Comment to P. Nicolopoulos
As a commentary I place my letter to Mr. Nicolopoulos. I wrote it and sent three times two months ago, but got no response. I do not know whether it Mr. Nicolopoulos have received it and refused to answer or it did not reach him (most of my emails do not reach the recipients). In any case, I consider myself entitled to publicly comment on the article of Nicolopoulos, as well as publicize the letter itself. Here is the text:
Finally, I finished with urgent matters and read your article. We have a lot in common with you in understanding the problems facing humanity today, and ways to resolve them. There are also differences.
You write: «Behind the contemporary crisis there exists a value crisis ...". And further you argue that Marxism was wrong in his theory of basis and superstructure, and that values, morals, etc., are not determined by only economic system. Next, you call "to find a universal value core» and request to do so based on holistic approach, ie taking into account not only one factor (namely economical one) but all factors of influence.
And I'm in the article "Economics and Morality" (http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Ekonoetics.htm) show that not only that morals and values are not determined completely by the economic system, but contrary to Marx, and Adam Smith, the economy itself, both socialist and capitalist, depends on the adoption of morality and values in society. And if at the time of Adam Smith economy not so much depended on morale (what allowed him to argue that the market will regulate everything and does not require the no morality), then as time goes on, this dependence becomes stronger and for capitalism.
With regard «to find a universal value core» taking into account all factors of influence, rather than mere economics, the first thing to note is that the number of factors for any nontrivial problem is infinite, and therefore consider them all is impossible in principle. Therefore, first of all, you need to select the main factors, to show that they - the main and then to build a normal rational theory of morality and values. This I did by developing a theory of optimal universal morality, and wrote several articles relating to human values. Unfortunately, all these studies, only one translated into English and, I refer you to it: “The problem of justifying morality” (http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Justmoral.htm).
Next, you call the government to intervene in economic processes, in particular, to influence the equitable distribution of the gross national product, as well as on the morale and values accepted by society. All this is true, but it needs to say that the government, in particular the U.S., has long been doing it. More precisely, governments to some extent have always do it, at least at the level of taxes (how much to take from each group), and the distribution of money from the budget. True, during the time of Adam Smith's interference was minimal, confined to this same tax collection and budget allocation. But since the Great Depression has no way to say, even figuratively, there is no government intervention in the economy. Another thing is that this intervention can be both positive and negative. Roosevelt's intervention was positive, both in terms of economic (exit of the crisis), and social justice. But the economic policies of the U.S. government before the current financial and economic crisis was negative (wrong) and led to this crisis. Thus, the point is not to urge the government to intervene and carry out proper and equitable economic and social policies and to do so, consulting with representatives of different groups, as you suggest. But the point is that today there is no proper understanding of what is happening in the modern market economy, nor of other processes ongoing in the modern developed democratic society. And nor the government nor the population in any of its groups, neither economists scientists nor philosophers don’t understand it. Why and how such situation appeared, I explain in many of my articles, but you refer to two, translated into English: "The global crisis of Humanity and scientific and technological progress" (http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Ccrisis100.htm) and "Modern democracy" (http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Democracy2.htm).
Therefore, the important thing now is a good economic theory, but as the economy itself depends on the morals and values of a society, we need the right philosophy, which includes, as constituent parts and the moral and value and macroeconomic theory. The current financial and economic crisis shows that today there is no proper macroeconomic theory, and the global crisis of mankind shows that there is no proper philosophy. The interaction of governments with the people and society is necessary, but does not replace the need to correct macroeconomic theory and the correct philosophy. Representatives of various groups of people know what are the interests of their group, but also, as the government (and more) do not know how to settle fairly the interests of different groups, and even so that the economy was successfully operated at the same time. We know that trying to divide everything equally, providing an ideal of economic justice (in a certain
sense) the Soviet Union came collapse. I pretend that I've developed a proper philosophy, including macroeconomic theory. In particular, I proposed a formula crisis-free economic development, defining such a distribution of the gross national product, which enables an economy to develop without crises, without falling into stagnation, and that it gives the desired equitable distribution.
Next, you write that we need to raise the educational level of the population. This is absolutely true, but I want emphasize that there is not only the quantitative aspect of the case, for example, the percentage of people in society with higher education, is even more important qualitative aspect. I am referring to the crisis of the rationalist world outlook that has spread in the last century in Western society, even in the most rational science, not to mention the humanitarian sciences, and especially philosophy. And that is reflected in policy and the economy, and throughout in the life of a modern Western society, and, of course, the education system and its quality. On this crisis, I also wrote a lot. Also I have developed the theory of cognition and the general method of substantiation of scientific theories, which follows from this theory, about which I spoke at the Forum and to mention that I insist on my amendment to its resolution. And I
claim that this theory and this method give us the way to solve the crisis of rationalism. Only the acceptance of this method as a basis of modern education can qualitatively change the situation there. Unfortunately, most of my works on the theory of cognition and general method of substantiation exist only in Russian, so I refer you to the only translated into English: «The problem of absoluteness - relativity of scientific cognition and general method of substantiation" (http://philprob.narod.ru/philosophy/Problem.htm).
In conclusion I would say that our common (or nearly) understanding of the challenges facing humanity today, and most dangerous threats hanging over him, I think, simply obliges us to cooperate. This cooperation is especially important because I live in Ukraine and I write in Russian, but neither Ukrainian nor Russian philosophical establishment is not able to recognize my philosophy, like any other great philosophy, for purely genetic reasons. All of this establishment was formed under the Soviet regime, under which any deviation from orthodox Marxism was seen as treason. Philosophers who had no right to think for themselves - is not a philosophers serving the truth. They are simply the officials earn their living in the field of philosophy. At best they are just dogmatics, not able to accept and adopt new ideas and theories. At worst, they are simply dishonest people who do not care about the truth and the interests of humanity and hinder the
acceptance of this new philosophy, because it can highlight their philosophical inconsistency.
As far as my opportunities, living in Ukraine, to break into the West, they are limited, first, by the language barrier. I translated into English only a small part of my works and that basically only in the last year in connection with the Forum. And the quality of my English, though not so bad, but not at the level of, say, Oxford, where my article on a general method of substantiation was rejected under the pretext of just bad English. (Although the experience of the Forum suggests that my English is more than enough to understand what I write or say, and the importance of the work itself would be to encourage editors ignore some shortcomings of my English and edit my work on the part of the Oxford English). Second, we agree with you, that the West today everything is not okay with the values in general, and therefore in field of philosophy too. As a result many Western philosophers, like Russian and Ukrainian, put their ambitions above the
interests of truth and humanity. This further complicates my ability to break into the West. So I'll be very happy if you, after acquaintance with my work, will agree with me about the necessity and importance of our cooperation and we will be able to think what exactly we can do together.