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Daniel Early

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But what if it is a GLOBAL CONSPIRACY?! Could global crime syndicates turn 'white collar', TNC-like, and take control of the world?

Near the end of 'Who Controls the world" James B. Glattfelder concludes: "This means that its structure is probably the result of self-organization. It's an emergent property which depends on the rules of interaction in the system, so it's probably not the result of a top-down approach like a GLOBAL CONSPIRACY" (emphasis added).

Glenny says global criminal organizations are increasingly turning to white-collar crime and Glattfelder says we are only just now capable of noticing the existence of self-organized, top-down global conspiracies. So what do you think are the chances?

And look at how Glattfelder seems to leave the door of possibility a bit wider in his research article, 'The Network of Global Corporate Control':

"Since many TNCs in the core have overlapping domains of activity, the fact that they are connected by ownership relations could facilitate the formation of blocs, which would hamper market competition [14]. Remarkably, the existence of such a core in the global market was never documented before and thus, so far, no scientific study demonstrates or excludes that this international “super-entity” has ever acted as a bloc. However, some examples suggest that this is not an unlikely scenario. For instance, previous studies have shown how even small cross-shareholding structures, at a national level, can affect market competition in sectors such as airline, automobile and steel, as well as the financial one [13], [14]."

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    Jul 18 2013: I choose a different view to the 'global conspiracy'.

    It's indeed true that today, our main societal systems (finance, politics, religion) are steered by a only a handful of people. Power concentration and the negative symptoms thereof are rising. Today, one can look at the bad aspects of these systems, they are abundantly present. One can also choose to focus on the good these systems have brought us already (my personal choice).

    It's up to us to look how to improve these systems to create more wealth and abundance for everybody and involve the people that are steering it today. I believe the discussion of the 99% and the 1% to be a false dualist logic. It's not about the 99 and the 1, it's about the 100.

    One can discuss if this is naive, which bring us into discussions of human nature. From my understanding, all people want the same, being happy, both the 'elite' and the rest.

    Now, if one operationalises happiness in a human needs model (let's take maslow 8 for the sake of this discussion) one sees that the final "level" within the spectrum of human needs is self-transcendence, meaning helping other people to self-actualise (level 5). So the 'elite' will be happiest by helping others to self-transcend. True, maybe they don't know it yet themselves, but then they are also victims of the systems that they are steering and need to be helped as well...
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      Jul 18 2013: Thanks for participating in my conversation. I'm excited to have gotten some good responses.

      True, "power concentration and the negative symptoms thereof are rising. Today, one can look at the bad aspects of these systems, they are abundantly present." While your preference towards optimism that follows is admirable, it is the future risks that were Glattfelder's concern.

      You used the word 'symptom' so let's think of this concept in terms of the disease metaphor that implies. The body (our main societal systems) has acquired a disease (a power concentration) with negative symptoms (abundantly presents) but also positive symptoms (curiously enough). In walks the doctor (Glattfelder) and he says, "Well, there appears to be a malignant tumor (the power concentration again) and we can give you some drugs to alleviate some of the pain, but a course of chemotherapy is necessary (to disperse all the accumulated wealth), but my main concern is that the cancer will metastasize and spread to the lungs or kidneys (politics, religion, etc.). If the cancer doesn't spread there are still life-threatening complications (such as the financial of 2008). Due to the nature of the disease (the complexity of ownership amongst transnational corporations systems) we can't reliably predict when any of these developments will occur, or if you remain untreated- how long you have to live (how long until society collapses) so a major operation is necessary (not merely more wealth and abundance for everyone, but a more sustainable and widespread reallocation of the power and control itself)."
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      Jul 18 2013: And, yes, absolutely, everyone wants to be happy, but what they mean by happiness varies radically, so its essentially not the same thing. There will be individuals that will have no need for the materialistic wealth and abundance, poverty will be their treasure. Or there will be people that live to make money and obtain more power. And there will be all sorts of others and it isn't necessary to judge any of these peoples ideas of happiness as better or worse, right or wrong.

      So I don't feel it is possible to make reliable assumptions about the rich will want (although the maslow 8 was a thought-provoking point, and it brings to mind the opening citation Glattfelder made of the U.K. Financial Services Authority, whose leader said: "We spend billions of dollars trying to understand the origins of the universe while we still don't understand the conditions for a stable society, a functioning economy, or peace."

      In other words, we don't really understand what we would need to do if we did operational-ize happiness.

      "The high degree of interconnectivity of the top players in the core could pose a significant systemic risk to the global economy," Glattfelder said. And yes, the 100 are exposed to that risk and not just the 99 while the 1 are immune. But the damages won't be equally dispersed. Let's prevent them from hurting themselves and others.

      And I think the 1, if you're going to bring human nature into it, is still motivated by self-interest, and that self-interest may or may not include an interest in the other 99. That's where the idea of global conspiracy comes from.

      We don't really appreciate the implications of such consolidated power and to prevent the risks we see emerging in our analysis of such structures of ownership and control, we may need to significantly re-think the "high degree of control you saw is very extreme by any standard." (Glattfelder)
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        Jul 19 2013: I agree with many things you write but seem to come to a different conclusion.

        If you consider self-interest as a key motivator, the ultimate selfishness lies in altruism, which basically means people, both the 1 & 99, are wired to ultimately help others (Maslow 'level' 8). The more people you can help, the better you will feel about yourself, so the 1 has an interest in helping the 99 and oppositely.

        Within our current societal systems, it's indeed true we need to prevent those in control of our systems from hurting themselves and others but I don't believe applying 'chemotherapy' is the cure.

        I believe one should treat the 1% as compassionately as the 99% as they are also victims of the systems they are steering: people that hoard money and control seem to be highly insecure. In my opinion this comes from a scarcity perspective in life, the feeling they will not 'get enough'.

        Thanks to our accelerating technological evolution though, I believe we can leave that scarcity paradigm behind us, IF we choose to do so.

        For example, robotics are used to destroy paid worker jobs in our current capitalist system which leads to poverty. In a different monetary system, those same robotics can assure that people do not have to do jobs they don't like and can truly do what they want (maslow level 5).

        If the 1 and the 99 work together, we can move away from the scarcity paradigm towards a paradigm of abundance. If we work against each other, the negative symptoms will only worsen and our societal systems may indeed collapse.

        That will ultimately be our collective choice I suppose...
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          Jul 19 2013: Thanks for the insights. Your correct about the comprehensive compassion and the need for it is something I lose sight of. I'm human and it's hard to feel sorry for people with yachts, but it's something that I need to work of, because if I lose sight of comprehensive compassion in any context then I'm not seeing or thinking as clearly I can.

          I come from a humanities background, but I marvel at the 'accelerated technological evolution.' I don't have any theories or beliefs about it, however. Not even about what is or isn't possible if we chose or do not chose to do something about it. There is just so much up in the air that it forms this thick cloud layer, present day turns to future night and its too dark to make out the shape of anything.

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