If "an answer" is sought for the current global condition, and one is urgently needed, it would seem that great care is required to avoid falling into the trap of formulating answers whose nature forces them to compete in the unending, and essentially inhumane, "gladiatorial combats" of the "answer arena", in an effort to attract the temporary support of fickle "spectators" partly inspired by novelty. This does not mean looking for a semi-secret answer only meaningful to those initiated into a particular elite group (cf.
Development through Alternation
As pointed out at the beginning, society does not lack for answers to its current difficulties. The problem lies in the limited constituencies to which such answers appeal. It is useful to look at answers as products, or visible manifestations of an accumulation process. Answers tend to emerge from ordered accumulations of information. The amount of information effectively entering any such accumulation process is necessarily limited because of limitations on human processing capacity.
The exploration of the nature of an appropriate answer must take into account a most important phenomenon. That is that few groups, projects, or schools of thought have difficulty in discovering and promulgating an answer. The difficulty for society as a whole arises from the conflictual relationship between such answers, or their denial of each other as irrelevant, out-of-date, erroneous, or unworthy of consideration. In the words of Jacques Attali (#2) concerning remedial ideas about the current crisis:
The many initiatives in response to the global problematique are in most cases stimulated by a need to determine guidelines for action. The question to which an answer is sought at all levels is some variant of "what can be usefully done"?
The answers to this question have taken a range of well-known forms which include the following:
This section contains the following subsections (use the links in the Table of Contents to navigate)
- 1.1. Questionable answers
- 1.2. Forms of truth
- 1.3. Accumulative answers
- 1.4. Developing a new "meta-answer"
- 1.5. Decodification of analyses of capital accumulation
- 1.6. "New International Conceptual Order"
- 1.7. Accumulation and development
- 1.8. Development of accumulation
- 1.9. Domains of significance
Many "answers" have been produced in response to the current crisis, however it is perceived. It is argued here that it is the focus on "answer production" which itself obscures both the significance of the lack of fruitful integration between existing answers and the manner in which such answers undermine each other's significance. This mind-set also fails to recognize the positive significance of the continuing disruptive emergence of new "alternative" answers.
By Anthony Judge