The Orthogonal turn

3D head arises from a 2D political alignment grid
Image credit: All my own fault, except for the lovely heads, stolen from a cartooning tutorial by Nsio.

The recent heavy defeat of the UK Labour Party (after it offered a left-leaning manifesto that honourably tried to avoid populism) removes the last non-European heavyweight from the post-war consensus.

Johnson joins Trump, Bolsonaro, Netanyahu, Erdogan, Duterte, Modi and the rest of the gang in a mutually supportive loose cabal of populist neo-feudalists with crypto fascist instincts.

That’s it for post-war leftist progressivism. Game over.

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Operationalised Trust

After an earlier post here on Transcender Economic Action was cross-posted to the Low Impact blog, I got a response questioning the capacity of Mutual Credit to scale and serve a global economy.

My response grew ‘like Topsy‘, to the point where it seemed most appropriate to post it here.

Indeed, the problem of scale is serious. Some people in the Low Impact community are all for a ‘de-scaled’ civilisation – one of small towns, small global population, low-tech, believing that living in this way would be more sustainable and harmonious with nature.

I am not one of these. Everything I can see about life, over its three and a half billion year history, is that it tends towards growth and increasing complexity: from a few cubic centimetres then to a global biosphere now, the domain of life has expanded by an order of at least 10^25.

The idea that ‘nature’ is ‘harmonious’ seems also indefensible. When blue-green algae evolved, they produced oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis. Oxygen is an extremely dangerous chemical, toxic to all previous life-forms. There was a global ecological crisis as oxygen levels rose relentlessly – an enormous disharmony, to the extent that one name for this period is “The Oxygen Holocaust“. Oxygen tolerant, then oxygen-breathing life evolved, but this didn’t make for harmony – instead it set the stage for life to invade the land, utterly transforming the planet.

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