Monday, February 23, 2015

A series of five (well, probably six) weekly essays explaining, I hope, the plan for Co-operative Socialism. Issue set 4) - Income distribution and, thus, security, issues (inequality/inequity/pensions/student debt, etc)

Last week, I offered to write a series of five weekly essays explaining, I hope, the plan for Co-operative Socialism.

John Courtneidge
So, here's the first one

23 February 2015

 The plan for Co-operative Socialism and graphic are 1995-ish - 'The Spirit Level cover is that for the second paperback edition (note the Blue Star - signifying the extra chapter of rebuttal of The Spirit Level Myth' book -  and the wholosophy diagram (below) from the late 1990's/early 2000s

Hope they help!

First an overview:


The reason for five essays is that my experience, over the past twenty years - backed up by my experience of running two businesses (a small farm and a co-owned Garden Centre and Nursery) - is that the life issues that people are (rightly!) concerned over are:

1) Morality/ethics/philosophy/theology/spiritual issues

2) Work-place/health/wealth creation issues, intellectual property, etc

3) Land issues (land generally: 'land, sea and air'/ frozen land (buildings, roads, ports, land-use generally - including housing, agriculture etc - and 'virtual land ('the air wave electromagnetic spectrum', e-space etc)

4) Income distribution and, thus, security, issues (inequality/inequity/pensions/student debt, etc)

- which is the one I'll deal with this week - it's the place that, for many 'the shoe pinches' today

5) International affairs (Third World Debt, Fair Trade, etc)
6) Money/banking/finance issues: essentially two: how money is created, how money is used - and 'should we have money anyway?'

So, that means we need six essays!

And, more-over, they won't come in 1, 2, 3, etc, order - since they are all interlinked - and I've got to start somewhere!

(It's a wholosophy thing! - see right!)


But, before I start, one overarching point.

The evidence in The Spirit Level (see for on-line videos, etc) is summarized in the cover graphic to the paper-back edition (as in the photo attached).

It says (to me) that, you can spend a lifetime grappling with an infinity of problems (the 'many fish' in the left-hand bowl) or you can achieve one - (greater) income equality - and that (from the epidemiological evidence - evidence not assertion!), *as a result*, all the other problems (money worries, war, the ecocide, ill-health generally) get solved.


So, the first: essay,

Issue set 4) - Income distribution and, thus, security, issues (inequality/inequity/pensions/student debt, etc)

 In this world you need a money income.

People rightly say that we all need a minimum income on which to live.

I prefer to call that 'A Living Income' - because minimum is too much like 'Basic', No-frills, Austerity, Meanness.

I prefer people to thrive and be free, as a consequence, to have a decent-enough income so that they are free to be responsible (rather than capitalism's 'freedom' - the 'freedom to be irresponsible' - ughh!)

Now, from the Spirit Level evidence, therefore, we need a maximum income so that there is a much narrower income range than at present.

I consider this to be the most important calculation that a society does: so, I consider that there should be a truly democratic way of doing this, annually.

So, for example:

- suppose that society decides that a maximum income should be, say three times the Living Income,

- then everyone would receive, from the community, a Living Income (a LIFE : A Living Income for Everyone)

- plus, if they choose to do paid work, up to a maximum of two more dollops of money

ie a Living Income of, say, £1000 per fortnight and up to £2000 more from paid work per fortnight

- the sums and multiplier that I'm using here are only for illustration

- I *strongly* think that a randomly-selected, 'Citizens Jury'/''Community Fairness Commission'/what-ever name you like, body should annually do this - something a re-formatted 'House of Lords/Senate of the people/what-ever name you prefer could do this - not *elected* but Selected at random - just as the Jury system has served for justice for several thousand years.

So, enough on Essay 4)
Income and distribution issues (inequality/inequity/pensions/student debt, etc)
for now.

Hope this helps!



Thursday, February 19, 2015

 LIFE = Living Income for Everyone
=  happy family = good food = happy planet!


John Courtneidge

16 February 2015

There seem to be four income matters:

1) Insufficiency of income - which leads to poverty and destitution, illness and death

2) Insecurity of income - the ying-yang of feast and famine - usually too much famine, too little feast

3) Inequity if income - some are paid more for the same work, while a few (the 2% who have stolen the economic resources of the planet*) don't even have to work for their incomes** !

4) Inappropriateness of income - being conscripted into an army, or other forms of forced prostitution (is there such a thing as voluntary prostitution - truly voluntary . . . ?

All these are solved by a far greater level of income equality - with a guaranteed, decent 'Living Income for Everyone' as the base level for all Citizens/those normally resident in a country.

Hence the plan for Co-operative Socialism!

Those * notes:

* Those stolen resources are:

a) Land - leads to rent as unearned income

b) The law - leads to interest (usury/a riba) as unearned income)

c) Knowledge - leads to business profits (often distributed to the 2% and their protectors - the 10% as dividends)

d) Positions of power - paid for by taxing us, the 88% who are not so much 'The Working Classes' as 'The Worked Class' - the hardest job of all being unemployed - as a way of frightening the rest of the 88% in cowed compliance and despair.
** It's this inequity of unearned incomes from rent, interest and profits (the RIP part of the TRIP-Up analysis***) that is so outrageous - and so never talked about on the baby-minding bullies - the TV/Radio/'news'-papers/magazines/Schools/colleges/monoversities/pulpits etc - the places where the 10% are paid Unequal (over-average) pay to bully, misinform, enrage us, the 88% on behalf of the 2%
*** TRIP-Up = Theft (of all sorts, tax evasion, bribes, corruption, etc)
Unequal (ie higher than median) pay for work
Hope this helps!

For all = the best! = equally = co-operatively!

More: in the papers at

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Understanding how it all works - as one!

In all, all is one!

John Courtneidge
15 November 2014

As some preliminaries - the relevant chemistry:

(if needs be scroll down - let this flow over and around you - it's not hard!):

Gibbs Free energy (G)  = Enthalpy (H: internal energy) - {Entropy (S; disorder) x Temperature (T)}*

Energy (of a photon  ie, a pip of light) = h (Planck's constant) x nu (Greek letter nu, the frequency of the associated wave form for that photon)

nu (Frequency of that wave form) = c (speed of light) / (ie divided by) wave-length (Greek letter lammda)

Then the philosophy:


Nothing is, every-thing is becoming.

Love is, however, eternal


Then the spirituality = true religion:

God is:

    Possessions possess

    Pride become proud

    Humility humbles

    Love loves

   God is


Ps Humility, humus, ground-ed-ness.


 So, bringing it all together:

 * So in any change, the change in Gibbs Free Energy, Delta (Greek letter) G = Delta H - (T x Delta S)

And, given that any change involves an overall increase in the entropy, Delta S, of the universe, Three possibilities exist:

a) A release of enthalpy (eventually as heat, perhaps with some intermediate release of work and light) - this is called an exothermic reaction for which Delta H is negative.

b) An increase in internal energy (stored in chemical bonds) - in which the delta H term is positive but the delta S x T term is larger - so that, over all delta G is negative (see below). This is called an endothermic reaction.

c) (Very rarely) where delta G is exactly zero

This latter gives an exactly balanced equilibrium, since the final, key thermodynamic equation from physical chemistry is:

Delta G (the change in Gibbs Free Energy) = -R (the Universal Gas Constant: note the negative sign: as in  -R not +R) x T (the Temperature at which the change occurs and to which the products of that change return) x Delta K (which is the Equilibrium Constant*)

(* So, for example, for a reaction involving a change of A+B into C+D, K = [C] x [D] / [A] x [B]

In other words, for the change to be significant, (where the concentrations of C and D (ie the amounts of C and D in each unit of volume - that's what the square brackets [C] etc mean)) then delta G has to be both negative and large in size.

Things going up in flames, creating disorder (ie delta H being negative ( ie heat being given out), and delta S being positive (ie disorder being positive so that -delta S is negative) are commonplace destructions - a candle burning out, petrol burning to power a car, or, overall,  money/capitalism/interest-bearing debt trashing the planet.

Life, on the other hand is constructive by creating order out of chaos - *but only* by creating more chaos - an animal metabolises more energy into heat than body as does a photosynthesising object like a tree.

Gaia deals with this, when allowed to do so in balance, by radiating heat into space so that the temperature of the planet stays constant.

Human fear/Money/capitalism/interest-bearing debt however, at present, doesn't live in harmony with Gaia (and all the known facts of the universe = the laws of chemistry (as above).

hence the need - urgently for the repeal of the social acceptance/permission enforced that capitalism continue.

And that the sustainable alternative, Co-operative Socialism* (= true socialism = *not* Marxism!) by implemented.

By Tuesday!

ie, even today!

*For which pls see the plan for Co-operative Socialism in the papers at

ps I'll log this in the blog at







Saturday, September 20, 2014

After the Scottish Referendum - making Westminster democratic
John Courtneidge  20 September 2014

The big constitutional change I'd like to see concerns the membership of the second chamber:

    - to one based on direct randomly-selected democracy: one member per constituency, selected at random, serving for three-year terms, with on-third retiring annually.

   - with, as one major task for it being an annual recommendation to the elected house on a Fair Incomes Policy.

   - namely, i) the level of a guaranteed income scheme and ii) a maximum multiplier of that for paid-work income.

That would:

   a) operationalize/implement the message in The Spirit Level (that - greater- income equality is the ordinate public and ecological good), and,

   b )would institute the freedom to be responsible

     - by virtue of the Living Income for All/Living Citizen's Income: which would, i) break the link between paid-work (in l'economy social) and existence, and,  

    ii) allow, for example, voluntary participation in l'economy solidaire: (such as participation in that reformed second chamber: as above), to produce:

Is what we are trying to achieve!

Span the world with friendship
Equality + Equity = Fair

I hope this helps.

For all, the best = equally! = co-operatively!



Thursday, September 18, 2014

 Co-operation or war - you decide!

Span the world with friendship!

Capitalism or Co-operative Sustainability* - you decide

John Courtneidge 18 September 2014


Co-operatively Connected!
The International Co-operative Alliance logo
Practical co-operation = many minds and hands are better than any of us alone (ie alone, exploited and forced into unnatural competition)!

I'm away at Labour Party conference on Saturday until next Thursday - and my copy of Molly and Richard's book ( Richard Bickle and Molly Scott Cato
' New Views of Society - Robert Owen for the 21st Century') is on its way.

Best - in and for co-operation - for the Common Good!

It's an ICA Principle 7 thing!

(see the ICA Statement in the papers at and at )


*ps Blog: for a blogged archive.

Hope this helps!


We are all sisters and brothers
- see Point 7 in the plan for Co-operative Socialism!

New ICA logo

Worth considering!
Co-operative Socialism- on the map!

A 1995-ish version of a plan for Co-operative Socialism

Page 2 of a 2014 version of a plan for Co-operative Socialism
Page 1 of a 2014 version of a plan for Co-operative Socialism

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Stress, neuro-active molecules, equality needed - quickly!

John Courtneidge
14 September 2014

Elsewhere I've made a mistake:

I see that I'm incorrect: in that I hadn't added in the Helen Fisher/neuro-active molecules material in the following 2008 item:

The Co-operative Movement:  Emotions, Personality and Politics

So, Googling

"Helen Fisher" serotonin dopamine gives, for example, her 18 Jan 2009 interview:

Gold (Helen Fisher's 'Builders) - serotonin

Orange (Helen Fisher's 'Explorers') - dopamine

Green (Helen Fisher's 'Directors') - testosterone

Blue (Helen Fisher's 'Negotiators') - estrogen(s - there are three).

(ps The London edition of 'Metro' for Friday September 12, 2014 notes, on page 23:

'New clue to risk-taking'

   "A gambler's decision . ..  influenced by dopamine . . . Canadian researchers said. Dopamine signals increase when risky choices pay off."

pps I haven't found that academic reference - and to know how well it was peer-reviewed - no snarkiness, there, I just don't have access to the literature . . .)


This fits to Helen Fisher's personality/neuro-active molecules/receptors analysis (above) which, cross referencing to the True Colors labels (see in the True Colors test - in the photos at 'my' FB page):


As an added pair of points:

   a) Both testosterone and the estrogens are steroidal molecules - on the same biochemical pathways as cortisol - the stress hormone.  This suggests that stress influences the right-balance of these two sexual hormones.(explore from

   b) Both dopamine and serotonin (if my memory serves well) are amines.  My peroxide/free-radical researches (sadly interrupted by Margaret Thatcher, et al,'s destruction of the academy - through the power of money) dabbled briefly in the free radial chemistry of amines and free-radical oxidation to amine oxides.

My suspicion is that stress involves oxidative, single-electron transfer, free radial pathways which, again, will mickey-around with natural balance of these amine neurotransmitters.

Again, the above is an example of cross-disciplinary (wholistic) speculation which, in the absence of funding and time for me to explore, with others, the appropriate*reliable* literature, needs others to take up.

However, a certainty is that reducing stress, but increasing income equality (see The Spirit Level and The Equality Trust web-site by implementing the plan for Co-operative Socialism (see in the papers at - thx Mary!) is the task that we *must* undertake - quickly!

Just as Jesus taught us!

For all = the best! = equally! = co-operatively!


As a final postscript - I understand that Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett are writing a sequel to The Spirit Level on the psychological effects of inequality.

I eagerly await it!

Using the four-quadrant map, my suspicion is that the stress associated with greater income inequality (and greater economic inequality, generally) effectively 'pulls up' the centre of this four-quadrant map, so that each personality type (and recall that we are all mixture of all four, with a centre-of-gravity in one) so that  the four psychotic behaviours (eg narcissism for the Oranges/Explorers) result.

Those four psychoses seem to relate to the four 'Out-of-esteem' behaviours that Carolyn Kalil explains in her book, 'Follow Your True Colors to the Work You Love':

Green: "bitter sarcasm or cynicism"; "immobilization by analysis": page 81

Blue: "wallow[ing] in self-pity", "overly involved in helping others": page 67

Gold: "melancholy, pessimistic and inflexible", "inflexible . . . black or white thinking"; page 93

Orange: "quick-fix addictions", "violence": page 105

I've placed images for these pages on 'my' Facebook page.

I hope they help!


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Chemistry Bit - introduction

John Courtneidge

9 September 2014

This is the age of subtle relationships - hence the power of the key book, The Spirit Level (see The equality Trust website

There are strong parallels in this to the evolution of our understanding of chemistry: the earliest chemical knowledge was that of strong interactions (ie chemical bonds in minerals, metal, ceramics, etc: ionic and metallic bonds).  Then we learned about chemical forces within molecules: covalent bonds - often as strong as ionic and metallic bonds, but based on sharing electrons, sometimes unequally, rather than appropriating them, as in ionic bonds.

Finally, in the last century we started understanding (under-standing, in awe), the chemical bonds *between* molecules: hydrogen bonds, dipole-dipole interactions, Heitler-London forces.

As that century ended, we (I included) started to look at the role of entropy in directing chemical events: reaction rates, etc.

Sadly, the neo-loberal governments of that time abolished funding for such research - world-wide - in advance of the neo-conservatives ushering in The Age of Stupidity (look, for example at the recent dumpster-ing by Stephen Harper's neo-con government, in Canada, of scientific libraries.

Time for us, outside the monoversities' faux-academy, to help educate our younger generations.

Before it's too late!