Hypotheses of holistic political economy

For what I define as holistic political economy I have developed what are essentially a number of hypotheses.

  • I found it necessary to re-conceptualise both politics and business so that I could use a new paradigm against which change could be evaluated.
  • The definition I have used is, in summary, to enable all citizens to realise their full potential within sustainable global limits, using a politics that is a quest for good governance, and business that seeks to increase the common-wealth
    • This is in contrast to what we have now. Poverty (material and of the spirit) is tolerated, politics itself is a competition to capture control of the state and much of current business simply aims to make much money as possible regardless of any wider consequences.
  • Any political endeavour can be measured against whether or not, and how much it will contribute to good governance and increase the common-wealth.
    • Against this new definition framing the argument would be different, there would be much more debate about what good looks like, the nature of political activity and leadership together with governance and oversight would need to change
    • Implicit within this is my own view that politicians of the left have given up on the articulation of an alternative. As a result they tackle the wrong areas, with the wrong priorities and find it difficult to win support
  • The ends and means of politics need to come into balance - if the end is good governance, increasing commonwealth with more cooperation and collaboration then competitive means, at the very least are out of step with the end. The means need more participation, more active citizenship and more critical executive oversight.
    • Implicit here is an observation that to advocate cooperation whilst practicing competition is at least unlikely to succeed, if not blatantly hypocritical. 
  • Parliament and party politics are not the be all and end all of political activity, a lot of progress can (and needs to) be made outside of current politics. People are already collaborating and cooperating; this can grow until it becomes an alternative cultural paradigm with its own supporting power structure

As I went deeper into human nature I ended up with some even more fundamental hypotheses: 

  • A large part of Human Behaviour is an emergent property of aspects of the Human Activity System over which we can exert influence.
  • Any changes to that system will change behaviour to some extent (within the limits imposed by us being primates with a certain physiology and intellectual limitations)
  • What we think and the culture we build are the key areas we can make changes
    • Things need to be on the agenda that are not there now; for example we should consciously design systems and processes that encourage people to behave collectively and collaboratively 
  • We need better mechanisms to ensure the dissemination of what we know if we want what we know to drive the search for good governance 
  • It is possible to design a, lowest common denominator, set of values which support the endeavour to make a better society
    • The key to this is enlightened self interest supported by the view that all people have an equal right to exist and by exiting should have an equal chance to fulfill their potential
    • This is a choice that not everyone will make, but more people will make if it is advocated and explained with the confidence that comes from the examples we have of it working all around us