Sunday, June 18, 2006

Jeff MacKenzie's response to my broadcast on NPR

Responses continue to come in to my broadcast on National Public Radio (USA). Here is one that has just arrived (though I don't disagree with all the views expressed, needless to say!)

Mr. Guptara,

I was very impressed by your interview with Krista Tippit and your lecture that was reprinted on her website.

I am particularly glad to learn that the Swiss who have bankrolled much of the world's mischief have taken steps to clean up their act. I have a few other thoughts along those lines:

*Humans don't seem to cooperate in large groups very well. Even armies have to be drilled and beaten into shape before they are cohesive. To expect the world to act in a cooperative manner among nations is therefore unlikely. A more realistic number would be groups of between 5 and 100 or so--about the number that used to cooperate in barn raising or fighting a housefire in the days before contractors and fire departments. If we could somehow globalize a small group network we might have something...

*Usury is really about managing the flow of capital efficiently, and more money becomes available if someone can make money making it available. That said, the entire system has apparently morphed into a transaction culture that values the transaction itself more than the goods exchanged. This is nowhere more evident than in the vast derivatives market which at hundreds of trillions of dollars dwarfs the entire worlds gnp. I'm not an economist, but it feels like any system that by increasing its complexity moves too far from it's source of energy is doomed to collapse.

*I agree that without hunanitarian values a money oriented system is indeed cancerous, and this is perpetuated by the immortal nature of shareholder value. Perhaps if shares could be restructured so that each share would have three components: one to directly enrich the shareholder, one to directly enrich a public trust to ensure equal access to all wealth creating opportunity, and one to be held in trust for future generations who would decide in the future how to apply it.

*Wealth and power are all about psychology. For instance, who is more powerful, Hitler or the first German who decided to take him seriously? Who has more influence over humanity, a CEO whose takeover bid throws people out of work, or the mother of that CEO, who had ultimat power over him for the first six years (at least) of his life--the formative years--and shaped his whole life's direction? In order to effect change, we must start at the roots is what I'm saying.

If we are ever to thwart humanity's mad, consumptive rush to oblivion, we must address the inner human and coincidentally, the herdbeast impulse that exists in all of us.

Thank you for putting up with my idle dithering. I thoroughly enjoyed your interview and hope I can hear more in the future.


Jeff MacKenzie

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