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By Graham Strachan 

July 23, 2002

In a bid to prop up investor ‘confidence’ as global corporatism is increasingly being exposed as rotten to the core, President Bush has called for ‘a new ethic of personal responsibility in the business community’. He must be kidding. There seems to be something about the modern mind that lacks the ability to connect dots, to put two and two together and relate effects back to causes. First of all, take the word ‘ethic’.

The ethic of global big business is ‘economic rationalism’; and while most new-generation economists still believe ‘rational’ means ‘sane, sensible, not foolish absurd or extreme’, it means ‘acting on reason, to the exclusion of emotions’. But the devil is in the definition: ‘reason’ in that sense means complete callousness in the pursuit of profits, while the term ‘emotions’ includes social and ethical considerations.

In my book ‘Globalisation: Demise of the Australian Nation’ I wrote: “By excluding those (emotional) elements, economic rationalists claim to exempt themselves from the requirement to act morally in economic matters. Economic rationalism is ‘a-moral’ - without morals - economics” (p.42).

The predictable result is the irrational belief that nothing done in pursuit of profit can be bad, no matter what it is, and regardless of its effect on the human race or the environment. Such behavior includes peddling pornography to children as ‘entertainment’, cloning humans for body parts, knowingly selling faulty and dangerous products, feeding the public genetically-modified foods before proper testing, forcing people to eat hormone-treated beef and milk whether they want it or not, and causing long-term damage to the environment. Add now: falsifying accounts to overstate profits and understate losses, and bribing, blackmailing or otherwise corrupting accountants, brokers, bureaucrats and politicians so they either turn a blind eye, join in the fun, or pass enabling legislation.

All of this was predictable by a mind able to relate effects back to causes. Official assurances that the rot is limited to ‘a few bad apples’ is pure damage control; the very nature of global corporatism means that the rot cannot stop at ‘a few bad apples’. As the German economist and sociologist Max Weber pointed out, “An individual capitalistic enterprise which did not take advantage of its opportunities for profit-making would be doomed to extinction.” Once those ‘opportunities for profit making’ come to include dishonesty that can be got away with, the entire ‘business community’ has to follow suit or go the way of the dinosaurs. It is in the nature of Capitalism (as opposed to privately-owned enterprise) that either all have to be honest, or none can afford to be honest.

The experience of history, if anybody bothers to look, is that when governments abdicate their responsibility to protect the public interest against the otherwise unregulated greed of big business, widespread dishonesty and corruption is the result. That was one of the reasons government supervision of ‘free markets’ was introduced in the first place: big business is incapable of self-regulation. Which brings us to the second of Bush’s exhortations: ‘personal responsibility’.

The novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand - now falsely being held up as an apologist for corporatism – pointed out (For the New Intellectual, p.10) that, “In any given period of history, a culture is to be judged by its dominant philosophy.” Not only judged: the nature of a society is the result of its dominant philosophy - a connection the globalist Third Wayers don’t want to make.

Today’s dominant philosophy preaches that there are no objective moral standards; that morals are all a matter of personal opinion and anybody’s opinion is equally as good as anybody else’s; that ‘good’ is whatever ‘feels good to you’; that right is whatever makes you feel ‘empowered’; that the only real ‘wrong’ is to exercise moral judgment - to be ‘judgmental’; and that nobody should be held responsible or accountable for their actions - we must ‘put that behind us and move on’. Above all, there is the belief that all those notions can be instilled in children through the ‘value-free’ education system, yet somehow they can still turn out to be morally responsible adults.

But what a society sows through its dominant philosophy, so it reaps in the kind of society that results. So when the morally relativistic children as fathers sexually abuse their own daughters, it is no good expressing outrage. It ‘felt good to them’, so how can it be bad? If as priests they abuse their position of trust and sodomise the altar boys, it shouldn’t come as any shock; in their view it was okay, and to disagree is to be ‘judgmental’. If as politicians they swear oaths to act in the best interests of their countries, then systematically turn them over to global ownership and control, what more is to be expected? And if as corporate executives they cook the books with the help of their accountant and broker mates, it’s no good exhorting them to adopt ‘a new ethic of personal responsibility’. They have been conditioned not to know the meaning of the words.

© 2002 Graham Strachan - All Rights Reserved

Born in Queensland, Australia, in 1941, Graham graduated in Science from the University of Queensland in 1965, and went into Animal Husbandry research. After a few years, he joined a large corporation as a personnel/safety and training officer, then a multinational consulting firm where he trained, then worked as a production management consultant, putting costing and incentive schemes into factories, helping large companies establish operator training departments, and the like.

In his forties he went back to university, this time the University of New South Wales, and obtained a law degree while moonlighting as a pianist in Sydney clubs. He was admitted as a barrister in NSW (1984) and Queensland (1985), and practised for a while from chambers in George Street Brisbane.

After another stint at music, he set about researching, writing and self-publishing books on globalisation and world affairs. Out of the books came offers of speaking engagements, and today Graham devotes his time to writing and speaking.  Web Site: