Both of these efforts were done with the best of intentions! Self-government, as America’s founding fathers noticed, places more importance on the individual, family, and church levels of government than civil government. The role of government should be to encourage free enterprise-not favoring certain enterprises over others unless there is a clear moral mandate or a systemic risk, that is, a risk to the whole economy. Further, in general, government should not do social engineering or interfere with free markets by favoring technological changes-unless there is a clear national interest such as national defense. Welfare State? No. In general, the federal government’s continual attempt to socialize welfare programs is not biblical. The government should require down payments on home purchases and the government should set stricter rules about how much banks should be able to lend against their balance sheet. Government intervention in the economy since the Depression has in fact smoothed out the business cycle. Government Support for the Auto Industry? No. This is a distortion of capitalism that should be avoided. Since we are drawing on inferences as well as historical observation, others may disagree as to how government should intervene in the economy.

Keywords: [“government”,”Capitalism”,”Biblical”]
Source: http://www.faithfacts.org/blog/biblical-capitalism

Compassionate Capitalism

These economist shared different perspectives with regards to where the emphasize for a new model of global Capitalism should be. First it is accepted that unregulated capitalism or Market Fundamentalism has failed us. Of primary importance now is the stabilization of the market and on this note I did notice that many economist did agree with a strategy for stabilizing the financial institutions. The market should be transparent and held to public accountability. Public regulations should be carefully developed so that they safeguard the public from market volatility but that they do not obstruct the flow of the market. One cannot of course look to the market alone to produce a virtues system since the market itself is value free. This is where our political and social institutions come in, to nudge the market in a way that it can bring financial growth and prosperity while making sure that it does so in a way that can compassionately address the needs of all who are affected by the market. With this call to promote a compassionate model of capitalism we feel obliged to champion a perspective of what this model could look like. As we are a religious community we do not attempt to offer actual economic policies, but in this blog we would like to highlight an economist who offers some interesting insight into policies that some of us feel may bring about a compassionate form of capitalism. Hernando De Soto is a famous Peruvian economist who promotes the cause of bringing capitalism to the poor by giving people in developing countries an actual opportunity to have access to capital and basic protection of rights to property as well as basic human services and needs.

Keywords: [“Market”,”economist”,”Capitalism”]
Source: https://passionistjpic.wordpress.com/…/26/compassionate-capitalism

It Was Fun – Collective Evolution

So who is really busy stopping the amount of plastic in our oceans, soon to be on nano level in all our food? Who stops the amount of oestrogens rising in our systems, damaging fertility of men? Who stops the rising amounts of waste, that leak and endanger humans and nature? I don’t hear no governments crying out loud. Most work is organized around process and efficiency, rather than around meaning, healthiness for natural systems, being of real service to real needs, rather than boosting sales for profit. Having enough nature, living blooming systems flourishing around us, is key to feel at peace, build trust and know we are part of a living system. So how to support our role within and for nature and the whole system called mother Earth? How to shift the system so we provide for future generations as well? Everything is economized, which means if you don’t increase profit to the system, read are old, sick or unemployed, you are ballast to society. As if the millions of non earning humans, think volunteers and activists, taking care of elderly, sick, refugees and nature are ballast!? As if a tree standing in a forest has no value for the whole, even when we don’t know how it exactly enriches the whole system. Our whole educational system keeps teaching us, to be like them to succeed. What system will let everybody and everything win? What system will provide enough for everyone on the planet? And there is proof enough that there is enough. We need a system that is medication, not more of the same. Develop economical systems that won’t stop people from working on essential things, when the money system breaks down.

Keywords: [“system”,”people”,”more”]
Source: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/01/17/goodbye-democracy…

JR Test Site News for 01-26-2018

u2r2h blog: Capitalism Snuffs out the Age of Enlightenment’s Candle

How would people react if automobile manufacturers tried to sell cars that had built in breakdown cycles? Since 1789, there has, on average, been one economic crisis every 12 years in the United States. Classical economics does not encompass all economic activity. Classical economics promotes laissez faire, laissez-passer, but there is much economic activity that no classical economist has ever attempted to apply laissez faire, laissez-passer principles to. Burglary, theft, pick-pocketing, shop lifting, fraud, prostitution, the manufacture and sale of illegal substances, loan sharking, all kinds of corruption including political, kidnapping, bribery, and many others are economic activities that no economist claims should be unregulated, unforbidden, and unpunished even when the techniques used are identical to those used by “Legal” businesses. Classical economics is topsy-turvy; it has turned economics on its head. Until the middle of the seventeenth century, the word ‘economy’ referred to household management. Mercantilism initially became the dominant economic theory and its implementation was carried out by imperial conquest and exploitation, and Adam Smith’s classical economics was introduced merely as a more efficient way of expanding national wealth. In effect, the adoption of classical/neo-classical economics not only succeeded, it extinguished the goals of the Age of Enlightenment and put an end to humanity’s progress toward liberté, égalité, fraternité and what Lincoln so aptly expressed when he spoke of “a new birth of freedom” and a “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Not a single such government exists today, and our nation states, although slightly altered in form, mimic the monarchial states of seventeenth century Europe in which common people not only exist for the sake of the state and its institutions but are thought of as expendable. Under classical economics, individuals supposedly act in their own self-interest as economic agents who dedicate themselves to those economic activities that bring the greatest income. Either Classical economics is founded on the completely false postulate of economic self-interest or it must be designed so that the largest numbers of people in a society are never allowed to pursue their own self-interests as economic agents. Greg Mankiw recommends majoring in economics because of its “Earnings premium of 0.33 log points and a premium of 0.19 including occupation controls.” Second, some economists have argued that no system is immoral, only people are, which is a variation on the familiar aphorism used by opponents of gun control: guns don’t kill, people do. If we want a better world for humanity in general, if we want to eliminate virtual serfdom and exploitation, and if we can’t harness the greed of economic actors, the only alternative is to remove the instrument by abandoning the economic theory. The central challenge to all countries is how to change the established economic system so that people don’t have to be placed in the position of having to choose between working in a hazardous dump and something even worse.

Keywords: [“economic”,”people”,”economist”]
Source: http://u2r2h.blogspot.com/2009/01/capitalism-snuffs-out-age-of.html

Worldview Dictionary

Compare with: Alethiological Absolutism Alethiological Absolutism: the philosophical belief that truth is real, objective, absolute, and universal. Compare with: Evolutionary Godhood, Historical Determinism, Historical Evolution, Historical Materialism,Historicism Creationism: the belief that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Freewill: the philosophical belief that rational agents possess the power to exercise control over their thoughts and actions; the belief that rational agents can initiate unique actions or thoughts which are not the inevitable result of causal natural laws. Compare with: Special Revelation Global Islamic States: the political vision of many Muslims to bring all nations under Shari’ah Law, whether accomplished through peaceful means or Jihad. Compare with: Anarchy, Communism, Despotism, Fascism, Imperialism, Identity Politics, Justice, Freedom, Order, Leftism, Liberalism, Nazism, Non-Traditional State, New World Order, Secular World Government,Self-government, Social Justice, Statism, Theocracy —– H —– Hedonism: the ethical belief that pleasure is the principal good and should be the highest aim of the individual and society. Historicism: the Postmodernist historical belief that past beliefs, morals, and truths should only be understood in relation to the cultural/historical periods in which they arose, not according to any eternal standard of morality and truth. Compare with: Metaphysical Monism Metaphysical Monism: the belief that reality is composed of only one ultimate substance. Compare with: Metaphysical Pluralism Metaphysical Realism: the metaphysical belief that what one encounters in the world exists independently of human thought and social construction. Compare with: Polyandry Polygamy, Mosque, Islamic State: the Islamic sociological belief that society is divided into three God-ordained institution: family, mosque, and state. Compare with: Classless Society, Family, Church, State, Non-Traditional Church, Non-Traditional Family,Non-Traditional State, Polygamy, Mosque, Islamic State, Sexual Egalitarianism Polymorphous Sexualities: the belief that individuals can exist in more than one gender form – based upon one’s sexual identity and preference ;mdash;. Compare with: Salvific Particularism, Special Revelation, Salvific Universalism,Salvific Restrictivism, Salvific Pluralism Salvific Particularism: the religious historical Christian belief that the Bible is God’s word and that the person and work of Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation. Compare with: Salvific Inclusivism, Salvific Particularism, Salvific Restrictivism,Salvific Universalism Salvific Restrictivism: the religious belief that only those who hear and respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be saved. Compare with: Critical Legal Studies, Divine Law, Natural Law, Positive Law,Proletariat Law, Shari’ah Law Sexual Egalitarianism: the Postmodern sociological belief that all sexual practices – which are based on preference and sexual identity and not physical characteristics – are equal.

Keywords: [“belief”,”See”,”Compare”]
Source: https://www.summit.org/resources/worldview-dictionary/#capitalism

JR Test Site News for 01-21-2018

Karl Marx to John Maynard Keynes: Ten of the greatest economists by Vince Cable

From the father of Economic History who developed theories to explain why capitalist economies have fluctuations and crises – to the greatest economic thinker of the 20th century. His 1776 landmark book on economics, published at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution – and was even consulted on economic matters by Pitt The Elder, the Whig politician and Prime Minister. DAVID RICARDO. British political economist – the third of 17 children from a Sephardic Jewish family of Portuguese origin – Ricardo was a huge influence on 19th-century economics. FUKUZAWA YUKICHI. An author, entrepreneur and political theorist, Yukichi’s ideas made a lasting impact on Japan following the 1868 Meiji Revolution, which saw the restoration of imperial rule in Japan and set in train its economic modernisation. Widely regarded as one of Japan’s founding fathers, Yukichi tried to understand how modern systems and organisations worked and how ‘civilisation’, including business enterprise and new technology, could be transplanted to Japan to create economic development. In many ways he is the father of Economic History, having developed explanations for the evolution of the economic structure from feudalism to capitalism. Despite his belief in capitalism’s self-destructive tendencies, much of his economic thinking stands up to scrutiny. AMARTYA SEN. Among the most important events of my lifetime has been the economic emergence through rapid growth of major developing countries – most notably China and India, but also Korea, Brazil and Mexico among others. JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES. The greatest economic thinker of the 20th century, Keynes challenged fundamentally the idea that market economies will automatically adjust to create full employment. His insistence on the central role that uncertainty plays in economic decisions foreshadows much of the current interest in behavioural economics. While his basic economic framework – in which short-term economic growth depends on ‘aggregate demand’ is built into many of our forecasting models today. DANIEL KAHNEMAN. Perhaps the most radical change in direction in economics in recent decades has been the emergence of ‘behavioural economics’. Traditional economics, from Smith and Ricardo to Marx, Keynes and Friedman, has been based on general theories which treat it as a branch of natural science. People also hang on to irrational habits and seemingly perverse ways of evaluating choices, confounding those economists who premise their models on ‘rational economic man’. Some economists have retaliated by applying economic rationality to explain non-economic problems such as crime and punishment, prostitution and marriage patterns.

Keywords: [“Economic”,”economist”,”think”]
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-2014647/Karl-Marx-John…

Religious views on capitalism

Some defend the natural right to property, while others draw attention to the negative social effects of materialism and greed. You begrudge your fellow human beings what you yourself enjoy; taking wicked counsel in your soul, you consider not how you might distribute to others according to their needs, but rather how, after having received so many good things, you might rob others. ‘But whom do I treat unjustly,’ you say, ‘by keeping what is my own?’ Tell me, what is your own? What did you bring into this life? From where did you receive it? It is as if someone were to take the first seat in the theater, then bar everyone else from attending, so that one person alone enjoys what is offered for the benefit of all in common – this is what the rich do. They seize common goods before others have the opportunity, then claim them as their own by right of preemption. For if we all took only what was necessary to satisfy our own needs, giving the rest to those who lack, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, and no one would be in need. Who are the greedy? Those who are not satisfied with what suffices for their own needs. By allying itself with the rising economic system it made men dependent upon the world of things even to a higher degree than before. Where formerly they worked for the sake of salvation, they were now induced to work for work’s sake, profit for profit’s sake, power for power’s sake. To countless generations of religious thinkers, the fundamental maxim of Christian social ethics had seemed to be expressed in the words of St. Paul to Timothy: “Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Now, while, as always, the world battered at the gate, a new standard was raised within the citadel by its own defenders. The garrison had discovered that the invading host of economic appetites was, not an enemy, but an ally. Not sufficiency to the needs of daily life, but limit less increase and expansion, became the goal of the Christian’s efforts. The shrewd, calculating commercialism which tries all human relations by pecuniary standards, the acquisitiveness which cannot rest while there are competitors to be conquered or profits to be won, the love of social power and hunger for economic gain-these irrepressible appetites had evoked from time immemorial the warnings and denunciations of saints and sages. Plunged in the cleansing waters of later Puritanism, the qualities which less enlightened ages had denounced as social vices emerged as economic virtues. For the world exists not to be enjoyed, but to be conquered. In winning the world, he wins the salvation of his own soul as well.

Keywords: [“own”,”need”,”economic”]
Source: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Religious_views_on_capitalism

JR Test Site News for 01-19-2018

Enlightenment in Global History: A Historiographical Critique

Situating the history of the Enlightenment in a global context will thus have unsettling and potentially salutary implications. Rather, it was the global history of references to the Enlightenment, of re-articulation and reinvention, under conditions of inequalities of power, that transformed multiple claims on Enlightenment into a ubiquitous presence. Has acknowledged, “Have yet to come to grips with the issues of the relationship between the Enlightenment and the creation of a global world.”20 To date, three metanarratives have dominated interpretations of the role of the Enlightenment in world history. In one of the more extreme statements, “The new forms of man-made violence unleashed by post-seventeenth-century Europe in the name of Enlightenment values” are then seen to lead not only to imperialism, but also to “The Third Reich, the Gulag, the two World Wars, and the threat of nuclear annihilation.”24 The second argument is that the spread of Enlightenment cosmology needs to be understood as a form of cultural imperialism with the potential to eradicate alternative world views. That does not imply that eighteenth-century Enlightenment debates already contained the seeds of imperialism; recent scholarship has shown to what extent Enlightenment thinkers were engaged in a fundamental critique of imperialism and its underlying assumptions. The production of knowledge in the late eighteenth century was structurally embedded in larger global contexts, and much of the debate about Enlightenment in Europe can be understood as a response to the challenges of global integration. 47 The Enlightenment, as recent scholarship suggests, was the work of many actors and the product of global interactions. Do nineteenth-century global appropriations of Enlightenment shed light on “Enlightenment itself”? This question is wrongly put, as it assumes an essential and firmly fixed Enlightenment. We cannot understand the global manifestations of Enlightenment by comparing them with an abstract blueprint, but only by looking at the concrete constellations in which “Enlightenment” was invoked-as authority, goal, or warning. The equivalence of civilization and Enlightenment points to the degree to which the latter had changed meaning; it was now primarily a gauge for the relative geopolitical position of a given nation in the global arena. To speak of Enlightenment was thus to think globally-and the urgency with which Enlightenment tenets were invoked was related to differentials of power. These large processes established a global framework that seemed to imbue Enlightenment vocabulary with universal exchange value, and generated resonances between otherwise disparate locations. In the face of local, regional, and global challenges, they articulated their claims with Enlightenment discourse not only because it was a lingua franca that promised to endow their ideas with universal validity, but also because “Enlightenment” had been transformed, not least through their efforts, into a language of global positioning. We may speak thus of the global co-production of Enlightenment knowledge. 7For standard accounts of the Enlightenment, see Peter Gay, The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, 2 vols.

Keywords: [“Enlightenment”,”world”,”history”]
Source: https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article/117/4/999/33183/Enlightenment…

Capitalism Snuffs Out the Age of Enlightenment’s Candle

Neo-classical Anglo-American economics in all of its variations, which have come about by tinkering, is just such an unreliable economic vehicle. How would people react if automobile manufacturers tried to sell cars that had built in breakdown cycles? Since 1789, there has, on average, been one economic crisis every 12 years in the United States. Classical economics does not encompass all economic activity. Classical economics promotes laissez faire, laissez-passer, but there is much economic activity that no classical economist has ever attempted to apply laissez faire, laissez-passer principles to. Burglary, theft, pick-pocketing, shop lifting, fraud, prostitution, the manufacture and sale of illegal substances, loan sharking, all kinds of corruption including political, kidnapping, bribery, and many others are economic activities that no economist claims should be unregulated, unforbidden, and unpunished even when the techniques used are identical to those used by “Legal” businesses. Finally, classical economics has institutionalized immorality, corrupted governments and even religion itself, and most of all, it has reversed the course of human progress. Classical economics is topsy-turvy; it has turned economics on its head. Until the middle of the seventeenth century, the word ‘economy’ referred to household management. Mercantilism initially became the dominant economic theory and its implementation was carried out by imperial conquest and exploitation, and Adam Smith’s classical economics was introduced merely as a more efficient way of expanding national wealth. The successful adoption of classical economics can be attributed to him, to John Locke and to those self-seeking aristocrats who recognized the license to steal that it provided. In effect, the adoption of classical/neo-classical economics not only succeeded, it extinguished the goals of the Age of Enlightenment and put an end to humanity’s progress toward liberté, égalité, fraternité and what Lincoln so aptly expressed when he spoke of “a new birth of freedom” and a “government of the people, by the people, for the people. Under classical economics, individuals supposedly act in their own self-interest as economic agents who dedicate themselves to those economic activities that bring the greatest income. Either classical economics is founded on the completely false postulate of economic self-interest or it must be designed so that the largest numbers of people in a society are never allowed to pursue their own self-interests as economic agents. First, economists are, for the most part, members of the establishment that pursues its own economic self-interest, and many are notorious for having enriched themselves in some rather questionable ways. If we want a better world for humanity in general, if we want to eliminate virtual serfdom and exploitation, and if we can’t harness the greed of economic actors, the only alternative is to remove the instrument by abandoning the economic theory. The central challenge to all countries is how to change the established economic system so that people don’t have to be placed in the position of having to choose between working in a hazardous dump and something even worse.

Keywords: [“economic”,”people”,”economist”]
Source: http://www.serendipity.li/capitalism/capitalism_snuffs_out.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-17-2018

The Neuroscience Of Enlightenment

The Corporate Governance Green Paper: enlightened capitalism tempered by prudent reality

The Green Paper looks at the 2013 reforms to quoted company pay. Strengthen the UK Corporate Governance Code to provide greater specificity on how companies should engage with shareholders on pay, including where there is significant opposition to a remuneration report. In addition to suggesting means to strengthen shareholder powers on pay, the government also wants to look at ways of encouraging shareholders to make full use of their existing and any new powers on pay, and engage in active stewardship of the companies they own. The government recognises the “Challenging” role of remuneration committees in balancing a range of competing interests and considerations in setting executive pay, but believes that some committees are not “Sufficiently or visibly pro-active in consulting formally with shareholders and with the company’s workforce. There are concerns too, that some lack the authority or inclination to take positions that may not align with the CEO or wider executive team’s expectations.” Reducing the ability of companies to rely on “Commercial sensitivity” exemptions to the existing requirement to disclose bonus targets, either by increasing non-legislative pressure on future reporting through relevant governance bodies such as the FRC, or by requiring retrospective disclosure of previous targets within a specified date range. The government notes investor criticism of some aspects of current long term incentives plans, which are “The model of choice for almost all quoted companies. They aim to align directors’ incentives with the long-term interests of the company, on the basis of share awards which must be held for a set number of years, usually at least three years.” These criticisms include the relative crudeness of success measures such as earning per share or total shareholder return, and the encouragement of short-termism through short holding periods. The Green Paper argues that a consideration of wider stakeholder interests benefits both companies and society as whole. Section 172 Companies Act 2006: Duty to promote the success of the company. A director of a company must act in the way he considers, in good faith, would be most likely to promote the success of the company for the benefit of its members as a whole, and in doing so have regard to -. The Green Paper discusses the current obligation on all companies to prepare a strategic report to provide shareholders with information that will enable them to assess how the directors have performed their duties under section 172 of the Companies Act 2006. It notes that the “UK’s strongest corporate governance and reporting standards are focused on public companies where the owners or shareholders are distant from the executives running the company. These standards provide independent shareholders with reassurance that the company is being run in their interests and that they have the information needed to hold the executive to account”, and that to date the differing ownership structure of private companies has meant that the governance standards expected of listed companies has not been extended to these businesses. The renewed focus on stakeholder interests and the Government’s view that “Society has a legitimate expectation that companies will be run responsibly in return for the privilege of limited liability” has led the Government to revisit where the corporate governance demarcation line is drawn. Applying enhanced governance standards through a new voluntary code for private companies – essentially a modified version of the UK Corporate Governance Code reflecting the different circumstances of private companies; and. Whilst the Government is inviting input on what threshold should apply to any future governance requirements for private businesses, the Green Paper does highlight the number of private companies and LLPs with over 1,000 employees, which perhaps provides some indication of the size of business the Government has in mind. The thoughtful alternatives put forward provide a constructive framework to advance discussion of the proper role that the consideration of stakeholder interests should play in the prudent management of companies.

Keywords: [“company”,”pay”,”government”]
Source: http://www.osborneclarke.com/insights/the-corporate-governance-green-paper-enlightened-capitalism-tempered-by-prudent-reality/

In the first part of the paper, a taxonomy is presented that describes the different types of economists interested in this subject-market economists, regulatory economists, and enlightened economists-and illustrates the extent to which each tribe has been captured by the concept of self-interest. A recent analysis of mentions of the term “Economist” in The New York Times shows that one in every hundred articles on all topics refers to the views of an economist, dwarfing the influence of other academic disciplines. Winston Churchill recognized this inequality of outcomes when, during a speech in the British House of Commons, he compared the merits of capitalism and socialism: “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings,” he stated, “And the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”3 1.2 Economists as Tribes The capitalist model presented above has captured the interest of a variety of economists and moral philosophers. Using this schematic model as a guide, we can subdivide economists into four tribes: market economists, regulatory economists, macro economists, and enlightened economists. 10/14/2015 7 Regulatory Economists: ‘Constrain Freedom’ While market economists have focused on how to improve the efficiency of organizations by leveraging self-interest, a second group of economists-regulatory economists-are interested in the second term of the capitalist model: freedom. Macro Economists: ‘Predict and Stimulate Aggregate Demand’ For the sake of completeness, I include a third tribe-macro economists. Because of the potentially injurious outcomes of the policies promoted by market economists and the drag of the policies of regulatory economists, a third group of economists is emerging-enlightened economists. “22 In response to these sentiments, enlightened economists are seeking radically new solutions to the seemingly intractable problems of our time. They attempt to think outside the box of existing paradigms. But there are limits as to how far outside the box any serious economist can venture. Unlike moral philosophers, no economist who wants to be taken seriously by professional peers can abandon self-interest as a first-principle organizing concept: Miller, for example, claims that self-interest is the”cardinal human motive” in the 21 In response to a question on the Phil Donahue Show in 1980. 23 Because self-interest is so deeply ingrained in the DNA of economists, enlightened economists have been forced to redefine the concept of self-interest to make it fit with their theories and normative prescriptions. At the heart of their argument, enlightened economists insist that business executives must subjugate their self-interest and freedom to benefit the common good. Not surprisingly, the theories of economics purportedly offer solutions-whether developed by market economists, regulatory economists, or enlightened economists. Market economists are animated by opportunism and modelling the principal-agent roles of stockholders and CEOs; regulatory and enlightened economists focus on the interests of a broad range of stakeholders that might be harmed by errant corporate behavior. In practice, such intrinsic drivers are rarely consequential in the models of organization developed by economists. 2.3 Implications for Business Schools The economic theories used to describe business practices-whether promulgated by market economists, regulatory economists, or enlightened economists-have had, and will continue to have, enormous impact. Rather than the plethora of rules and regulations advocated by regulatory economists or the highly-leveraged CEO rewards favored by market economists, economists might become interested in understanding the nature of the boundary systems that managers use to declare certain behaviors and initiatives off-limits, thereby staking out the domain for creative innovation and risk-taking and, at the same time, inoculating the business from wrongdoing.

Keywords: [“Economist”,”self-interest”,”business”]
Source: http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/16-045_2276e3cd-ab73-4ee8-b494-59488e6e1f0b.pdf