Joshua Farley (USA) in Dialogue with Ugo Mattei (Italy) discuss “Natural Resource Governance: Between Revolution and Reform”.
Early human societies, or tribes, involved kinship, a common language, a common faith, some property in common, equity among members (especially within gender), and an economy adapted to and dependent upon a particular ecosystem.
Of all the critiques of mainstream economics, Third World, feminist, Austrian, radical, Georgist, Marxist and others, the one our grandkids would have us heed most is the ecological critique.
In The Descent of Man, Charles Darwin wrote that “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” This single line succinctly describes a recently conceptualized psychological phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. David Dunning and Justin Kruger, two researchers from Cornell University, have concluded that there is an inverse relationship between a person’s knowledge and skill level in a particular area and the person’s self-rated ability to perform in the area. Dunning and Kruger argue that people who are unknowledgeable and unskilled at performing an activity are also unable to recognize their own incompetence, which is why they tend to overestimate the quality of their performance when asked to self-evaluate. (Likewise, those individuals who are highly knowledgeable and highly skilled tend to underestimate their performance when asked to self-evaluate.)
Ecological economics of course has roots in ecology and biology as well as in economics. Most of ecological economists’ and steady-state economists’ time has been well-spent correcting economics in the light of biology and ecology. And there is still more to do in this direction. However, we should be careful to avoid importing some deep metaphysical biases frequent in biology, along with its scientific truths.
This book demonstrates that empty-world economic theory has failed on its own terms and that its application by policymakers has resulted in the failure of capitalism itself. Pursuing absolute advantage in cheap labor abroad, First World corporations have wrecked the prospects for First World labor, especially in the US, while concentrating income and wealth in a few hands.
Given the relation between economic production and ecological degradation, Joshua Farley is convinced that economic growth must stop. It is just a question of when. And whether cooperation will displace competition as the dominant concept in the economic paradigm.
•Against growth •How do you disruptively innovate a whole economy? •Where next for the circular economy? •Economists and the One-Percent