For those who are searching for meaningful explanation to where our economy is, a deeper look at the nature of human behavior and the critical historic role that money plays in our emergence as humans is worthy of closer examination. This past week I gave an updated presentation on the Financial Crisis and the road ahead to the Spiral Dynamics Level II Training at the Adizes Graduate School in Santa Barbara. Below are some of the slides from that presentation that show how we got here and how the unprecedented levels of debt will choke off meaningful innovation and keep us in this prolonged recession for many years to come.
Last year I posted a piece about how the flood of cheap and unregulated capital perverted the very nature of capitalism (click here to read that entry). As we get deeper into “The Greatest Series of Recessions” I’ve become more convinced that economics has stopped being a social science and has become the exclusive domain of applied mathematics; devoid of any care for the human other than the one who’s paying for the economic research. No one in this venerated profession, before or after the financial crisis ever warned about the dangers of creating a debt-based culture worldwide. With Alan Greenspan at the helm the world ventured into the darkest period in its modern history since the current value system we’re in was first defined by the Industrial Revolution.
Money has always played the role of catalyst that enabled humans to evolve from the EGOCENTRIC/COMPULSIVE stage of existence to the ORDER/SACRIFICE-NOW-FOR-FUTURE-REWARDS stage; the all-important transition from the RED to BLUE value system (vMEME) in Spiral Dynamics. This form of conditioning came into existence much earlier than any of the Abrahamic religions and provided the quintessential ORDER that society based much of its evolution on. This social emergence pillar that was 8,000 years in the making came crashing down when the elite on Wall Street opened the flood gates of money and gave it to whoever asked for it and made enormous fees for themselves in the process.
As the case always is with a culture that loses a regulatory function in its order structure, the entire Value System stack (Spiral) is effected. The most visible aspect of this is the downshift of the culture to GREED that we experienced in the last 10 years and its all on borrowed (someone else’s) money.
We are in the biggest consumer debt trap in history and the only way out is for society to realign its consumption habits with its ability to repay its debt. The consumer has just started doing that and is feeling the pain of having to SAVE instead of SPEND. If only the government, economists and Wall Street can stop pulling the other way.