provocation # 169. Economics and world management.
The world definitely needs managing – or some equivalent. Everything overlaps. Specialties don;’t work. The world is one but specialties divide it. Is there any path for economics that will make it a partner in world management? Or are we locked in to an economics that serves academic departments, quantifying bureaucracies and career management?
A management approach would start with an understanding of what the world and its parts are, how they got that way, and what can happen, and then engage to help make the world move toward an ecology which can support the people. A management approach would be very negative toward those who saw the world as a game to be played for private gain, but realistic about the need for leadership with a perspective that requires education and rewards.
I realize that I have become increasingly skeptical about the ability of humanity to do this. The question then reverts back to: what is the best use of our time given actual conditions?
Mandatory sequestering? Possible. Unlikely. Many overlapping jurisdictions. Economics could help sort these out. Unlikely. Possible.
Note. The argument about the anthropocene is that humanity created this mess by sucking too hard and becoming dependent on stored energy. Andreas Malm in his Fossil Capital argues that such a perspective fails to notice that it wan’t humanity, it was some humans, resisted by others, who built our energy dependent society. To see the climate and energy dilemma as caused by human nature is hopeless. To see that some of us, from hunter gatherers on, resisted suggests that we are not up against human nature, but confronting the character of some in their exploitation others.
Note. The current world chaos is the product of the organization of wealth and population that increasingly marginalize many and, despite Steven Pinker style thinking, the living conditions of an increasing number (maybe all of us if we include the ethos in which we live, the moral climate) are seriously deteriorating.