Setting the scene to promote a Moral Political Economy

An introductory address to a Global Vision 2000 House of Lords seminar July 20 2010 by Peter Challen //////////////////////////////////////////////

Peers of the earth - united in our earth identity; having equivalence of dignity in the eyes of God and having between us, a great variety of skills to put to the common good - welcome to this dialogue.

I set the scene with words by Adrienne Rich: "My heart is moved by all I cannot save; so much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who age by age , perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world."

In the face of immense complexity and the need for genuine humility, let us acknowledge that there are serious question marks over isolated expertise. That is why I appeal to our common earth identity and do not emphasise our achievements to date and the titles that accompany them.

There is a sense in which we must together imagine, design and implement a thoroughly new eco-systemic economy to ensure humanity’s continuing stay on earth. A matrix [that is a womb nurturing new life] of such transition is eloquently set out in the NEF’s Booklet ‘The Great Transition’.

The need for such transition was unconsciously anticipated in an essay of 1615 which began 'A fly sat on the axle of a chariot and said “'What a dust do I make.” The essay was on Vain Glory..

Because of such rampant hubris carried on a chariot of power and monopoly, together with the accumulated weight of institutional conceits, the human predicament is now dire.

Bacon also wrote back then: "People of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, repent too soon and seldom drive business home to it's conclusion, but content themselves with a mediocrity of success."

Hope is not in a mediocrity of success but in the restoration of societal sanity and the creating of ways of exchange that work for everyone and protect the earth in the now global market place. It can only lie in trans-disciplinary exploration of common purpose. Peer review entirely within a single Discipline is highly dangerous to common purpose, to universality and inclusive justice.

In the great time line of philosophy and religion such common purpose is persistently expressed with utter simplicity, yet carrying an immense burden of responsibility, as ‘love God and love neighbour’. Expanded in the light of contemporary quantum physics and quantum theology that means ‘love the laws of nature and your interdependent relationship with all species.’

In that context the human predicament is dire. Our systems have mocked natural law. Vested interests have blocked inclusive justice, building up their defensive structural weight over many centuries.

Whatever we discuss this evening must take account of powerful drivers: affecting all new investment criteria for individuals, groups and institutions: *Growing obscene disparity between materially rich and materially poor *Ecological degradation and Species loss *Population growth *Climate Change *Food deficit *Toxins in air and water *Geo-political shifts *Advances in information, communication technology *Swings in economic activity *Almost inconceivable levels of debt. [that is, bluntly - theft from the future.]

The magnitude, velocity, and simultaneity of these unharnessed forces are unpredictable

Therefore, in the fierce urgency of now let us this evening ensure that we measure everything in the context of natural law and world-spanning inclusive neighbourliness. Any lesser perspective sinks into hubris and myopia, into a a death-wish vainly defending vested interest.

We may think we are looking at an environmental crisis, or a sustainability crisis, or a financial crisis or even a societal crisis and this we are. But more deeply, what we are experiencing is a crisis in values. Only a recognition of that deeper crisis, the crisis that comes to a society that lacks cosmic spiritual purpose, can set us on the path to recovery. All the regulation in the world will just be circumvented by people who are unconscious within the greater dream.

It is my conviction, accrued in 50 years of ministry in search of public truth, that we are trying to change deeply embedded core beliefs towards a hugely more generous concern for, and introduction of, inclusive justice. If we cannot do that, our practical ideas are not important and will never add up. They will be resisted as much as an atheist resists God. We must find a way to convince people first that robbery either through money or land ownership or both is immoral and unsustainable. Presently the masses simply do not believe it, not to mention the elites.

In the fierce urgency of now let us proceed in humility and in pursuit of inclusive common good, expressed imaginatively in structures of true justice.

Speeches by those below followed and then discussion

Moeen Yaseen - Managing Director Global Vision 2000

Daud Pidcock - Monetary Reformer, Political Activist and Broadcaster

Muhammad Rafeeq - Banking Consultant& Internet radio broadcaster

Vijay Mehta - Chair World Disarmament Campaign

Lawrence Bloom - Chair Green Economy Initiative Green Cities, Buildings and Transport panel UNEP Former Chair World Agenda Council World Economic Forum

Michael King - Managing Director WDX Organisation

Canon Peter Challen - Chair Christian Council of Monetary Justice