Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ecological Thinking Must REPLACE Economics

I've been reading Andre Gorz yesterday and today, not for the first time, and suddenly I had this epiphany: ecological thinking must replace economics. Gorz was brilliant at pointing out the ways in which some planning of economies was necessary, how deregulation led to chaos and failure, how microelectronics were shrinking the demand for labor -- in the 1980's he was ahead of where a lot of people are now on all of these issues, even after the huge lesson of 2007-2008.

I don't know whether Gorz himself would have said, simply and without qualification, that ecology must replace economics. Maybe he'd react by saying, "Duh! That's what I was saying, yes, and you read how much of my stuff before you got it?!" or maybe he wouldn't get it.

Plenty of people see that unrestrained, unregulated capitalism is unsustainable for ecological reasons alone, besides other reasons. Only hardcore libertarians are still too stupid to see that. But people keep tinkering with capitalism.

Enough with the tinkering. Capitalism itself is the problem. What do we need? Growth, competition? No, that's the stuff that's killing us. We need food, shelter, water, air, leisure, freedom, pleasure, love. Those are all ecological things. Money doesn't have to enter into it. Money is just something we've overlain onto what is actually essential.

Caring about each other, is that economical? No. It's ecological.

Am I ahead of the curve here? Or am I behind the curve to think that there might be anything at all new or original about this little mental breakthrough I've just had?

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