A matter of CULTURE or PSYCHOLOGY in Europe?

Are the European and more specifically the Euro-zone problems purely a matter of cultural differences, engrained in generations of ‘Nation Staters’ or something deeper in each nation-people’s psychology?

 

Countries using the Euro de jure Countries and...
Image via Wikipedia

It cannot purely be a difference of political ideology between the leaders and individual nations of Europe that has lead us to the brink of the Euro abyss. But, yet maybe the way the debate and challenges facing Europe are being framed, has a great part to play in it.

 

Europe always seemed to be a halfway house between cultures, trade, ideologies, beliefs and norms. And the fact that the Euro single currency zone was stitched together based on these ‘halfway house’ ideas should therefore not have been a surprise.

 

How long does it take to build a vision? Or rather, why did Europe take so long to get to the chasm, build a rickety Monetary Union bridge, without firming up the foundations that holds together the infrastructure once the traffic crossing that bridge started increasing in volume?

 

If there is something Trade theory should have taught us, it must be that once opportunity (to trade and create wealth) is established, the trickle would eventually turn to a steady stream and the steady stream to an eventual throng. Yet not one European leader or institution foresaw this? Takes us full circle to the original question, namely: “How long does it take to build a VISION?

united states currency eye- IMG_7364_web
Image by kevindean via Flickr

 

The truth might lie somewhere in the nature, establishment and deep rooted psyches of the Europeans themselves. Europe might be the collective noun; yet staunch nation state individualism (the communities we all hunker after) is the actual bedrock and foundation of the people who live in Europe. Unlike the USA, with a common language, full monetary and federal fiscal union, Europe is and will always remain a loosely led together community (but not a collective) of nation states and peoples.

 

Fairness, freedom, equality and openness, some of the most fundamental tenets of a market and community to function properly, are not necessarily on the agendas when ideological political, rather than economic (for the greater good), issues are considered by both politicians, technocrats and bureaucrats in the institutions and fabric at the heart of a (dis)United Europe.

 

Therefore, until and unless we can prize Europeans from there deeply held ‘national interest’ debates and frames of reference, in terms of establishing a common and united front; we feel that there is no hope of sustainably solving the Euro-zone sovereign debt and monetary union problems.

 

A possible mechanism might have to be the establishment of a ‘fourth branch’ of governance, outside the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, being an outside force or rather an Adjudicator comprised of non dominant European member countries and quite possibly with an Advisory Board consisting of non Europeans themselves, to allow for the establishment of a fair, free and an open implementation of the Legislature’s policy decisions, hence and overseer of the Executive, but an equal to the Judiciary, with a final veto by the citizenry of Europe themselves, as a balancing mechanism, should a stalemate ever arise.

 

The enabling driver of such an European Adjudicator must surely be the Digital Economy with its various platforms and reach extending now and in the future across the ‘Net’ that is European integration.

 

theMarketSoul ©2012

‘Biological’ Language

It is political party conference season in the UK. The last of the major three party’s conferences kicked-off yesterday, namely the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

However, we want to focus on a little snippet from last week’s Labour Party conference.

In the Labour Party leader’s (Ed Miliband) speech, he attacked ‘neoliberalism’, which in itself is not a bad thing; because the extension of the neoliberal idea, namely that ‘every interaction should be a market transaction’, has also been criticised by this publication and inspired the ‘Soul’ part of our name (theMarketSoul). Hence, we believe that there are behavioural (human and natural interaction) factors that cannot be removed and reduced to mere Market Transactions.

What we want to pick up on in today’s commentary is Ed’s use of language. He referred to ‘predators’ and Asset-strippers as the bad side of capitalism.

Personally we have no problem with predator behaviour, because this is in itself a natural phenomenon, and plays itself out countless times in the cycle and chain of life every day. If not, there would be an imbalance in nature itself. So utilising ‘natural language’ and phenomenon is good.

We do take umbrage at the ‘Asset-stripping’ tag, though. This is the ‘engineering’ and ‘clumsy’ language usage that disturbs us. We look towards language and metaphors that express nature, ecosystems and balance more precisely. Therefore, Ed, do call them predators and don’t mind what the main stream press and ‘Asset-strippers’ make of it. After all; it takes a lot to offend a lion, doesn’t it, or not?

[We picked up this article ‘Good Capitalism Does Exist’ written by Will Hutton, in the Guardian on 3 October 2011]

theMarketSoul ©2011

Evolution…or devolution?

Random Collisions of Chance

Chance and spontaneity are two interesting phenomenon required for innovation and creativity.

We were reminded of this in an interview recorded of a LinkedIn executive recently*.  He stated that chance encounters are “where we make some of our most significant connections“, be it your life partner, business associates, etc. and that speeding up those chance encounters was one of the fundamental principles and aims of social networking.

That idea struck a chord with us.  Like our free market principle of ‘Spontaneous Order’, random collisions and network creation, leading to opportunity exploitation and ultimately wealth and welfare maximisation is intuitively an attractive proposition.

The Free Market: A False Idol After All?

So, we have the mechanisms in place, with online tools and social networking sites, but how much of this activity is outward focussed revenue and income generating?  What is meant by this is that the revenues are not focussed on increasing advertising and network operator revenues, but individual participant to participant’s opportunity flows.

And beyond building an online presence with followers and individuals being influencers and thought or trend leaders in their domains, how many of us focus on being revenue leaders and wealth and welfare ‘maximisers’ in this space?

Do you have personal metrics of success, which help inform and modify and moderate your personal behaviours to ensure that you maximise your ‘Return on Ether-time’? [ROET]

Maybe it is well worth a thought because in the neo-classical world of market participation, if you aren’t in the market and making a living (or a half descent living) from it, you might get marginalised and lose out on the wave that hit us when Web 2.0 arrived.

English: A tag cloud (a typical Web 2.0 phenom...

theMarketSoul ©2010

* We are searching for a link / reference to this interview.  Once we have found it, we will update this post