Monthly Archives: December 2016

Sustainable economics

Economics rooted in western values is destructive, the impression I have formed for the past two years learning economics in the US. Its added value comes mainly out of progress of civilization. It views the nature as a subject to which they make changes rather than a subject from which they learn. It parallels a common mistake one makes in his/her relationship with family members and friends. An individual tends to put greater effort into changing others to the shape it considers ideal rather than accepting them at their own currencies and honoring them for what they are. Economics stems from a similarly erroneous presumption that mankind is superior to other species on earth both contemporaneously and historically and can make a more efficient use of resources.

Consequently, economics has contributed to spawning unsustainable systems destroying a sustainable one, the nature. A fact that is overlooked in the course is that the nature has sustained for billions of years, whereas the socio-economic systems the mankind created and tested had sustained only for up to thousands of years. Worse, the latest systems including the one for which capitalists play pivotal roles are expected to die out in hundreds of years upon the depletion of resource, unless necessary, smart corrections are made. The inefficient use of resources is, however, not the most imminent problem facing capitalist economies. Capitalism, which engendered the economies that proved to be more sustainable than communist economies in the sense that they preserve incentives of people to work hard, is also proving that it is fundamentally flawed and nearing the end of its life, or at least a major departure from its original shape.

Capitalist economies, with little check and balance involved especially during the aftermath of the Cold War, has suffered an ever-increasing inequality in wealth and is rapidly converging to an economic state in which individuals are left with little incentives to work hard. It is the state communist economies reached and found themselves unsustainable. Nevertheless, economists are still disproportionately exploring civilizational alternatives to cope with civilizational problems uncovered. I believe that such a bias or ignorance about non-civilizational alternatives is a reason they keep failing to find a way out. And that they really need to pay attention to eastern wisdoms which take into account both civilizational and non-civilizational solutions. I frequently find possible solutions to many unanswered (or poorly answered) fundamental economic questions out of eastern values that are planted deeply in Asian histories and philosophies. I may discuss them in more detail later.