Fighting the causes of flight with the help of Value Capitalism - The Model of Alternative Hegemony (AH model) in practical application
Causes of flight Migration is a central topic of the 21st century. Many approaches to effectively combat the causes of flight fail. It is therefore time for new approaches and ideas.
When do people leave their homes? The answer is simple; people emigrate when they no longer see any prospects for themselves there. This can be caused by war, persecution, expulsion, or natural disaster, as well as by need, unemployment and misery. Since the number of those who decide to walk is constantly increasing and therefore large mass movements are to be expected in the future - just think of the fact that the population of Africa alone is expected to almost double by 2050 - the topic of migration is becoming a central one of the 21st century.
This has far-reaching consequences for both sides, on the one hand the donor and on the other hand the receiving countries, and the question arises how to deal with it in the long term. Regrettably, proposed solutions constantly oscillate between the extremes of a pseudo-rationalism, which assumes that millions upon millions can really be locked out in the long run, and a naive idealism, which actually believes that practically the whole world can be relocated. Both positions are negligent, functioning at best temporarily and merely shifting the growing problems to a later date. An inheritance that any child can do without.
Not walls, not open borders and certainly not empty phrases
But in fact, walls are not the solution. Neither is blind faith in open borders. The first may hold temporarily, but no fortress has yet withstood every storm permanently, and the idea of open borders fails due to the fact that the world is primarily competitive and the market punishes any weakening mercilessly. The latter would cost exactly the amount of energy needed to solve the problem as such.
Overall, therefore, there can only be one answer: The conditions in the home countries must be such that a flight due to lack of prospects is simply no longer necessary, because one's own country has enough opportunities to achieve a certain level of prosperity and ensure one's own self-development.
This idea is, of course, not a new one and is also diligently packaged in platitudes, which, however, are not followed by any or no sufficient political action once the camera is switched off. The causes of migration, insofar as they are negative in nature, have changed little and the grand plan simply does not exist. And yet the problem is an urgent one, and in a few years' time perhaps an uncontrollable one.
Time for a new approach
It is therefore time for a big idea that takes up this problem. It therefore needs a bigger, global and above all a realistic approach that will also hold up in reality. A new idea that can drive development for the benefit of all and such an approach would be the Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model).
How such a development could succeed with the help of the AH model will be demonstrated using the example of the African country Tunisia.
Tunisia in figures and problems
Tunisia is located in northern Africa. With almost 11.2 million inhabitants, a GDP per capita of about 3,700 USD and a high emigration rate, one assumes that there are a good one million Tunisians abroad who often provide massive financial support for those who stay at home, the country is excellently suited for a closer look.
Tunisia invests about 6.25% of its gross domestic product in education. As a result, enrolment rates are now a good 99%. This is a remarkable development when one considers that a good 25% of the population over the age of 14 is functionally illiterate and their level of education is unlikely to change. In total, about 34% of a cohort take up studies. The high proportion of women, over 60%, is remarkable.
The reputation of Tunisian education is generally positive. However, the emphasis on theory and the neglect of the practical application of the acquired knowledge are criticised. Innovative, analytical or competitive thinking hardly plays a role at universities. Too often they are islands that are isolated from the harsh reality of the harsh economic world, or to put it more simply, Tunisian students are often not sufficiently prepared for everyday working life because the skills required for professional life play little or no role in their studies.
This, however, only partly explains the high unemployment rate of 30% among university graduates, because in addition to the fact that some of the training is not practice-oriented, it is primarily the economic situation and orientation of the country that has a catastrophic effect on almost the entire population.
Catastrophic economic situation
For years, basic foodstuffs and fuels have been subsidised to counteract the steady decline of the Tunisian dinar. This is also urgently needed, because in 2018 alone the inflation rate was 6.96%. This does not affect the basic foodstuffs mentioned above, but all the more so everyday products that have to be imported primarily from abroad. This means, explained in practical terms, that a bar of chocolate in Tunisia can cost three times more than in Germany or the USA, for example, despite a much lower average income. It is therefore not surprising that visits to relatives from abroad also play an important role in this respect.
The economic situation must therefore be regarded as critical. The dependence on the service sector (approx. 64% of GDP), which of course includes tourism, and agriculture (approx. 10%) is high. Industry (about 26%) plays a minor role and is not even close to European or American standards. Shoes, clothing and textiles therefore also account for about 40% of the export volume. These are followed by phosphates, fertilisers, petroleum, simple products of the electrical industry and agricultural products. In one sector, that of olive oil, Tunisia is one of the strongest exporters in the world. The country's main trading partners are France, Germany and Italy.
If one contrasts the general unemployment rate of 15% with that of university graduates (about 30%), it becomes clear that Tunisia is perhaps burning a whole generation of highly qualified people and thus the future of the country. The country is educating, if one looks well from the shortcomings mentioned, which could well be corrected, but then has only limited use for its future elite, which in turn loses courage without prospects or accumulates anger, which at some point must find its discharge. There does not seem to be a meaningful concept for solving these problems in the long term.
The obligation to stabilise Tunisia
If the view is short-sighted, this may be seen as a purely Tunisian problem, but an unstable Tunisia is neither in the geostrategic and economic interests of the West, nor does it wish to see further flight movements for economic reasons, which are inevitably driven by the current situation.
At the same time, despite the flow of money from abroad, it cannot wish to lose an entire generation, because this would have had disastrous consequences in the long term for the social structure and development of the country, or to put it simply: When the last doctor has gone, you better not get sick again.
It is therefore in everyone's interest to stabilise the country in the medium and long term and to lead it to acceptable prosperity in the long term.
Since the previous attempts, of which there are some via simple development aid to economic cooperation, obviously cannot achieve this sufficiently, it is time to open the gates to a new idea: The model of alternative hegemony (AH model). But first of all, a few words about the model itself.
Value Capitalism: The Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model)
The Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model) is an evolution of the previous international political and economic system. It develops this further, retains existing structures and redirects negative dynamics.
The AH model educates both states and companies to behave in a way that preserves value without using coercion. It rewards this behavior with new ways of maximizing profit and thus positive behavior is suddenly the easiest way to achieve the highest profit. The model of alternative hegemony ultimately transforms capitalism into a value market economy.
In doing so, the AH model makes use of the same forces that prevail in the capitalist system, but directs them in a new and better direction.
The key to this is technology. The AH model provides for the bundling of research and development of sustainable technologies in a democratically legitimised AH fund. This is established and financed by states that comply with minimum standards (e.g. human rights, democracy, rule of law, etc.). He thus becomes a powerful market participant, to whom the appropriate means are made available to purchase corresponding resources on the market (e.g. skilled personnel, companies, patents, etc.) and subsequently take a dominant role on the market. In addition, he is given the opportunity to work directly with parts of the state structures (e.g. universities). At the same time, it can cooperate with companies in research and development and grant them licenses to design corresponding products, which in turn are offered on the market.
The invisible hand of nursing for good
The prerequisites for such cooperation between funds and companies are still that the companies also contractually commit themselves to minimum standards (e.g. employee rights, co-determination, fair wages etc.), forcing them to comply with them or to create them internally in the first place. Of course, no company is forced to cooperate with the AH-fund. For some of them, this makes little sense, since they are, for example, not at all active in an area for which research and development is needed. Other trade is also not affected as long as it does not affect the above criteria.
Just think of the restaurant around the corner, or the manufacturer, of simple cheap products, but that is not what this is about, it is about technology-dependent key industries and their suppliers. Because they are dependent on research and development.
Of course, they can refuse to grant minimum standards for their workers, but this would also mean that they would not have access to the technology of the fund and would have to face competition without cooperation. Whereas perhaps previously the companies that had the greatest market opportunities were those that offered the worst conditions for workers, for example when they got out of the alleged burdens of a collective agreement, now those that meet minimum standards have an advantage, because only they are allowed to cooperate with the AH funds. A shift for the benefit of the working population.
Values become a production factor
The difference is that values are now becoming a production factor, without which it will be more difficult to maximise profits in the future. In order to be able to produce goods with the licenses mentioned above, this production factor is therefore essential. Otherwise, there will be extreme competition on the free market.
But would a rational company really engage in such an unequal struggle? Or would it try to go the way that promises the maximum profit? In a market economy, the answer is simple: the company will create minimum standards and cooperate. Totally voluntary. But the company will not strive for better working conditions because it has discovered a heart. No, it will be based on cold calculation, because positive behaviour promises the greatest benefit here. In the end there are only winners. Both the companies and the employees. The transformation to a value-based market economy is beginning and will sooner or later also affect those areas that were not originally affected by it.
The same principle can be applied to states, because participation in the OASI fund also presupposes the observance of values, which brings us back to the actual topic. How do you manage to consistently enforce minimum standards for the benefit of all, without using coercion, but because the country is convinced that the way forward is the right one? Let us move from the abstract world of thought to the concrete Tunisian example and thus straight to a problem.
Tunisia does not meet the minimum standards
There are minimum criteria for participation in the AH-fund and many countries that have yet to develop often look difficult. Tunisia does not meet these standards sufficiently to participate fully in the OASI fund. According to the Democracy Index, the country is classified as "incomplete democracy" with considerable difficulties in the fields of corruption, human rights and the rule of law. There is no doubt that democratic structures have existed since the revolution, but they still seem soulless. Even democracy is not a value in itself if it does not warm the heart and satisfy the needs of the people. It's not part of the country's DNA yet. This has been neglected until now. Formally, such a country should not become part of the AH model.
Development partnership between Tunisia and the AH Fund
Nevertheless, even then the AH model does not provide for complete exclusion, but the AH Fund offers in this case a development partnership, the aim of which must be to make the country a full partner in the long term. For such cooperation, of course, the individual circumstances have to be taken into account and built upon.
These have already been named in the Tunisian case; the future elite has no prospects, the economy is one-sided, corruption is flourishing as is inflation, and the country is staggering.
A solution must be found at these points, which of course always requires the agreement of the country. The first measures of the OASI fund should therefore be to prepare the surplus of university graduates in special programmes for future activities for the OASI fund and its cooperating companies. Parallel to this, the universities themselves will experience a corresponding orientation and become places of sustainable research and knowledge:
The future of Tunisia's future elite should no longer lie in the service sector, agriculture, small-scale production or even unemployment, but in the development of sustainable and state-of-the-art technology, which is developed by the AH Fund and subsequently offered as licenses.
However, not only the AH-Fonds itself acts as a factor here, but also the companies cooperating with the AH-Fonds could be encouraged by means of contractual clauses to participate in the creation of training and jobs. The AH-Fonds therefore not only does research, but it attracts even more. That this research and licensing will only be available to the country to a limited extent is logical, as it should not be deprived of the motivation to improve conditions.
Duties and a new elite: The path to prosperity and individual freedom
It goes without saying that such a contractual construct would therefore also create obligations for the country. These include, of course, the constant increase in minimum standards for the benefit of the own population.
In addition, there is a future elite, which will be shaped by the model of alternative hegemony, or rather a value market economy, and will be decisive for the future. A whole generation will therefore become the locomotive of the whole country and this will eventually become a fully-fledged partner country of the AH Fund. A lighthouse for an entire region.
The Model of Alternative Hegemony therefore opens up new perspectives. It does not stand for development aid, which too often seeps into corrupt hands, nor does it represent help for temporary self-help, but rather it is a ticket for a joint cruise, which should end on the island of prosperity. No intervention in Tunisia's cultural identity, but rather a link to the great times. There is no prize, because it is a model that only knows winners, but extreme efforts are required. A mentality that can also seize the opportunities that present themselves.
Will it change Tunisia? Yes, it will, but in a positive way. Tunisia remains Tunisia. Value capitalism in no way encroaches on the independence of the country or even on its cultural identity. It does not even affect economic priorities such as tourism or agriculture. It operates exclusively in the field of technology for the benefit of all, where the country is already 100% dependent on foreign countries.
In contrast to other proposals for deletion, the model of alternative hegemony does not demand a fusion or even the abandonment of identity, but only the acceptance of minimum standards, such as those that correspond to general, humanistic or even religious ideas. It's not using.
And just as Tunisia can flourish, so can any country, although the conditions will require adapted strategies. Unwanted mass migration due to lack of prospects will be a thing of the past and the world will enter a new age. The model of alternative hegemony would be an opportunity. You only have to grasp it, because only when the idea blossoms can the world do so as a result.
This article by Andreas Herteux was originally written for the Erich von Werner Society (www.understandandchange.com), an independent think tank, and can be found both on the author's blog (www.andreasherteux.com) and in German and international media.
The Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model): The "invisible hand" of nurture for the better, Andreas Herteux, Erich von Werner Verlag, 2019, ISBN 978-3-9819006-1-3, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.1894461
Das Alternative Hegemonie Modell (AH-Modell): Die unsichtbare Hand der Erziehung zum Guten, Andreas Herteux, Erich von Werner Verlag, 2019, ISBN 978-3-9819006-4-4, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1894403