Monday, 30 January 2012

Have modern Europeans forgotten the lessons from WWI and WWII?

In the 20th the "precious asset" was know-how (the "how to do"), In the 21st it is philosophy (the "why do", watch my vlog (on YouTube): "A key difference between the 20th and 21st centuries: From "How?" to "Why"", 1 min 46 seconds)

In the first 11 yrs of the century, all the conventional wisdoms, golden, common senses, and most theories of the 20th have expired.

The crises are a result of the business as usual, politics as usual, economic policy as usual bc the "usual" has become outdated-irrelevant.

Eg Merkozy's neo-conservative "new ideas" is not an answer to the challenges of the era. In spite of their spreading around the EU in 2011

Portugal, Spain, Ireland have caught the neocon virus in 2011. Italy & Greece are trying a strange recipe. UK had already fallen in 2010.

The "Middle Earth" is France and the key "battle" will be on May 6.

By being so blatant, Agorocracy is actually helping the political world & people wake up and stand up to it. They have not, yet.

The neocon approach of Merkozy et al to the crisis suffers from a kind of "Stockholm syndrome" vis-a-vis Financial Agorocracy.

The worship of the Financial Markets is not consistent with secularism.

The EU is not the problem. Germany is not the problem., The neo-conservatives in Germany, France, NL, all over the EZ and EU are the problem.

Europe needs to rediscover its core values, ie the Ancient Greek and Renaissance ones. And build its new ideas & policies on those roots.

For the US, the challenge is even more challenging.

The lessons from WWI and WWII were not that economic crises can be avoided, It was that they are no excuse for racism, xenophobia, nationalism, scapegoating. With that in mind, 2011 showed that Europeans have forgotten the lessons from the world wars of the 20th.

Values, culture and traditions are real if they can evolve, be inclusive and blend with others (see eg the so called Hellenistic Times, see my post "Globalisation, today and in 300 BC")

Values, culture and traditions that cannot do that and instead use dominance to try to become adopted by others, are pseudo ones, not real.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The EU as a system and can one policy fit all?

Has EU regional policy helped make Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Greece, South Italy more competitive inside the EU Single Market?

But then how can most be competitive in the Single Market with a Euro worth 1.3, 1.4, 1.5 USD? ECB policy undermined EU Regional Policy!

Time for EU policy makers to view the EU27 as a single "system" but with unique components.

EU policies can fit all, especially when coordinated and their combined effect considered or planned. After all, the College of Commissioners approved policy proposals of the Commission to the Council of the EU and the European Parliament as a body, ie the College can make sure that the range of policies are compatible and having a combined effect.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Looking for a new version of Capitalism in the Alps!

IMO capitalism is the system where money capital plays the central role, borne out of the capital intensive industry

Now that the majority of economic activity in most of the West is Services related, a new system is needed, one with money capital in a merely secondary role. Will it still deserve the term "capitalism"?
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Monday, 23 January 2012

The faults of capitalism lie in faults in Western thinking

1) "Davos elites to seek reforms of 'outdated' capitalism" is the title of a report (via AFP) in France24.com. "Capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us" says the founder and host of the Davos World Economic Forum.

2) Also in the news: "Europe plans new, ‘objective’ credit ratings agency" reports firstpost.com

Here are my comments:

Capitalism, a product of a specific school of thought in The West (see Max Weber's work), has failed to blend with the world in all its forms so far.

In short Capitalism has been proved incompatible with many cultures not only in the world but in Europe as well (see eg "Dolce far riente").

Both Capitalism and Communism, being Western products, were based on faulty foundations of Western thinking such as a quest for certainty and objectivity hence a need to measure and predict that leads to faulty decision making.

In the credit ratings issue, again, "Europe" takes a wrong approach to solving a problem. Each investor should do his/her "own" credit rating, there's no objectivity in credit rating by its very nature.

To be continued ...

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Where is Doha these days? Not the city, the round!

Has anyone heard anything recently of the WTO Doha Round? Has it been lost somewhere in the ocean (Pacific or Atlantic)?

Many many months ago, it was announced that the 10 year old round of WTO talks looked most unlikely to conclude and that a "Doha Lite" agreement was going to be sought. I have not heard any news since. Have you?

Free what? The myth of (WTO) "free trade"

WTO trade is free-er world trade compare to some decades ago. Not free. Tariffs are allowed especially by developing countries and the BRICs plus most countries of the WTO have hidden/tricky barriers to trade (imports). Especially the pro free trade rhetoric G20!

Lobbying or Public Affairs? Putting the Public back in Public Affairs.

Intro: This is a compilation of some thoughts I tweeted today on the role of public affairs in corporate strategy planning, of the merger of public affairs and communications, the effect of mass media and social media on public affairs and public policy making, the return of the "Agora" of Ancient Athens, etc.

Food for thought or more?

1) Does your company incorporate Public Affairs in its Strategic Planning function? IMO, it should.
Public Affairs is not about "lobbying". "Lobbying" is IMO the least important part, if a part at all, of a Public Affairs function in this era.

IMO/IME corporate Public Affairs has a new core value: Awareness of upcoming policy & evaluation of its effects on company's strategic planning

2) Public Affairs meets Communications: IMO it's better to influence public opinion on policy issues than directly the policy makers. That means that the Public Affairs and the Communications functions must work together within a company or other organisation.

3) Public Affairs for All: Every person and organisation has the right to communicate its views on public affairs-policy issues but it must be done in public not private

I know. It does represent a tad of a radical new approach to Public Affairs! But times are evolving and what doesn't evolve perishes like eg the dinosaurs.

The proliferation of media (traditional & online) as well as social media, brings back the Public in Public Affairs.

4) The sum of all those media constitute a new "Agora", Ancient Athens type, where opinions must be expressed and debated on civic/policy issues

Plus texts of all proposed policy/legislative initiatives are accessible via the www hence it's a whole different ballgame. Back to basics, actually!

That potentially makes "lobbying" obsolete and re-focuses on the "Agora" and the Public aspect of Public Affairs.

5) It can even be argued that corporations have an obligation to their shareholders (and maybe to their stakeholders too) to have & publicly express/debate opinions on public policy issues that affect them (corporate citizenship etc).

It's a Citizens' (Civil) Society, right?

6) Voters have the right to know what opinions "their" MP & MEP expressed, debated and voted for/against on each public policy issue. Some already demand so, rightly.

The citizens of the 27 of the EU eg have a right to know what opinions their government reps expressed, debated and voted in the EUCO (European Council), the Council of the EU, the 2 Corepers, the working groups, etc.

These are aspects of the new emerging reality in both public affairs and public policy making. Adapt or perish?

7) Another dimension to this: Financial analysis too must incorporate the effects of new public policy on the future performance of companies, sectors & economies

Thus:

What do lobbies, corridors and the like have to do with these emerging new systemics? Nothing, IMO.

Nick Panayotopoulos, January 20, 2012.
Bio: http://npanayotopoulos.blogspot.com

Friday, 20 January 2012

How balanced is globalisation in 2012?

World wide web, global social media, global finance, global warming, world trade.

Where is the world/global parliament?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

What the SMEs need should be key factor in what the EU needs!

Among the main results of a study on the essential contribution of SMEs on job creation presented by the European Commission is that "85% of net new jobs1 in the EU between 2002 and 2010 were created by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This figure is considerably higher than the 67%-share of SMEs in total employment"

One can only imagine how many new jobs EU SMEs would create if not suffocated by national and EU polynomy (overlegislation) and red tape!

Not to mention the Eurozone!

SOPA, PIPA and more or less globalisation?

In the world of the near future, the idea you express, the song you sing, the story you tell, etc has to be your own or you pay to use it. Why? Read below!

Here is a selection of the thoughts I expressed on the subject during many Twitter debates and discussions brought about by SOPA and PIPA.

Intellectual Property and Copyright are the "global finance" of the not so distant future. The new capitalism. They are replacing land and money as "capital".

The internet and social media of global appeal, as well as the issues raised by SOPA and PIPA, are reinforcing the rationale for a "world government" with a world legislative body (parliament).

Other than the ole taxation w/o representation, globalisation (& things like SOPA) raise the issue of legislation w/o (world) representation. In a globalised world, laws of all kinds need to have global application but only if voted by a global parliament (global = UN or WTO). In a globalised world some countries (USA, Germany etc) cannot expect to decide the laws or rules & then others to accept them.

The issue of IP will keep emerging in the agendas of the West as the US & Europe economy produce little but Services and intellectual products.

Eg the US unilaterally passed DMCA a few years ago and now is trying to expand its application via ACTA after failure via WTO

Those countries who do not want to share their sovereignty via a world government and parliament, will be outside the global system of trade, media, www, etc much like "gated communities" because, simply, no country can have its "independence" cake and eat it too, be it UK, HUN or any! Opt-outs will be total not a la carte. Thus it is not loss of sovereignty but sharing of it. Those who don't wish to share can optout of the "globe" (or for now, EU)

All I'm saying is that there must be (systemic, rational, political etc) consistency: Either a) real global or b) real national. Hybrids fail

And how are national interests or POVs represented in such a world parliament and law making? Well, by analogy, in a national parliament one expects his local MPs to ally with other to represent the POVs of the area in the grand scheme! So, by the same method they are by/in national parliaments eg in Germany, in the US, UK, France, etc! As per  religious/cultural/custom differences, the same. law enforcement inside systems  for religious/cultural/custom differences, applies to many countries today. They solve it. The world can, too.

Otherwise, we may as well start thinking of going all the way back to city-states of past milleniums to preserve sovereignty in its purest (?) sense? Yet single state homogeneity is a myth! Even single city homogeneity is a myth, was and is.

So what we cannot have is "global systems" of any kind that are based on the legislation of one country (eg USA). The other option is to stop everything global or international (including www, world trade and global finance) and revert to gated countries

What is a world government and parliament politically viable?
Need I remind you that if the city-states of Ancient Greece had united into a federal state, History would be quite different?
So what is politically sustainable and what is not evolves. SOPA/PIPA is a rude awakening for much of the world!

After all, EU, UNASUR, ASEAN, etc are a step towards eventual global union. Or return to city-states!

My last word on this: USA must realise that it cannot legislate for the whole world (or www). It's the US of America not US of World. So, as I wrote to an American lawmaker, a balance between protecting intellectual property & internet freedom is a matter for a world parliament to decide, not the US or EU bc the 1st W in www stands for world not US.

See also my post: >Globalisation, today and in 300 BC

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

If .... then .... else! Ancient Greece, USA, Europe

If the city-states of Ancient Greece had united into one entity, the History of the world 450 BC - present would be different

If the states of America were not united & thus had not joined WWI and WWII, the history of the world 1914-present would have been different.

If the countries of Europe do not unite properly, the history of the world 2012- ..... will be different than if they do.

PS: Food for thought:

At different times, Athens, Sparta, Thebes & Macedonia failed to create a United States of Greece. They abused their power over the others. These days, the "Sparta" & "Athens" of Europe, Germany & France, are trying something, together! But are their leaders doing it properly or alienating the other member states (by analogy to the Ancient Greek city-states).

Is Greece the "Delphi" of modern Europe? Is France the "Athens"? Is Germany the "Sparta"? What is the UK? Spain? Finland?

Saturday, 7 January 2012

2012: A reminder to European leaders and policy makers (countries and EU)

What European companies need is a single market, single currency & a single political entity in Europe, especially the SMEs (the real economy).
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