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August 2011
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October 2011

September 2011

Philanthropic Eugenics

Why did eugenics have such an appeal to our first major modern philanthropists? - Bill Schambra takes on Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. He aligns, or elides, or smears together, the pursuit of root causes with eugenics.  It is as if he were concerned that Rockefeller might really find the root causes of poverty, and lay them to the account of  the wealthy and powerful Board to which Bill reports. Despite the contumely this is a family fight, within a very small family, verging on the hegemonic.  The root causes of poverty remain a mystery. The bull must be protected. Miscuing is an art. Some seek to conceal what  other pretend to seek.

A Broke Father Hedges His Retirement Bets

Two grown children:

1. Stock analyst for an international bank. Their stock fell 11% last week, subject to recent scandals. He wonders if his bonus will be paid.

2. Environmentalist. She returns my call by cell phone from a forest. She is taking a lesson later today on how to make soap from goat's milk.

Which has the brigher future, post collapse? In my old age, I will move in with one or the other. That is my retirement plan. I like money and goat cheese. Either one is fine.

What is an Economy For (Gandhiian Answer to Financial Collapse)

Crisis or Opportunity:

The real purpose of an economic system is to guarantee to every person in its circle the fundamentals of physical existence (food, clothing, shelter) and the tools of meaningful work so that they can get on with the business of living together and working out our common destiny. This was Gandhi’s vision, among others’. We can no longer afford to ignore him in this sector any more than we can ignore his spectacular contributions to peace and security.

By the time Gandhi’s thinking on the subject matured in his classic treatise, Hind Swaraj, or Indian Home Rule (1909), he saw that our present economic system is being driven by a dangerous motive: the multiplication of wants. Because these wants are artificial — being that they created by advertising — and can never be satisfied, it creates what economist David Korten has called a “phantom economy” of fantastic financial manipulations that of course can never endure.

How dull, empiricist, positvistic, and hype-deluded seem our theories of multiple bottom lines in comparison to Gandhi's fusion of spiritual traditions and economic realities. "Trusteeship" and nonviolence to the environment - where in MBA language are these affirmations expressed? Creating Shared Value -- all that means when MBAs say it, is that they decide who gets what. When will our best and brightest wake up? Only when they shut their management textbooks, and still the dream of profit and control in their own hearts. Virtue and wisdom lie entirely elsewhere, in other canons, and other skills. An economy based on phantasmal wants, false arts of advertising, and the worship of growth, gain, and power is shared something. But it is not shared value. It is deathliness coming on at an ever-accelerated rate, as does tuberculosis, once called, consumption

But enough negativity. Of course there are solutions! And we do have a Strategic Plan with Measurable Outcomes. Even as we speak, The Wealth Bondage Shared Valuation Creation Division is deploying Shared Value Creation Teams worldwide. I will be shipping out with the 82 Airborne to provide Shock, Freedom, and Awe, as the gunships drop in the MBAs behind the Marines. My role is to secure the strategic oil reserves as the museums are looted. On balance this shares More Value than it destroys, and shares them with the right people too. In Shared Value Creation stuff happens. It can't be helped. Well, I have my orders.  Onward Shared Value Creators. Gandhi must go. He hates us for our Freedoms!

The World After 9/11

Globe and Mail:

There are more filthy rich folks now than at any other moment in history and they’re leveraging their astounding wealth to make sure they get filthier at the expense of the rest of us, still of course the vast majority. What is true of America is equally true of Britain and increasingly true of Canada. While the middle class shrinks, the working class slips backwards and social mobility erodes, the rich buy themselves politicians, lobbyists, legal beagles, slick accountants, “trained economists,” television networks, “think” tanks and whatever other apparatus is needed to make them even richer. Their success surpasses even the most piggish of expectations.

Freedom has prevailed.

The Consumers formerly Known as Citizens in an Internet Age

Very fine talk by Ben Hammersley addressing Britian's security elite:

It’s another example of a network beating a hierachy, and it’s all pervasive in the national discourse. We are used to having our opinions matter, and so now, at the one end, politics is more shrill – more rabble-like – and at the other end, we have rioting.

Indeed, a small part of the trigger for the London riots can be understood as the gap between the respect given to peoples’s opinions by the internet, and the complete disrespect given by the government and the ruling elites.

What I get from this, and it is a point Ben makes later, is that government is now a product (an experience) to be created by dream merchants and consumed by consumers formerly known as citizens. Where we have rabble, we will have rabble rousers, such as Fox News, and funders of rabble, as with the Tea Party. As for educating an electorate in critical thinking, we have what? Oxbridge in England and the Ivies and Little Three in the US. For the rest we have "test every ninny every year for compliance with dogma and authority." The end product is a consumer, and an employee, and a stunted opinionated human. "Liberals think you are stupid," sneers Hannity. I think, on the contrary, that you are educable and have been defrauded of your birthright by those who pander to your prejudice.

Plague Doctor


The Plague Doctor

  • Very knowledgeable in scientific matters
  • Offers advice
  • Keep good records
  • Measures results
  • Need special outfit to avoid contamination
  • Wears bird beak respitator stuffed with herbs to mask the stench
  • Carries a stick with which to touch the suffering body of others
  • Must be quaranteed to avoid spreading the disease he/she cures

What can we learn from this as strategic philanthropists who heal the dying world? At the very least we might wear a costume? Or, perhaps our businesslike manner and jargon provide sufficient insulation from reality?