“Fatti non foste per viver di solo pane”… (“You were not born to live on bread alone”)
(Dante Alighieri ,” Divine Comedy”)
… But bread is indispensable.
1) Why happiness is the key geo-politic factor
2) The historical background since the ´70´s ,(the last generation)
3) The metrics to measure it : TARSGA © ( Trans-disciplinary Anti Risk SUSTAINABLE Global Approach)
We consider that happiness is the key geo-political factor because it measures the satisfaction of a nation. We use a mix of indexes to develop a set of metrics that are measureable and objective and we call them: TARSGA © (Trans-disciplinary Anti Risk SUSTAINABLE Global Approach). TARSGA ©is a trans-cultural tool able to support the risk management. In the section 2 we evaluate the historical background since the ´70´s ,(the last generation), focusing on three events : the 1st computer, the end of Bretton Woods and the OPEC embargo. In the section 3 we describe the analytical approach and the metrics we use to implement TARSGA © .
1) Why happiness is the key geo-politic factor
Life is more than one dimension … life is a dynamic and kaleidoscopic puzzle where the future is among us.
We needs metrics and statistics to measure and to understand the world around and beyond us but the problem is that we rely on the wrong metrics.
Normally is used to think in term of QUANTITATIVE metrics and we forget the QUALITATIVE ones.
In other terms the focus is on variables like GDP or currency reserve or military power, (all quantitative ones),but we forget at all the happiness . Our happiness.
Prosumerzen has a different approach and we consider that happiness is a key factor and that the QUALITATIVES variables have the same value of the QUANTITATIVE ones. The first cannot exist without the latter as well as the latter cannot without the first.
On clear terms we are laser focused on an HARMONIC & SUSTAINABLE development that takes place only and only when there is MATERIAL & SPIRITUAL empowerment/development. Both , (spiritual and material),must be side by side to mutually and synergic COMPLEMENT & REINFORCE.
Because the world is based on mutual interactions generating mutual influences and effects to take into account the only way to understand global problems is that to use an eclectic trans-disciplinary mix of analytical tools.
Unlucky the usual approach when we talk about quantitative variables like living quality ,satisfaction ,( at the end we can describe all with a word and this word is happiness),we face a lot of skepticism ,(if not irony),because it is told that it is not possible to measure it, to have the “objective” appropriate metrics.
This is false!
A solution exists. It ranges from the Gross National Happiness index ,(GNH),used since 1972 and now also in France and in the UK governmental records to the GDP.
In Prosumerzen we mix qualitative and quantitative variables in order to have a TRANS-CULTURAL global approach able to measure the risk/problem and to supply information for the risk management.
But before that we focus on technical details,( section 3), and that we talk about the historical contest in the last generation,(section 2), it is important to magnify why happiness is the key factor.
We are at the same time spiritual and material and the two dimensions mutually complement and reinforce each other. Sadly it seems that we want to forget our spiritual one and we “confine” it on our private sphere. Then we describe it with words like religion, belief but ,again, we miss the point and we are forced to describe it using these words because we want to miss the point.
HAPINESS is not only a private dimension and cannot be only that. Our happiness is influenced also by external factors and synergistically influences, (when we, the people, gather together), what around us. Look, for example, at the Jasmine Revolution. The most important claim is dignity. Dignity is an important element of happiness of a person as well as of a people. Logically they want also to improve their lives and its quality but they ask dignity to achieve it as sustainable development.
In other terms a qualitative variable, (dignity), to achieve a quantitative one ,( GDP pro capita).
“Fatti non foste per viver di solo pane”… (You were not born to live on bread alone ) Dante Alighieri wrote it in the XIII and he was inspired by Arab intellectuals inspired by Hellenists inspired by… we can back at the origin of the humanity to find the evidence of it as well as that it is trans-cultural.
Harmony means to empower the material and the spiritual thanks to sustainability achievable only if we consider both. If not we can feed our body but not our soul and this can only generate stress and other social diseases.
1 The historical background since the ´70´s ,(the last generation)
“The end of the bipolar post war world has bee acknowledged by the latest presidential State of the World message”… 2011 , President Obama ?
Not at all …1972, President Nixon.
In a brilliant article published by Foreign Affairs in July 1972 Professor Stanley Hoffmann described the world in the… 2011.
Between 1968 and 1973 we find three events among others that are shaping our world today.
- 9/12/1968 : ( what was later to be called The Mother of All Demos), SRI researcher Douglas Englebart in 1968 gave a preview of what would become the staples of daily working life in the 21st century – e-mail, hypertext, word processing, video conferencing, and the mouse. The demonstration required technical support staff and a mainframe time-sharing computer that were far too costly for individual business use at the time.
- 15/8/1971 : President Nixon sanctioned the end of the Bretton Woods gold based system
- 16/10/1973: the OPEC declared the oil embargo
- The computer,(9/12/1968)
In an internet based world with all seems to be “cloud computing” why we do not consider October 1968 when ARPANET was established ? Or why not 1971 when Ray Tomlinson, of the BBN company , created the symbol “@” and sent the first network e-mail using ARPANET? We choose 9/12/1968 because the computer is more than internet and cloud computing even if seems that we have lost this dimension.
- The end of Bretton Wood,(15/8/1971)
The Bretton Woods agreements designed an international monetary system built upon a dollar-gold standard. The values of international currencies were fixed in terms of the US dollar, which was then defined as a fixed quantity of gold. The responsibility for managing the international monetary system fell on the United States for the most part since its dollar was the key reserve currency. The International Monetary Fund provided a multilateral institution to manage the system and facilitate international payments.
This system presented a very practical dilemma for the USA because could have “deficits without tears”. On clear terms as the one nation that could undertake virtually any amount of expenditure without consequence because of the dollar’s central position in the international monetary system .Washington was immediately confronted with an inevitable choice between its domestic needs , ( to finance the Vietnam War and to end a recession),and its international responsibilities as “master of the system”. The problem is this: at some point, the US was likely to feel the need to put its domestic political concerns ahead of its responsibility to the international monetary system. At this point the system would begin to break down. The Bretton Woods monetary system did in fact finally fail on August 15, 1971 when President Nixon formally removed the fixed link between the dollar and gold.
That day the failure of the system was described as the consequence of the “ imperious economy” and if we can learn a lesson that is that economic arrangements create political obligations and are subject to political manipulation. The combination of political and economic arrangements must be “incentive compatible” if it is to succeed in the long run. That is, the political and economic incentives that individual members of the system perceive must be consistent with the behaviors necessary for the continued existence of the system. Washington faced incentives that were ultimately destructive to the Bretton Woods system.
But it seems that we did not learn a lot as the euro shows to us.
It is clear that the euro is both political and it is economic and that the two sides cannot be separated.
The principal goal in creating the single currency was political: the euro would bind Germany forever to its European Union partners and prevent its focus from shifting towards Central and Eastern European relations. In a sense, the economic ties of the euro were meant to reinforce, (if not replace), the political ties of Cold War world in the so called new world order.. A secondary goal was economic: to create a region of relative currency stability to encourage regional economic growth in a world of increasing financial instability . In this case the contemporary globalization ,( we remember that the globalization in the modern age started in the XII and that we have also a globalization in the older age if we consider that, fro example, Rome was bale to import fruits from China or from Australia in the IV B.C.), might eventually be limited by the instability of international currency markets, but the EU could effectively pursue regional economic initiatives with a global stabilizing effect if all nations in the region (or nearly so) had the same currency.
But the problems raised soon…having fixed its exchange rate, however, a euro nation is not permitted an independent monetary policy. The traditional tools of macroeconomic policies are useless in this situation, so the state must either tolerate joblessness or engage in microeconomic reforms that improve the job creation environment by lowering employment costs and removing social welfare programs that discourage unemployed workers from accepting job offers. Then the EU countries may be forced to make previously unforeseen domestic political choices because of their inability to implement external exchange rate adjustments. The euro therefore illustrates how complex is the political economy of international money. Political goals dictate economic structures, which can have unexpected political and economic consequences.
The relatively simple world of Cold War relations has been replaced by a more complex set of international political and economic relationships…where we have problems to learn form our mistakes…
The main consequence of the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system was to activate a process that, by the 1990s, had created a global financial system. Technological change, financial deregulation, the end Cold War divisions, and the emergence of new economic centers, (and among them No State Actors ,NSA), all contributed to the transformation of finance from an international economic structure, subject to regulation by national governments, to a global structure beyond the regulatory authority of any nation-state.
The problem is that..this structure simply DOES NOT exist. Or in other words the problem with global financial markets is that they are not matched by any corresponding global structure of control and that means that there is no political authority, ( composed by State Actors/SA and No State Actors/NSA), that corresponds to the market.
The consequence is a chronic asymmetry that is the real origin of the entire financial crisis since the 1987 stock markets collapse. The real origin of 15/11 ,( the financial crisis started on 15-11-2008 ),is political and it is the last chapter of the titan war among SA vs. NSA inside this asymmetry. At the moment the SA are winning this war.
The main reason why it is so difficult to agree to a new monetary system is NOT that political and economy systems are complex so that economic changes can have unexpected political consequences , NOT that international agreements require that states sometimes sacrifice their domestic needs to honor their international responsibilities and NOT the strengthening of international or global authority threatens domestic autonomy. The real reason is only and only political and it is to shape the post-Westphalia Order. The problem of the contemporary no-polar order is not that we have many center of powers but that these centers are different because the NSA play a role that is bigger but also the logic consequence of an historical trend that,(unlucky it seems), we have forgot, ( it is only to remember the role of the Eastern India Companies from XVII to XIX… )
- The oil embargo, (16/10/1973)
Two dates are important when we talk about energy in the contemporary world : 16/10/1973 and 9/11/2001.
What started on 16/10/1973,( with the OPEC embargo), reached its highest momentum on 9/11/2001,( the terror attack in New York).
Since 1973 we started to talk about the need to diversify the sources of energies and among them to develop the green energy. But it is only since 9/11 that we started to work on it…seriously. Since the attack to the Twin Towers the feeling was to change our way to produce energy. In the same period started a global awakens and we begin also to think how to change our way to consume energy. This is the winning mix. It is not only to change the production, ( green /renewable energy) , but also to BETTER consume it, ( a sustainable utilization).
But there is also a second important political legacy of the embargo : the role of multinational corporations (MNCs) in international economics and politics.
In the first decade of the XXI we must describe it as the role of the NSA ) in international economics and politics but was during the embargo that question started to rise.
The reason was the incredible powers of the so-called “7 sisters” , ( the multinational companies that controlled the oil industry). In the last 20 years the “ 7 sisters” are a remember of the past because now more than 75% of the oil reserves and production is controlled by state controlled companies, ( for example Saudi Aramco, Gazprom …) .
That time the politic question was : were the oil MNCs tools of their western home governments, agents of their OPEC host governments, or were they acting as pure economic actors independent of home or host political ties
Today the question is still open. Others MNC´s replaced the “ 7 sisters” and others NSA have been achieving a status of international power center.
We can describe these No State Actors as :
I. International Organizations,(IO), ( IMF,WB,UN …)
II. Regional Organizations ,(RO),( the African Union, the EU, the Arab League , ASEAN …)
III. Functional Organizations, (FO), ( The Shangai Cooperation, OPEC, the International Energy Agency, WHO …)
IV. States within nations-states,(SWNS), (California, Uttar Pradesh, Lombardia-Piemonte-Tri Veneto, Bayern, Cataluña, Quebec & Ecotopia among the 9 Nations of North America …)
V. Towns within nation-states ,(TWNS),( metropolitan areas like Sao Paulo ,New York, Paris, London, Shanghai … )
VII. Global Media Outlets, (GMO),( BBC,CNN, Al Jazeera …)
VIII. Private Security Forces,(PSF)
IX. Militias Forces, (MF),( Hezbollah ,the Madhy Army …)
X. Organized Crime ,( Italian, Russian, Chinese, Israeli mafia …)
XI. Benign Organizations ,(BO),( Médecins Sans Frontières, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Greenpeace, WWF … )
XII. Private Controller ,(PC), ( The International Chamber of Commerce, Amnesty International , Transparency International, Standard & Poor …)
XIII. National Liberation Movements , ( NLM)
XIV. Religious Movements ,(RM), ( the American Evangelic Churches, the new born Religions …)
XV. National Owned Champion ,(NOC), ( for example in the oil industry Gazprom, China National Petroleum Corporation, National Iranian Oil Company, Petroleos de Venezuela, Saudi Aramco…)
XVI. National International Economic Powerhouse, (NIEP) , ( the Sovereign Wealth Funds)
XVII. Holistic Movements , (HM), (The Freemasonry ,The Sufi … )
The legacy is valid in the XXI for a world that is increasingly one of distributed than concentrated power. And a world with distributed international power center is not a multi-polar but a no-polar one.
3) The metrics to measure it : TARSGA © ( Trans-disciplinary Anti Risk SUSTAINABLE Global Approach)
TARSGA©, ( Trans-disciplinary Anti Risk SUSTAINABLE Global Approach), collects the future(S) to make it our present !
We consider the international scenario like a frame composed by 9 dimensions :
Art & Culture
They are the main variables and they have a dynamic priority. This means that ,due a given time /place, ethic of them can lead the metric to evaluate a problem and to supply the appropriate sustainable risk management.
Because the act together and simultaneously they supply to us the information we need about :
- Promotion of sustainable development ,(read sustainable economy)
- Preservation and promotion of cultural value ,( read art & culture)
- Conservation of the natural environments, ( read green economy from production to consume)
- Establishment of good governance,(read the rule of law inside each locally accepted form of government)
The information are obtained thanks to metrics that combine qualitative measurement , ( for example the Gross National Happiness/ GNH index as used in France and in the UK)) and quantitative one, ( for example the GDP), and this to to keep into account and it is based on the following measurable factors :
1. Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution.
2. Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic
3. Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses
4. Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients
5. Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits
6. Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates
7. Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign as well as internal conflicts
The global vision we achieve is trans-cultural and comprehensive ,able to deep evaluate the emotions behind decisions and for the to anticipate trends and situations in order to offer the best risk management.
This is Prosumerzen a new word that we created :
PROducer + conSUMER + citiZEN
This is our ethical approach.