05/11/2012

How much is enough?

In his essay ‘Economic possibilities for our grandchildren’, in 1930, the British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that within a century industrialized societies have progressed so far that its technological advances allow people to live comfortably, with little need for work, and that provide happiness.

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A quite enthusiastic Keynes predicted that industrialization would result in human happiness —Photo Unknown Author

Almost a century later and taking that essay as a starting point, Robert Skidelsky, economic historian and biographer reputed creator of Keynesianism, published with his son and philosopher Edward the book ‘How much is enough?’, which reflect on the current economic system and society away from the concept of ‘good life’, something that humans have tried profiling over time, from classical Greece to Christianity or Marxism.

According to the book, strong progress and improvement in living conditions that followed World War II were twisted in the 80’s, when Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher set economic growth as an end in itself and not as a means of achieving the good life of the people. That growth indicator, which does not take into account other citizen concerns such as health, leisure or the environment, had a quick and decisive victory over the other end of the economy due to the dramatic increase in the standard of living of the decades of 60 and 70 and proximity to full employment in Western societies. ‘In these circumstances, the economic thought was free to concentrate on the efficiency of the production efficiency.’

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A few thousand US dollars —Photo Unknown Author

The good life, as opposed to happiness —something private and psychological, not always connected to the living conditions—, for Skidelsky is based on a number of basic elements that the state should promote, while it is for citizens to enjoy and develop full: health, security —physical or economic—, respect, personality —freedom to act autonomously—, harmony with nature, friendship —bond with others— and leisure —what is done for its own sake, not out of obligation or an end—.

The authors are optimistic about the future. Faced with the confusion between need and desire that seems to dominate, proposed ethical renewal, more social policies and reducing the pressure to consume or altering advertising freedom to choose. They believe that we are now better prepared than ever for the good life: we are materially better than in the 30s and knowledge is accessible to many more people, two factors that combined with the ethical awakening can make this economic crisis could leave advanced societies in a better starting position than Keynes in 1930.

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array(4) { [0]=> object(WP_Post)#1670 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2938) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-07-09 00:05:51" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-07-08 22:05:51" ["post_content"]=> string(3789) "Noam Chomsky es un lingüista, filósofo y activista estadounidense. Profesor emérito de lingüística en el MIT —Instituto Tecnológico de Massachusetts—, está considerado una de las figuras más destacadas en dicha especialidad gracias a sus trabajos sobre teoría lingüística y ciencia cognitiva, como la Jerarquía de Chomsky. Doctor Honoris Causa por la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, la Universidad de la Frontera de Chile y la Universidad Autónoma de México, el periódico The New York Times llegó a definirlo como 'el más importante de los pensadores contemporáneos'. Aunque quizá la faceta más popular de Chomsky sea su firme compromiso con la política, que comenzó en los años de la guerra de Vietnam y le llevó a afiliarse al sindicato IWW / Industrial Workers of the World —Trabajadores Industriales del Mundo—. Su activismo está caracterizado por una fuerte crítica al capitalismo contemporáneo, a la política exterior de Estados Unidos e Israel y a la manipulación de la población por parte de la élites económicas y los gobiernos. Uno de sus principales aportes intelectuales en el ámbito de la política ha sido el análisis de los medios de comunicación y los enfoques sesgados, o incluso engaños, que percibe detrás de su supuesta neutralidad. Se trata de un trabajo de contrainformación que ha inspirado a muchos otros autores y ha sido plasmado en obras como el ensayo 'Los guardianes de la libertad' —Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media—, escrito en 1988 en colaboración con el economista y profesor de la Universidad de Pennsylvania Edward S. Herman. En este vídeo se cuestiona si los miembros de una sociedad democrática bombardeada constantemente con técnicas de marketing pueden ser capaces de escoger libremente.Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher and activist. Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the MIT —Massachusetts Institute of Technology—, he is considered one of the leading figures in this field thanks to his work on linguistic theory and cognitive science, as the Chomsky Hierarchy. Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de la Frontera de Chile and the Universidad Autónoma de México, The New York Times once defined him as 'one of the most important contemporary thinkers'. But perhaps the most popular aspect of Chomsky is his strongly committment to politics that began in the years of the Vietnam War and led him to join the union IWW / Industrial Workers of the World. His activism is characterized by a strong criticism of contemporary capitalism, the United States’ and Israel foreign policy and the manipulation of the population by the economic elites and governments. One of its main intellectual contributions in the field of politics has been the analysis of the media and biased approaches, or even cheating, that he perceives behind his supposed neutrality. This is a work of disinformation that has inspired many other authors and has been reflected in works like the essay 'Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media', written in 1988 in collaboration with the economist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Edward S. Herman. This video questions whether members of a democratic society, bombed with marketing techniques, may be able to choose freely." ["post_title"]=> string(116) "¿Son compatibles democracia y marketing?Are democracy and marketing compatible?" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(38) "are-democracy-and-marketing-compatible" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 00:52:07" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-02 23:52:07" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2938" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [1]=> object(WP_Post)#1665 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(2715) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2012-06-25 00:04:56" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2012-06-24 22:04:56" ["post_content"]=> string(2119) "La Felicidad Nacional Bruta (FNB) o Felicidad Interior Bruta (FIB) es un indicador que mide la calidad de vida de las personas en términos más holísticos y psicológicos que el tradicional Producto Interior Bruto (PIB). El término fue propuesto en 1972 por Jigme Singye Wangchuck, rey de Bután, como respuesta a las constantes críticas sobre la mala marcha de la economía del país. Las medidas derivadas de este concepto se aplican en la vida cotidiana de los butaneses teniendo en cuenta las peculiaridades de su cultura, basada principalmente en el budismo. Mientras los modelos convencionales observan el crecimiento económico como objetivo principal, el concepto de FNB se basa en la premisa de que el verdadero desarrollo de la sociedad humana se encuentra en la complementación y refuerzo mutuo de los desarrollos material y espiritual. Sus cuatro pilares son la promoción del desarrollo socioeconómico sostenible e igualitario, la preservación y promoción de valores culturales, la conservación del Medio Ambiente y el establecimiento de un buen gobierno.Gross National Happiness (GNH) or Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) its an indicator that measures people's life quality in more holistic and psychological terms than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The term was proposed in 1972 by Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Buthan, as an answer to the constant criticism to the bad economy of the country. The measures resulting from this concept are applied in everyday life of the Bhutanese taking into account the peculiarities of their culture, based mainly in Buddhism. While conventional models observed economic growth as its main objective, the concept of GNH is based on the premise that true development of human society is in the complementarity and mutual reinforcement of material and spiritual developments. Its four pillars are: the promotion of sustainable and equitable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the environment and the establishment of good governance." ["post_title"]=> string(116) "El índice de Felicidad Nacional BrutaThe assessment of Gross National Happiness" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(42) "the-assessment-of-gross-national-happiness" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 03:16:53" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2020-03-03 02:16:53" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=2715" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [2]=> object(WP_Post)#1671 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(4687) ["post_author"]=> string(4) "2049" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2013-04-29 00:01:44" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2013-04-28 22:01:44" ["post_content"]=> string(3706) "'El futuro es una vuelta al feudalismo'. Doctor en sociología, está especializado en etnografía urbana. Con más de 15 años de experiencia en investigación cualitativa tanto en Nueva York como internacionalmente, es autor y coautor de de numerosos artículos y estudios. Su tesis doctoral consistió en un estudio comparativo titulado 'Sobreviviendo a la educación secundaria: explorando el impacto de la violencia y el crimen en la experiencia académica de inmigrantes y americanos'. En el Vera Institute of Justice, con el doctor Mercer Sullivan como mentor y una beca de Instituto Nacional de Justicia de Estados Unidos, investigó sobre la relación de las razas con la violencia adolescente, las bandas y la inmigración. En colaboración con el el criminólogo Rob Davis exploró la relación entre la policía y la comunidad y sus efectos en las denuncias civiles. En 2000 entró en el NDRI —National Disease Research Interchange— como investigador asociado en dos proyectos del NIH —National Institutes of Health— liderados por el Dr Samuel R. Friedman: 'Redes, normas y riesgo de SIDA en la juventud' y 'Factores sociales y riesgo de SIDA'. Ambos proyectos exploran las relaciones entre adictos, distribuidores, policía y otros actores de la comunidad, y cómo estas afectan a los resultados sobre salud y crimen. También ha sido investigador en un proyecto del NIDA —National Institute on Drug Abuse— cuyo objetivo es ayudar a los adictos a establecer estrategias para mantenerse alejados del SIDA y la hepatitis C; el proyecto contó además con una red de colaboradores en Londres, Sydney, Valencia y Vancouver. Actualmente, Pedro es investigador principal en un proyecto del NIDA que analiza el riesgo de SIDA y hepatitis C asociado al uso sin prescripción médica de opioides.'The future is a return to feudalism'. PhD in sociology, specialized in urban ethnography. With over 15 years experience in qualitative research both in New York City and internationally, he is first author and co-author of numerous peer reviewed publications and reports. His doctoral dissertation was a comparative study titled 'Street ethos: surviving High School that explored the impact of violence and crime on the academic experience of immigrants and American-born students'. At the Vera Institute of Justice, mentored by Dr Mercer Sullivan, he was the principal investigator of a National Institute of Justice grant that focused on race theory as it relates to adolescent violence, gangs and immigration. In collaboration with criminologist Rob Davis he explored the relationship between police and the community and its effect on civilian complaints. In 2000, he joined NDRI —National Disease Research Interchange— as a principal research associate for two NIH —National Institutes of Health— projects led by Samuel R. Friedman, PhD: 'Networks, norms and HIV risk among youth' and 'Social factors and HIV risk'. Both projects explored interactions among drug users, dealers, police and other community actors and how they relate to various health and crime outcomes. He was also principal investigator on a NIDA —National Institute on Drug Abuse— developmental project aimed at training injector drug users in strategies to avoid HIV and HCV infections, 'Staying safe: training IDUs in strategies to avoid HIV and HCV'. A consortium of researchers in London, Sydney, Valencia, and Vancouver collaborated in parallel 'Staying safe' studies. He is currently principal investigator on an NIDA funded R01 that explores HIV, HCV and STI risk associated with nonmedical use of prescription opioids." ["post_title"]=> string(128) "WHAT ABOUT: El futuro por Pedro Mateu-GelabertWHAT ABOUT: The future by Pedro Mateu-Gelabert" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["ping_status"]=> string(4) "open" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(45) "what-about-the-future-by-pedro-mateu-gelabert" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 15:02:58" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-05-05 13:02:58" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=4687" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } [3]=> object(WP_Post)#1794 (24) { ["ID"]=> int(7333) ["post_author"]=> string(3) "390" ["post_date"]=> string(19) "2015-03-14 13:21:41" ["post_date_gmt"]=> string(19) "2015-03-14 12:21:41" ["post_content"]=> string(9034) "Sabemos que vivimos en una sociedad profundamente individualista y de consumo. Es una realidad que este tipo de organización social, centrada en el individuo, en la libertad y en la felicidad, está teniendo unos costes sin precedentes para la vida del planeta, pero también para muchas personas a las que no tiene en cuenta. La sociedad de consumo actual también ha sido llamada del conocimiento y de la información. Hoy, el conocimiento de lo que ocurre a las afueras no sólo de nuestras casas, sino también de nuestras fronteras, es accesible para todo el mundo. Sin embargo, somos sociedades inmóviles ante las injusticias y horrores dentro y fuera de nuestras esferas más cercanas. Sólo consumimos ese conocimiento. Somos lo que se ha denominado 'consumidores pasivos'. ¿Cómo empezó esta forma de individualidad y que utilidad tenía? ¿Cómo hemos llegado hasta aquí? ¿Cómo se surgió la sociedad de consumo? ¿Cómo llegamos a ser quienes hoy somos? ¿Cómo llegamos a identificarnos con cosas y no con pensamientos, con necesidades inmediatas y no con ideales a largo plazo? ¿Cuándo dejamos de ser una comunidad para ser solamente nosotros? Estas son algunas preguntas a las que da respuesta el documental que proponemos: El siglo del yo. Dirigido por el documentalista británico Adam Curtis, es la primera de las cuatro partes que conforman el documento completo. Fue publicado en 2002, nominado a numerosos premios y ganador en las categorías de mejor serie documental en los Broadcast Awards y mejor película histórica del año en los Longman History Today Awards. Adam Curtis indaga en la influencia activa que tuvo la teoría del psicoanálisis de Freud, importada por Edward Bernays, su sobrino, de Europa a Estados Unidos en la economía, política y sociedad a partir de los años 20. A través del conocimiento de las teorías de Freud, Bernays, una figura híbrida entre ideólogo, publicista, una especie de incipiente figura del actual relaciones públicas, descubrió cómo a través de la psique se podían modificar los comportamientos de las personas. Cómo creando símbolos acerca de los productos de consumo se podían manipular las preferencias de las personas respecto a estos. Vio cómo se podían vincular los sentimientos a los bienes. Inventó la teoría de la propaganda y de persuasión del yo hacia las masas.
Edward Bernays se inspiró en las teorías de su tío Sigmund Freud para convertir necesidades en deseos y crear así la sociedad de consumo —Imagen Unknown Author
Años 20, la industria crece, y el miedo a la superproducción y la gestión del excedente aumentan a la par. Las grandes corporaciones necesitaban lo que Bernays les ofreció, un modo de transformar el consumo de necesidades en consumo de deseos. Son los felices 20, que vinieron seguidos del gran crack del 29. Pese a esa gran caída, desde ese momento el capitalismo no ha dejado de acercarse al capitalismo liberal que hoy conocemos. Hubo, después de la gran depresión, una fase intermedia de capitalismo intervenido y regulado  —como el keynesianismo o el New Deal de Roosevelt, lo que se ha llamado posteriormente 'los años dorados del capitalismo'—. Esta fase fue de lucha entre las corporaciones y los intereses privados frente los intereses públicos y del Estado. Lucha que culminó en 1979, con la crisis del petróleo y la transformación definitiva de este modelo de producción en su versión más feroz, en Inglaterra con Thatcher y en Estados Unidos con Reagan. El documental nos da muchas de las claves necesarias para entender cómo se dio ese proceso, y cómo el supuesto matrimonio entre democracia y capitalismo liberal se ha presentado cómo inquebrantable, cuando en realidad, como veremos, es un matrimonio de conveniencia —y no precisamente bien avenido— donde el aumento de la libertad en el consumo está reñida con nuestros derechos y con la libertad en su sentido más profundo. Los interesados en este matrimonio os resultarán familiares: Lehman Brothers, Rockefeller, General Motors… y Edward Bernays, que sería el divulgador de las ideas en las que posteriormente se basaría Goebbels para el desarrollo de sus técnicas de propaganda e ideologización en la Alemania de Hitler.We all know that we live within advanced societies of liberal capitalist model, in a profoundly individualistic and consumer society. It is a reality that this society, centered on the individual, freedom and happiness is having costs seamless background for life on the planet, also for the humans out of this advanced and liberal capitalist societies. Today's society has also been called the Society of knowledge and information, but today, knowledge of what happens outside not just our house, but also our borders is accessible for everyone, and we are the most immobile and inactive societies against the injustices and horrors outside and inside our closest areas. Only we consume that knowledge. It is the century of the self. How is started this form of individuality and which one is the utility? How did we get here? How the consumer society was founded? How we become who we are today? How do we are identifyed with things and not with thoughts, with immediate needs and not ideal long term, when we stop being a community to be only us? Here are some questions to which answers the documentary we propose: The Century of the Self. Directed by Adam Curtis, this is the first of the four parties that make up the entire document. It was published in 2002, and was nominated for numerous awards and winner in the categories of Best Documentary Series Broadcast Awards, and best historical film of the year, Longman History Today Awards. Adam Curtis delves into the active influence did the theory of psychoanalysis of Freud, imported by Edward Bernays, his nephew, from Europe to the United States. Through knowledge of the theories of Freud, Bernays, a hybrid among the ideologue, publicist and agent of the emerging figure of PR, discovered how through the psyche could change the behavior of people how creating symbols on consumer products could manipulate the preferences of individuals with regard to these. He saw, how they could link feelings to property. He invented the theory of propaganda and persuasion of self to the masses. W_elsiglodelyo3
Edward Bernays was inspired by the theories of his uncle Sigmund Freud to turn needs into desires and thus create the consumer society —Image Unknown Author
We are in 20's, the industry grows, and the fear of overproduction and increase management grows also. Big corporations needed what Bernays offered: a way to transform consumption needs in consumption desires. We are in happy 20's, followed by the big Crack of 29. Despite the big drop, from that moment capitalism he has not ceased to become liberal capitalism we know today. There was, after the Great Depression, an intermediate stage of the fight for the intervened and regulated capitalism —how Keynesianism or Roosevelt's New Deal, which were later called 'the golden age of capitalism'—. This fight was a tug of war between corporations and private interests against the public interest and the state, which culminated in 1979 with the oil crisis and definitive transformation of the mode of production in its ferocious more liberal version, in England with Thatcher and US with Reagan. The documentary gives us many of the necessary tools to understand how that process was key, and how the supposed marriage between democracy and liberal capitalism is presented how unshakable, when in fact, as we shall see, is a marriage of convenience, and where the increase of freedom in consumption is at odds with the loss of our rights and freedom in its deepest sense. Those interested in this marriage you will become familiar for you: W. Lippmann, Lehman Brothers, Rockefeller, General Motors... and Edward Bernays, who would be the disseminator —although manipulator should say, because he used science to private interest— ideas, later would be used by Goebbels for the development of techniques of propaganda and ideology in Hitler's Germany." ["post_title"]=> string(117) "Yo, mi, me, conmigo en el siglo del yoMe, myself and I in the century of the self" ["post_excerpt"]=> string(0) "" ["post_status"]=> string(7) "publish" ["comment_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["ping_status"]=> string(6) "closed" ["post_password"]=> string(0) "" ["post_name"]=> string(23) "the-century-of-the-self" ["to_ping"]=> string(0) "" ["pinged"]=> string(0) "" ["post_modified"]=> string(19) "2021-06-13 14:10:50" ["post_modified_gmt"]=> string(19) "2021-06-13 12:10:50" ["post_content_filtered"]=> string(0) "" ["post_parent"]=> int(0) ["guid"]=> string(29) "http://whatonline.org/?p=7333" ["menu_order"]=> int(0) ["post_type"]=> string(4) "post" ["post_mime_type"]=> string(0) "" ["comment_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["filter"]=> string(3) "raw" } }