- Written by: Kamran Mofid
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The world is riveting toward a possible turning point and we hope that you are able to stand with us in this call to action
We, the undersigned, co-authored the document noted below- A Call to Action- and sought the support of interested parties, by asking them to consider endorsing it. As the current global crises have clearly shown, the whole world is waking up to the value of co-creation and the harnessing of knowledge from diverse sources, disciplines, experience and expertise.
We are gratified by the level of enthusiastic support for the Call. We also received wise arguments and sincere suggestions on how to make this more inclusive, so that many more can join and sign the petition. We have acknowledged these suggestions and have incorporated them into the Call to Action.
The final document and the list of our endorsees are noted below. It goes without saying that we are most grateful for all your ongoing support. It is only when we work together that we may change the world for the better.
- Kamran Mofid PhD (ECON), Founder, Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (UK) www.gcgi.info
- Jamshid Damooei PhD (ECON), Co-director, Centre for Leadership and Values, School of Management, California Lutheran University, USA
- Steve Szeghi PhD (ECON), Dept of Economics, Wilmington College, Ohio, USA
The World Is Revolting Against the neo-liberal Economic and Business Model: A Call to Action
Hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, employed and unemployed, black and white, men and women, have come together in a continuing and lasting global unity, partaking in a dialogue of civilisations, faiths, cultures and peoples in consideration for the common good. This global movement has risen in a thousand cities on six continents: from Tahrir Square to Alexandria and Tunisia; Rio de Janerio to Bogota; Santiago, Chile to Barcelona; Zuccotti Park to Oakland; Wall Street to St. Paul’s; Frankfurt to Brussels: Rome to Athens; Toronto to Vancouver, Chicago to Philadelphia, Sydney to Brisbane and more, rejecting neo-liberalism and its prevailing economic and business models, demanding a better, kinder and more humane world.
Across the globe there is an unquestioning, deeply justified sense that governments have capitulated to big business and big finance at the expense of the people and the environment. Both centralised states and free markets are separated and divorced from society, and society in turn is thus subjugated by a global market-state, dominated by corporate elites and the self-serving lobbyists.
The line between corporate power and responsible government has steadily blurred, undermining our democracies and our economy, as well as our way of life. Politicians take money from corporations for their campaigns, make policies that reward them when in office, and then take high-paid jobs with them after they leave. This, in a nutshell, is corruption, plain and simple.
The collusion between big business and politicians, in the eyes of the people, generates a system that privatises profit, nationalises losses and socialises risk. From the very outset, the global economic turmoil was merely a symptom of a much larger moral, spiritual and ethical crisis. In short, the world is facing a crisis of values.
There is no doubt that, we should see this multitude of crises as a wakeup call to action, to see things as they are. We should search with an open mind for the wisdom we need to transform our economic system to a sustainable path, grounded in ecological reality, with respect for justice and dignity for all, and our appreciation for nature and our kinship for all living things.
Time is Now for Radical Change: What is to be done? At a time during the American Revolution, when things looked very dire and impossible, Tom Paine wrote:
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and women. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. . . ”
As many round the world are saying loud and clear, “This is another of those times. Our souls are being tried. This is our opportunity to stand firm, to show our perseverance and fortitude. This is a time our children and grandchildren will sing about. Their ballads will praise us for bringing them the world we all deserve.”
Thus, it is time to question the functionality of the existing economic system that has created a massive and widening gap between a few super rich and the many in abject poverty. We need to examine the soundness of extracting growing profit from a highly leveraged and unsustainable real sector in the face of massive numbers of disenfranchised people who are deprived of a potentially prosperous economic life. We need to question the ability of mother earth to support the extravagance of our blind and ignorant consumerism.
We also need to put self interest in perspective, and balance it with concern for the common good and for other species and the earth. We should recall the wisdom of Adam Smith, “father of modern economics”, who was a great moral philosopher first and foremost. In 1759, sixteen years before his famous Wealth of Nations, he published The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which explored the self-interested nature of man and his ability nevertheless to make moral decisions based on factors other than selfishness. In The Wealth of Nations, Smith laid the early groundwork for economic analysis, but he embedded it in a broader discussion of social justice and the role of government. Today we mainly know only of his analogy of the ‘invisible hand’ and refer to him as defending free markets; whilst ignoring his insight that the pursuit of wealth should not take precedence over social and moral obligations.
We are taught that the free market as a ‘way of life’ appealed to Adam Smith but not that he thought the morality of the market could not be a substitute for the morality for society at large. He neither envisioned nor prescribed a capitalist society, but rather a ‘capitalist economy within society, a society held together by communities of non-capitalist and nonmarket morality’. As it has been noted, morality for Smith included neighbourly love, an obligation to practice justice, a norm of financial support for the government ‘in proportion to [one’s] revenue’, and a tendency in human nature to derive pleasure from the good fortune and happiness of other people.
Building a new economics system will demand challenging and novel ways of thinking, perspectives that encompass the broad swath of human experience and wisdom, from the natural sciences and all the social sciences, to the philosophical and spiritual values of the world’s major religions and of indigenous peoples as well. The task before us is a daunting one, and wisdom in how to proceed will come from a multiple of sources, and must embrace the panorama of cultural and disciplinary perspectives. Practical steps are of the essence and we therefore propose some for you to consider. We also ask for your suggestions in expanding this list of practical steps, so that we can begin a dialogue on where we go from here in building a better world for ourselves and for future generations.
A few practical steps
- the right to a meaningful job and a minimum income to all individuals, guaranteed by society and/or government, and a "Special Fair Deal" for youth employment& a vigorous job creation programme with increased public works spending
- a tax on financial transactions
- access by the poor to credit markets
- limits on executive pay and compensation
- taxing capital gains and dividends at the same rate as wages and salaries
- elimination of too big to fail
- massive use of usury free lending to provide basic human needs, and expand the quality of human life in ways that are environmentally friendly
- a resurgence of financial regulations to reduce moral hazard, adverse selection, and to improve the flow of information to consumers
- increased investment in green technology, with a serious global commitment to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, preserve habitat for endangered species, and to price goods and services with environmental costs in mind
- an increase in funds for education at all levels, with education as a right
- the grounding of Business and Economics education in social, moral, and ethical values and principles
- a dramatic reduction in global military budgets
- creation of an International Fund for Peace, recognizing that true peace must spring from the access of all to the means of life and the ability to be fully functioning members of the global community
- the development of new international standards, institutions, and structures, where all countries and all peoples have an equal voice in holding, heads of state, executives of corporations, and policymakers accountable for their actions and policies according to the standards of insuring basic human needs to all, greater equality, and ecological balance; ensuring institutional integrity and full transparency; and the gradual elimination of the right of veto by major countries at the UN.
- *Dr. Hans Christof Graf von Sponeck, Germany, former UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, New York, USA, and teaches graduate seminars at the centres for Conflict Research and Near and Middle East Studies, University of Marburg, Germany http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_von_Sponeck - http://www.unimarburg.de/isu/inhaltinfos/seminarbeschreibungen2011/vsponeckiraqtheunitednations
- Prof. Johan Galtung, Founder, TRANSEND, France and the European University Centre for Peace Studies (EPU), Austria http://www.transcend.org/ - http://www.epu.ac.at/epu/
- Luk Bouckaert, Emeritus Prof. Centre for Economy and Ethics, Catholic University Leuven, http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/eng/fetew/medewerker/userpage.aspx?PID=952, and President, European SPES-Forum http://www.eurospes.be/ , Belgium
- Paul Shrivastava, David O'Brien Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Enterprise, and Director, David O'Brien Center for Sustainable Enterprise, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada and The 50+20 Steering Committee (A project to transform management education worldwide) http://johnmolson.concordia.ca/en/faculty-research/research-centres/david-obrien-centrefor-sustainable-enterprise/our-people/meet-director-shrivastava - http://www.50plus20.org/pages/about-5020
- Fred Dallmayr - Packey J. Dee Professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, USA http://freddallmayr.com/
- Prof. Hans Kochler, Chair, Political Philosophy, University of Innsbruck, Austria, and President, International Progress Organisation (I.P.O), Vienna, Austria http://hanskoechler.com/
- Nancy Roof, Founder, Kosmos Journal, Co-Founder Values Caucus at United Nations, Co-Founder Spiritual Caucus at United Nations, USA http://www.kosmosjournal.org/
- Evelin Lindner, Ph.D.s, founding president of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, and co-initiator of the World Dignity University initiative http://www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/evelin.php - http://www.worlddignityuniversity.org/joo/
- Linda Hartling, Ph.D., Director, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies http://www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/linda.php
- Brian Ward, Professional Traffic and Transportation Engineer www.fivepower.co.nz And Global Core Team Member of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies www.humiliationstudies.org
- Jan Oberg, Director and co-founder, The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Lund, Sweden http://www.transnational.org/Columns_Index_Oberg.htm
- Dr. Farhang Jahanpour, teaches Modern History for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and is an Associate Fellow at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University, UK
- Professor Arun Mohanty , School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, and Director , Eurasian Foundation, New Delhi, India http://www.jnu.ac.in/main.asp?sendval=crcasFaculty http://www.eurasianfoundation.com/index.htm
- Prof. Dr. Eduardo Missoni, President, indaba-network, Switzerland www.indaba-network.net
- Father Boulos Wehbe, Archpriest, Orthodox Archdiocese of Beirut, and Senior Lecturer, Notre Dame University (NDU), Lebanon http://www.ndu.edu.lb/
- Niloufer Bhagwat, lawyer, jurist and a former Professor of Law, India http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/
- Major General (Retd) Vinod Saighal (http://www.vinodsaighal.com/), India
- Robley E. George, Founder (1969) and Director, Center for the Study of Democratic Societies (http://www.CenterSDS.com) and Coordinator, Nonkilling Economics and Business Research Committee (http://www.nonkilling.org/node/7) USA
- Yahya R. Kamalipour, Professor and Head, Department of Communication, Purdue University, USA; and Founder &Chair, Global Communication Association, USA http://lass.calumet.purdue.edu/cca/yrkamali/ http://blogs.purduecal.edu/gca/
- Professor Peter Rolf Lutzeier, Principal& Chief Executive, Newman University College, Birmingham, UK http://www.newman.ac.uk/governance/?pg=2138
- Prof. Gerald Grudzen, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religion, San Jose City College, San Jose, CA and President, Global Ministries University, Temecula, CA, USA http://www.globalministriesuniversity.org/
- James B. Quilligan, Director, Centre for Global Negotiations, Philadelphia, USA http://www.global-negotiations.org/
- Uli Spalthoff, Germany; and from the leadership team of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network http://www.humiliationstudies.org/index.php http://www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/whoweare.php
- Tom Tresser, Creating solutions for breakthrough insight, economic development & civic engagement, USA http://blog.artsusa.org/?author=384"
- Erik Devreede, International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE) http://www.iaie.org/2_about_board.htm The Netherlands
- Christopher A. Kosovich, Kosovich Media Group, USA http://www.kosovichmedia.com/
- Ann Hallock, former Prof. Of behavioural medicine, Michigan State University, USA
- Dr. Bahman Dadgostar, Director, Hope Consulting Institute, USA
- Sesto Giovanni Castagnoli, President, World Spirit Forum, Switzerland and Chair Core Team, World Transforming Initiatives (WTI) http://www.worldspiritforum.org/en/about_us/about_us_details.php
- Rev. Dr. Alan Race, Editor-in- Chief, Interreligious Insight, UK&USA http://www.interreligiousinsight.org/Staff.html
- Father William J. McIntire MM, Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, USA and Mymensingh, Bangladesh http://www.ucanews.com/diocesan-directory/html/dps-ba_mymensingh.php
- Hari Bansh Jha, Ph.D, Visiting Scholar, German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg, Germany http://www.giga-hamburg.de/english/
- Simon Barrow, Co-Director, Ekklesia, London, UK http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/
- Share the World’s Resources (http://www.stwr.org/), London, UK
- Ken Rose, Kows Radio, Occidental, California, (http://www.pantedmonkey.org/) USA
- One Child's Village: A Global Orphans’ Foundation, Kenya& Canada http://www.onechildsvillage.org/index.asp
- Dr. Terry Nolan, Newman University College, Birmingham, UK http://www.newman.ac.uk/?pg=125
- Ed Nagelhout, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing, University of Nevada, USA http://english.unlv.edu/faculty/nagelhout.html
- Mr. Brando Crespi, Co-Founder and Director of Strategy, Pro-Natura International (http://www.pronatura.org/ ), France& Brazil
- Canon Peter Challen, MA, FRSA, Christian Council for Monetary Justice, and Sloan Fellow of the London Business School, London, UK http://www.ccmj.org/ - http://www.london.edu/programmes/sloanmastersinleadershipandstrategy.html
- Mr. Come Carpentier De Gourdon, Convener-Editorial Advisory Board, World Affairs Journal, New Delhi, India http://www.worldaffairsjournal.com/
- Dr. Michael Britton, Director, "Global Appreciative Culturing", USA; and Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies http://www.humiliationstudies.org/whoweare/michaelbritton.php
- Dr. Gerhard Apfelthaler, Professor and Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, School of Management, California Lutheran University, USA http://www.callutheran.edu/management/faculty/profile.php?profile_id=478
- Dr. Pamela K Brubaker, Professor Emeritus of Religion, California Lutheran University, USA http://callutheran.info/schools/cas/faculty_profile.php?major_id=107&profile_id=15
- Rev. Dr. Howard E. Wennes, President Emeritus, California Lutheran University, USA Bishop Emeritus- Grand Canyon Synod- The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, USA http://www.callutheran.edu/news/speakers/speaker_detail.php?profile_id=168
- Dr. Cynthia King, Professor of Engaged Humanities, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California, USA http://www.pacifica.edu/dedicated_faculty.aspx#k
- Dr. Sigmar Schwarz, Professor of English, California Lutheran University, USA http://www.callutheran.edu/schools/cas/faculty_profile.php?major_id=72&profile_id=104
- Dr. Samuel Thomas, Associate Professor of Religion, California Lutheran University, USA http://www.callutheran.edu/schools/cas/faculty_profile.php?minor_id=32&profile_id=219
- Karen McAuley, Social Justice Fund for Ventura County, California, USA http://www.socialjusticefundvc.org/
- Dr. Daniel Jordan, Senior Researcher, Psychology, Public Health of Ventura County, California, USA
- Dr. Alireza Akbari, Professor of Economics, California Lutheran University, USA
- Dr. David J. Marcey, Fletcher Jones Professor of Developmental Biology, California Lutheran University, USA http://www.callutheran.edu/schools/cas/faculty_profile.php?major_id=55&profile_id=80
- Dr. Paul Hanson, Professor and Chair, Department of History, California Lutheran University, USA http://www.callutheran.edu/schools/cas/faculty_profile.php?major_id=84&profile_id=54
- Dr. Harry Domicone, Professor of Management, California Lutheran University, USA http://www.callutheran.edu/schools/cas/faculty_profile.php?major_id=60&profile_id=34
- Gloria Flaherty, emeritus Professor of Education, Wilmington College, USA http://www2.wilmington.edu/about/news/6030/5556/no
- Ellen s. Novar, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Wilmington College, USA http://www.wilmington.edu/campusuite/modules/faculty.cfm?faculty_id=9540&grp_id=5566
- Tricia Keen, Southern California, USA
- Kate McLean, Former President and CEO of Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF), Westlake Village, California, USA http://www.socialjusticefundvc.org/?page_id=27
- Luis T. Gutiérrez, The Pelican Web of Solidarity and Sustainability, Mother Pelican: A Journal of Sustainable Human Development, USA http://pelicanweb.org/
- Maureen Dolan, PhD. Chicago, IL USA
- Michael Forsyth, Lacombe, Alberta Canada http://www.solardomehome.blogspot.com/
- Gabriella Bellegarde, Smithsonian Institution/Housing Initiative Partnership Family Literacy Program, Washington D.C., USA
- Grant L. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D. Physician (Retired), Laporte, Colorado USA
- Jacqueline R. Voss, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist, Laporte, Colorado USA
- Jerome Irwin, author of The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey, Vancouver, B.C. Canada http://turtle-island-odyssey.com/
- Kelly G. Ramer, M.P.P. Organizational Development Facilitator, Peace Corps Corozal, Belize
- Elisabeth Harper, Director, Skagit Business & Staffing, USA http://www.skagitbusiness.com/
- (Rev Canon Dr) Peter Dominy PhD thesis (2011) at Exeter University on "De-Coding Mammon: Money in Need of Redemption", UK
- Elizabeth O'Halloran, healthcare professional, USA
- Blythe Butler, President, Blythespirit Consulting and Leadership Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- John Hauf, (We are the 99%) http://occupymarin.org/ Oakland, USA
- Monica Perez Nevarez, Graduate student, Columbia University, New York, USA
- Gilles Leclair, Ecovillage Developer, Canada
- Michèle Renée Gervais, Antiguo Cuscatlán, El Salvador, Central America
- Ken S Green, Independent, Alaska, USA
- Norman Keegel, Occupy Seattle, Agate Passage Friends (Quakers), Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Buddhist Peace Fellowship, USA
- Pastor Michael Alfson, Trinity Lutheran College, Australia http://www.lst.vic.lca.org.au/search/pastor/pdetail.php?personcode=5
- Ronald C Andersen - substitute teacher in Anchorage School District, Seasonal Fisheries Technician for State of Alaska, Member American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees - AFL-CIO, Anchorage, Alaska, USA
- Dr. Bob Ross, MajorityVoteRules.Org, USA
- Brent Eichler, Vancouver Canada
- James MacDonald, Alumnus UPEI, Canada
- Ken Bonetti, Boulder, University of Colorado, Boulder, USA
- Donna Bonetti, unemployed, USA
- Jeff Snyder, Charlottesville, VA, USA
- Geri Rhodes, Tomé, NM, USA
- Donald B. Clark on behalf of Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice and Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ, Pleasant Hill, TN, USA
- David R. Montague, Bonner, MT, USA. “In Greed We Trust: Secrets of a Dead Billionaire,” a satire that deconstructs greed, plutocracy and the American Dream. www.greedwetrust.com
- Daniel L. Givens, US National Park System, USA
- Melissa Montgomery, Phoenix Arizona, USA
- John Bish, military veteran, Las Vegas, USA
- Jean-Marie PARDIGON, France
- Sonja Scherndl, Homeopath Iridologist Naturopath Herbalist, UK http://www.alphahomeopathy.co.uk/
- Don Wescher, South Milwaukee, USA (Author of: The Links between Peace, Justice, Democracy & Environmental Sustainability)
- Susan Rose, Cedar Key, Florida, USA
- Peter Anderson, Veterans For Peace, Fairfax, Calif, USA
- Duane Fleming, President, Livelihood Systems Institute, USA
- THOMAS R. JOHNSON, (last employment) Field Staff, Minnesota State College Faculty, Education Minnesota, USA
- John O'Neill, Austin, Texas, USA
- Matthew Hauck, San Diego, Ca, USA
- Benjamin Harack, Master of Science Candidate in Physics at McGill University, Founder and leader of www.visionofearth.org, Canada
- N.M. DuPlanti, USA
- Shelley Szeghi, Archeologist, USA
- Larry Potischman, Founding member and Executive of Green Energy Consultants, California, USA
- Naser Alaghband, Business owner, Los Angeles, California, USA
- Dr. Anoush Damoui, Business Owner, Orange County, California, USA
- Amir Malik, Computer System Specialist, Information System services, California Lutheran University, USA
- Abdullah Fatahi, Computer System Specialist, Information System services, California Lutheran University, USA
- Doug Green, Adjunct Professor of Management and Leadership, Pepperdine University and California Lutheran University, USA
- Ali Bamshad, Senior Transportation Engineer at Caltrans, California, USA
- Barbara Marquez O’Neill, Project Manager and Consultant to the City of Oxnard, California, USA
- Tereza M. Szeghi Ph.D, USA
- Nick (Klaus) Veltjens, Author: “World without war, made possible by empowered individuals”, Australia
- Tam Beeler, Mountain Stream, Michigan, USA
- Jane McCloskey, Blue Hill, Maine, USA
- Dan Heuer, Connecticut, USA
For enquiries, please contact:
Kamran Mofid PhD (ECON) www.gcgi.info firstname.lastname@example.org
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 3718
Ken Rose of KNOWS Radio, California, USA interviews Dr. Kamran Mofid of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (http://www.pantedmonkey.org/).
The interview was wide ranging including discussion about Coventry, globalisation and the common good, financial crisis, education, MBA, Business Schools, Rhodes Forum, the Arab Awaking, the Middle East, Iran, Iran and the US, the value of values and more.
Mofid explains, "It was one of the most rewarding encounter, discussion and debate I have ever had."
The interview can be heard online at the pantedmonkey.org website at 10-24-11 Kamran Mofid // Globalization For The Common Good Initiative.
- Written by: Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 5491
The Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative (GCGI) is happy to acknowledge and honour the Global Oneness Day, 24 October 2011. A day dedicated to shifting our understanding of who we are and the very foundations of our world - scientifically, politically, economically and spiritually. As noted by those in search of wisdom, for a very long time now, we've constructed a new world based on our sense of separation, leading to endless wars, racism, xenophobia, oppression, gender battles, and pseudo politics and economics. What if, we instead build a new world from the principles of oneness, dialogue of civilisations and consideration for the common good?
It is in this spirit that the brief synopsis below is offered for your reflection and contemplation.
Many sages, philosophers and theologians throughout history have reminded us that there are two forces at work in society, the material and the spiritual. If either of these two is neglected or ignored they will appear to be at odds with one another: society will inevitably becomes fragmented, divisions and rifts will manifest themselves with increasing force and frequency.
It is clear that this is exactly what has happened today. We have a situation of disequilibrium and disharmony. Only the reawakening of the human spirit will save us from our own worst extremes. Physical wealth must go hand in hand with spiritual, moral and ethical wealth.
Since the collapse of the financial, banking and economic sectors, many articles, papers and books have already been written on why such scandals took place, on what went wrong. However, these analysis, by and large, are mostly on economics of the crisis and in turn suggest economic- only- solutions. But as we can most clearly see, the more economic tools are employed, the deeper the crisis have become.
Those with a more spiritual disposition, with an eye on common sense, they all agree on the role of one vital element in all these crises: dishonesty fuelled by greed. We forget at our own peril that honesty and greed are essentially spiritual and moral issues. Furthermore, they know that no part of human life can operate without these values, not least the sphere of business, commerce, media and government.
The greed-motivated neo-liberal capitalist world is out of control. Perhaps it is time for us to redefine our values by acknowledging that the marketplace is not just an economic sphere, ‘it is a region of the human spirit’.
Although self-interest and economic considerations are an important source of human motivation, driving the decisions we make in the marketplace every day, those decisions nevertheless have a moral, ethical and spiritual dimension, because each decision we make affects not only ourselves but others too.
Spiritual Crisis: What is to be done?
Living happily is “the desire of us all, but our minds is blinded to a clear vision of just what it is that makes life happy”. The root of happiness is ethical behaviour, and thus the ancient idea of moral education and cultivation, is essential to the ideal of joyfulness.
We must recognise that our economic problems are closely linked to our spiritual problems and vice versa. Moreover, socio-economic justice, sustainability, peace and harmony will come about only when the essential connection between the spiritual and practical aspects of life is recognised and much valued. A necessary step in this journey of self-discovery is to discover, promote and live for the common good. The principle of the common good reminds us that we are all really responsible for each other - we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers - and must work for social conditions which ensure that every person and every group in society is able to meet their needs and realise their potential.
In order to arrive at such understanding, my first recommendation is for us to embody the core values of the Golden Rule (Ethic of Reciprocity): “Do unto others as you would have them to do to you”. This in turn will prompt us on a journey of discovery, giving life to what many consider to be the most consistent moral teaching throughout history.
In all, the focus of economics should be on the benefit and bounty that the economy produces, on how to let this bounty increase, and how to share the benefits justly among the people for the common good, removing the obstacles that hinder this process. Above all else the purpose of the economy should be to provide basic human needs as well as the means of establishing, maintaining, and nurturing human relationships while dealing justly with future generations (sustainability) and ethically with all life on earth (ecological balance).
Here we should recall the wisdom of Adam Smith, “father of modern economics”, who was a great moral philosopher first and foremost. In 1759, sixteen years before his famous Wealth of Nations, he published The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which explored the self-interested nature of man and his ability nevertheless to make moral decisions based on factors other than selfishness. In The Wealth of Nations, Smith laid the early groundwork for economic analysis, but he embedded it in a broader discussion of social justice and the role of government. Today we mainly know only of his analogy of the ‘invisible hand’ and refer to him as defending free markets; whilst ignoring his insight that the pursuit of wealth should not take precedence over social and moral obligations, and his belief that a ‘divine Being’ gives us ‘the greatest quantity of happiness’. We are taught that the free market as a ‘way of life’ appealed to Adam Smith but not that he distrusted the morality of the market as a morality for society at large. He neither envisioned nor prescribed a capitalist society, but rather a ‘capitalist economy within society, a society held together by communities of non-capitalist and non-market morality’. As it has been noted, morality for Smith included neighbourly love, an obligation to practice justice, a norm of financial support for the government ‘in proportion to [one’s] revenue’, and a tendency in human nature to derive pleasure from the good fortune and happiness of other people.
In summary, with each passing day, it is also increasingly evident in every corner of our world that great change is upon us and that by standing together in mutual respect, honour and dignity for one another, we will answer this call with creative, viable and sustainable solutions.
We must take the necessary steps now to reach out to our fellow humans and extend our hand in forgiveness, acceptance and genuine friendship. Our choices will be made from compassion while embracing the richness of our amazing diversity. The love and acceptance we have for ourselves will be the source of our strength to assist others. Together we can and will make a difference through dialogue of civilisations, principle of Oneness and consideration of the common good.
The vision and direction as depicted above is the correct and the right path. This is so, as hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, employed and unemployed, black and white, men and women, they all came together in a continuing and lasting global oneness, dialogue of civilisations and consideration for the common good on Saturday 15 October 2011, in thousand cities, 82 countries and six continents, from Zuccotti Park in New York, to St. Paul’s in London; Frankfurt to Madrid, Wall Street to Athens, Rome to Sydney and more, demanding a better, kinder and more humane world, the very same values that all the wise people and committed civil societies have been championing from the very long time.
Look around you; do you see an alternative path? In the wise words of the Persian sage and poet, Rumi, “Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there.”