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Concordianism: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism Toward a World of Peace and Justice

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Concordian economics
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Introduction

Concordianism is purified Capitalism, 100% Capitalismas well as purified Socialism. Concordianism shares some of the goals, but none of the means of Socialism. In Concordianism, the Governmentrather than the Statedemocratically decides on the rules of the road, and lets the Market 100% free to operate within those rules.

Concordianism is the result of the fusion of the thought of Keynes and Hayek. In Concordianism, there is not even a scent of the bloviation of Hegel and Marx. Faithful Marxists have not yet realized that Marx was a sociologist and a philosopher: he was not an economist. Once he conceded that "labor" is a commodity to be bought and sold on the market, he gave up the fight before entering the ring.

In Concordianism, "workers" are the owners of whatever they produce; in Concordianism there is this ancient category of thought: Ownership of Property. This is a category of thought erasedliterally erasedfrom polite political discourse by none other than our beloved Thomas Jefferson. The operation is well known. In order to preserve the United States union, as a price to pay for the preservation of the original sin of slavery, he found no better solution than to amend the Lockean formulaliterally a synthesis of Locke's system of thoughtof life, liberty, and property.

In the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson changed the formula to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. What is happiness? What is its pursuit? Is this a task to be removed from personal responsibility and slapped on to the state for fast production? Is this goal ever to be achieved?

What a tangled mess has the thought of our best thinkers during the last four to five hundred years produced! For highlights, see "A Cascade of Errors (1517-2017)."

Yes, let us get away from abstractions. After reintegrating men and women in the social context, to create Aristotelian Somists out of Individualists and Collectivists, Concordian economics creates Concordians and Concordianism.

Concordian economics

Fifty years in the making, 27 of them assisted by Professor Modigliani, a Nobel Laureate in economics at MIT and 23 years by one of the sharpest minds in economics, Professor M. L. Burstein, Concordian economics offers a set of integrated policies to fight both inequality and poverty at the same time.

This is a property that was pointed out by our first Gloucester poet laureate, Vincent Ferrini, who, reviewing for the local paper my fundamental book titled The Economic Process, in 2002 stated that Concordian economics "has the answers to universal poverty and the anxieties of the affluent."

Annotating this bookfor the second timethe Journal of Economic Literature in its December 2017 issue (p. 1642) states: "Expanded third edition presents the transformation of economic theory into Concordian economics, shifting the understanding of the economic system from a mechanical, Newtonian entity to a more dynamic, relational process."

Reviewing my latest paper titled "Concordian economics - An Integration of Theory, Policy, and Practice," Professor Lawrence Katz of Harvard on March 24, 2019, wrote: "I have read over your paper with interest. You present some intriguing ideas and make the case for Concordian economics. But I must conclude that your engaging paper is not a good fit for the QJE."

Concordianism

This program of action was outlined in the very following paragraphs, on this very platform, in 2014. I was in a hurry, then. I was anxious to explain my thought then, and perhaps I was also a bit frightened by it, by the enormity of the enterprise. So in a way I buried it along with Somism. And I concentrated on the core of Concordianism, namely Concordian financing, rather than on its philosophical and political aspects. It is now time to give it a life of its own. Let me repeat those paragraphs now verbatim, except changing the order of such listings as footnotes and figures as well as specifying the content of Concordian politics, and I have inserted some hyperlinks to the product of thoughts produced in the last few years.

The Program of Action of Concordian Economics

The core of Concordian economics is composed of the following integrated set, a bill, of economic rights and economic responsibilities. [1] This bill is constructed on the basis of the needs of the three factors of production that were identified by Classical economists as land, labor, and capitalenlarged to four factors so to clearly distinguish between modern forms of financial and physical capital.

First Set: We all have a right to access natural resources and a responsibility to compensate the community for the exclusive use of such resources;

Second Set: We all have a right to enjoy the fruits of our labor and a responsibility to work to the best of our ability;

Third Set: We all have a right to access national credit for the purpose of creating new wealth while spreading its ownership among all those who create it and a responsibility to repay any such loans;

Fourth Set: We all have a right to protect our wealth and a responsibility to respect the wealth of others.

As it can be seen, this set of economic rights is rooted into its own correspondent set of economic responsibilities. Indeed, as pointed out by this writer in the Spring 1999 issue of the Journal of Markets and Morality, economic rights can be legally and morally acquired only through the exercise of their correspondent economic responsibilities. [2] This is a construction that does not only allow us to receive economic justice from everyone, but also to grant economic justice to everyone else. Since this bill of economic rights and responsibilities is an expression of true interdependence, its implementation will do wanders; especially if it is implemented at home and abroad. Hence we need to advocate for Concordian international relations; we need to build a world of peace and justice.

Concordian International Relations: Toward a World of Peace and Justice

We all talk peace. From the United Nations to City Halls to family parlors, we all talk peace. But, harsh as the expression might sound at first hearing, we do not do peace. We seem to labor under the spell of The Great Rationalistic Illusion that it is enough to utter the word in order to perform the deed. There are three actions we have to pursue, if we really want peace. We have to create three sets of teams for peace and justice.

First Set of Teams Experts in Foreign Affairs Within A Department of Peace. We have to stop thinking that we have to destroy the town in order to save the town; that we have to destroy the country in order to make it safe for democracy. The Department of Defense can save us from attack, but it cannot bring peace to lands where there is no peace. It is only a Department of Peace that can bring peace at home and abroad and in the long run it is the only instrument for mankind to win the war against terrorism.

As advocated by US Representative Dennis Kucinich, let us establish a Department of Peace right here in the United States. If we do that, it is reasonable to expect that Europe, and perhaps even Russia and China and Iran and Venezuela, will follow suit. Duplication of effort, redoubling of effort throughout the world should be welcomed.

Let us assist Palestinians to establish their own Department of Peace, immediately thereafter. And of course, the other country that should be encouraged to establish a Department of Peace is Israel. And then there are all other countries from Iraq to Sudan. We know the list.

The most important element in the chain of needs is that the Department of Peace, without resources, would be a mockery. But where do we find the resources, especially at a time of substantial deficits and budget cuts? Well, the first candidate is a voluntaryfree and willingtransfer of, say, ten percent of resources from the current budget of the Department of Defense. The experts in this department will candidly tell you that it is impossiblewith their meansto stop terrorism. What the voter has to see is that, given the proper means, it is possible to stop terrorism. We cannot give in to pessimism and despair. We must indeed stop terrorism.

Only a Department of Peace can plan for peace, by intimately knowing the geography, the history, and the culture of each county in which the USA is involved, by creating SWAT Teams for peace and justice for each country, then by training local people to carry out their mission of peace and justice, and finally endowing them with satisfactory intellectual and material means to achieve their goal. These then are the next two sets of teams that we have to create: Teams for Peace; Teams for Justiceteams that no longer talk and plan about peace and justice, but teams that actually carry out the tasks of peace and justice on location.

Second Set of Teams SWAT Teams for Peace. The second suggestion is for the Department of Peace to create an appropriate number of SWAT teams for peace. (Would not ten percent of the people currently working within the Department of Defense give an eyetooth for the transfer of their energies toward such a function?) Call them Circles of Love. I prefer to call them Mary's Messengers of Mercy, because Mary is the only person who is highly respected in all three monotheistic religions. If we monotheists truly honor her, she will be more easily honored by other religions as well.

The Circles of Love should do precisely what their name implies: They should create circles of love around hamlets, and villages, and cities, and nations where hate prevails today. Depending on the number of teams available and the specific mission to be carried out, the pacification program should proceed house by house, starting from the outermost ring of the area of trouble and proceeding toward the center. The ideal is to build "circles of love" around every trouble spot of the world. Each team should be composed of at least two or three volunteersone volunteer from each of the major faiths that prevail in the areas to be pacified. There should be no discrimination as to age or sex. The specific formation of the teams will depend on the particular needs to be addressed. Indeed, one need not even go abroad. With perhaps only minor modifications, the entire approach might also be used to help solve many problems of "downtown" areas in all major cities of the world. In each nation there seem to be areas in which peace does not reign.

The prerequisite should be a simple willingness to pray together with the victims of violence. The teams should implore for the shooting to stopand for the vicious circle of revenge to stop. No sane politics issues from the barrel of a gun.

A More Specific Definition of Means. Governments use force trying to achieve peace. And they rarely succeed. The churches, the mosques, the synagogues, and most other religious affiliations know this reality quite well. They have always preached that peace can be achieved only through love. The time perhaps has come to transform preaching into teaching and enacting.

Training of Teams. Perhaps the most important tool to be given to each member of the team is the ability to pray together with people of a different faith. Each team should be trained to speak local language(s), and should be familiar with the history and the culture of the place to be pacified. But development of leadership skills and negotiating techniques such as "getting to yes" should also be part of the curriculum. Above all, members should not only teach but practice the four core ideals of Concordian politics: namely, Unity in Diversity, Popular Sovereignty, Democratic Equality, and Rule of Law.

Participation by Civil Authorities. The various religions might want to start the effort on their own. But, if the formation of such teams should involve large number of trainees, financial support from various Departments of Peace might be a necessity. To a very minimum, overall support from governments might be requested from the start for a variety of purposes: for instance, to obtain current intelligence data, and at least detailed information about the geography, demographics, and economics of the area. But since the "circles of love" should be conceived as an army of love, advice as to strategic deployment of the teams should also be obtained from military experts of the various nations that might want to participate in the effort.

Risk to Life and Limb. Undoubtedly, there would be risk to life and limb involved in the deployment of such teams. The rationale for accepting this risk is simply stated. If the various Departments of Peace and the various religions do not take the initiative to obtain peace, the military sooner or later will intervene. Through the military, risk to life and limb is increased many times over for all contestantsnot excluding extant civilian populations.

Third Set of Teams SWAT Teams for Justice. The third suggestion is for all religions and the Department of Peace to create SWAT teams for justice. Specifically, SWAT teams for economic justice. It is easy to conceive of teams of farmers and plumbers, carpenters and electricians working together with local populations building projects that are essential to the sustenance of lifeall the while using the four sets of economic rights and economic responsibilities concerning land, labor, financial capital, and physical capital. They would indeed do peace; they would indeed do justice.

Upadaria or Concordia, the New Utopia

The health of all past Utopias has not been too strong or long lasting. No sooner was their intellectual structure erected that it was destroyed by mad men and not a few mad women in authority. Indeed, if the world appears to be touching the bottom of despair these days, it is because we are no longer able to do much better than conceive of Negative Utopiasand with Communism and Fascism we did realize them, thankfully only for a relatively short time. What is the hope then of ever building Upadaria or Concordia, to use words coined by Bill Collier, as the long-lasting New Utopia?

The hope stems from the realization that all past Utopias were going into the future blind and directionless. There was no practical intellectual structure to inspire and sustain them. Concordia is instead led by Somism in its tripartite division of Concordian politics, Concordian sociology, and Concordian economicsto be implemented both at home and abroad. And, if this is not enough reassurance yet, Somism has in its quiver three additional recommendations that can also be deployed: Concordian financing; Concordian ontology; and Concordian spirituality. These are constructs that, even without our awareness, enter deeply into every aspect of our lives.

Concordian Financing. So far, this writer has not dared to utter the word "capitalism," not so much because it is one of those ultimate words that arrest the conversation, but because we did not yet have the proper framework of ideas to deal with it. We do now. The inner spirit of Capitalism is such a mysterious and powerful force that it was transmogrified into State Capitalism, where it was supposed to be destroyed by its presumed mortal enemy, Communism. (Rarely, if ever, is it realized that Communism is State Capitalism-minus-political-freedom.) Such an adaptable institution as Capitalism must be a peculiar variety, a stunted variety, of true Capitalismjust as true Communism has been construed as being transmogrified into State Communism.

The Capitalism of our daily experience can in fact be identified as 5% Capitalismor Capitalism that favors only about 5% of the population.

These transformations can be clarified by placing them into our familiar framework:

Three Forms of Financing
Three Forms of Financing
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Figure 1. Three Forms of Financing

The middle rectangle of this construction presents a new entity, Concordianism, not as a form of abstract Concordian economics but as a specific form of financing: Concordian financing. (Concordianism is not a "third way" between Capitalism and Communism, but the right way.) The task is to build a system of capital financing that benefits 100% of the population 100% of the time. Other possible names are: 100% Capitalist, or Upadarian, or Somist, or Relational financing. For such concrete alternatives, the reader might look into some of the financial institutions designed by this writer over the years: A Mutual Assurance Fund, A Financial Interdependence Fund, and A Bottom-Up Monetary Policy. [3]

The most synthetic expression of a Bottom-Up, Rights-Based Monetary Policy can be found in the following petition that is circulating on the Internet:

A Patriotic Reform of the Fed

A Petition to the
Chair of the Federal Reserve System
and
U.S. Representatives and Senators

After celebrating the 100 anniversary year of the creation of the Federal Reserve System (the Fed), intense scrutiny of its charter is inevitable.

While many today are agitating for the destruction of the Fed, our campaign is designed to Reform the Fed.

It is our considered opinion, as set forth in the following paragraphs, that all we need to do is to bring three technical changes to the Fed's process of creation and distribution of money.

While small, in their implementation these changes will function as tipping points, whereby everything will change in the economic system to benefit every member of our nation - to the detriment of no one!

The Chair of the Federal Reserve System has the power to implement these changes through administrative decision.

Unless the Federal Reserve System exercises its freedom to implement these changes through administrative decision at the earliest possible date, we request that our Congress enact these changes into law.

In this case, we will have to call for a thoroughgoing review and revamp of the Fed's Congressional Charter and more democratic governance, including openness, transparency, and accountability.

And should the Fed be opposed to these changes, we suggest an alternative course of action: The Congress shall leave undisturbed all functions that the Fed is so admirably performing, but will create a new federal bank and/or a set of regional banks to administer the process of creation and distribution of money in the interest of the nation as a whole, as suggested below.

At present this petition is being circulated by a small grass-roots group of people in the Greater Boston area. We are inviting people from all walks of life and all regions of the country to join us so that this petition represents the will of "We the People".

Credit to the People

Whereas: The current management of money is broke, because

in varying degrees:

It does not serve the poor;
It does not serve the middle class;
It does not serve the rich, but the quick and the sharpies; and

Whereas: The Fed creates new money on the strength of national credit; and

Whereas: The value of national credit is not created by bankers;

Whereas: The value of national credit is created by the blood sweat and tears of all of us, We the People;

Therefore: We ask that the Fed administratively decides or legislatively be made to issue

1. Loansnot grantsONLY for the creation of new real wealth (neither for the purchase of consumer goods, nor for the purchase of financial assets);

2. Loans at cost of administration (not at variable interest rates);

3. Loans for the benefit of all the people in our country; hence, loans have to be issued not exclusively to financiers, but to individual entrepreneurs, governmental entities, cooperatives, and corporate enterprises that have Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) in their constitutions.

THUS

We the People shall exercise

our unalienable right

of

access to national credit.

Concordian Ontology. It was a healthy shock to this writer's being to discover a few years ago that at the same time Platocirca 500 BCset the intellectual world of the West ablaze with his conception of Being, Buddha set the intellectual world in the East ablaze with his conception of Not-Being. The world has not stopped intellectualizing about the meaning of these two entities ever since. In the process, both the East and the West havethough apparently unawaresagreed that both conceptions cannot be static. They must be dynamic. Hence both the East and the West have invented the conception of Becoming. Yet, the West has lost its sense in the totally abstract conception of Essencewithout ever asking the simple question: essence of what? The East, instead, has been much more advanced and concrete in its intellectualization of Becoming. The East has deeply investigated it through the amazingly complex and fertile apparatus of Yin/Yang. Strangely enough, but quite naturally enough, the Middle Eastor more specifically, the Muslim Worldcame up with a middle ground conception beyond Being and Becoming: At its very birth during the VII Century AD, Islam discovered the conception of Existence. Western ontology has fought the acceptance of this conception ever since, preferring the unavoidable death of metaphysics.

Relational methodology allows us to rebuild ontology along the following lines:

Relational ontology
Relational ontology
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Figure 2. Relational Ontology

Figure 2 reads as follows: Being, an entity which we know not, hence might equally appropriately be called Not-Being, becomes Existence. And Existence constantly attempts to return to the state of Being.

Concordian Spirituality. We will not achieve peaceand concord, or Concordiain the world, until we achieve intellectual peace. Relational ontology offers us a chance to create peace horizontally, so to speak, across the vast geographic confines of the world. Yet deepor vertical peace, so to speakpeace and concord will not be achieved until we obtain peace internally within each one of us. Relational spirituality might grant us that much. Again, the world of spirituality is replete with strife. We have even given a name to this state of affairs: we call it the war of the "two cultures." It all starts with, well, the Cartesian and rationalistic conception of the world; namely, the split between mind and matter. Starting from this dualistic, hence totally symmetricand yet still presented in a linear fashionconception of the world, our familiar relational methodology offers us the opportunity to construct a tripartite and organic understanding of the world.

When Einstein revolutionized the world of physics, he announced his discovery as the equivalence of matter to energy. Yet, neither he nor any other physicist has asked this question: if the relation between matter and energy is one of equivalence, where is the third term? This writer discovered the third term one day while reading Fritjof Capra's The Tao of Physics (1980). He was then up up up in the sky over the Atlantic. Did this position help him along? Whatever the case, this is the answer he found that day: Spirit. Spirit is the third term that logically and indissolubly links matter to energy. He then built this equivalence:

Matter Spirit Energy

Later, these relationships were analyzed in greater technical detail, presented together in our familiar geometric format, and published in a peer-reviewed journal run by a group of physicists. [4] As pointed out there, the simplest way to read this construction is this: One enters into the stone with a hammer; into the energy of the stone with a cyclotron; and into its spirit with prayer.

In 1946 Einstein remarked: "The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking." [5] With the establishment of the equivalence of matter to spirit and to energy, everything changes. The war between the two cultures will eventually come to a screeching halt, because, as Einstein also said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." [6] We will then be on the road to acquiring internal peace.

In fact, even the wars among the various religions might come to a screeching halt. This is the last aspiration of Somism; the last aspiration of the Social Man and Woman, the Civilized person. It might take some doing and some time. Yet, if we think hard about it, this goal is fully within our grasp. Certainly, adherents to Hinduism will recognize themselves in the fundamental equivalence proposed above; and adherents to Americanism, the religion of the American Indians, will do the same. But what of the three monotheistic religions? It seems that the conception of the Messiah is the stumbling block. Yet, a true understanding of the Messiah reveals an astonishing similarity in the inner structure of the three religions: Christians and Jews will no longer disagree, if we Christians are humble enough to ask this question: sure I hold in my spirit the precious body of the historic Christ at Communion, but do I also hold the Spiritual Christ? That is the Jewish Messiah, indeed.

The followers of Allah will have the most difficult task of all. Their conception of the Messiah is written very deep into the Koran. Vali Asr is the revered Hidden Imam, whose appearance someday, Shiite Muslims believe, will establish the perfect Islamic political community. Is Vali Asr any different from the Jewish Messiah?

It is then up to Christians to reveal to the world that Jesus came to unify the world, not to divide it. It is up to the Christians to live up to their tripartite commandment to love God, love neighbor, and love oneself. It is up to Christians to reveal that Jesus did not ask to be revered but to revere "our father," namely to revere Yahweh just as much as to revere Allah! If we do believe that Jesus is God, then Jesus is Yahweh; Jesus is Allah.

Concluding Comments

This is certainly not the place to defend the validity of any one of the proposed recommendations included above. Each one of them will have to stand on its own. They can be seen as a series of spheres within spheres. There is plenty of room for improvement; there is plenty of room for detail to be added on each point.

There is no separation among the worlds of politics, economics, law, philosophy, and spirituality. Our innermost being is deeply rooted in each one of these worlds. We do not achieve a world of peace unless we integrate all those worlds within ourselves first and in relation to other fellow human beings thereafter. There was a time when all we had to care for was the neighbor next cave over. Then we started taking care of the neighbor within our village. With the development of the megalopolis, we have lost all ability to recognize our neighbor. Strangely though, the neighbor is now clamoring to be recognized across national boundaries as well as across spiritual boundaries. We had better listen to that person, the potential terrorist. Chaos theory, after all, has proven that the flap of a butterfly in China might lead to a hurricane in the Untied States. [7] How much more true is this theory in human relations! How much more true it is in international relations.

Notes

[1] The word "bill" was added by Stuart-Sinclair Weeks.

[2] Carmine Gorga, "Toward the Definition of Economic Rights," Journal of Markets and Morality 2 (1999): 88-101. See also "The Productivity Standard: A True Golden Standard" (with Norman G. Kurland), in Dawn M. Kurland (ed.), EVERY WORKER AN OWNER: A Revolutionary Free Enterprise Challenge to Marxism, Washington, D.C.: Center for Economic and Social Justice, 1987, pp. 83-86; "Bold New Directions in Politics and Economics", The Human Economy Newsletter, March 1991, 12 (1) 3-6, 12; "Four Economic Rights: Social Renewal Through Economic Justice for All," Social Justice Review, January-February 1994, 85 (1-2) 3-6; "Fisheries Renewal: A Renewal of the Soul of Business" (with Stuart B. Weeks), The Catholic Social Science Review, Vol. II, 1997, pp. 145-161; Concordian Economics: Tools to Return Relevance to Economics, Forum for Social Economics, 2009, vol. 38, issue 1, pages 53-69. See also chs. 1, 11, and 12 in Albert Tavidze, ed. Progress in Economics Research, Vol. 19, Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, 2010.

Ideas presented in these writings and others can perhaps best be synthesized in two diagrams representing respectively the economic process (Figure A) and the theory of economic justice (Figure B):

A. Economic process/ B. Economic justice
A. Economic process/ B. Economic justice
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Figure A Figure B

The advantage of presenting these two diagrams back to back is to reveal the inner relationship between them: economic justice is the mirror image of the economic process. One can just as soon separate one from the other as one can separate people from their shadows.

[3] See The Somist Institute.

[4] Gorga, Carmine, On the Equivalence of Matter to Energy and to Spirit, Transactions on Advanced Research, Volume 3, Number 2, July 2007, pp. 40-45. Also available at Internet Journals.

[5] As quoted in O. Nathan, H. Norden, eds. Einstein on Peace (Avnet Books, New York, 1981 ed,): 376, from a pamphlet published by Beyond War in 1985 entitled A New Way of Thinking.

[6] Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium (1941). From The Quotation Page.

[7] See, e.g., J. M. T. Thompson, Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos, Geometric Methods for Engineers and Scientists (New York: Wiley, 1986).

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank his colleague, Dr. Peter J. Bearse, for his invaluable editorial assistance, deep insights, and contribution to the clarification of the figures by suggesting the transformation of short connecting lines into directional arrows.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Carmine Gorga - see Wikipedia, Google Scholar, and Gravatar (a Globally Recognized Avatar). He is a Fulbright Scholar, president of The Somist Institute. In 1965, after a summer of intense intellectual struggle with the General Theory, Dr. Gorga changed one equation in Keynes' model of the economic system and found himself in a completely new intellectual world; this is the world of economic justice (not social justice) that existed before John Locke and Adam Smith. The transition to Concordian economics, greatly assisted by Professors Modigliani and Burstein, can be found in The Economic Process (2002), a book whose third edition has been annotatedagainby JEL in December 2017 (p. 1642). For the fullness of economic justice, the core of Concordian economics, see here and here. For a full understanding of Concordian economics, Gorga has gradually realized, we need to go beyond Individualism and Collectivism, toward Somism (men and women in the social context); from Capitalism and Socialism/Communism we need to go to Concordianism; then we need to pass from Rationalism to Relationalism. See The Relational University of Gloucester, MA.


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President, The Somist Institute, 87 Middle Street
Gloucester, MA USA 01930

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