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Category Archives: Economics

Society on the Couch

Drug dealers, prostitutes, terrorists, assassins. These are all aspects of society we have to deal with in our modern world. But not only in the external population. No, there are many of those personalities in power today. And they use the police and military to squash dissent in all of the myriad and horrible ways we’ve seen in the 20th century.

Let’s bring the precise lens of psycho-socio pathology brought by Norberto Keppe’s science of Analytical Trilogy to the subject today. We’ll analyze Society on the Couch through Keppe’s astounding book, The Psychoanalysis of Society, and also consider the inequality in economics and how it creates such social injustice.

All that and more on this week’s installment of Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head.

Join the conversation at joneshealing@gmail.com

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Inverted Economics and Good Business

The core of the psycho-social problems of the age is under our microscope today. The pathological power structure and how it works against us, our deluded idea that war defends freedom, our psychotic economy – hot and essential topics. And the story of an American visitor to our International Society of Analytical Trilogy. Join the discussion. Comments welcome at rich@richjonesvoice.com

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Redefining the Relationship Between Work and Capital

It’s a philosophy deeply entrenched in our North American view of life: make your money work for you, leverage your investments, make money while you sleep.

But hidden behind these strategies is a massive trap. Money, which is supposed to be a means, has become the ends. Today, capital is more important than your mother.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Redefining the Relationship Between Work and Capital.

One of my students, a Director at a large European supermarket chain, was lamenting the plight of human beings after returning from his summer vacation in Europe. “People seem lost,” he said. “They seem very far from the basics of life.”

 Then he went on to make an interesting parallel. When he was a boy growing up on the French island of Martinique, he became fascinated with bee-keeping. He learned the basics from his dad, then began to branch out to develop his own bee hives. Marked by a strongly competitive nature and beset with the rivalry that commonly springs up between sons and fathers, he set out to see if he could overtake his father’s honey production. He studied and researched the latest bee breeding techniques to learn how to maximize production, do more with less, ramp up his production to steroid-high levels without increasing his investment substantially. He imported queen bees from France and America, bred them with his local product, and very shortly achieved impressive spikes in production levels.

He admits to feeling a certain power in this, a sensation that he was creating some kind of super bee that would lead the way to continuously higher quantities of honey. But his success was short-lived. Hybrid bees, it turns out, are much more fragile than natural ones. They bred quickly and produced a big jump in honey output over the short term, but were genetically weaker and more sensitive to fluctuations in environmental cycles. What’s more, their breeding cycles were totally out of sync with nature’s. Bees would breed robustly, then fly out of the hive looking for flowers to pollinate, and the flowers wouldn’t be out yet. Over the long term, my student realized, mucking around with nature had disastrous – and expensive – side effects.

In our discussion, we were making the connections between the philosophy underlying his desires to out-produce his father, and the mania in business today to produce ever increasing profits based on projections and stockholder demands rather than natural business cycles.

“If I’m to have any possibility of meeting those imposed financial goals,” he told me, “Something’s going to have to give. I’m going to have to take shortcuts somewhere – with employee relations or salary limits or even business ethics.”

So look at that dilemma. We’re all twisted up inside because of exactly this struggle. Our megalomania causes us to impose our will on natural cycles so much, bending and twisting and changing everything to fit with our “getting more for less” philosophy, that we completely screw up the greater system. And then, oh, do we suffer! Because it’s hard, sometimes impossible, to find our way back.

Wasn’t that lament exactly what Dante was articulating when he wrote, “Half-way upon the journey of our lives, I roused to find myself within a dark wood, for the straight way had been lost.”

This program based on Brazilian psychoanalyst and social scientist, Norberto Keppe‘s science of Analytical Trilogy, is an attempt to help us find the straight way again. I am always open to hearing from you about these themes. rich@richjonesvoice.com

Today, we’ll focus in on how much we’ve strayed off the path and gotten all twisted around in economics. My colleague and fellow teacher, Sofie Bergqvist, joins me today to provide some illumination provided through Keppe’s book, Work and Capital.

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The Stock Market Crash’s Silver Lining

Hundreds of years before the meteoric rise of Cisco Systems or Qualcomm stock prices, Semper Augustus tulip bulbs were selling for the price of a house in Holland. Tulipmania was in full swing in the 1600s, and it looked much like the dotcom madness of the 1990s. It crashed eventually, of course, but caused little lasting damage. Could the same thing be true today?

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, the Stock Market Crash’s Silver Lining.

Of course, it should be pointed out that in all the madness surrounding the trade in rare and exotic tulip bulbs, the Amsterdam Stock Exchange never got in on the deal. Madness it was, with speculators brokering deals in taverns and bars, and some bulbs changing hands 10 times in a day.

It’s not much of a stretch to fast forward to images of amateur day-traders hunched over PCs and trying to make fast cash on gambling that kozmo.com stock prices will go down at some time in the future.

But the big difference between 1636 and 2008 is that our stock markets, from the Nasdaq to the Nikkei, are heavily involved. And so today’s worldwide stock market crash is marked by at least 2 things that distinguish it from the Holland of the 1600s:

1. It’s worldwide
2. It’s having a big impact on the economy

Could there really be anything good about this? Seems to be if you’re looking at the situation from a traditional point of view. But the economic view of someone who understands the psyche of the human being and the distortions of society that spring from that psyche can give you a different picture. This can help us see what’s going on from a new perspective, and can even lead the way to correcting our distortion and setting society on the right track again.

We’ve looked at this aspect of the impact of Man’s psyche on society in a number of our podcasts, and I encourage you to look through the Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head archives for those. I can steer you in the right direction, of course, at rich@richjonesvoice.com

Gilbert Gambucci has been studying Brazilian psychoanalyst Dr. Norberto Keppe‘s economic viewpoint on all this for the past couple of months and is putting together a blog to explore many of Dr. Keppe’s ideas – especially as they relate to society. That blog – featuring great video of Keppe – is at www.promiseland.info. Check it out.

Gilbert joins me today to explore the silver lining behind the crash of the stock market.

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Posted by on April 17, 2009 in Economics

 

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Society on the Couch

Normally we see a person with serious problems we recommend professional help. After all, we go to the gym to keep our bodies toned, we go to the driving range. Why wouldn’t we do something to address those psychological glitches that pop up in all of us?

But what do we do when our whole society is showing signs of breakdown?

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, we’ll try to put “society on the couch”.

But a couple of things first. I always appreciate hearing from you. Your feedback is really helpful in helping me shape the program, so don’t hesitate if you’ve got a point or a question to raise. I’m always available – rich@richjonesvoice.com. If it takes me a day or two to get back to you, hang in. I’m getting to it.

If you’ve listened to the Podcast for awhile, you’ll know Dr. Claudia Pacheco very well. She’s a frequent contributor here and frankly is indispensable to this program – and indeed to everything we are doing down here in Brazil at the International Society of Analytical Trilogy. Well, Claudia and I are working on something really interesting … a live, Internet call-in radio program which we’re targeting to launch in January 2009. Make sure you’re on the mailing list to learn more – rich@richjonesvoice.com

What this’ll be is an online advice show with Claudia, who has 25 years of experience in Norberto Keppe’s Analytical Trilogy – to my mind, the most innovative, effective and powerful form of psychoanalysis on the planet. Anyone who’s got any experience with Trilogical analysis knows the experience of taking a long-standing issue to a session and getting a completely fresh take on it from the analyst.

“Wow! I never saw it that way before,” is a common comment.

Keppe’s Analytical Trilogy goes to the root of the problem, which is always something deep inside us, hidden from view. This is true deep psychology, often helping us see clearly for the first time long-standing issues that have been blocking us from achieving what we feel we have the potential to achieve. And who doesn’t feel that? And after Norberto Keppe himself, Dr. Claudia Pacheco is the best in the world at helping people at this deep level. So this radio program will be very cool. To have a chance to listen to her weekly will be a great opportunity to address some of the core issues of human beings … and you’ll be able to call in personally with individual questions and issues.

We’re calling the program “Healing Through Consciousness”, and we’re both pretty excited about it. Make sure you get on the mailing list. We’ll keep you updated.

You know, we’ve had a lot of response to the last 3 podcasts looking at the roots of the economic crisis. A few thousand downloads of those programs – giving a pretty loud message that people are looking for some answers, some ways to understand what is going on.

One of the applications of Keppe’s work is in the area of social psychology – analyzing the society as we would a person’s neurosis. And why not? The corporation’s been given the same rights as a human being through some decision of Congress way back along the way. As the Federal Reserve – a mostly private institution – was created by Congress back in the early 1900s, even though they had no constitutional basis to do so. So why wouldn’t we hold society’s systems up to scrutiny?

In fact, we must. I noticed in the N.Y. Times earlier this week that European and North American political leaders admit they may not be willing to fulfill their commitments to cap harmful carbon emissions or phase out polluting factories because of the slumping economy. A European Commission spokeswoman said, “Investing in reducing emissions is more difficult to do in times of economic downturn.”

This is simply hard to believe, isn’t it? How in 2008 can we make decisions based on profits over the environment? Hard to believe unless you understand about Inversion, Keppe’s seminal psychological discovery. Keppe says in his beautiful book, Glorification, “Inversion, sickness, is the act of rejecting life, labeling it as bad; it is the attitude of denying truth, “seeing” it as negative; it is the wish to alter reality, “believing” it to be harmful – all because of the great envy, the enormous envy, we feel toward the Creator. We want to take His place by substituting what is fictitious for what is real, and we are assailed by the most terrible anxiety. If we were thankful for what is good we would be happy, but we constantly destroy all that is sound in ourselves because it was not created by any decision of our own.”

Isn’t that something to think about? Let’s bring Dr. Claudia Pacheco in here today to explore this more.

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Economic Crisis III – Psychoanalysis of Society

We’ve got change in the White House. And in the tennis ATP rankings. A change in Madonna’s marital status, too … for what that’s worth. Not that those last 2 mean much. And whether the first is truly meaningful remains to be seen, doesn’t it?

One thing is clear, though … there’s not much change in the economic picture.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, we’ll continue our series looking at the causes of the economic crisis.

Well, after a historic day at the polls, America has woken up to the same scary reality as before. Jobless rates are up, stock prices are generally down … well, you know the story. Some of you much better than me, actually. But what I’ve been trying to do in this series of podcasts over the past few weeks is investigate some of the reasons for the mess. And I don’t mean in terms of explaining how the sub-prime mortgage market suddenly went south. No. But one thing I can help with is getting at the causes of all this. This is no small feat, in reality, and can be done because of the expansive work done on the subject at the Brazilian school of Analytical Trilogy founded by Dr. Norberto Keppe.

Look, one of the hardest things about trying to get a handle on what’s really going on is the style of the media. You watch CNN or CBS, and you get volumes of information. Analysis of the sub-prime aspect, reporting of G-20 meetings with ex-president Bush (and man, does it feel good to say ex-president Bush) … you get opinions and policies and figures, and spin, glorious spin. But it’s extremely difficult to pick your way through the information.

It’s always been like this. In our Information Age, we’re bombarded with information but starving for perspective. You have to know how to understand all this, and I don’t mean in the sense of being able to debate economic policy – the benefits of government stimulus packages over tighter regulations and broader oversight, or vice versa. No, there’s got to be an overall view to be had.

And it’s exactly here that Norberto Keppe’s work does what was before him very hard to do. Because of his success at mapping the human psyche, Keppe was also able to apply those findings to the society as a whole – verifying that what the human being does outside he first does inside himself. That our external social structures are simply the reflection of ways of seeing the world, of philosophies and biases and often questionnable reasoning.

One of Keppe’s landmark discoveries is that we are inverted. We act against our nature now in favor of our inverted values. “Cash flow is more important than your mother,” as one Wall Street broker termed it. This Inversion stems from inside us. I want to start there today because understanding our psyche leads to understanding our society. And that means putting the finger on causes, so that we can take real steps to change, not just rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. As always, love to hear your thoughts … rich@richjonesvoice.com

Sari Koivukangas, a professor at the Keppe/Pacheco Educational Institute here in São Paulo joins me today.

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Behind the Economic Crisis II

It’s still hitting us hard. Markets are down, foreclosures are up. Shanty towns are springing up in southern California. We’re officially in recession, it appears. And what got us here varies depending on which side of the political argument you listen to. The only problem with that is … it’s a little difficult to get at the real root causes.

Today on Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, let’s try to understand it a little better in the second in our series of what’s going on Behind the Economic Crisis.

Depending on how long you’ve been listening to Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, you may or may not know that our work here is based on the extraordinary discoveries of Brazilian psychoanalyst and social scientist, Norberto Keppe. In a profound series of books he wrote in the 1980s, he essentially created a new branch of social science called “social pathology.” This was the application of his psychological assessment, analysis and treatment of the human psyche to the greater society in which we live.

Our society, he determined, is a reflection of the unrecognized parts of our individual psychological reality. “The cycle is centuries old,” he wrote. “Man creates an increasingly sick society as he is increasingly sickened by it.” This awareness occurred shortly after he moved to New York at the request of a number of professors and academics to introduce his work there. He went expecting American ingenuity and “can-do” attitude to take his work,and spread it worldwide, as they did with everything else – from Breton Woods economic policies to pop music.

But he encountered a country in trouble. “America has stopped working,” he noted. America was not producing anymore and was instead content to sit back and let the 3rd world do the work while they applied themselves to making money with money; that the U.S. was exploiting the globalization of the desire for a piece of the American Dream they’d so artfully perpetrated, stimulated and fed to chain everyone else to pulling the sled while they rode along behind, sucking up the profits.

Keppe saw psychological Inversion in the creation of an economic system that rewarded a company with increased stock prices for lowering costs by farming out production to Asian sweatshops. He saw a psychological condition in the hunger for power and money and consumer goods that was causing us to destroy the planet in our insatiable desire for more, more, more.

The three books I mentioned earlier were, and continue to be, extraordinarily astute and prophetic – Decay of the American People (and the U.S.), which we discussed in our last episode of Thinking with Somebody Else’s Head, Liberation of the People: the Pathology of Power, and Work and Capital. These books discussed, analyzed and clarified the psychopathology of the human being that was manifesting in the social structures we had created. This was something remarkable for the time, and remains so even today. You’ll find those books totally relevant in today’s situation. Like they were written yesterday. Write me for more information: rich@richjonesvoice.com

What Keppe noticed was the break in our social structures had made from our essential nature. From philosophy, Keppe knew that the essence of life was goodness, truth and beauty. At the same time, being successful in society often meant going against those values. We can’t suggest, for example, that the richest and most powerful among us got that way by acting like Mother Theresa or Albert Schweitzer.

And we the people have bought into it all big time. We all want to throw our money into the stock market and see it double or triple or at least bring in 10 or 15% returns. And for doing what, exactly? As Warren Buffett has noted, we’re not a nation of investors anymore, we’re a nation of traders. Which conjurs up images of men and women staring for hours into laptop computer screens to squeeze dollars out of the differenc ein exchange rates between the Yen and the Euro. Surely this is not lost on us. We’ve given up our previous values of what it meant to live in a civilized society. Our leaders lie about whatever they need to to convince us we need a massive, unwillable, horrendously expensive war. They encourage huge speculative financial systems that slosh trillions of dollars around daily like giant cassinos. They throw billions of taxpayer’s dollars into shoring up totally collapsing economic models that they’ve promoted. And then, as it’s crashing down around their ears, they admonish us that “we’re all in this together,” lumping in the vast majority of the world’s population with the small minority who are actually playing the gaem.

It’s time to wake up. As Keppe writes in Liberation of the People, “Most people believe that the powerful are needed to maintain ‘order’ among the populace and in the markets, rather than that it is precisely these powerful who cause all the social conflict and disturbance with the dishonest laws and systems they create.”

That’s where I’d like to step out from today – that this economic and social crisis has not just happened. It’s come to us as a product of our thinking and philosophy of life, if you will. Gilbert Gambucci, fresh from discussing this at our World Conference of Analytical Trilogy a couple of weeks ago, joins me today.

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