Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Towards a 'Higher Synthesis'

In Web Del Sol's current issue of The Potomac, D.R. Thompson offers a fascinating Dr. Martin Luther King quote within an equally compelling essay "Emerson Meets Wall Street: Systems Think, the Citizen Dividend, and Economic Democracy":

"Communism forgets that life is individual. Capitalism forgets that life is social, and the Kingdom of Brotherhood is found neither in the thesis of Communism nor the antithesis of Capitalism but in a higher synthesis. It is found in a higher synthesis that combines the truths of both".

The Economic Convergence theory suffered a setback in 1989 with the fall of the Soviet Bloc. The Economy Professor website defines this theory as:

"The division between capitalist democracies in Western Europe and North America, and communist states in Eastern Europe, is fading. The nature of industrial society leads both types to converge towards a common centre. Capitalist societies are becoming more organized and managerial, communist societies more open to market methods and to greater political and civil freedoms."

As we discussed on a recent Point Taken TV program, capitalism (or was it Reaganism?) rushed into the 1989 vaccum, claiming an unfiltered victory for free markets. Convergence yielded to sycophancy as the East sought to copy the West. Alas this 'crushing victory' was shortlived (if twenty years can be called short --and it is, in historical terms).

Now it seems convergence has resumed with a vengeance. That, or the death of ideologies has indeed come to pass and we inhabit an age of renewed pragmatism. I'm thinking here FDR's credo of trying everything and keeping only what works. Let the professors catalog the conceptual inconsistencies. We have a world to restart!

Verily, the pigs are resembling men, and the men, pigs. The Party of Mao has become the lender of last resort to the Great American Experiment as the latter embarks on an aggressive nationalization campaign of its financial system. Stay tuned for more ideological non sequiturs.

In the meantime, let's hope that MLK's dialectical vision (as opposed to outright economic collapse) looms in our future...

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