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5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ. The ONLY Way Forward., January 8, 2013
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This review is from: Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (Hardcover)
Gallup released a poll in December 2012 about how positive people are about life in 148 countries. The world's single most pessimistic country: Singapore.

Using our usual conceptions of what makes you happy, Singaporeans should be near the top of the optimist list. For example, by any measure, they are very rich, have long life expectancies, and can drink Coke and watch re-runs of Baywatch all day long.

One theory as to why they are so miserable is that they live in the heart of the new form of authoritarian capitalism, a version of capitalism that is divorced from democracy and proving more potent than our old-fashioned social democratic version.

From Hegelian Philosopher Slavoj Zizek: "German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk once told me that, if there is a person alive to whom they will build monuments 100 years from now, it is Lee Kuan Yew, the Singaporean leader who did more than anyone else to promote and implement the marriage of capitalism and authoritarianism -- an arrangement he euphemistically referred to as "Asian values." The virus of this authoritarian capitalism is slowly but surely spreading around the globe, nowhere more so than China.

Faced with today's explosion of capitalism in China, analysts often ask when political democracy as the "natural" political accompaniment of capitalism will enforce itself. But what if the promised democratization never arrives? What if China's authoritarian capitalism is not a stop on the road to further democratization, but the end state toward which the rest of the world is headed?"

In this instant classic, John Mackey and Raj Sisodia have presented the only fully-developed alternative to this dystopic potential future.

From a recent Forbes article by Steve Denning: "Mackey and Sisodia argue that the new management paradigm is necessary in part because the landscape for business has been transformed. People today care about different things and are better informed, better educated, and better connected than in the past; their expectations from businesses in their roles as customers, team members, suppliers, investors, and community members are rapidly changing. Unfortunately, most companies have not evolved to keep pace with all these changes and are still doing business using mind-sets and practices that were appropriate for a very different world. It is now time to change that.

These changes are challenging. They also offer great business opportunities which however cannot be effectively addressed if we use the same mental models we have operated with in the past. "Business as usual" will not work anymore. We need a new philosophy to lead and work by." [...]

It is hard to overstate how absolutely critical this debate is for the future of humanity. There should no longer be any doubt: global capitalism is fast approaching its terminal crisis. Zizek has identified the four horsemen of this coming apocalypse: the worldwide ecological crisis; imbalances within the economic system; the biogenetic revolution; and exploding social divisions and ruptures. But, he asks, if the end of capitalism seems to many like the end of the world, how is it possible for Western society to face up to the end times?

The answer: Conscious Capitalism.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 13, 2013 7:06:09 PM PST
BP says:
New management paradigm is needed, but what about case law that drives all board room behaviors? Anglo- corporate case law going back to the Enclosures sets the paces for business execs in capitalism. Property rights, bankruptcy rights determine what of the stakeholders costs the shareholders have to get stuck for. This is the place to start to be serious. And, fractional-reserve money creation, which used debt to privately owned banks as the only way money gets into circulation, is also the evil twin of case law, and has always driven the rapaciousness of capitalism. The Southern Planters in the 13 colonies, in addition to being slave "owners", were also the biggest debtors to British banks in London. Those slaves they "owned" and the land upon which they slaved, only stayed theirs as long as debts were repaid, plus interest, which was cash money never loaned into existence in the first place. Everybody has a lot to learn about why capitalism isn't conscious. Management paradigms are sweet syrupy sounding words when compared to the hard cold facts of case law that established this system with its nasty outcomes these long centuries.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 10:07:09 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2013 10:13:27 AM PST
T. W. Day says:
That is, of course, one perspective on why Singapore is pessimistic. The other possibility is that Singapore is the most highly educated nation on the planet and educated people are realists, known as "pessimists" by the uneducated and unaware. Any rational person, looking at the conditions on this planet and the total lack of awareness or action being taken to protect the future of the world would be a "pessimist." Everyone else is just deluded.

It's hard to imagine that anyone in Singapore could be called the father of "Authoritarian Capitalism" unless you were completely clueless about the history of capitalism in the United States. For christs' sake, the military gunned down striking miners and their families in Colorado to protect robber barons ( How "authoritarian" do you need to be to get credit for being the usual ruthless, amoral capitalist 1%? Our government tossed war protestors in prison, including a past presidential candidate, because capitalists wouldn't tolerate our own Constitution's interference in their money making schemes (

This just sounds like more wingnut revisionist history disguising itself as enlightenment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 4:09:10 PM PST
dave says:
Watch this:

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2013 4:10:05 PM PST
dave says:
The authors of this book have set out a robust detailed model without sweet syrupy sounding words. I promise - give it a read! :-)
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