Saturday, September 25, 2010

'Dramatically Poisonous' Economy Heading to 'Catastrophic' Collapse, Says Acclaimed Economist

The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy -- Manfred Max-Neef

Human World Order

Acclaimed economist Manfred Max-Neef, author of the award-winning book From the Outside Looking in: Experiences in 'Barefoot Economics' recently appeared in a must-see interview on Democracy Now where he says a second, more catastrophic crisis is unavoidable because our economic model is "dramatically poisonous."  Max-Neef explains that "Greed is the dominant value today in the world and as long as that persists, we're done!"  But he doesn't just mean done economically, he means done as a species.

Going beyond facts and figures to describe economics, his philosophy is based on a macro-world view, where he accounts for the biosphere, human creativity, security and happiness, and life in all of its manifestations. He reveals that the majority of economists have great knowledge, more than ever before, but they lack understanding. The two differ as, "knowledge is a function of science, whereas understanding is holistic," explained Max-Neef.  Using the metaphor of love to simplify: we may read and accumulate great knowledge about love, but we can never fully understand it until we fall in love and experience it.

His philosophy of humanizing economics, or "Barefoot Economics," stems from spending years living in and studying the culture of poverty to better understand the economics of it.  He concludes that the poverty culture has entirely different principles than our modern culture, where they must depend on enormous creativity, cooperation and solidarity of people. In poverty, "you cannot be an idiot if you want to survive," he quipped.

He emphatically assures Amy Goodman in the interview that the "next crisis is coming, and it will be twice as much as this one (referring to financial collapse of 2008)." Only for this one, "there will not be enough money anymore -- so that will be it!" Even more frightening are his views that the ecosystem may be beyond critical tipping points.  He says, "Some important scientists believe that it is definite, we are finished . . . I have not reached that point, but I believe we are close."

Max-Neef claims the biggest problem is that economists view nature as a subset of the economy, not the other way around, where "economists don't realize that if the bees disappear, so will he disappear." In other words, the notion that infinite growth can persist in a finite biosphere is dead wrong.  And we may already have reached a point of no return.

When asked what he thinks needs to change, he replied: "Oh, almost everything! We act systematically against the evidences we have."  He believes the economy will "catastrophically" self-correct and a new model must emerge with principles to humanize the economy in balance with the biosphere. His five principles and values to develop a humanized economy are as follows:
  1. The economy is to serve the people, not the people to serve the economy.
  2. Development is about people, and not about objects.
  3. Growth is not the same as development, and development does not necessarily require growth.
  4. No economy is possible in the absence of ecosystem services.
  5. The economy is a subsystem of a larger finite system -- the biosphere, hence permanent growth is impossible.
The fundmental value that is needed to sustain this new economy is, "No economic interest, under any circumstances, can be more important than LIFE in all its manifestations."

When the engineered collapse comes, we can bet that the corporate-government will offer up their "solutions."  It's not good enough for the Human World Order simply to oppose tyranny; we must also present logical solutions.  Manfred Max-Neef is offering a philosophy to re-humanize the economy.  From the ashes of the collapse will come the opportunity to build a new economy based on human principles of valuing all life.  Ultimately, he is hopeful because of the amazing human creativity and solidarity witnessed among the impoverished.  We shall create our way out of the crisis, but it must take place in an entirely new economic model to be successful.

Please watch the entire interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.  And follow Manfred Max-Neef's books and speaking engagements here.  Below is an older video describing his work in an indigenous village in South America.

More Human World Order Articles:
Political Solutions Hard to Come By in the Matrix
Collapse Survival Will Be Tribal: Begin Recruiting Now
5 Key Principles That Unite Populist Progressives and Tea Party Libertarians

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Heirloom Seed Banks
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Lee Murray said...

Once again the sky is falling, the sky is falling. I keep seeing pundits predicting the end of the world, yet as I drive around and look, I don't see it. Yes people are out of work, I personally know two or three. Yes business is down, even mine. But: No I don't believe the sky is falling, I go into a store, any store, customers are buying. I drive past factories, malls, etc. the parking lots are crowded. I drive down the road, any road from two lane to thruway, lots of traffic. Banks are open and doing business. Realtors, I'm related to one, are selling houses. Car salespeople, my brother is one, are selling cars. Contractors are working. On and on... But the sky is falling, right.... Personally I don't think it'd be a bad thing, but I just don't see it happening.

Lee Murray

Better Built Craftsman said...

Lee, you didn't actually watch his interview, did you? I can tell. The man is hardly a "pundit" predicting the end is nigh.

Frankly, this was the most rational, sane, compassionate man of genius that I've ever had the pleasure to hear. He's dead on.

3D said...

Better Built, I think the same. People cannot remove their blinders; speaking the truth in troubled times is a revolutionary act.

Joseph said...

Lee people are buying into the Ponzi scheme. When it collapses which it will, come back and tell us another story about how the sky will never fall

Next time you come out with all is alright, it will be about closed banks, hugely discounted cars and homes that will go for pennies on the dollar. Yes the markets and stores will still see loads of people shopping, but this time around mostly for necessities.

Understands said...

Its far easier for the people who live on the outside of society; those that work for 9-10 bucks a hour, to expect and understand things are not gonna last. Because they see the world without the slanted world opinion that those with their entire lives vested in a business expect.

Wesley said...

I don't know, from the article it seems like he is another global warming treehugger. I hate to hear these hippies talk about how profit is a bad thing. Anytime someone blames "greed" for our problems I ask when exactly was man less greedy than today. And when do you think he will be less greedy in the future? It silly.

whatbox? said...

I think one only need read the awesome Ishmael and the Story of B that followed to get a very good idea of where such thinking was, well nigh 20 years ago.

Of course we are done as a species. There is a thin veneer of normalcy (TVeneer at that).

Grand cycles, supercycles have no emotions and take no prisoners.
To go through the eye of the needle, you need to be free, within.

And awake too.

jack said...

I believe once upon a time in America, taking way more than you need to live on was viewed as a mental illness.

francis said...

I don't think wesley understood what Max-Neef said. He's not predicting a collapse but he is saying that everything that we do on a macro scale will have consequences down the road if we are not careful. Just like in our human body, there are consequences when we increase artificially say estrogen ( increase cancer risk ) or excessive sugar intake ( increase risk of diabetes or insulin which in turn increases cancer risk ). This business of QE that our "intelligent" economist are advocating is only a temporary fix and cannot be relied on to bail us out the problem. None of the fixes so far have really addressed the fundamental issue of greed, omnipotent CEOs who thinks they can manipulate the world/government to their advantage ( at the expense of the working class ) or lack of accountability for any problem create by these people. The bailing out of these big banks have only created even larger banks who's CEO down the road will repeat the same mistake in the name of profit ( GREED ). If you don't think greed plays a factor then you are as guilty as the people who created this economic collapse. Greed is ingrained in us human but it take a much BIGGER person to be able to suppress it for the good of many not for the good of self. This is the only way civilization can advance to the next level.

Super Peace Man said...

Man was less greedy than today before the advent of corporate advertizing telling us that what we buy is connected to our self worth. The ideas of property, profit and scarecity drive greed. People who have what they need and don't suffer great fear of not having these things in the near future, are not prone to be greedy.

john the dopamine king said...

"We think we are playing checkers, but it’s chess, and they are 6 moves ahead."
"6 moves? Knock over the board."

this is all being done on purpose. any solution they provide, whether it be ron paul as president in 2012, or the dismantling of the federal reserve, will lead to their new world order.

the patriots and independants (myself included)will think they have won, when they have been utterly defeated. Such is the nature of their deception, which is nearly complete in its totality.

rwe2late said...

Focusing on the greed of individuals is misdirected, and provides no satisfactory explanation or solutions.
Excessive greed has no meaning for corporate organizations committed to the goal of maximizing profits. Chief ways to maximize those profits are to minimize liability for social costs, and to monopolize or control social wealth.
So yes, as a society there exists a blind institutional greed, increasingly maximized at the expense of that society and the planet.
Join that with a global military that seeks a parallel goal of full-spectrum dominance over the planet's resources and people, and one can basically grasp the real "existential" threat.

Patrick Sullivan said...

Free energy development was blocked by the Hamburg based central bankers during the time of Tesla, over 100 years ago.

The reason was because they understood that if free energy machines were to be implemented, it would produce the dreaded side effect of producing "Excess capitol."

Many wars later, a world totally contaminated with radioactive waste, and yet, the planet is still hurtling through space in orbit around the sun at 66,000 miles per hour, still waiting to be tapped for all of the clean free energy that we need.

66,000 miles per hour: Plenty of free energy available there for sure.

All we need to do is to hook our machines up to the high speed motion of planet earth and we will solve all of our economic issues once and for all.

Still Have to figure out how we will deal with the problem of "Excess capitol" though.

James said...

It’s now official – there’s been no actual shortage of Holocaust Survivors:

quote from The Holocaust Industry by Norman G. Finkelstein of the City University of New York, published by Verso in the year 2000:

'The Israeli Prime Minister's office recently put the number of "living Holocaust survivors" at nearly a million.' (page 83)

Activist said...

Great Comments. Thanks for taking the time to read and get involved. If you have not already watched the entire interview with Manfred Max-Neef, please check it out. It's very enlightening.

pearsonjmichael said...

The critical mass collapse of a catastrophic crisis. How convenient. Room 101 awaits those unwilling to rendezvous a world centrist subjective. Adios Comrade.

lucille said...

were screwed here in the big city usa

Anonymous said...

Better Built Craftsman, You are so right! What a brilliant man, people like him could change this world to a much better place.

Bretton said...

It doesn't work to say greed is causing this recent, and our gradual meltdown. Makes you sound like a pansy treehugger. Most of us are greedy. You have to put it in tangible terms of actual crime. Theft...

Our banking system is based upon legalized corporate theft. True, greed fueled the fire of the recent expansion of theft via derivatives and Enron-style accounting, but the fire itself is crime, not greed.

Anonymous said...

Charles Manson said basically the same thing -this guy looks about as crazy. Just get rid of all these socialists out of power and the world will prosper.

Anonymous said...

We're done - I agree. The "conservatives" have kept the party going, but
we've blown any chance of survival in the long run. Fortunately, it was obvious to me before I chose to have children. Now, their hell is about to begin.

What fools the right wingnuts are - do they really believe that
we could continue debt, plunder, extraction and consumption forever?
Now, its time for them to tell their children that we've stolen their future.

Kalki said...

Yes, everything is still open, you can still buy donuts and play playstation, but the fact remains that crude oil production is declining, and unless you have an ability to cope without it, things are only going to get tighter. fact, check US oil production and you can see that oil fields do actually decline, they dont last forever.

Anonymous said...

soylent green

Anonymous said...

Peak oil, climate change, these are symptoms of the problem of overpopulation. Nature, the bitch that she is, has a solution for this and she's playing it out.

All hands, abandon ship.

Anonymous said...

Lee Murray had better remove the tint from his car windows so he can actually see what's happening !
"I don't see it"
Man - talk about living in an insulated bubble...
Guess he'll be a statistic not a suvivor - such is the law of nature.

Anonymous said...

Manson was tree hugging fruitcake that says everything a lot of you people are saying. Tree huggers are experts are running nature into the ground. Nothing in the world more destructive then Eco Nazi closing off the land to human use.

Noodles123 said...

Lee Murray doesn't seem like a bad guy but he's basing everything on HIS experience around HIS surroundings which for a nicer term is kinda "egocentric."

But if he goes to major cities, looks at shopping malls, places of commerce or the Baltic Index rates he might see..."Oh sh*t we're ONE mistake away from a huge fall!"

As far as free energy? Load of crap at this point it's too late to redo all the machines, cars in time to change the path...Water/air/sun energy had to be started 20 years ago to make a difference NOW...But of course Big Oil stopped all that in the name of profits.

Overpopulation? Don't worry last 3 years have been hell on most farmers around the world so we should be culling the herd soon enough.

Peak oil? Well if hyperinflation hits gas will be so expensive that we'll float by a lil longer...Maybe get some fat asses to walk to the post office 2 blocks away instead of driving.

Silver/Gold Bugs? Great stuff but before you can become Lords with your gold and silver you forgot the whole crime and chaos era...Argetina-USA has a ring to it.

Well the good thing is as there is less food Americans will hopefully get fit since they won't be able to afford Doritos and soda to subsist on...Good luck to all!

Seriously...Buy some weapons and ammo...You might be so happy you did some day sooner than you think.

Anonymous said...

Greed can never be good. Humanity survives by mutual nurturing, not competition.

Morongobill said...

"These people are wealthy."

Yes they are, maybe not in dollars, but definitely in spirit. Self reliance, learning to work for the family at a young age, and to look out for one another.

Me thinks, our "rich" society could learn quite a bit from these people and this man.

A very instructive video and great discussion in the comments.

citizen ron said...

the best way to go is to disengage from the system that's sinking else it'll take you down with it.

become self-sustainable. grow your own food. prepare prepare prepare.

all this stuff about the debt ceiling, etc., is all for show. that bit of theater obscured what was apparently being shuffled around under the rug, the Super Congress. hey america, how do you like the change so far?

the real show is just getting underway.




and prepare.

Anonymous said...

Lee Murray...just shut the full cup and pray that you don't get butt raked when ship hits the fan.

your grim reaper

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