We recently interviewed Andreas Herteux, the head of Erich von Werner society.
Kindly describe your journey so far in the Erich von Werner Society. Also, when did you come up with this idea?
We have a complex world with many different problems. Recognizing these and providing solutions is the goal of the Erich von Werner Society. The Erich von Werner company is, therefore, a think tank, which is still in its infancy but is growing steadily. In the end, I am the initiator and also the developer of the first publication, the Alternative Hegemony Model (AH-Model): The “invisible hand” of nurture for the better, but there are numerous supporters with partly own ideas.
What activities are done by the Erich von Werner Society?
The Erich von Werner society tries to analyze the world. At the same time, she remains independent and without ideological ties. Then she tries to find solutions. Also for these is that these should be unaffected. Whether this will succeed in the long run will be seen. It is, however, the desired ideal.
According to you, What are some of the biggest challenges in this world? How do you see we can solve them?
The Erich von Werner Society assumes that the world is entering a new era.
These changes are because of or are accelerated by 5 factors, which in combination and interaction with each other will trigger a new era:
1. Dealing with technological progress (e.g. digitization, biotechnology, human optimization)
2. The rise of new competitors in world markets (e.g. Asian countries)
3. The weakness of the Western world (e.g. instability, diminishing confidence in existing orders, loss of competitiveness, the political rise of China)
4. Change of the environment (e.g. due to climate change, resource exploitation, environmental degradation)
5. Overpopulation and missing life perspectives (e.g. due to the demographic development on the African continent)
These five factors are summarized by the Erich von Werner Society under the term “Change of Times“.
This Change of Times, if not adequately countered, will completely change the global power relations, and seems to be for many people as a primary threat.
It can be both a risk and an opportunity.
How can we achieve well being for all of humanity. Also, tell us more about the AH Model ?
That’s a good question. I think anyone who claims that he has the ultimate solution, must be wrong. Nevertheless, we endeavored to develop an acceptable error. We call this error “The Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model)”.
The AH Model is an evolution of the current international political and economic system. It further develops the system, maintains existing structures and redirects negative dynamics.
The AH Model nurtures states and companies towards beneficial behaviour. This behaviour is rewarded and negative deviations are penalised. These incentives make positive behaviour both profitable and sustainable.
In doing so, the AH Model makes use of the same forces that are dominant in a capitalist system. However, it leads them in a new direction: the invisible hand of the market becomes the invisible hand of nurture.
This is achieved by bundling technological research and development work in newly established technology centres. These technology centres accumulate scientific competence, develop and test sustainable technologies for concrete use in member countries. Production and distribution are provided by co-operating companies, which continue to operate according to a market economy.
The AH Model is implemented and financed using an AH Fund. The AH Fund becomes the owner and market participant. It assumes the role of a sustainable super-company, which is managed by a management board in the same way as a joint-stock company is run. The AH Fund’s Board of Directors is controlled by a body (“Supervisory Board”) which is composed of representatives from the individual countries and which is obliged to render accountability to the national democratic authorities and at the donor conference. The developed technologies are only made available in the markets of those countries that demonstrate positive and sustainable behaviour (“minimum criteria”). Compliance with the criteria is also a prerequisite for participation in the AH Fund.
The aforementioned criteria (e.g. human rights, press freedom, social standards, etc.) are monitored continuously.
States that refuse to meet the criteria are excluded from technological progress, but are indirectly encouraged by the invisible hand of nurture to voluntarily adjust to the new system.
By preserving nation-states, retail management systems and cultural peculiarities it is to be expected that the populace will generally accept the change, and in turn it is rewarded for its positive and peaceful behaviour.
The financing is based on a percentage transfer of the gross social product. Further income is generated through licensing.
For a fee, the AH Fund awards usage and production licenses to companies that co-operate and comply with the criteria. The companies supply specified markets and are regulated for these products. In this way, sustainable technologies and progress are circulated using well-known distribution channels.
By means of the pure market power of the AH Fund, as well as the exclusivity it offers, existing companies will be encouraged to co-operate. This market power will also be used to procure resources (knowledge transfer, personnel, etc.).
The same applies to states and businesses: they will continue to be selfish and want to achieve maximum benefit for themselves. Nevertheless, positive behaviour is expected, i.e. cooperation and fulfilment of the criteria, profit maximisation and maximum benefits. For this reason, states and companies will largely adapt themselves voluntarily. The market forces are thus steered in a positive direction. The invisible hand of nurture has an effect and it is this which is the central element of the AH Model.
By using this beneficial behaviour and progress, the key problems of the planet can be solved or, at the very least, contained. In the long term, dictatorships and autocracies will become obsolete. A new world community will emerge taking cultural peculiarities into consideration while also looking to the future. An alternative hegemony that nurtures for the better.
Of course, this model is not perfect and there is much to improve. But it is a beginning. And we have to start because we owe it to the world and its future.
2019 is just around the corner. What are your plans with respect to Erich von Werner society?
I hope we can make a small contribution to inspiring people to think for themselves. Maybe with us. Maybe alone. Maybe with others. We can make the world better. We just have to start.
To know more about the Erich Von Werner society and to work together with the society, send them an email – [email protected]