provocation 232 Capitalism, socialism and others.
It is getting harder to write provocations because we all are, every day, increasingly exposed to provocative facts by concerns with climate , fossil fuels, and inequality. But here goes.
Socialism and capitalism. Is there a third possibility? Both are running in parallel to democracy, the major way society makes decisions and by whom. Those with capital make the crucial decisions for society. In socialism the bureaucracy makes those decisions. In both, democracy is a public spectacle, without real power except the threat of revolt.
Economics does not seem to have a way of creating a third – 0r a fourth or a fifth – alternative for consideration.
We do not get economic journal articles that seem to go outside the confines of acceptable (to whom) limits. Books and popular press articles do a little better but are rarely if ever referenced in the journals. No major journal articles on for example what would happen if we did not, with law, create those anti free market things called corporations?
Such speculations are not written because, it seems, no major journal would publish them.
In most sciences such big step moves can be made because the ideas are immediately appreciated because they interpret some aspect of reality that was before unseen or misinterpreted.
In economics it is hard to come up with such convention -breaking facts. But when we do, as in the reality of climate heating driven by fossil fuels or the lack of inclusion of many people in the economy, mainstream economy seems to continue its undisturbed momentum, treating such empirical facts as external to the system of the economy.
Both society, which needs new thinking, and economics, which needs to remain relevant, lose out.a