Problem: Competition is a major problem of implementation of any good decision.

Solution: Implementation of Simultaneous Policy.

 

THE SIMULTANEOUS POLICY
John Bunzl.

 

The principal barrier to implementation of any significant measure to improve today's environmental, economic or social problems, be they in advanced, developing or non-industrialised countries, is destructive competition. Global de-regulated capital flows and corporations know no national boundaries and by their ability or threat to move elsewhere, force nations to compete with one another for capital, jobs (and therefore votes) and ever scarcer natural resources.

With increased government reliance on capital markets to finance public deficits and on corporations to maintain employment, internationally mobile capital effectively precludes the implementation of any national policy that might incur market or corporate displeasure. The markets have consequently engineered strong leverage over the economic, social and environmental policies adopted by any country ensuring that only market-friendly, neo-liberal policies are pursued - regardless of the party in power. The result is the strangle-hold of pseudo-democracy in which, whatever party we elect, the policies delivered remain substantially the same. Since virtually all nations are part of an increasingly integrated global economy, they are all subject to the same strangle-hold. In advanced countries, it is exerted directly by the market itself, ably assisted by the WTO; in developing countries, by the market and through "structural adjustment" imposed by the IMF or the World Bank; in non-industrialised countries by the virtual absence of any foreign direct investment leaving them to the consequences of warfare, poverty, disease, increasing numbers of refugees and so on.

No nation can exit from this predicament by seeking to re-regulate financial markets because such action would cause capital flight, devaluation and inflation if not outright economic collapse. Similarly, policies that seek to address environmental or social problems requiring higher public spending or higher costs for industry are precluded on the grounds of uncompetitiveness, adverse market reaction and the threat of job losses. In de-regulating capital markets, nations have therefore unleashed a force they can no longer unilaterally control - a global competitive merry-go-round now spinning so fast that no nation can get off (unless it is forcibly ejected by the market itself).

This paper therefore argues, firstly, that politics - regardless of the party in power - has effectively been paralysed into a market-friendly position from which it cannot escape. Secondly it argues that fundamental changes to the capitalist system are essential before there can be any hope of closing the 'sustainability gap' or of expecting any tangible results from international agreements on reduced emissions. Thirdly, since capitalism can only be changed and controlled by politics - which has itself already been paralysed - we are heading for environmental, economic or social collapse without the means to alter that course. Solutions that fail to address the central barrier to reform that global free markets and international competition represent are therefore effectively dead in the water.

In spite of this state of affairs, this book sets out a feasible means not only of regaining control of global financial markets and corporations, but of going much further towards creating the conditions for a global society and economy more compatible with Nature and the needs of human nature. The disturbing growth of far-right political parties is a sure sign that failure to do so could well prove catastrophic. This book therefore argues that a fundamental transformation from international competition to global cooperation is required, for only through global co-operation between nation states can destructive competition be eliminated and meaningful changes implemented. Crucially, it also sets out a practical method of achieving this. It therefore represents something of a "missing link" without which the many solutions now being proposed by leading economists and ecologists are likely to remain confined largely to theory.

To break the vicious circle of global competition, both between nations and between corporations, all nations need to act simultaneously by implementing the Simultaneous Policy (SP); a range of measures to re-regulate global markets and corporations in order to restore genuine democracy, environmental protection and peace around the world. SP thus calls upon peoples all over the world to recognise the futility of conventional party politics and to unite both by taking policy out of the hands of politicians and, by force of their numbers and their votes, by bringing political parties into competition with one another to adopt SP. By separating the adoption of SP from its implementation, SP transcends party-political differences and allows voters, NGOs, politicians and governments to adopt it without risking their respective personal or national interests. It therefore represents political action of a kind not yet seen: a New Politics of cooperation and community which transcends both the divisions of conventional party politics and the dilemmas of maintaining international competitiveness. SP thus offers a real prospect - perhaps the only prospect - of beneficial change and survival.

This New Politics has profound implications for North-South relations, the global environment, world economics, global governance, Green parties, non-governmental organisations, international relations, national domestic politics and, not least, for the triumph of the human spirit.

 


John M. Bunzl is the Director of International Simultaneous Policy Organisation (ISPO)


 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

"The Simultaneous Policy - An Insider's Guide to Saving Humanity and the Planet".
by John Bunzl.
(With Foreword by Diana Schumacher)
Publication due Summer 2001. New European Publications, 14-16 Carroun Road,
London SW8 1JT. Tel/Fax: +44 (0)20 7582 3996
Distributed by:
Central Books, 99 Wallis Road, London E9 5LN
Tel: +44 (0)20 8986 4854 Fax: +44 (0)20 8533 5821

ISBN 0-1872410-15-4 Price: £12.95

Pre-publication copies (without foreword) available now from ISPO
info@simpol.org Please ask for details.

List of book endorsements follows:

"I thought your proposal was an elegant idea of how change could occur. It reflects the core ideas of how to create consensus around change. This is the biggest challenge that we have"
Ed Mayo
Executive Director, New Economics Foundation

"Is it a good idea? My answer is: Maybe it could prove to be."
James Robertson
Former cabinet policy maker and author of
'Schumacher Briefing 1 - Transforming Economic Life'

"It is a good idea. What we need is politicians who will give this issue a high priority."
Polly Toynbee
The Guardian

"Your idea for a simultaneous policy is excellent. . Lets hope that people start to listen to this important message."
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Co-founder of the International Forum on Globalisation
and Director of the International Society for Ecology & Culture

"It's ambitious and provocative. Can it work? Certainly worth a serious try."
Noam Chomsky

".the basic concept is excellent. . Let me know what develops!"
Jakob von Uexkull
Founder and Chairman - Right Livelihood Award Foundation

"The Simultaneous Policy is a creative proposal to accelerate progress toward a sustainable global economy. Many movements and grassroots globalists working for these goals can coalesce around such innovative initiatives."
Hazel Henderson
Author of 'Beyond Globalization: Shaping a Sustainable Global Economy'

".well argued and well thought out. It goes against our bias for the human scale but may be necessary."
Nicholas Albery
Chairman - The Institute for Social Inventions

".compelling and provocative. The structure and progression of the [book] fit your argument perfectly."
Moises Naim
Editor-in-Chief - Foreign Policy. USA

"Your main theme is a crucial one and I hope it will be heeded. .your approach is unusual because most authors concentrate on 'what' first and leave 'how' as a secondary consideration - or duck it altogether."
David Griffiths
Author of 'All This and Unemployment Too'.

"...I believe [the Simultaneous Policy] offers a prophetic and practical approach to the global politico-economic problems of our generation...
Certainly it is one which would appeal to Quakers."
Stephen Whiting
Quaker Peace and Service - London.

"Bunzl is, I feel, the first writer on the 'sustainable society' to advance beyond rhetoric and grapple with the problem of how such a society might be achieved."
Dr. Aidan Rankin
'New European' (European Business Review) - UK.

"Working from an East-West perspective in which the interdependency of Buddhism combines with the economics of E.F. Schumacher, Bunzl argues for a program of restoring social control over the blind destructiveness of corporate globalisation by simultaneous government policies across world
borders. The need for simultaneity of sovereign state action is an important new dimension of a debate affecting all planetary life."
John McMurtry
Author of 'The Cancer Stage of Capitalism'

"Your [book] eloquently describes the crucial problems facing the world today. It explores the inadequacy of the nation state in dealing with these problems and the inability of the United Nations to move beyond its current constraints. Simultaneous Policy is an elegant theory which takes many ideas from different places. We must all work to bring these ideas from theory into practice."
Simon Burall
Executive Director, One World Trust
(in his personal capacity).

"...the financial world order has become quite cancerous to both people and the planet and what is needed are intelligent and creative solutions appropriate to the situation. Your proposal to create a level playing field for all that incorporates environmentally sustainable policies is just such a creative solution."
Richard St. George
Director, the Schumacher Society
(in his personal capacity)

"Simultaneous Policy is a most promising strategy for discovering and establishing a more equitable, efficient and sustainable economic order." Shann Turnbull
Author of 'Democratizing the Wealth of Nations'


"The concept of Simultaneous Policy (SP) is a wonderful way of implementing cooperation which is the new law of human survival in the globalized world. With it goes moral education inducing a new system of values to satisfy the requirements of the New Age."
Dr. Farhang Sefidvash
Coordinator of the Research Centre for Global Governance

"...we concur with your comprehensive and insightful analysis of the challenge before us. We also agree that social and environmental programmes are being subordinated to the demands of the global economy and that, if there is a meaningful remedy to hand, yours is as constructive as any we've seen to date."
Roger Doudna
International Programme Officer, Restore The Earth Project - Scotland.

" I must admit that the Simultaneous Policy is a very provocative document. When you start reading this document, it evokes sharp reactions within you because it challenges the alternative visions and ideas that are closer to your heart and mind. But, by the time you finish it, you realize that there are a host of alternatives to existing alternative visions and strategies for the betterment of our lives."
Kavaljit Singh - Author of 'A Citizen's Guide to the Globalization of
Finance' and 'Taming Global Financial Flows'

Tim Noonam of the World Business Academy envisions an Intellectual Overhaul that would lead to a Worldwide Megashift in the perception of Reality, the kind of shift which according to him, historian Lewis Mumford claims has occurred only three or four times in recorded history. The late Dr. Willis Harman, Founder of the Institute of Neotic Sciences, prophesized that the latter part of this century would witness a fundamental Transformation; to me, the Simultaneous Policy has all these potentials. What a great Intellectual and Academic Project for this century! Monday Wehere - Founder/President, the Wehere Foundation, Nigeria.

"...the great merit of your [book] is its proposal for a plausible solution to the many questions, whose urgency much of the left seems prepared to ignore."
Dorothy Friedmann
Green Socialist Network - London.

"Mr. Bunzl's vision of all nation's agreeing on a Simultaneous Policy of co-operation for world peace, sustainable world development, and alleviation of poverty is mankind's one hope of a sustainable quality lifestyle for,all."
J.W. Smith
The Institute for Economic Democracy - USA

"Wishing you God speed in your endeavours to progress our humankind with the Simultaneous Policy!"
Godric Bader
Life President - Scott Bader Commonwealth Ltd.

".....a very timely publication. I entirely agree with you that we should bring about a paradigm shift from competition to cooperation and from patronage to partnership."
M S Swaminathan
Office of the UNESCO Cousteau Chair in Ecotechnology &
Chairman, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation

"Simultaneous Policy is the first book I have seen that offers any real hope of achieving the reforms necessary to overcome global threats to the environment and human welfare."

Richard A. Stimson Author of 'Playing with the Numbers: How So-called
Experts Mislead Us about the Economy'

"...the best ideas are the simplest. With a system like this, there's no way for governments to wriggle out. All excuses evaporate. It's a system which unmasks all those seeking to hide behind theoretical impossibilites. I can't wait to see what follows. Well done SP!"
Jackie Navarro
ATTAC - Québec, Canada.
(Campaigning for the Tobin Tax)

"In a time where so many urgent symptoms claim our attention, it seems there is not enough courage nor time to address the fundamental roots of global present problems and viable roads to face them. The Simultaneous Policy is a simple, peaceful, low-risk and clear invitation for humankind to jump - in two steps - from a present spiral headed toward auto-destruction, into another one oriented toward life, cooperation and spiritual growth. To share is to live."
Emilio José Chaves

".the SP proposal is a practical means of moving toward global governance. It should be an effective means of achieving cooperation where any individual government that behaves cooperatively will be disadvantaged until all other governments also do so. .I wish you the best of luck with your important work."
John Stewart
Author of 'Evolution's Arrow: the Direction of
Evolution and the Future of Humanity.'

"I am sure that The Simultaneous Policy is likely to be of great interest [as] a way of striving for an alternative whilst being integrated in the current economic system..."
Suzanne Ismail
Economic Issues Programme Co-ordinator
Quaker Peace & Service - London, UK

A comment passed on to me:
"Isn't John Bunzl's Simultaneous Policy good stuff?"
Lucy Storrs
World Voices UK

".an essential contribution to the debate that is taking place at this time of transition and rapid change in society."
Dominic Dibble
World Goodwill - London

 

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