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[personal profile] mellowtigger
I've been doing some websurfing to try to learn more. My economic view has a name after all. You'd never guess what it is. I was surprised when I found it.  I'll give you a hint first.
You cannot have a satisfactory society made up of competitive, self-interested individuals! In a satisfactory society there must be considerable concern for the public good and the welfare of all, and there must be considerable collective social control and regulation and provision, to make sure all are looked after, to maintain public institutions and standards, and to reinforce the sense of social solidarity whereby all feel willing to contribute to the good of all.
- Ted Trainer
Note that first sentence. Does it give you any ideas? :)  It turns out that the name I found is "Post-Autistic Economics". Imagine that! *laugh*

One group has been publishing a newsletter since 2000 September 01. So of course I expect to be doing some reading of their archives in the coming weeks. A few other people seem to have hit on the same idea, including one guy who has thoughts on how to transition from one economy to another, rather than just waiting patiently for the inevitable implosion.

The links:, Post-Autistic Economics Network
(created by French economics students, later joined by Cambridge students), "The Simpler Way" by Ted Trainer, New Economics Foundation

So I'm not the only person to see the fatal flaw in any economic system based on growth.  Growth happens, and it must be accounted for in any stable economic system.  Growth is the flaw, though, rather than the salvation.  Change is the only certainty.  Growth is not guaranteed.


Date: 2008-10-14 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've always had a deep distrust for the "rowth" economical system we have adopted in occident too. Very simply put, the flaw I think is that that "growth" has to be at the expense of something and that in th end means draining matter and energy of the surrounding immediate environment of our societies, meaning the Geo and Bio resources. If the population is growing more or-less exponentially trying to sustain "growth" at all costs, sooner or later the system will implode. We just have to look around. It is magistrally ironic that the name is "Post Autistic Economics", really. Thank you for the very interesting posting and for the very intersting links too Terry, you clever man. Hugs, Luis.

Date: 2008-10-14 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You cannot have a satisfactory society made up of competitive, self-interested individuals!

Therefore, you cannot have a satisfactory society.

On to the next issue.

Date: 2008-10-14 02:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
can... should... can... can...

Change just these four words to "won't" and I'd be in complete agreement.

I have no doubt that the current course is unsustainable and will probably end badly. But any political philosophy that is predicated on changing human nature is pretty much dead on arrival, because that has never happened, and, IMHO, never will.

Date: 2008-10-14 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aren't all laws predicated on the belief that they can change human nature?

No, the purpose of the law is to resolve conflicts, and when successful it does so in ways that are relatively easy to enforce. It has nothing to do with changing people's values, merely prohibiting certain clearly defined behaviors.

But can't you agree that human nature is very malleable and has, throughout history, been slowly channeled (by accident or by intent) into activities more constructive and less destructive when some great insight has explained the difference between the two paths.

This is exactly what I don't agree with. While people are much less personally violent today than in, say, the Middle Ages - which is no small accomplishment - I see no reason whatsoever to believe that most people's behavior will ever be driven by anything other than self interest. I mean, sure, it would be nice, but you have not suggested any mechanisms by which this can be achieved. That's because there aren't any.

And no, I'm not an anarchist; as expressed in my previous writings, I am generally progressive, favor strong government, high taxes, and a robust social safety net implemented through minimally intrusive means. I think it's kind of funny how people try to pigeonhole my opinions and get it wildly wrong every time.

Date: 2008-10-14 04:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll be tracking your comments on this topic with considerable interest!

Date: 2008-10-24 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Great post and thanks for the links.
The Ted Trainer quote sums up my thoughts completely...I never could have stated it so clearly!

Date: 2008-12-29 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] (from

may be of interest.


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