A Political Economy of Reorientation

New Theory and Policy for the Recovery

  • Henk K. van Tuinen Former deputy director-general of Statistics Netherlands


Western subjects are disoriented by systematic commercial manipulation of their preferences. Such manipulation affected the preferences of their forbears and the culture of their societies and its final outcome is that their actual preferences are biased to impulsiveness, materialism, competition and egocentrism. An indication of the disorientation is the distance between actual preferences and what the article defines as potential personal preferences. This distance measures the potential reorientation. A necessary condition for realizing that reorientation is the removal of the commercial bias in the manipulation of preferences. Therefore, the article proposes to institute a Sovereignty Fund, which enables citizens to neutralize the commercial bias in manipulation by promoting their non-commercial values and ambitions in ads which are as sophisticated as contemporary ads promoting consumer goods. Two other arrangements are proposed for securing and accelerating the process of reorientation. All three proposals are radically democratic. They can be implemented without removing or disrupting existing institutions.


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