The world is flat (lined)

Peter Jones Wu Wei

According to Thomas Friedman, we need a green revolution. And we will get one, by necessity and the need for local resilience in the face of the global wave of multiple defaults. Another green revolution is underway – a green (money) revolution, but perhaps not as we planned or designed. Allow me to post the most compelling of the last week’s economic news articles and a few responses. No analysis, just the linkage: Ray Dalio, Barron’s: Recession? No, It’s a D-process, and It Will Be Long Basically what happens is that after a period of time, economies go through a long-term debt cycle — a dynamic that is self-reinforcing, in which people finance their spending by borrowing and debts rise relative to incomes and, more accurately, debt-service payments rise relative to incomes. At cycle peaks, assets are bought on leverage at high-enough prices that the cash flows they produce aren’t adequate to service the debt. The incomes aren’t adequate to service the debt. Then begins the reversal process, and that becomes self-reinforcing, too. In the simplest sense, the country reaches …

Goodbye to the Value Subtracting “Finance Economy”

Peter Jones Wu Wei

Happy End of 2008! As we pounded the year into oblivion, many of my  favorite blogs flogged the predictions for 2009. Normally, next-year predictions are a yawning so-what. Given the palpable trepidation in the cultural climate though, more attention than usual has been brought to bear. See, for example, the collection at Depression2.TV (as in, will not be televised). Mr. Nystrom called the end of the era almost to the day, when he shut down his contrarian econ-news service Bull/Not-Bull on August 21, 2008. He re-opened the old D2 site when the time was right. Reading some of the linked pages, some predictions are just bizarre, and many (especially the psychics) are just mundane, Among the dire calls are several salient themes – reinforcing the transformation of society called for by Yellow Springs friends Community Solutions, and the Pat Murphy book Plan C: Kunstler on 2009 Much of what has been lost in 2008 will not be recovered: enterprises, personal fortunes, chattels, reputations. Pablo Ouziel: Witnessing the Decay of Western Hegemony and the Role of the Organic Intellectual Dmitry Orlov …

A Note on New Year’s Socionomics

Peter Jones Wu Wei

Bob Jacobson (Total Experience blog) recently posted about the Madoff scandal, and I quote: “In every culture, the battle of the classes is so intense it overwhelms ethical considerations. Every apparent ally is lauded by those who constitute the culture’s moneyed class — and when the fraud betrays the ideology of wealth, it is he or she who pays the price, not those who enabled them to play their predatory games by idolizing them.” Our culture has enabled them at every turn, symbolically and materially, through a lionizing media, aspirational pop culture, and the continuation of a false American Dream we’ve been sold. We’ve lived the last two decades in an culturally inflated bubble that protected us from having to consider smarter alternatives. But during the good times, Madoff worked his community hard. It is during the so-called “good times” that people overly trust, and when hitting the bear market, they need cash and start to ask questions. Madoff was trusted because he represented a class and way of life people aspired to. In the spirit of irrational exuberance, he …

The Collapse of American Capitalism, What’s Next?

Peter Jones Human Values, Transformation Design, Wu Wei

One of my doctoral committee members, Alex Pattakos, blogs for HuffingtonPost and wrote Meaningful Capitalism: Change We Can Believe In. In response to the article and some of the comments, I said: Organizations pursuing meaningful entrepreneurship are not in strong evidence by the media. We ourselves should become the new news media that changes the emphasis on what gets reported. People learn from success stories, and the meaning of success itself is and will be changing. People’s values will slowly change as their society shows these shifts in many tangible and subtle ways. We knew this collapse was coming at some point. Capitalism was already being referred to as “late” by many writers and thinkers, over the last decade or so. But one never knows “how late.” Most of us just did not know what to expect, or how the effects would appear on our national and global scene. The Crisis time we’re in now nearly exactly matches the historical theory of Strauss and Howe’s 1996 book The Fourth Turning.  And because we are now in a Fourth Turning, a …