Global Economy of Truth as a Ponzi Scheme
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 19 Dec 2016
Personal Cognitive Implication in Globalization?
19 Dec 2016 – There is the possibility that the Ponzi scheme pattern is far more general than is readily assumed. What is termed a “Ponzi scheme” is then to be considered as merely one instance of the pattern exemplified by the Madoff investment scandal..
Conventionally a Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to investors from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors rather than from profit. The term “Ponzi scheme” is used primarily in the United States , while other English-speaking countries do not distinguish colloquially between this scheme and pyramid schemes.
As noted by a surprising number of commentators, consideration can therefore be usefully given to the global economy as a massive Ponzi scheme in its own right. This then presents the challenge of distinguishing such a scheme from what is so widely promoted as globalization. Much of the challenge is evident in the denial that any such comparison is appropriate and that there are indeed similarities to be recognized meriting careful consideration by appropriate authorities. As has been argued, so-called “Ponzi demography” can be understood as a vital collective subterfuge as a means of sustaining economic globalization as a Ponzi scheme.
As with the Ponzi schemes recognized as financial fraud, disguising any such recognition is presumably achieved through skillful public relations and image management (as with the Madoff case). Cultivation of such an image might be usefully compared with the classic redecoration of the Potemkin village. In that case the person deceived was Catherine the Great of Russia. In the Madoff case it was the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Which authority with oversight responsibility might be “deceived”, wittingly or unwittingly, in the case of a global Ponzi scheme — especially in a “post-truth era”?
Additionally however, the systemic nature of the pattern suggests that there is a case for recognizing that we are all operating “personal Ponzi schemes” and variously projecting them onto understandings of the global system, as previously discussed (Personal Globalization, 2001). This process is intimately entangled with personal aspirations to greater coherence and integrative comprehension, readily confused and conflated with understandings of globality. There is thus a sense in which “inside” is confused with “outside” in the operation of some form of Ponzi pattern yet to be fully understood.
The title of this document implies a fruitful ambiguity. Is the global economy indeed to be understood as a Ponzi scheme? Or is it rather that the “economy of truth” is a global Ponzi scheme — as may be variously understood as systematically “designed off” the table of global discourse (Varieties of the “Unsaid” in sustaining psycho-social community, 2003)? In that sense is there indeed a “big lie” to be recognized (Existential Challenge of Detecting Today’s Big Lie: mysterious black hole conditioning global civilization? 2014)?
The concern has been variously highlighted with respect to its political dimension (Andrea Abel, International Political Economy of Truth Commissions: Reputations and Lending in the Aftermath of Transitions, 2008; Zeynep K. Hansen and Marc T. Law, The Political Economy of Truth‐in‐Advertising Regulation during the Progressive Era, The Journal of Law and Economics, 2008).
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