Wednesday, October 10, 2012

422: The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.


I don't know what your feelings are about it, but before 2008 I never have realized that there exists something like "financial markets".
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Of course, I knew about the stock exchange, but that governments depend on how financial markets respond? No, that was really new to me.
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It all looks so innocent  and understandable. Let's quote Wikipedia: 
"A financial market is a market in which people and entities can trade financial securities, commodities, 
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and other fungible items of value at low transaction costs and at prices that reflect supply and demand. 
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Securities include stocks and bonds, and commodities include precious metals or agricultural goods.
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There are both general markets (where many commodities are traded) and specialized markets (where only one commodity is traded).
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Markets work by placing many interested buyers and sellers, including households, firms, and government agencies, in one "place", thus making it easier for them to find each other.
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An economy which relies primarily on interactions between buyers and sellers to allocate resources is known as a market economy in contrast either to a command economy or to a non-market economy such as a gift economy.
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In finance, financial markets facilitate:
- The raising of capital (in the capital markets)
- The transfer of risk (in the derivatives markets)
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In economics, typically, the term market means the aggregate of possible buyers and sellers of a certain good or service and the transactions between them.
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During the 1980s and 1990s, a major growth sector in financial markets is the trade in so called derivative products, or derivatives for short." 
- end quote -
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It is simple as that. All is just interaction between buyers and sellers. That is what most economists like to believe, but philosophers and psychologist question fundamentally.
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In a previous lecture Longstep brought to my attention the following documentary:  
http://videos.arte.tv/fr/videos/la-grande-pompe-a-phynances--6965918.html 
(unfortunately only in French and German). There is also a part two.
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The story of the documentary is pretty scary. It is hard to believe, that we are dealing with human beings controlling the financial world. 
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It just looks like a small oligargy of financial hotshots that try to control our world. Their motivation? That is the most scary part: making more money….
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This in combination with the simplistic anthropology of many economists, who believe to live in a world of buyers and sellers,

 this leads to the famous speech on money by Francisco d"Anconia in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". (Part Two, Chapter II, The Aristocracy of Pull)

- quote -
"If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose—because it contains all the others—the fact that they were the people who created the phrase 'to make money.’ 

No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity—to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. 

Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created. The words 'to make money' hold the essence of human morality.
 -end quote -

And with this (American) morality we are dealing now and keep our conviction that the essence of morality is something quite different.

Dr. Vandana Shiva from India, held a lecture  at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon, USA on February 24th, 2011. 

Lizzy brought her to my attention and a quote from her lecture, I think, is  a perfect addition to this lecture:

-quote-
”Democracy in the present context is dead because originally it was of the people by the people and for the people.

 Although millions of people say ”no war” all governments of the rich nations send soldiers to Iraq and Afganistan. 

Across the world people say ”stop the banks from stealing our money” ... and the governments do nothing apart from saving the banks and let them be even more valuable than the people. 

When corporations start to influence political decisions and lobbyists substitute the people then it is a government of the corporations by the corporations and the people are totally disposable. 

This is what threatens democracy and why democracy has to be invented new“.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOfM7QD7-kk

My only criticism here is, that corporations and governments are still just individual human beings. In other words, it still is about the individual ethics of an individual being that makes this world.


The Discussion

herman Bergson: Thank you ^_^
Debbie Dee (framdor): At least the first half.
Lizzy Pleides: Thank you Herman
Debbie Dee (framdor): Thanks Prof.
Qwark Allen: thank you
herman Bergson: What about the first half debbie?
Qwark Allen: a pitty i can`t see that video
herman Bergson: If I could download it...
herman Bergson: but it is more than 71 minutes
Kime Babenco: Thanks Herman
Debbie Dee (framdor): So now - we agree - the corporations are in control. How do we stop them with democracy?
Lizzy Pleides: in youtube you should be able to see it Qwark
herman Bergson: part two is 66 minutes
herman Bergson: You know Debbie.....that is what I am wondering about mysellf...
herman Bergson: all these men...dont they have families, children...a social life?
Qwark Allen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fou4DOnL2ao
Qwark Allen: can you check if is that the video?
herman Bergson: research has shown that the richer you get the less social empathy you have
Debbie Dee (framdor): Yes - 1 hr 27 mins. Make it homework for discussion next week?
Kime Babenco: lol
Debbie Dee (framdor): Or at least keep them accountable?
herman Bergson: La grande pompe de phynances
herman Bergson: Yes that is the one Qwark
Qwark Allen: we know that the 1930 was man made crash
Lizzy Pleides: Hi Beertje
herman Bergson: Hi Beertje....:-)
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Goodevening:) sorry I'm late
Debbie Dee (framdor): Hi Beertje
Qwark Allen: someone just run with 500 billions in that time
herman Bergson: Yes Qwark and in the documentary these people are mentioned by name....
herman Bergson: The present crisis is manmade too.....
Qwark Allen: yes, and we know why they want it now
herman Bergson: and why is it?
Qwark Allen: more money and more power
Kime Babenco: Banks
herman Bergson: oh yes...
Lizzy Pleides: always the same
Debbie Dee (framdor): More power to do what?
herman Bergson: Yes Debbie...that puzzles me too always...
Qwark Allen: there are some "not friends" they want to get rid also
Lizzy Pleides: they think it can't be a mistake to have power
herman Bergson: to imprint your personal view of the world on this whole world I guess
herman Bergson: A person loves to do that.....gives a feeling of security
herman Bergson: I mean..these guys at the top are just ordinary people like everyone....
herman Bergson: but somehow power corrupts the brain....
herman Bergson: We see it with celebreties….
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they don't see themselves as ordinary people..they think they are special
herman Bergson: they go nuts because of the everlasting applause they get everywhere
Debbie Dee (framdor): I guess. But there is no point in destroying the world if you want to bestride it like a collosus
herman Bergson: That is the paradox I am thinking of Debbie....
herman Bergson: on the one hand you can create a crisis to get richer yourself...
Kime Babenco: Indeed.. If you were to be caught with 0,5grams of drugs in USA, you go to jail for a serious while, famous (rich) people walk a way with it
herman Bergson: but on the other hand you NEED this world intact to get richer
Debbie Dee (framdor): Only if richness is defined as only money.
Debbie Dee (framdor): yes herman. But as you have demonstrated - richness is way more than money.
herman Bergson: The thing is that it is not defined by more MONEY, but by some drive for MORE money...
Kime Babenco: Don't tell me there is no class judgement... because it's everywhere
Debbie Dee (framdor): Its crazy. And we are all complicit in this scheme.
Kime Babenco: Us knows us, and money knows money...
Kime Babenco: Hate else are clubs like Rotary and Lions?
herman Bergson: But I still believe in a countermovement....
herman Bergson: Like today Lizzy for instance points at Dr. Shiva....
herman Bergson: I still believe that these voices will be heard....
herman Bergson: let me give you an example....
Lizzy Pleides: lets hope it
Kime Babenco: She was completely right about her definition of democracy... But DO we really have democracy ?
Debbie Dee (framdor): There is a counter movement. However, we are still terribly weak. We are all so enslaved by money and technology.
herman Bergson: in the 1980s the banks were set free....
herman Bergson: in no time there emerged a trade in derivatives....
herman Bergson: especially in the US.....the holy Making money land....
herman Bergson: JC Morgan in the front row!
Debbie Dee (framdor): For example - why can you buy a car with a 7 liter engine?
Kime Babenco: Bankers should be bankers and not insurances or any other things
herman Bergson: Everybody now has to admit that the banks ruined the financial system...
herman Bergson: to give banks free reign means signing your death warrant...
herman Bergson: besides that of course we have corruption....
Lizzy Pleides: they had almost no limits
herman Bergson: the other way to get more and more ...
herman Bergson: indeed Lizzy....it is astonishing what they did, these bankers...
herman Bergson: Another example...
Qwark Allen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLDVsLCtXXg
herman Bergson: in my newspaper...
Debbie Dee (framdor): It seems that Chavez is meeting with some success with his democratic socialism
Qwark Allen: someone talking about, why they want this war to happen
Kime Babenco: Hugo Chavez from Venezuela you mean ?
herman Bergson: all of a sudden stocks of Kraft Food went up 29% on NASDAQ
Qwark Allen: omg
Debbie Dee (framdor): yes
herman Bergson: then they stopped the trade....
herman Bergson: what was the case.....
Kime Babenco: He is helping the poor people there
herman Bergson: this stocktrade isn't handled by humans anymore...
Kime Babenco: But the economy fell down there
herman Bergson: there are computers monitoring the market and buying and selling at an incredible speed...!
Debbie Dee (framdor): http://www.countercurrents.org/wharton081012.htm
Debbie Dee (framdor): This link is about the successes in Venezuela
herman Bergson: What are people doing there at NASDAQ?????
Kime Babenco: the fastest wins... that isn't fair either
herman Bergson: it is no longer about economy, ...allocating resources, but about making money....
herman Bergson: making more money...
herman Bergson: Venezuela and Chavez is a different story ....
Debbie Dee (framdor): making money? Funny idea ;)
herman Bergson: yes Debbie...but that was the American dream of Ayn Rand...
Debbie Dee (framdor): Millions of formerly unemployed Venezuelan workers, millions who once lived in extreme poverty, millions of children who survived childbirth and now millions of Venezuelan voters provide testimony to the transformative potential of socialism in the 21st century
Kime Babenco: If you would, just imagine , be a visitor from another planet, and see how a stock exchange , like Wall Street , works, and knowing that that is determinating where is going good or bad... You can't stop laughing I guess,,,
herman Bergson: I checked the 1000+ pages of Atlas Shrugged on the expression "make money"
Debbie Dee (framdor): and herman?
herman Bergson: dozens of times....
Second Life: Doodus Rebootus (doodus.moose) is online.
herman Bergson: after page 320 I stopped for I had found d'Anconia's speech ^_^
herman Bergson: I have no opinion about what is happening in Venezuela because a lack of knowledge at the moment
Debbie Dee (framdor): I still don't really understand making money. But I think it is about moving wealth to limited recipients at the expense of the planet.
herman Bergson: But I dont believ ein fairytales...nor the blessings of socialism....we have seen that promise often enough
Debbie Dee (framdor): http://www.countercurrents.org/vorpahl081012.htm - read this - it is the real start of the anti capitalist revolution
herman Bergson: ok Debbie...
herman Bergson: but let me get back to the core of this project....
Kime Babenco: If you see what bankers got fixed, you can't be angry to a bank robber anymore
herman Bergson: the basic idea is that there can be a market economy.....that there are buyers and sellers ...
herman Bergson: but that this system can not be applied to all social relations....
Lizzy Pleides: we need changes urgently but we shouldn't go from 1 extreme to another
herman Bergson: social relations, education, healthcare, environment...areas like that are slowly penetrated by this neoliberal market belief.....and that has to be stopped
Debbie Dee (framdor): no - but it has to start somewhere lizzy.
Debbie Dee (framdor): It actually needs to start like it is with us - in each persons' awareness.
Lizzy Pleides: true debbie
Kime Babenco: Of course we have to condemn any crime... but why don't we with all ? like the much higher amounts... in costume and with tie or whatever
herman Bergson: yes Kime...that is what I also say....and that is why I believe in a counter movemnet
herman Bergson: and you see these signs everywhere...
herman Bergson: Banks aren't free anymore to do as they like
Debbie Dee (framdor): The paradox for me is that I like high technology mass produced stuff, and enjoy the trappings of energy gluttony.
herman Bergson: they still try...but yet
Debbie Dee (framdor): So on a daily level I vote for the corporations ith my dollars
herman Bergson: What worries me most is that there is a small group of people, not democratically controlled, who govern this planet
Qwark Allen: yep
Kime Babenco: USA say always they spread democracy when they are attacking a country... I have never seen any result of that...or hardly...
Qwark Allen: the shadow government
herman Bergson: Yes Qwark....
Qwark Allen: above all governments
Debbie Dee (framdor): They are using up stock, to make space for more guns.
Kime Babenco: What rules is money...
herman Bergson: that documentary I mentioned shows it so clearly....really scary
Qwark Allen: nice, i`ll have a look for sure
Qwark Allen: the truth is out there
Qwark Allen: you just have to know the question, to get your answer
herman Bergson: There was one moment when I looked at that documentary when I thought
herman Bergson: what am I doing here in SL....
Debbie Dee (framdor): The truth is in you qwark ;)
Qwark Allen: hehehe
herman Bergson: talking about ethics .....
Second Life: JF (janfolkert.alter) is online.
Second Life: Mariella Diesel (mariella.deezul) is offline.
herman Bergson: ethics of who?
Qwark Allen: God
herman Bergson: yes us...simple people at the end of the food chain....
Debbie Dee (framdor): god?
Qwark Allen: just a joke
herman Bergson: while the vultures circle above our heads
Qwark Allen: yes, indeed
Qwark Allen: i have to go now
Qwark Allen: thank you hermann
herman Bergson: I guess ...we better stop for today indeed ^_^
Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
Lizzy Pleides: TC Qwark
Qwark Allen: :-)))
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Qwark
herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation again
Qwark Allen: i should be already playing at a club
Qwark Allen: eheheh
herman Bergson: Class dismissed
Qwark Allen: we are getting the answers we are looking for ^^
herman Bergson: Run Qwark!!!
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I'll read the blog tomorrow Herman..I missed it all I guess
Lizzy Pleides: we have to thank you for teaching us ethics Herman
herman Bergson: Dont worry Beertje.....the text is patient....
.: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): as I am:)))

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