Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Economic dinosaurs' death struggle in a swamp

 The Very British Dude blog writes a critique of David Selbourne who is, we are told, a political philosopher and theorist. The Dude takes him to task for not being a free market fundamentalist, and attacks him for being a Commie. Whether the Commie tag is fair or not is up to David Selborne to decide. My interest is that this debate is so(ooo) last century. This Green feels like a newly-evolved mammal watching two dinosaurs engaged in a death struggle in a primeval swamp.

My 2p worth:

Dear Mr Dude

Is reality truly split into a binary choice between the free market and the command economy? That dichotomy is only possible to someone fitted with blinkers to cut out what is happening out there in the real world. You may find a reference to the real world if you look up "Externalities" in the index of whichever economics textbook you were raised on. In fact, aforesaid real world is the ultimate source of our water, food, shelter, energy and health. And those who study these things find that its ability to support us is diminishing. Inexorably.

Some people deal with unwelcome truth with denial and with Peter Simple derived satirical barbs. These attitudes and words can obscure, but cannot change the facts.

The choice we face in 2010 is not the 20th century debate between free market fundamentalism and the command economy. Our ideological choice now lies between ecological denial (which is necessary for free market fundamentalism ) and ecological economics, which requires a guided market - guided towards social cohesion and environmental sustainability.

The debate has moved on. But do feel free to continue to wrestle with a foe who died in 1989.

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