Thursday, August 7, 2008

Prospects for a Future Economic System Replacing Capitalism, and Being More Successful

A consistent topic explored by many futurists and discussion forums is how the tired and corrupt capitalist economic system that is currently the only truly innovative, highly productive, and motivational economic system on the planet will inevitably be replaced by some imagined number of causes - technological progress, transhumanism, as well as many other supposed reasons.

Capitalism is not the 'best' of several viable economic systems that can be considered truly successful. It is the ONLY economic system that can be considered successful in a way that is independent of luck, as in having ridiculous amounts of oil under your soil, things like that.

Why is that? Why is capitalism the only truly successful economic system that man has figured out? Because, especially and most effectively when combined with personal freedom, it reflects the motivation of human psychology. It aligns with our true nature like nothing else yet devised.

This is fundamental - capitalism is not some externally divined system pulled from thin air, that has stayed too long or something. Marx was deeply incorrect on that point. Rather, capitalism's success reflects a deep alignment and synergy of economics with the fundamental nature of the human mind.

The id wants what it wants - irrationally, everything (although of course it often settles for less). Capitalism, especially when contrasted against the egregious failure of Communism, accommodates the will of the id to own, to have one or more things it can call 'mine'. Whether that's ownership of a company, or a little tract home makes little difference. When a person has something they can call their own, not communally owned, that satisfies a deep tenet of our animal nature.

When something is owned by everyone, as in Communism, pride of ownership and its concomitant motivational power are missing. Even if Communist leaders didn't tend to annihilate their own citizens, usually near the beginning of a Communist regime, this fundamental nature of the misalignment of communal ownership with human nature would doom it to failure.

And of course, support for my point is painted over a hundred years of human history. That I can discern that after history has occurred is not a big deal. That Freud knew what would happen before it happened, that's amazing.

Bottom line, until transhumanism, evolution, or something else changes the deep nature of human psychology, capitalism isn't going anywhere.


Tim Tyler said...

Capitalism represents the application of a genetic algorithm at the level of companies.

As most engineers know, genetic algorithms are at the bottom of the optimisation toolkit - to be used only in dire situations where you lack problem-specific knowledge and so can't find anything better.

Jason Ranger said...

Good comment Tyler.

Capitalism enables social stratification in a manner that improves upon the ordained religious stratification and violence that defined social orders before the evolution of capitalism and free society. The absolute natural right to rule based on faith rather then empirical evidence is nonsensical to a modern scientist.

Societies inevitably create degrees of inequity that have always been tolerable in civilizations so long as the cost to control the disenfranchised does not undermine the positions of power and influence.

The protestant reformation for Christians enabled the economic system to progressively increase the numbers of people that can realize personal social improvements. It introduced common people to a new concept, the right to choose a personal reason to live a divine reason for being on earth... this began the evolution of the idea of autonomy which is a critical element of successful capitalism. The idea that a person can create their own system of stratification independently.

One should also consider that population indoctrination into a given system is likely a far better indicator of the long term success of a given system.

Earlier societies adopted systems of slavery, clearly marking stratification within early societies. In a small degree slavery was balanced by borders that remained mostly open throughout the world allowing people and their skills to move (flee) away from tyranny to meet demands of people elsewhere.

Modern society. Removing the mobility of people ensures areas maintain populations for low cost exploitation. Passports, building walls, the legal economy subjects many peoples into positions of low standing and influence in the world. Since these populations tend to grow at rates far greater then the educated economically successful legitimate capatalism at inevitable clash can be expected unless an new economic system can be devised to legitimize the extra legal social reality of the world. The inclusion of these people will only grow the overall value of the global economy.

Any expense caused by this aggressive change (the legitimizing through the allocation of land and assets to the occupants of untitled lands of the world and those held as matters of luck out the of course of history). The costly effort of inclusion would be offset by the asset value added to the overall system and will mitigate future risks of conflict between systems.

The scientific method clearly has value well beyond the systems of economics. The social status within a global civilization needs to be better protected in order to ensure the development of fair trade and skill development to meet a growing economic inclusiveness.

History lesson, failure to deliver economic and social inclusion opens the doorway for the return of religious based leadership and the corresponding inevitable violence that defines the stratification of religious societies.