Monday, March 11, 2013

Ecological Economics

The excellent Unlearning Economics site raises the question of the need for a new unifying principle for economics. My two pennyworth:

Economics, the ordering of our living space, should be founded on ecology, the study of our living space, because we cannot order a thing without understanding it.

This insight has a massive impact on economics, because it brings with it three axioms: it is impossible to expand forever into a finite space, it is impossible to take forever from a finite resource, and everything in the biosphere tends to be interrelated. These axioms in turn have a revolutionary impact on economics, not least by blowing the economics of growth out of the water. The steady state economy becomes the destination. Work becomes re-evaluated in terms of its ability to restore order into our world The overarching need to stabilise our being-in-the-world transcends the anthropocentric quarrel as to whether the collective or the individual should have primacy.

Ecology has a lot going for it as a principle that can unify economics.

More here.

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