There is good reason that the Market Economy receives so much attention from humans and is largely considered to be what economics is all about. It’s a pretty incredible phenomenon, and has been incredibly instrumental in developing what we consider human civilization. It includes everything we buy and sell as we create the art of our lives.
Both the (Free) Market and Command Economic Systems are part of The Market Economy. From the perspective of capitalism, and its dream of the (Free) Market Economic System, this consists of the four roles of business owner-operator, consumer, worker, and government. The Command Economic System seems to merge the roles of business owner-operator with government and consumer with worker. Both methods are still largely focused on only a portion of human life, the marketplace, and fail to take in the greater picture.
As the hard sciences of biology, chemistry, and geology can attest, there are many other things occurring in the world outside the marketplace. Because the science of economics is incapable of recognizing them, much less addressing them, even though it is a soft science, its misuse creates effects that are very hard for the rest of the world to adapt to. And treating it like a hard science, as most militant capitalists and communists do, forces the Core Economy, Planetary Economy, and Gift Economy to endure whatever short-sighted, ill-conceived methodology homo sapiens conjure up in our attempts to control the world by turning it all into one big “free” marketplace that transmogrifies everything into our most beloved creation, money.
“The marketplace is an institution that teaches self-advancement, private acquisition, and the domination of nature,” says Donald Worster in Wealth of Nature: Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination. “Its way of thinking is incompatible with the round river.”
Our society’s veneration of the market has manipulated our individual and collective goals so much that the accumulation of wealth as measured by money has largely become our highest priority. We have, in many ways, shirked our responsibility as caretakers of the Earth. Instead, we have sought to strip her of everything, much of which we barely understand, in order to turn it all into the more managable, quantifiable, understandable, and near ubiquitous human creation, money. Unfortunately, while many see the folly in our ways, we feel powerless to do anything about it, and even beholden to continuing our contributions to the system that seems determined to usher in our own destruction.
In Agenda For A New Economy, David Korten describes our current Market Economic System as, “a morally bankrupt money system accountable only to itself, detached from reality, and driven by unadulterated individualistic greed and a misconception of wealth and money that favors those who create phantom wealth for those who need and deserve it least at the expense of those with real needs doing beneficial work.”
For the humans who want their grandchildren to have any sort of quality of life, it is imperative to recognize that the Market Economy is of human creation and not the most important facet of life. Considering that homo sapiens have only existed for a very small percentage of life on this planet, what we know of as money has only existed for about 10% of our species’ existence, and the economic system we now serve has only been in place for a few hundred years, roughly 3% of our use of money. In the grand scheme of things, another way of doing things is not out of the question, but mostly how things have always been done. All progress is based on doing things in ways they haven’t been done before.
“It’s time we stop confusing the practice of moving money around with generating real wealth,” says Richard Florida in The Great Reset. “If we want to prosper again, we’ll need to move the economy away from finance capitalism and back toward the aptly dubbed real economy – investing once again in technology and human capital along with the new infrastructure that can make long-term economic growth possible.”
In order to see beyond the myopia of the market, we have to look at what else life has to offer beyond the game of money and the Market Economy. Fortunately, the Core Economy has been providing for human needs for the entirety of our species’ existence and the Planetary Economy has been building for millions of years, making all of this possible in the first place. Perhaps we should seek to understand them more and invest more of ourselves into economies with much greater endurance before we sacrifice them both to the false gods of the marketplace.
This is an excerpt from the book Steve McAlphabet Explains ABC Squared Economics. Go to https://stevemc.xyz/books/steve-mcalphabet-explains-abc-squared-economics/ to find out more.