I'm a journalist of 30 years experience that includes freelance writing and production roles for private clients and at various UK national newspapers – and particularly the Times Educational Supplement, the Independent and the now-defunct Sunday Business. In 2007, I developed and launched a mainstream-style green consumer magazine in the UK, called GreenerLiving, as a means of promoting sustainable change ‘within the system’. However, GreenerLiving closed during the post-crash recession, and I became managing editor of the international ethical business title, Ethical Performance. However, I felt that the CSR sector has not succeeded in changing corporate priorities anywhere near fast enough, and so I decided to leave the treadmill of corporate employment and debt accumulation to focus on my own projects. Now poorer but a billion million times happier, I write on political, economic and social issues – usually seriously, but I also like a bit of satire. I’m currently writing Psychopath Economics, a book about belief systems, the psychopathic logic of economic power and the rise and fall of societies. In the book, I argue that civilisations rise and fall in a cycle often driven by psychopathic elites, and that if we are to halt the downward arc of today’s cycle, then ordinary people must challenge the elite's power via debt rebellions and by democratising the creation of ideas, particularly when it comes to intellectual property and branding. This book is my contribution to the grassroots momentum for change that I believe we very badly need.
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Psychopath Economics and how to defeat it
by Peter Batt
Human civilisations rise and fall. As they emerge, they grow both in number and complexity. And as they grow, rewards follow the distribution of power in a self-reinforcing process that creates a social pyramid.
In terms of its sheer scale, today’s civilisation is by far the greatest of them all. But once scale exceeds the limits of human empathy, then the exercise of power becomes effectively psychopathic. And those with most power – the elite – will be most psychopathic, exploiting human and natural capital to their natural limits, thus threatening the entire social pyramid with collapse. This is Psychopath Economics.
This four-part series looks at three processes – belief systems, the logic of power and consumption – and argues that our civilisation’s cycle of decline can only be halted if ordinary people withdraw their consent.
The book argues that traditional forms of direct action will be ineffective at bringing change on their own. Instead, these must be supplemented by genuine challenges to the elite’s assets – it’s branding and intellectual property, the financial system and, especially, its debts – via which it exerts increasing control.
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