The Phoenix Year is a novel about corporate morality in uncertain times. The conspirators, Von Kleise and the others in the Society of the Phoenix come to believe that American style capitalism which is the basic model used worldwide is no longer the best model for sustaining life on the planet. Self-interest, embodied in Adam Smith’s 18th century treatise on capitalism, is not sufficient to insure full use of all resources – human and machine in the 21st century. Modern, no holds barred, capitalism practiced today exists with very few limits on corporate morality that do not come from outside, e.g. government regulations or possibly the 10 Commandments. If left to itself it leads to economies running down as wages are depressed and capital is hoarded.
The Society of The Phoenix believes that only cooperative capitalism can insure the long-term survival of the human race on this planet. Joint interests of the society as a whole must replace individual self-interest of the few at the top. To achieve this they must destroy both the Masters of the Universe and fully replace the senior managers of the largest and most critically important companies.
Some Conservatives often have a rather one sided view of the role of government and the role of business – government bad, business good, seems to be their motto. They assume that the market will somehow find the right solution to all problems, and that interference with the business — enacting minimum wage laws or regulations – must be both economically damaging and also, it seems, morally wrong.
Senator Rand Paul, a libertarian, when asked about the minimum wage answers with a disproven mantra “that it destroys jobs” which is incorrect. When asked about his views about inequality or if he is in support for a $6 or less minimum wage, he refuses to answer the question and instead repeats his mantra “that government interference is the reason for the inequality.” His underlying philosophy of libertarianism ignores the fact that human beings left to their own will do only what they believe is in their self-interest. Individual business owners equate higher wages to lesser profits. Only if everyone pays higher wages, only if the playing field is even, will the benefits come. Thus cooperative behavior grows economies, not individualism and self-interest.
Von Kleise and The Society of the Phoenix believe that corporate morality can only be radically altered by destroying the superstructure of capitalism, the current owners and managers’ wealth and power and their influence over decisions of government.
The Society’s goals are:
– replace senior managements with managers working within a new vision for the future of companies and their role in growing communities.
– replace self-interest with cooperation and create a post-competitive global economy built for the long-term.
Morality comes from the top, it’s infused in the underlying philosophy of the managers. Von Kleise also knows that sometimes business leaders would do the right thing for communities and their employees but are stopped by fear of the consequences to their investors or a downgrade by Wall Street. In the crash the Masters of the Universe, the manipulators of financial capital are wiped out by their own greed and self-interest and the world changes – for the better, or does it?
The Phoenix Year is available for download and in paperback!