The primary danger of an econo-centric society is that it projects the actions of every entity (person to corporation) onto the flat plane of money & finance. All the wonderful complexity and beauty is wiped out, to enable efficiency for accountants. It also enables elites to control. Persons no longer think or act in terms of contributions to themselves, others, or to their social groups; they think and act only to increase their monetary value.
- Kenneth Arrow, in a unique 6-week seminar I attended at Stanford in 1967, pointed our that real value is not transitive. You may prefer A over B, and B over C, but not necessarily prefer A over C. Monetized value is transitive. This seriously warps the landscape of real value.
- Monetization of multidimensional entities, projected on a one dimensional scale, is frequently commented on as an “over simplification of economics”, as if it still had some utility (by applying theory to make it practical). Actually modern monetization is a deliberate distortion of the scientific reality of exchanges enabling an elite to rule of the masses. This is “utility”, for the elite.
- The financial sector of societies is an well organized, criminal enterprise. It even exploits business persons and many corporations. Since finance is an abstract, symbolic system, it doesn’t require much energy to replace it. However, as it has its roots everywhere, its service functions need to be replaced before it is shut down. The political power of finance makes its replacement complex, but not impossible. We must distinguish between the many persons whose lives are dependent on being “workers” in the finance sector (including many managers and some CEOs) and the societal system within which they are only components.
This makes them subject to easy cons to spend their hard earned income on purchases designed to maximize the financial gain of others while filling their propagandized imaginary desires. Today “investment” is simplistically locked into the financial world and few propose ventures that will increase real value. This is a criticism beyond Capitalism, but to all econo-centric models of society; socialism and communism as well as capitalism.
For decades I have attempted to challenge this critical and high level assumption almost all humans assume (including revolutionaries): that “economics in practice” is THE dominant societal subsystem, an OBJECTIVE FACT. Econo-centrism is the context supporting the market meme.
- I never comprehended how economics was considered a “science”; as “economics in practice” simply DEFINED its system-for-study as a system of exchanges artificially selected, intentionally excluding major components and subsystems. I called this a truncated natural system. For example, the labor of wives and mothers are excluded from the formal economy. This act immediately invalidates any authority of “economics in practice” as an “applied science”. However, there is a “science of exchanges”; but I would be hard pressed to call it “economics”.
- To me, it is a feat of masking cognitive dissonance and reality denial for those “scientists of exchange phenomena” to tolerate being on the same planet as practitioners of real-world, so-called, “economics in practice” (actually a technology selectively picking from the “science of exchanges”).
A sustainable society needs a viable economic subsystem. However, it is not obvious that attempts to transform the economic systems in our contemporary societal dysfunction or to attempt to create a new society based on a new economic system are our only options. Yet, the ideology of econo-centrism demands it.
An alternative focus for change is OLLO (Organizing-for-Learning=&=Learning-for-Organizing) where we gain the requisite competencies to seaf needed change. The requisite economic system will follow. OLLO is necessary for a critical organized/learned population to reesee attend to the real magnitude/scope/complexity of our challenges.