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John McMurtry - Winning the War of the World - Toronto Z-Day, 2014

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ZDay 2014, Toronto Everybody, Professor John McMurtry. Thank you. Winning the War of the World Professor John McMurtry PhD The global corporate experiment has failed. Existence on Earth is in rapid decline on every level of life organization. The air, the soil, and the water cumulatively degrade and disappear, the climates and oceans destabilize without connection, species become extinct at a spasm rate across continents, and food pollinators, songbirds, coral reefs and large animals all crash at once. Public sectors and services are defunded and privatized, as tax evasion by the rich multiplies. The global food system produces more and more disabling junk and wastes, non-contagious diseases multiply to the world’s biggest killer, the global financial system issues money out of control, while collapsing in productive investment. The vocational future of the next generation is slashed across the world, official lies and corruption are normalized as public relations. All the trends are one-way, all are degenerate, and all are undeniable. Yet where are the dots joined? Where have you ever seen the dots joined? The common cause is taboo to name. ‘Overpopulation’ is the stock explanation. But it blinkers out the causal mechanism altogether: transnational corporate resource extractions, wastes, pollutions and depletions of life-carrying capacities everywhere. It is not ‘doubling world populations’ that poison and hollow out the world. The majority poor control only a fraction of the earth's resources. What drives the endgame is exponentially-multiplying money demand and commodities, with ever more wastes. They more than double every decade, or few years, but global population rates halve as the damages still escalate. That educated people can go on blinkering out the actual causal mechanism, while blaming the majority poor, reveals the derangement of this ruling value system. Not even prophets like Chris Hedges decode it. Journalists are trained not to. Not even moral philosophers question the system worshiped, masked as ‘the free market'. Freedom means no accountability to human and world life, while competition means competing to externalize all costs onto the lives of citizens and environments. The value driver behind it all is no more questioned than the Almighty; it can do no wrong. But one underlying lock-step of false equations propels this unnamed war on the world through its mutations and metastases, and this is the source code as they go on to call it: Rationality equals Self-Maximizing Choice. That's just 'de rigueur', people don't know this outside the academies so much but Peter certainly knows it, that that's what Rationality is: self-maximizing choice. So you go from there and then, that means 'Always More Money for the Self is Good'. So that's the ethic. Equals 'Self-Multiplying Sequences of Ever More Money to the Top' as the Ruling Growth System. Equals 'All Else is Disposable Means to this Multiplying Pathogenic Growth'. My 15-year study 'The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure' (which I think is posted there) diagnoses this ruling value mechanism as cancerous in principle. It is, in short, a deregulated self-multiplication of transnational money sequences accountable to nothing but their own multiplication with no committed life functions. With the Hayek-Reagan-Thatcher crusade to reverse the history of the world into a moronic ‘free market’ and ‘conservative values’, the march was on. Marxists would not engage this Great Reversal on moral grounds because morality was believed to be only ruling class ideology. This left no life ground to stand upon. From the transnational victory of corporate world rule from 1991 on, reversals of social states were portrayed as ‘market miracles’ whatever the results for people’s lives. ‘The magic of the market’ was the new world religion, ‘the end of history’. The mass media were consolidated into one collective corporate organ across cities and borders. Death squads erased community oppositions in the South. The academy was and still is defunded to serve the global corporate market and commodity development. The nations of the world are all the while ‘restructured’ to be subordinate functions to the supreme moral goal of transforming humanity and the world into ever more private commodities and profits. And again I emphasize, it appears to be the most anti-moral system one can imagine, but in fact it is a moral system and is defended as a moral system, and ... through the notion of the free market and the self-maximizing atoms optimizing consequences by an Invisible Hand, it will necessarily turn out this way. It IS a morality, it's a crazy morality but it is one; it is an ethic, and in fact that's where they ultimately go, what you see going on in the Ukraine for example, right now. They're going to the ultimate ethic, and the ultimate ethic are those series of equations I gave earlier. So society itself does not exist to this ruling value mechanism; they come right out and say it! But it's still a value mechanism. Its logic of growth is totalitarian, and malignant to the marrow. More precisely, deregulated global corporate money sequences abolish, by treaties and by wars, all barriers whatever to their free multiplying growth through all that exists, whatever the destruction of natural and social life support systems. My work has been to decode this globally life-invading value system. Predictably the diagnosis is taboo to mention in the press, however confirmed by the facts and the predictions. No social disorder ever allows its ruling program to be publicly unmasked. Thus the malignant value code marches on. Alarm bells at the degenerate symptoms increase, but solutions only extend the system further and deeper. Life-value economics is as unspeakable as the fatal disorder itself. Next section is called: 'The Essential First Step in Winning the War of the World is Comprehension of It' Only system analysis can lay bare the underlying value program, but it is avoided. The scientists do not study values and specialize- (they talk about value theory, net value neutral; though they got the most rigorous value system going)- and specialize in domains of self-referential meaning. Journalists report facts, spectacles and impressions, but not the underlying values governing them. Philosophers seldom analyze the ruling value system of the societies within which they live, from social habit and from fear. In the age of instant culture, value-system comprehension does not sell. Together these blocks of normalized avoidance make the value code selecting for all the degenerate trends invisible to us; they're all predictable. As in immune system failure, the life host fails to recognize the disorder devouring it. Lacking any unifying framework of comprehension, people are lost. Thus when millions rise in the Occupy Wall Street movement, there is no policy, diagnosis or demand. Although Wall Street had indisputably defrauded masses, and was its knees, broke and failed, no policy shift arose or was even proposed! That was what just threw me. Not even public control of the public money infusing the system cancer, $16 trillion at last count by Senate, in the US alone; it's now nearing $30 trillion in the world: trillion! 30! Given to the banks! get them out of their failure. While everybody else and- you know where it's coming out of, all the social programs and, you know, austerity programs. And where do you see that connection made? It's not made ... in the mass media. Nor was there movement for a needed public mortgage system, even after the private system had perpetrated the biggest fraud in history, indebted tens of millions of people into ruin, and collapsed the economies of the West into irreversible debt. The lost alternative of public banking, on which the US Revolution was itself founded, Lincoln won the war ... of Union, North Dakota has had 100 years of debt-free prosperity - all of these are banks, public banks- we've already had public banks in all these cases; public banking. Again I'll repeat them: The US Revolution itself-... the US Revolution was over colonial scrip! That's what is explained- it will never be talked about now- by Benjamin Franklin, as why they had to go to a revolution. because the Bank of England (private) canceled the right- and had the cabinet on their side because they were all investors- to withdraw all ... their colonial scrip by which they had been made very prosperous societies. And then they fell into a deep depression. So that was the first time-... that was what the American Revolution was fought over! But how many people in this room know that, or even heard it? It's also the way Lincoln won the Civil War. The New York bankers wanted to charge 17 to 25% compound. He couldn't do that, so he issued the Greenbacks, as the currency of the land, of the realm, and that's how the war was won. And then guess what happened with Lincoln? And no one draws together those connections. But it's not just there. Inside North Dakota, for over 100 years they've had a public banking system, and they have had probably debt-free prosperity... the only state with lower unemployment than any, lower debt than any [other state], and so on. The West itself managed the 1939-45 war and the post-war years to unprecedented full employment, and first Japan and now China wins in productive investment - all is amnesiac in the West. That's why China's gone ahead, it has a public banking system right down to ... the municipal level. Never hear about that, do you? That's the amazing thing how all this is kept taboo to know. Fast forward to today, and the underlying system cancer advances on. The financial giants causing the 2008 Crash are bigger and richer in criminal impunity. They speculate with the publicly supplied trillions on food and water futures. They control even Rio+20 as the life-ground catastrophe they finance explodes on one front after another. Transfused with endless more public money to bleed and indebt the world dry, the money-printing system metastasizes further, now occupying the once-prosperous social democracies of the European Union with public money bled out of people’s lives and life bases to private banks with no limit. (That's the fall of the European Union.) Refusing any regulatory limits, converting pensions into more stock market feeding troughs, investing nothing into youth unemployment or employment, and with debt spikes ever higher for all, where does it all end? It ends when public money and human rights stop being fed to the failed system (all rights go to ... the transnational money-sequence system through trade treaties). It ends when public money and human rights stop being fed to the failed system, it ends when commodity cycles of destructive waste are stopped, it ends at the base of the disorder when the 97%-counterfeiting of debt and credit by private financial institutions is publicly controlled. Next section is 'Economic Doctrine Allows Money-Cancer System a Free Reign' Neo-economic theory is a pseudo-science. Its defining postulates are unfalsifiable by facts. All organic, social and ecological life requirements are absurdly assumed away. (they don't exist) Infinite demand on finite resources is presupposed as sustainable. Mechanical reversibility of everything is taken for granted. Whatever does not fit the doctrine is rejected. Endlessly self-maximizing atomic selves, whether individuals or corporations, are believed to necessitate- this is actually the doctrine- this will necessitate the best of all possible worlds! That's just not my figure, that's what optimize means: the best of possible worlds. This is built right into the inter-logic of the higher mathematics of market theory that ... you get all the Nobel prizes for; they're all locked into it. And, how does it necessitate the best of all possible worlds by self-maximizing ... atoms? By the invisible hand! Is this not a fanatic religion? Superhuman laws dictate commands across peoples. No deadly consequences lower certitude in the miracles of the market God. Even when the ruling value mechanism visibly depredates the very life bases of the world, the only reforms are to globalize it further! (This is what I call a death spiral.) Corporate-lawyer treaties ... coined in secret, rule as the new laws of nations, while hostile zones are subjected to covert forces sponsoring civil wars, as was promised after 9/11; "We're going to destroy the following societies: Afghanistan, Iran (this is what Wolfowitz said, and was reported in the ... the memoirs of ... Wesley Clark) Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria." All happened, and it's all happened since. And now the Ukraine as I write. All is believed in and pursued as a world crusade, even if fascists lead it (as it is occurring there). One supreme goal governs underneath bizarre beliefs: multiplying growth of transnational money-sequences at ever higher velocities and volumes with no limits tolerated; no blocks or impediments are allowed. This is the moral DNA of the ruling value mechanism. In theory, it is expressed well by University of Chicago professor and godfather of the US National Security Council, Leo Strauss, who wrote in his canonical 'Natural Right and History': “Limitless capital accumulation is a moral duty and perhaps the highest moral duty. ” Again, you go back to this as a moral program; moral science. On the ground, Strauss’s patron, David Rockefeller, expressed the moral-political program more concretely at the turning point in 1991 as the Soviet Union fell: “A supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” (Unquote) They're very clear, about what the goal is. That's up in the web if you look that up ... They don't shy away from what they intend, and what they're doing. It's just the mass media don't carry it and it's buried in right wing websites, like the Kato Institute is where I picked that up. Well, the promises are kept. There's no binding regulation to protect any life carrying capacity on Earth from the loot-and-pollute money system in the years since. None. Many blame capitalism, but unlike classical capitalism this mechanism is not driven by productive force development. It is driven by transnational money-sequence multiplication (It's not just that you exchange, it's the multiplication, the exponential multiplication that makes it cancer-like.) - with no productive standard which despoils more means of life than it produces. Think of that: it destroys more means of life than it produces. It's clear! It eliminates the working class itself. (It's not like classical capitalism.) The ruling idea that the system is peerlessly productive is increasingly contradicted by far more life goods disappearing than are created. Something much more sinister is afoot. The social and natural life bases by which the human species evolves are reversed and overrun. Yet not even the opposition defines what ultimately counts: humanity’s universal life necessities themselves. (That's where we've got to start our ground. And you don't find such... you don't even find the concept of it, I had to originate the concept.) The meaning of ‘the economy’ itself - to produce and distribute life goods otherwise in short supply through generational time (that's what a real economy is) - is lost. While the very air humanity breathes is going more toxic and acidic, the contradiction to ‘productive growth’ is unseen. As the waters of the world are simultaneously destroyed, the dots are not joined. Even as there are mass extinctions of species, youth without futures, and irreversible debt servitude of the world, all is well if ‘growth is returning to the system’ which causes all of them. The earth’s very soil cover taking tens of millions of years to evolve is mined, acidified, salinated, degraded and exhausted, as forest and mineral covers are strip-mined from one continent to the other, and there is no connected common meaning uttered among the peoples. The ruling value mechanism devours the life substance of humanity and the earth itself, but remains assumed as ever ‘more productive’ in its growth, even by angry unions who call for more growth and bargain on the basis of productivity, and as I'll go on to say productivity is just producing for this cancerous system. Well at least, someone might reply, climate warming has been recognized by a blue-ribbon economic panel, Britain’s Stern Review, as “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.” (I was very gratified to see him acknowledge that because ... before then, we basically had the assumed infallibility.) This is a step towards rational observation. But even with a UN panel of over 1600 scientists on the case, there is no connection to the other basic life capacities driven towards collapse by the same organizing value mechanism. No secret is more unspoken. So more rights to pollute and profit are instituted, and the climates and hydrological cycles spiral to more deadly extremes. “The world’s poor suffer first and most”, Lord Stern also rightly observes, but this fits the reigning value mechanism. Those without money do not exist to it. 'Unmasking the Ruling Code of Value Driving the War on Life' I think it's ultimately a knowledge war, and that we live in... a knowledge world, and knowledge is what's going to determine whether we sink or advance. Let us summarize. Behind every step of the Great Reversal lies failures of knowledge and value understanding: 1) failure to diagnose the regulating value mechanism at work (nowhere, really, down to exact principles determining its choices and decisions), 2) failure to connect across the domains of life despoliation as predictable from the system’s money-sequence multiplication (that's why the second edition of this book came out, it's because everything it was predicting was coming true but it doesn't make any difference, as long as people don't know it) 3) failure to define or demand any public policies against its feeding on life support systems, with public treasure supporting it every step, and 4) failure to recognize any life-value principle or the life ground of the economy itself. Number 4 is basically my life work ... what is formerly called 'Life-value onto-axiology' but ... I release you from having to remember that term. But what it means literally, life value-... Everything of value is of life value, and that means both on the ontological level, which means the logic of all being, all existence on Earth, and onto-axiology means principles of value. So, it's meant to carve out a universal- unlike our other thought systems- a universal referent, that applies to all values whatsoever and all domains whatsoever. The knowledge blackout on this and everything else is understandable once one recognizes that the vaunted “knowledge economy” has no criterion from the start. All it means is what can be controlled, sold or manipulated to grow the ruling value mechanism. Pause on that general fact. This is why true knowledge is so often denied or attacked as 'uncompetitive'. Look for exceptions to this spread of the ruling money-value mechanisms into the very capacities of human understanding. (Really, knowledge has been the first victim here... at the level of the ruling-value mechanism, and right into the universities, right into the schools, right into the mass media, right into public programs, right into CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corp], everywhere... It's dominating.) Who even now recognizes that ‘new efficiencies', ‘reforms’ and ‘cost cutting’ are always attacks on people’s lives, means of life, and life functions? Who connects across the one-way falls of life standards and regulations, public science and testing, agrarian communities and lands, workers’ rights and unions, social infrastructures and protections, and social life security across populations, while money demand multiplies out of all control at the top? (You see it's a predictable system, it's a cancer system.) Who names the innermost ruling code driving all? Whatever protects or enables human and ecological life is eliminated as a barrier to private money-sequence multiplication. This is the source code of the cancer system. It explains why transnational corporate, equity and bank profits grow to ever new records as the world’s majorities are dispossessed. It explains why social and natural life capacities are despoiled across continents. The war on life is built into this system. The ideals of “freedom”, “democracy”, and “economic growth” are thus reversed in the name of them. The big lies (and I mean reversals really) the big lies become so automatic that few notice them. For example as I write, food-stamp slashes - reducing 47 million hungry US people below $1.40 a meal for children and others, and $90 less a month for them, for life necessities - quote (and this is Obama): “protects the most vulnerable Americans” unquote. While he's doing it, that's what he says he's doing. And that's Obama, who seems like a sort of a middle-of-the-road guy. He' a symptom of the system. That was just January 29 [2014]. There's a recourse against lies which is as old as the species. Humanity’s deciding evolutionary advantage is that knowledge wins in the end. (It's about the only law you can give, about society.) Above all, knowledge evolves through recognition of how life is disabled or enabled, by material conditions and social rules. For example, the binding abolition of the most profitable commodity of world trade ever, thought impossible at the time - human slaves - won! It still won. Knowledge won again from the 1929 Crash and subsequent World War when the collective life security of peoples evolved by known facts and social policies more, in 30 years, than the past 25 centuries. Knowledge! Being applied. The missing link for this long life-and-death struggle is the life value code. (I almost get into a sideline about supply and demand and ... why Keynes was rejected and so forth, because supply must equal demand, it's the basic axiom of the whole system of understanding. Therefore everything he talked about was an illusory or wrong. Anyway.) The missing link for this long life-and-death struggle is the life value code. We do not know it because we are without a reference body in a vast ocean of self-maximizing money-sequences for which the goods are only what sell for private profit. A life-ground and compass almost emerged after 1945 when people recognized how ruling delusions of self-maximizing fanaticism almost destroyed civilization. (They were variations on the same theme... the Wall Street bankers and so forth, self-maximization without limit, huge inequalities and so forth, and then a more fanatic-... openly fanatic version of it in Naziism. But they were both self-maximizing, both to go to the top, both with no limit, ... and both with complete blindness to other people's lives having any value.) A life-ground and compass almost arose after that, because societies forged binding international covenants for collective life security and free human development. (None of you know about them probably because they've been so well repressed but there's a binding ... covenant, economic, social and ... human rights that makes all we are fighting for to save - that is, any social Socus infrastructure to save life - as a binding obligation on all state society agreements, which are all the major states of today. Just been swept out! It's lawless, this system is lawless! at the international level.) Universal education, health, and income security infrastructures were publicly formed across societies, under international law. But no unifying value code underlying them was found. In absence of any sound life base of understanding to ... re-ground in, the Great Reversal from 1980 on, has gone from one extreme of life-blindness to the next, with endless lies of better days to come, even as there is ever more joblessness - this is always one way - ever more joblessness, ... meaningless employment, deprivation of more majorities of peoples, commodity diseases across the globe still increasing, ... (increasing like the one from obesity and diabetes, that's all new, that's only in the last few years, since junk foods) debt servitude chaining the futures of people, more in debt now than ever; it can't be paid. (As a Wall Street banker said once, "No one's ever going to pay their debts, they're just going to pay their payments on time." And that's the way it's set up. There isn't enough legal tender in the world to cover a fraction of the debts that are owed to the banks!) And deepening ecocidal trends (the worst) advancing one way with the system’s growth. Locked into the ruling frame of thinking, people blame humanity (Oh humanity! What's happened for the catastrophe unfolding?) But even as the demands of the ruling value mechanism have been imposed every step on humanity in societies (they've been imposed; none of it's really been agreed to), by first of all secretly negotiated and adjudicated (also of a secret panel that's unappealable beyond the judges of these things, above nations, above laws, unappealable, very seldom known by people) ... which is a transnational corporate system that is backed by - lest you wonder how do they make people do things - it's backed by global force, financial sabotage and embargo, the key one, and huge penalties go running into the 100s of millions of dollars a day, if you don't OBEY! ... and no one voted for. It was secretly coined; as of right now, the TransPacific Partnership right now is being secretly codified and then, will be imposed. From secret codification by corporate lawyers of treaties overriding constitutions themselves, to free looting of human and natural life capacities across borders, ever more money-sequence ‘investor’ rights are prescribed and multiplied across nations. Those who resist are ‘against competition’ or are ‘terrorists’. Reverse projection always rules: Always blame the other for what you're doing as the reason for attacking it. An absurd metaphysic is assumed throughout. The economy’s provision of goods through time mutates to ‘laws of supply and demand’ that are fatuous or caricatures of both. 'Demand' is not people’s needs or necessity (the real demand). It is private money demand minted by private banks without the legal tender to back it, to indebt people and gamble on their future means of life. (That's what they're talking about demand, not really demand.) ‘Supply’ similarly, is not the life means people require to survive and flourish. It is ever-more-priced commodities for profit, promoting more human and ecological ill-being across continents. The supreme moral value of the system is then equated to its opposite as well. Freedom equals freedom for private money demand only, equals in proportion to the amount controlled, equals ever less freedom for those with less of it, equals no right for life for those without it. When mass uprooting, joblessness and the misery follow, more reverse meaning is proclaimed. “Uplifted out of poverty” headlines proliferate over a money-gain equal to the cost of a coffee for subsistence farmers who have been forced into city slums without any means of natural and communal life support left. (They're fed "uplifted out of poverty" because they've got money to spend equivalent to a Coke ... a day.) Peoples are too distracted by competition for vast prizes to notice. (the key distraction: Olympics, Superbowl) The global struggle for life is displaced by ever more contest spectacles, as global mass-marketing sites – the meaning now of ‘sport’. But behind the perpetually revolving mirrors, the meaning is taboo to see. People may see “greed of the rich”, but not that greed is the global system’s driver at every level. “More productivity” is liked across classes, but who sees that it only means less cost per unit of profitable commodities bringing more life waste and destruction? Workers and left thinkers may no more want to see this than the corporate press. (You point this out about productivity, ... they don't want to publish it, because their interests depend on the delusion.) The meaning of ‘the free market’ itself is reversed. Peter talks a lot about the free market, it isn't really a free market, I go back to the classical. Over centuries the free market has meant the opposite of the global corporate system: public places of local life goods (all opposite to what's going on at the global level), all exchanged for legal tender (opposite), featuring real foods and crafts (mostly opposite), no mass conditioning ads (opposite), no debt servitude (opposite), no dominance of transnational money-sequences, no throwaway packages and waste, no lobbies controlling governments, no invisible head offices pulling puppet strings, and no bribery controlling supply and demand. It's not a free market at all! [Applause] Yet the free market like the real economy is overwhelmed (just as in a cancer). There are only more absentee money sequences with no required life functions, or accountability to the communities and life conditions they competitively bleed. That's what the competition is about - how fast they can get the money from the public, competitively. draining them, hollowing them out, and that's what the competition means. But the life and death choice cannot be made without knowing both- I'm sorry. The enemy is undefined. The common life capital that it attacks is unknown. Both the life and death choice cannot be made without knowing ... who the enemy is, and what the solution is. 'The Life-Value Turn then is the Next Stage of Civilization' Reality hides in the language of the past. So ‘capitalism’ is blamed by critics when real capital is, in fact, destroyed at every step. Journals report ‘global wealth has soared 68% in 10 years’, but life wealth is devoured as fast as the money-sequence system can grow. Always the underlying life ground is lost beneath the competitive self-multiplication of the money demand invading all that exists. With no life value anchor and compass, the degenerate trends only deepen beneath reference body to recognize what they are. And I've spent most of my life as a professional philosopher on the problem of life value and social value systems. Although the sane may agree life value is what ultimately matters, nothing has been less understood. People called ‘pro-life’ usurp the woman’s body in the name of fundamentalist religions. Nations absurdly assume that ‘standard of living’ is measured by the private money spent. Animal rights theory has no criterion to tell the life value of a snail from a person. ‘Life sciences’ (all in quotes) sacrifice billions of animal lives a year for private money-value gain (just about all of it). ‘New and better technology’ has no life-value standard to decide better from worse. Life value is the missing base (we really must get that one clear). But there are as many proxies for life value as there are values. Specialist domains like physiotherapy and medicine recognize life-value in organic functions, but without principled meaning to apply to wider life systems. In general, life value ignorance defines our age. This is how the greatest of all fatal confusions has mutated: that money-sequence growth equals life value growth. (That's at the core of the whole cancer system.) Just as the multiplying grotesque cancer cells eating the life-host alive are not recognized on the micro level, so too on the social level of life organization. The proliferation - in fact the exponential proliferation - of bank notes of bets, credit and debt without legal tender drive ‘financialization’ across the planet (more daily than all the GDPs of all the countries of the world put together over a year). They must - they MUST - loot life and life bases to keep growing without inflation, as trillions of new dollars are printed without life function. (How are you going to have more and more money chasing fewer and fewer life goods? Well, just take it away from everybody else.) So endless slashing of life goods in wages, benefits, social security, pensions and environmental protections result, as money-demand powers multiply at the top. This is why endless bonuses for financial failure, stripping of the middle classes and the poor, squandering of public wealth on rich corporations - the list can go on and on - are demanded as US-led wars for resources (new resources, new lands) and corporate markets never stop, and taxes on the rich are reversed. All predictable from the metaprogram. All is predictable once the cancer system is diagnosed. An ultimate question thus arises. What is the ground of response to this ruling value mechanism which cumulatively plunders human and other life to feed itself? We know the ultimate ground is life value. But what IS life value? The objective standard and measure can be defined in three steps: (1) all value whatever is life value, (2) good versus bad equals the extent to which life is more coherently enabled versus disabled (so it's basically enabling life - coherently enabling - life-value or disabling it, it's good and bad, and it admits the degrees) (3) by greater/lesser ranges or capacities of thought, felt being and action through time. Those are the three fields of life that include all that is of value in life. The thing is, with the life-value theory or ... understanding, you have no problem of ... difference of opinions because it's objective. It has objective measures too, that nobody can coherently disagree with. The thing is we haven't got down there for all the reasons I've been stating. Well, of course we've had visions of world peace, the classless flourishing of people's lives, more equality, a planetary ecology in which humanity is its conscious understanding - all these ideals express this underlying life code of value. But “who decides?” skeptics ask. No one decides because gains and losses in life capacity - that's the key, life capacity - are as objective as the laws of biology and medicine. Anything is better or worse by the greater or lesser range of life capacities it enables. It's almost worth remembering: Anything is better or worse by the greater or lesser range of life capacities it enables. Applies everywhere. This value code is built into evolution itself. (I'm not inventing anything, I'm decoding.) It is no [more] a matter of opinion than people’s life necessities are: And what is a need? what is a necessity? It's that without which life capacities are always reduced. It's objective! The ruling value mechanism is the polar opposite. It attacks life and life conditions everywhere as vehicles to its self-multiplying growth. Because this growth is assumed to be life value, however, the greatest value reversal in history goes unnoticed. This three-step life code of value provides the generic life-value compass and base which has been missing. It is objective because it is true, independent of anyone’s perception of it. It has unlimited validity because there is no exception to it (which is testable by searching for one). It is presupposed in value judgments, as you can observe whenever these judgments are defended. (They always end up, if their sane, saying it somehow protects or enables life.) Life value is also universalizable, because all values derive their worth from it. Finally life value is sovereign, because it trumps any other value in cases of conflict. All of these are testable generalizations. (I've written three volumes for UNESCO by the way on this.) But what of measure of more or less life value? Life value is measurable in degrees by greater/lesser capacities of thought, or felt being and action shown through time, for example, how much life capacities gain or lose by nourishing versus junk foods. Today the macro trends are in one-way loss of life capacities. Knowledge is the exception. It forms the way stations of life understanding passed on to others and subsequent generations across epochs, the distinguishing life capacity of the human species. But even knowledge is threatened by corporate rights against its dissemination at the same time as there is mass propagation of public lies. New electronic communication capacities without corporate control still win the war, by the greatest civil community development in history: the Internet. But the life-and-death fields of invasion by the ruling money-value mechanism are not decoded: the money tides of hit-and-run buying and selling of lands and currencies across the world, free and growing use of ecocidal extraction methods, life-starving hours and wages, no benefits in global dispossession-... Oh it goes on, it's so despairing! [Laughter] - lethal arms trading, oil-guzzling and noise-polluting vehicles of multiplying kinds, big oil and big pharma, looting of public lands and health dollars - always it's looting public wealth! It can't go a step without it - at the cost of hundreds of millions of people, and most invisibly, full-spectrum assault on humanity’s thinking and feeling sides of being alive, living itself - the zombie effect. Where, we might ask, do the transnational money-sequences NOT destructively invade the evolved fields of life of humanity and fellow species? Exponentially multiplying money-sequences eat away at the margins of every private transaction, public funding, life exchange and substance within and across borders. Consider all the bites every moment across business and exchange sites: beyond the ‘carrying trade’ in exploiting lower interest rates in one country to flood another with cheaper money advantage (what's doing Venezuela in right now), beyond the trillions in derivatives betting every day, beyond the raids on sovereign currencies and bonds (all of this should be illegal, it used to be), without tax or regulation. On the local level, hardly a shop, a buyer, a builder, a home-dweller - (this was pointed out to me by the way by a Zeitgeist member who's a professor of physics, he says "Look at it! on the local level, try to look anywhere, any exchange, any step!") a buyer, a builder, I'm putting it into ... native language, a home dweller - anybody who lives today is NOT invaded by the same financial mechanism with ever more rights to demand at every exchange site with no function, while enforcement is paid by the public being stripped by it! The apparently free credit-card system, for example, (and few will know this) imposes a 2% charge to the seller for sales at a hidden 33% annual debt-charge rate, before the debt predation even sets in. There's no end to the invisible lines of life devouring demands, now moving deeply into higher learning, into public health themselves (I mean hospitals are governed, and universities - they're not governed by their constitutions anymore, they're governed by how much revenue they bring in, and that's governed in turn by boards of managers, who are themselves corporate executives, and on and on it goes.) onto the wars themselves, where we have destabilizations from which fire prices can be extracted from the societies, and societies are destroyed deliberately for this reason. They have no means of defense against the stripping of them then. How else would a cancer system behave? So if you think of it, this model, it's an explanatory model, not a metaphor, how else would it? If it's true, or if you just want to test its truth, how else - if you were going to have a cancer at a social level of life-organization - how else could it behave, than the way it's behaving? Always one-way. Always disabling. The world-deciding choice begins with what you buy. Clearly for example, eating, selling or supplying junk foods is objectively bad to the measure; it disables human life and produces global epidemics of obesity, heart failure, cancer and diabetes. (which it does) Yet even economic ‘science’ calls them all ‘goods’ (it's written right into the textbooks, they're all 'goods', the newspapers call them all 'goods', this immense presupposition again as fact, goes without notice) whatever the rising disease effects. Simultaneously, violence entertainments flood public airwaves and play-spaces as the same consumers - most avidly the young - they... are seeing flooding images of humanity being killed, tortured, injured, humiliated. And as the sugar-lard-salt concoctions are ladled into bloodstreams and throwaways clog the earth`s circulatory channels at the same time, we begin to see the multiplying destructive occupation of the fields of life and life substance as built into these runaway growths and their ‘goods’. Life capacities at every level are attacked as ‘market freedom’. Only life-value ground and measure can penetrate the disease none define: (hope I don't run out of life!) to addictively disable human life capacities for more transnational money-sequences through ever more lives, from infancy onward. (Addictively disable: that's the secret to all of these commodities, as far as they can take it.) Where is there exception? Life-activity-replacing motors and commercial games, endless unneeded and non-recyclable conveniences locking into habits of life, political-junkie election images and spectacles, where the truth is what sells, corporate candidates and commercial Internet and television hooks everywhere, in front of which children spend 11 hours a day. Which of any of these is not geared to addict consumers to compulsive consumption against their life capacity development? What does not input toxic wastes into the circulatory flows of ecosystems at the same time? But all is optimal for the ruling economic model, for which life and society are reduced to atomic desiring machines, propelling more money demand, and money controllers, as the nature of the growth the official world always calls for. By the way ... these words about humans as desiring machines, that's written right into neoclassical economics. They're desiring machines that seek to maximize, and that's all. And this is the way you manufacture consent is by getting hold of that desire level. And selling to them and requiring them to work, for it. The moving line of the true war of liberation begins with what we are able to control: our own lives. Consider your own life, what you know best. Every value you enjoy, lose or gain has a bottom line in life capital: what enables life to reproduce and grow, rather than degrade and stagnate through time. We defend it and our health by buying life goods and nothing else. The turning point is as old as physical and cultural evolution. Every human advance is by knowing what enables life, from what does not. 'Collective life advance is transmitting this life-and-death knowledge' across selves, and generations. The life value code holds across all cultures. But the universal life goods and necessities are not even known. Their meaning is obscured everywhere, but they are exactly definable. Life goods are always that without which, life capacities decline and die. All real needs are known by this criterion. Every human life suffers and degenerates towards disease and death, without (and here are the universal life necessities, of human beings) without breathable and unpolluted air (and think of how-... I'm not going to be able to spell out- every one of them is under attack) breathable and unpolluted air, clean water and waste cycles, nourishing food and drink, protective living space, supportive love, healthcare when needed, a life-coherent environment, symbolic interaction itself, and meaningful work to perform. All these are measurable in sufficiency across cases, and all people have these universal human life necessities. Yet all universal human life needs and capacities are at the same time attacked, polluted or perverted by the ruling value mechanism in product, process, and lobby demand across the world. (I could tell a story, and if fact have written, pages and pages and pages of detail of how every one of them, is taken apart and destroyed.) Yet where are the universal life needs themselves even named, and connected against the malignant growth system spreading through ever more nodes? Well, not zero growth - as some people are wanting to say now - but zero bad growth is the way. A real economy by definition regulates for these universal life necessities require and against toxic junk, and the individuals would not buy 99% of these corporate commodities if they followed this principle. Victory or loss in the war of the world lies in how we live. So why does anyone buy such commodities? System addiction is how it grows, and knowledge what life goods versus bad is, is the through-line of the good life and human evolution itself. What deeper motivation could there be? And then I just add, with the end of this section, I like many others have long lived without corporate-ad television, without habitual private use of gas-vehicle use, of any kind, any junk food or beverage, any throwaway item, any new fashion or commodity not more life enabling than the old, or business, any business, with private banks, selecting for life goods at the local level. The organizing principle is the spirit of the Tao-te Ching, and the free autonomy of the wise (back to the Stoics). It is as old as the good life. The life-code formula is clear: minimal market demand to enable life capacities to flourish. This value imperative defines transformation to true economy, and liberates life wherever it moves. And now I move to the final, and the key, sort of original section that I hadn't done so much work on before... 'Collective Life Capital as the Common Value Ground and Measure Across Divisions.' We know the war of the world can be won. The plague addiction to corporate cigarettes has been conquered by most of the developed world’s population. (Addiction, I've talked to ... a psychiatric witness on this, cigarettes are worse than heroin, a specialist told me, in terms of addiction. And yet, most people have kicked it. Well if they can do that with that, they can do it with this system.) This shows how the life code can select against habituated system harms of the most compulsive kind, and everybody live better, from what it's done. At the personal level, it begins with zero-base accounting with money demand only justified by life-enabling gain. Yet for collective life goods, we do not have a principled ground and measure. (It's the great terra incognita of modern economic thought.) Collective life capital does not exist in public or expert meaning. Any common life interest or agency at all is excluded unless it promotes profits. The implications are fatal, but unseen. Collective provision of the universal human life necessities that have evolved through long social organization and human evolution are blinkered out by the ruling value mechanism. It sees only mechanical ‘growth’ by commodity sales and profits. Everything that makes a society civilized or liveable is blinkered out: common water and sewage systems for all, (all of these are blinkered out apriori, because of game theory- one of the ways- well I could get a game and go very deep with this and do in that book) common water and sewage systems, free movement pathways and life spaces without cost to use, (our sidewalks for example, the bicycle paths that I use every day) public libraries with unpriced books and films, nonprofit healthcare and disease-prevention by public institution, (all of these are collective life capital that don't exist within the ruling model, and that's why they're always defunded) public income security from disemployment, old age and disability, life-protective laws including sufficient minimum wages and environmental regulations, primary to higher education without multiplying debts, family housing, food, and means of life assistance for children without parental money. Yet all these are defunded or eliminated to pay debt-services to private banks and grow business, with the IMF to the Tea Party leading the charge as ‘new efficiencies’ and ‘savings’. From this built-in erasure of common life ground, the hollowing out of collective life goods proceeds without any feedback correction. Public wealth is privatized at every level to feed corporate money sequences. (And they all think they're doing the right thing; listen to our finance minister) Thus fed with endless giant tax and subsidy hand-outs and deregulations to invade further, the demands of the ruling value mechanism continue to multiply. The collective life base to steer by and to regulate by does not exist. For example (even at the high levels, the best economic theorists), for example when Amartya Sen entitles his Nobel Laureate monograph 'Social Choice' (I was hoping: Oh my! He's going to get into it.) even he can get no further than atomic aggregates of individual preferences. Even Amartya Sen. No collective life goods in themselves are conceivable within the market paradigm. When another progressive economist, Elinor Ostrom, wins the Nobel Prize for Economics years later for her book (and now Avaazing Obama), and her book is called 'Governing the Commons: The Evolution and Institution of Collective Action', well I was again looking so forward to reading this, but she's trapped within the same paradigm. No principle of common life interest or agency beyond mutual self-advantage can even be conceived by her. “The commons” and “collective action” she posts on the cover of her book, but no civil commons or agency is seen from universal health care to a public bicycle path. Common life bases can no more compute through the ruling prism than the collective actions required to provide them. And that's why it's all being dismantled. In fact, the underlying problem is ancient. We have lacked a common life-ground since the genocides of the first peoples began. It is a very ancient blind spot which has become - (they don't lack a common life ground) - a very ancient blind spot which has become increasingly fatal with all-powerful technologies of destruction, and the deranged money-value code driving all of them. The eco-genocidal streak goes deep: from the Old-Testament tribal god command to exterminate all other peoples in Palestine, to millennia later, the first peoples in the New World saying to their modern invaders: “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” [Applause] There's a long story to that quote which I guess I don't have time to tell you. Comes from Crowfoot... It was given to me originally by the UNESCO secretariat when they were dealing with the work I was producing for them ... these things get around. Even “life, liberty and freedom” in the US Constitution reduces to the commerce clause and corporate rights by Supreme Court interpretation. There IS no public interest, there IS no public common interest inside the US Constitution. That's what it reduces to. And this is by the way by agreement with a professor of Constitutional law, who is working on it with me. Abdication of life responsibility is built into the system. The Global Market God rules, and the common life interest and its agencies do not exist. How are we to ground beneath this life-blind paradigm whose global mutations threaten evolved life on earth? In the end, the organizing principle crosses the lines of death itself: the life code of value at the collective level. But this common life interest is usurped in its very name. This is why, for example, the young can be killed in masses, and arms budgets bankrupt US public sectors to enrich Big Oil, or why people’s homes can be expropriated for private developers in the US as 'in the public interest’ by ‘eminent domain’. This is the dark side of history, one oppressor rule after another. But the collective life interest is the true bottom line of legitimate governance. The proof is in the conditions of its definition. So, here's where it's defined: It must be consistent with the life carrying capacities of all through time. It must be open to life-enabling change. It must go deeper than family, gender, or culture differences. It must include past as well as future generations. It must supersede the ruinous man/nature, economy/environment splits and individual/society duality of interests. It must realize the Three R’s of the ecological literacies to be life coherent. It must bridge the past to the present to the future as one process to steer development beyond the holocausts of history. It must embody the economic principles of efficiency, productivity, and innovation in life-serving terms. It must make all freedom responsible to its life conditions of possibility. It must embed the life bases of all as supreme, so it cannot in principle go wrong. Such a moral code seems impossible. Every demand of the ruling value mechanism is structured against it. Opposing ideologies do not find its common life base. Postmodernism and relativism deny there is any universal principle of value, except for the actual ruling one that they obey. Political policies are confined to what serves the corporate market system. Issue politics fixates on sexual preferences. There is no common life ground recognized or life-value compass to steer by. Collective life capital re-grounds us. It is the life base of the common interest, that without which humanity’s life capacities degrade and die. It is the bridging concept across the ‘the economy-environment’ division, as well as the cross present and future generations. It is the true meaning of economic necessity, and the sole substance of growth and development. In all, collective life capital transcends all divisions by impartial principles that cannot go wrong: (1) by a unifying life value regulator enabling all, (2) a generic life-value measure to tell greater from lesser by margins of capacity loss or gain in any domain or case, (3) production of more life value capacity through generational time, (4) cumulative life gain as the organizing goal of the process throughout, (make the world a better place) (5) the more coherently inclusive in enabling life, the better it is. In this way, the common interest is provided an exact progressive meaning - it can be measured all the way down the line (and it already is in medicine for example, with health and disease) and collective agency - so... Here we get both the exact progressive meaning of the collective or common life interest, and the collective agency, that is built into its logic of life progression. (Huge issue about collective agency ... you know, not trying to find it. The collective life capital builds the agency into its concept.) Conversely, whatever person, group or system destroys common life capital is objectively evil to the extent of life capacity destruction, through time. For example, corporate US oil wars, or leisure vehicles destroying natural life. Advancing life collective life capital, in contrast, is what “makes the world a better place." This is what it means. It could be by cures to diseases, more ecological methods, life infrastructure building, advancing knowledge, new ways of seeing, or life-protective laws. (I don't know whether I mentioned-... new ways of seeing; I would say our Peter does that ... across the world) All more inclusively enable life without loss, and with cumulative gain. No real progress is ever made without satisfying this logic of value. Feeling with across species and tribes, for example, may bind many of us in this room. So too even more, advancing life-coherent knowledge and visual comprehension, as Peter’s films do. The understanding and feeling sides of life keep extending despite (all I have talked about) despite death and moral numbing by the ruling value mechanism. Public knowledge via the Internet Commons wins against corporate media silencing and propaganda. We see here the underlying struggle across the fields of life. The rising and falling of life capital base and compass can be found in fact, in every social policy, decision or movement that goes right or goes wrong. (That's the key, that's the axis.) There is no exception. The war of the world is everywhere, and so is our task of life commons understanding and building. This is not hope without substance. The common life interest is already built into our lives over millennia without our knowing it: the ‘civil commons’ of language itself, collective water sources and sewage, common safety regimes, shared pathways everywhere, community health rules and healing sites, everyday life-enabling knowledge institutions and practices at every level. All of these are life capital formations that keep advancing beneath notice, despite and through diseases and wars. Unseen too is that all are more threatened now by the ruling value mechanism than ever before in history. Their defining general meaning is all social constructs which enable universal access to life goods. This too is no utopian ideal. It is the measure of all true development across all cultures before and after our own lives: from environmental economy to universal libraries and education, to public water and waste cycles, to life-serving laws, before which all are equal. These are all forms of collective capital already in continuous development, but all are attacked bite by bite, by the multiplying money-sequence system now out of control. The collective life capital developments that are needed now are many, but they can be crystallized into three system shifts in general: (1) public banking for credit and investment in individual and life capital growth, (we have to have public banking; it's the only thing that's ever worked, it's the only thing that's working now.) (2) ecological quotas for all consumption of non-renewable energies and materials, (they work too, what's often called rations) (3) citizen income security guaranteed in return for ... ... life-enabling hours of public service. 'Movements of masses to demand them completes knowledge in public action' Under the ruling value mechanism today, in contrast, evolved life on earth is under totalizing attack. 95% of all gains go to 1% with no required life function, while 95% of the world’s life support capacities are pillaged by their life-blind money-sequences. Yet life-value steering is easier than not. Norway, for example, has led the world in holding onto and advancing its common life capital bases, throughout this system sickness (I could tell stories there too), and emergent Latin America is implicitly building collective life capital deciders from decades of death-squad and foreign money-sequence ruin. Before the Great Reversal, societies everywhere were becoming governed by public policy patterns of similar kinds: national recovery of control over publicly owned resources, progressive taxation, public banking and investment, and policy-led elimination of structural depredation of the poor and the environment. (All of these are being followed by Latin America right now, all have been followed throughout the success of the Scandinavian countries, and all have been followed when Canada was successful.) All are methods of collective life capital formation, inclusively enabling the lives of individuals across time. “Inclusiveness” is a concept which is much invoked today, but without the life capital bases and compass required in the real world, it is empty rhetoric. Let us overview the condition we face. Once upon a time (and I'm almost through) in the distant past, capitalist organization under public control mass-produced healthy food, clothing, and utensil commodities despite brutally exploitative methods (back in the heyday of Adam Smith). There was a long painful taming of it over 200 years, and then the Great Reversal from 1980 on, usurped progressive social development at every level possible. Since then, the private transnational money-sequence system has been increasingly deregulated to competitively multiply and override all life-carrying capacities, propelling endless wars, public and public sector debt slavery, mass disemployment and majority dispossession for obscene riches, and so forth. This is the global cancer system, which occupied states now subsidize, enforce and grow as fast as they can, stripping the soils and forests, poisoning the waters, disemploying peoples (every day- it's another vector) and producing disease-causing junks in greater volumes. Re-grounding in common life capital, however, exposes every one of these disorders, and connects them, and directs solution to them: the long missing base and measure of what was once called ‘the moral science’. It resets evolutionary theory itself, in which only self-gene multiplication counts. (It's an interesting thing, the biological correlative of the self-multiplying money mechanism.) Self-maximizing game theory dominates both, and military doctrine, justice, and moral analysis besides. Yet common life capital bases are excluded from all of them, as the lost life-ground and reference body of our capsizing planetary condition. New ‘natural’ and ‘social capital’ categories may seem to assist us here. But they only repeat the vicious circle. ‘Natural capital’ is what can be exploited for more money. ‘Human capital’ is more future private money-demand for its owner. ‘Social capital’ is lower transaction costs for profit. ‘Physical capital’ follows suit. Life capital remains without a name. Collective life capital does not exist. All must be steered back into conserving and producing life goods rather than destroying them, the ultimate policy imperative of the world. The public authority, policies, rights, and subsidies to issue sovereign money now lavished upon the life-destructive mutations of private money capital thus can end without a shot fired. They are now so dependent on counterfeit money-sequences (given to them by the public), on treaty edicts (given to them by the public), on public handouts and resources (natural resources), they can't go a day without! (public support, all the way down) The public needs only to reclaim them, and not to take a thing. (It's not about dispossessing, it's about the public reclaiming what it has, and what has been usurped.) “Let the Market decide!" all money interests cry. This ruling superstition is more barbaric than any before: essentially, evermore for those with more money to suck the lifeblood out of humanity, and the earth dry. Its ruling delusion is that the best of all possible worlds must follow by an invisible hand. In fact, a deregulated global chaos of private transnational money-sequences exponentially multiply, while the world of life capital and goods is cumulatively destroyed. The life capital alternative is self-evident once seen. It grounds in common life capital: life wealth that produces more life wealth without loss, and new gains for successive generations. Its moral logic is, in fact, the through-line of all human development since language, and the cooperative provision of means of life. Unlike the global market of atomically self-maximizing corporations devouring the world for more profit extraction, in the delusion that an unseen hand directs all to the best, collective life capital steers across divisions by an objective and universal life-value base and measure, in exact progression, which cannot, as life-coherent, go wrong. (I keep emphasizing that because all these moral theories have somehow gone wrong and political theories. Why? Because they've been life-destructive. This one has ... has it built into it that it CAN'T be life-destructive; it must be the opposite.) The unifying principle is already implicit in the architecture of modern human thought. All that is lacking is life value, ground and measure. They connect life, the ultimate onto-ethical concept, to capital, the ultimate concept of political economy, and so by transitivity to law, human rights, sustainability, and intergenerational equity. The meaning is clear: Valid law is a collective life capital formation providing the rules to live by, that coherently protect and enable human life. Human rights themselves are instituted claims ... of all to what enables their life capacities to be realized as human. Sustainability is of collective life capital, or it is a fraud. Intergenerational equity is access to collective life capital across generational time without loss, or it is a lie. Throughout we see a missing life base presupposed, but not yet conscious or defined. Throughout we see that the ruling money-sequence value mechanism is incompetent even to comprehend it. Building without loss and for better life across generations is what is ultimately worthwhile. (It's Jung "your mother's milk" really!) No one might deny it, but ignorant usurpation of its meaning is what rules us. All universally life-enabling progression of human evolution and history to now, are the result of its implicit understanding. You cannot take a clean breath, meet a child safely, enjoy a drink of water, without their support from the past. The warped streak of epics and histories of power is opposite. But even state mass murderers and Wall Street bankers THINK they are improving the world (it's built into their value system, false value system), the primary delusion which received theory rationalizes, so that few understand. The lost life-ground is already implicit in healthy lives. Our organic fitness and powers, our depth and breadth of knowledge acquisition, our abilities to perform productive tasks of needed kinds, and most of all our sustained intent to create more life wealth without loss and cumulative gain, are the generic parameters of a life code, which is already built into us as human. More than ever we know the plague is ruling, and “the 1% and the 99%” express it. But a real economic holds beneath opinions and times. Public investment in common life capital capacities is the only allocation that works over time. We know this from America and Canada before 1980, Germany, Japan, Korea after 1950, and the post-1945 age of social standards across the world. It has been proven again despite sabotages, coups, and financial strangulations in Latin America after 1999. The unseen enemy is borderless money sequences with ever more rights. The missing map is diagnosis of the ruling value cancer. The missing link is the life-capital economy all now live and move by, breathe and move by. The war of the world today is won by knowledge action! [Applause]

Video Details

Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes and 50 seconds
Year: 2014
Country: Canada
Language: English
Producer: TZM Toronto
Director: TZM Toronto
Views: 125
Posted by: ltiofficial on Feb 2, 2015

John McMurtry shows that a false economic paradigm holds the world in thrall to a global corporate death system masked as market freedom. Liberation is explained as grounded in humanity’s repressed life-value code, life capital bases and civil commons organization which unify across distances and differences.

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