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From Quantitative Easing (QE) to Moral Easing (ME)

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From Quantitative Easing (QE) to Moral Easing (ME)
Slide towards global moral bankruptcy?
Possibilities in the light of strategic precedents
Moral indulgences ?
Moral easing or Qualitative easing ?
Ensuring moral authority in practice
Moral indulgence in the current practice of moral authorities
Moral elevation
Pledging, promises and commitments
Declarations, Appeals and Calls for global action
Metaphoric confusion in diagnosis: constipation or diarrhoea ?
Enabling moral currency circulation
References

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Introduction

Commentary on the release via WikiLeaks of 400,000 documents regarding the reality on the ground in Iraq -- as reported by troops in the field -- has called into question the moral foundation of the intervention by the coalition forces in their various incarnations and manifestations in the Iraq-Afghanistan area (Multi-National Force - Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force 7, NATO Training Mission - Iraq, Coalition of the Willing, International Security Assistance Force).

Originally conceived as morally justified to relieve the Iraqi people of a dictatorial regime, heavily engaged in the oppression and torture of its peoples (as with the Taliban in Afghanistan), it appears that the coalition forces have facilitated the emergence of a new Iraqi government operating in a similar manner. The coalition, and especially the USA and the UK, are now recognized to have been complicit in this process -- to the extent of transferring Iraqi citizens into the hands of forces known to indulge in such practices.

The moral justification for the intervention is therefore indeed questionable but worse still is the moral bankruptcy of government authorities complicit in this process and in continuing efforts to deny their responsibility for atrocities they claimed as the moral justification for their intervention. If it proves to be the case that the practices adopted by Iraqi authorities are consistent with their culture, however regrettable, this might have been fruitfully recognized prior to an intervention which has cost so many lives. If it takes a "Saddam" to maintain a degree of order in that country, removing Saddam was not an imaginative strategic response.

The concern now is how to respond to the rapid slide into moral bankruptcy on the part of leading Western governments, most notably the USA and the UK.

Fortunately very recent crises have offered two policies which have been extensively articulated and implemented on highest international authority: quantitative easing and carbon trading.

The question explored here is whether this thinking can be applied to the challenge of moral bankruptcy. Namely, is there some form of "qualitative easing" -- perhaps best termed "moral easing" -- that might alleviate the trend to moral bankruptcy? This specific concern follows from earlier explorations (Global Market in Indulgences: extending the carbon trading model to other value-based challenges, 2007; Sins of Hot Air Emission, Omission, Commission and Promission: the political challenge of responding to global crises, 2009).

The argument concludes (in an Annex) with a discussion of the possibility of Enabling Moral Currency Circulation through reframing understanding of any "stimulus package" to avert moral bankruptcy.


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