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Section 2: Market vs. Technical Efficiency
In the prior section we quickly glossed over
how the market economy has undergone a natural evolution
where the benefits it used to have in a more simple period of human history
are deeply overshadowed by the misaligned philosophy
that was inherent to its root premise.
It was just a matter of time, through technological means, other developments,
that the result would be a covert, structured oppression
that can only continue the division of society with more social imbalance
and unfortunately, destabilization.
Now I would like to take a look at the foundational practice
of the market economy in a more physical science context
and consider how those attributes that are inherent to it
are environmentally disconnected, decoupled from the natural world
as it actually exists, as science has taught us.
The context is 'efficiency', and there are two opposing systems at work.
The first one we will call 'market efficiency' which has to do with
the fluid operation of the monetary market system and abstraction,
while the second is 'technical efficiency' which has to do with the
physical natural laws and how we best align with the environment
for our own sustainability.
I'd like to first remind ourselves what an economy is supposed to be
by definition in early Greek. It means the management of a household,
and being efficient with that management, hence reducing waste.
Keep that in mind.
For the sake of the comparison I'm about to make,
I want to define my terms for clarity,
and I'm mixing this up a little bit:
We often use the term Resource-Based Economy, which is perfectly applicable.
[but] Resource-Based Economy (RBE) can sometimes be semantically construed
for people to use it in very weird contexts because they think, for example
"Monetary economy is resource-based because you use resources,"
or they think that a RBE would be a gold standard economy or something like that,
so I prefer the term, at least at this point in time, 'the Natural Law Economy'
because it is referencing scientific natural law.
This would be essentially defined as follows
if it was actually in practice:
"Decisions are directly based upon scientific understandings
as they relate to optimized habitat management and human health.
Production and distribution is regulated by the most technically efficient
and sustainable approaches known." Very simple.
Market Economy, as it is practiced today, would be defined as follows,
in operation: "Decisions are based on independent human actions,
through the vehicle of monetary exchange
regulated by the pressures of supply and demand.
Production and distribution is enabled by the buying and selling of labor
and material provisions, with the motivations of the personal group
(competitive self-interest) as the defining attribute of unfolding and initiation.
Here are 7 economic attributes
that each economic [system] shares in a certain contextual comparison,
all of which I'm going to address one by one.
I will add that the asterisks at the bottom
have to do with issues that relate to the advancement in science and technology
and social science also, which
is naturally a part of a scientifically-oriented system
where you're paying attention to what we understand about human health
and you adapt the system accordingly to maintain good public health
or advanced technology (you get the idea),
and this will become more clear as we proceed.
Point 1: Consumption
Market economy is driven by consumption. That is the fuel.
That's what keeps you employed. That's what keeps you fed.
That's what keeps the lights on, basically.
It's not that people are consuming to support that, per se.
It is the other way around at this stage:
They're consuming to keep it going, if that makes any sense,
to maintain purchasing power and the stability,
the stability we see that's in jeopardy right now.
If consumption was to stop or significantly slow, as it's doing,
all life-supporting processes are stifled.
The world economy is based on one thing and one thing only:
turnover through sales.
How does this compare to the demands of the natural world?
It is obviously the opposite: preservation, efficiency.
The Earth is a virtually finite system,
and the reduction of waste and hence true economic efficiency is demanded.
The example I use: If you had a small island, a small group of people
with natural regeneration of certain food-producing produce, etc.,
you would respect those actual boundaries, the dynamic equilibrium.
Why would you design an economy for your society where everyone
has the initiative to want to consume as fast as possible?
The Earth is indeed a small island in a vast cosmic ocean,
and it's a lot smaller than we think.
Point 2: Obsolescence, something people don't think about enough.
The market economy maintains two forms of obsolescence:
Intrinsic and Planned.
Intrinsic Obsolescence has to do with cost-cutting necessities of companies,
in order to remain affordable and competitive.
It's called cost-efficiency in traditional economics.
The result is immediately inferior products the moment they are made.
Planned Obsolescence: much worse.
During the Great Depression, the need for turnover to boost the economy
brought about the idea of deliberately reducing good quality
for the sake of more turnover.
Huge economic praise was given to these people that pitched this stuff.
You can go back and look at the historical record. It's amazing! Awards were given.
[People were] held in high esteem, to create an economy
that's going to waste more and more.
That was apparently efficient, and it is!
That is market-economically efficient,
while the antithesis of what a Natural Law Economy would be.
Part 3: Property
A foundational premise of the market economy is singular ownership:
a metaphysical notion, clear and simple,
as all ideas and physical goods are transient
and serially developed through the group mind,
and there is no way to make a permanent association to ownership
over the long term.
Nature [economy]: What does our developing scientific reality say
about how we use the world around us?
Universal property is obviously inefficient.
Strategic access is more environmentally responsible as a model
and more socially efficient, clearly.
The best example is a car; you only use it for a small percentage of time.
Why not not even own that and share that vehicle
with a number of other people that would use it as well,
and there would be an incentive to maintain the well-being of that car
so it doesn't break down because of the need to keep it going.
That's for another conversation, as I would address
in the second part of this talk, when I talk about a hybrid system
and certain processes that can be used
to demand the corporations actually support truly efficient products,
but that's my tangent for the evening.
I have tons of film equipment piled into my closets.
I don't want to own it; it takes a great deal of space,
but it's too monetary economically inefficient,
for me to rent this every time I need it because
it is more expensive to do that, given how often I use it.
So, I'm forced to have all this stuff that I very rarely use.
I would be so happy to have a storage facility
where I could go, get these things, return them. It would be amazing,
and obviously more environmentally responsible and socially responsible
because more would have access to it than they do today.
Part 4: Growth
The market economy not only needs consumption in general as mentioned,
it actually requires growth of consumption.
and increasing rates of it, I am sorry to say.
This is always the topic of conversation with government today,
who is talking about economic stimulus:
"We need more growth" they say.
That's just wholly ridiculous under the ecological level.
What does the natural world has to say about infinite growth? Obviously,
it demands a balanced-load economy:
an economy that demands dynamic equilibrium be recognized!
Otherwise, it's simply a matter of time
before the incompatibility of these two systems come together, which is
what you're seeing now to a certain degree when it comes to certain resources,
and massive scarcity emerges and problems emerge.
Point 5: Competition
The market economy's operational premise is competition
to the pursuit of self-interest as drilled in before.
The sociological, scientific reality
is that human collaboration is at the core of all invention in reality
and psychological studies now show long term distortions
in inapplicable qualities of the competitive view
as Matt mentioned earlier with the research of Alfie Kohn.
As denoted in the first section of this talk,
competition itself as a foundational structured philosophy
is at the core of an enormous number of atrocities and inhumanity,
and it just simply isn't necessary as a method,
despite people's claims of human nature and the like.
It's obvious that we can collaborate.
People argue "War, we want to compete." People go to war; why do they do that?
They're in great collaboration in the army of themselves.
They have a common enemy they work against because of the manipulation factors.
I'm sure there was great camaraderie in the 10-million strong Nazi army.
I'm sure they were very good friends, but once they turned their intention
toward someone else, through the competitive neuroses,
you see the distortion that emerged. It's a very dangerous,
dangerous identification, and I could go on other tangents on patriotism
and a lot of other stuff with respect to this
underlying psychological flaw of the competitive training.
Point 6: Labor for Income
The market economy is based on labor for income, as we know.
Human survival is contingent upon one's ability to
obtain employment and enable sales,
foundational, considered time memorial as we all know.
As Federico pointed out very clearly, mechanization is taking its toll.
The scientific development, the evolution of our ability to create,
is producing tools that far exceed our ability,
that are more reliant than we are; they don't have the fallibility that we do.
The advent of automation is making human employment more scarce
at a minimum and possibly obsolete on the foundational level.
It's more productive and efficient, as well, than human labor.
It's more safe, which makes it socially irresponsible
for us not to mechanize at this point, and take the fruits of its abundance
and safety and everything else.
Last point, Point 7: Scarcity and Imbalance
Money moves based only on inefficiency, imbalance, scarcity.
That's the driver of it, and when you realize that,
when you realize the anti-steady state nature of this,
when you realize that the dynamic is fueled by scarcity
and Marshal Salant's quote that Matt mentioned earlier, it's
"The driving mechanism is deprivation." How could we ever expect
there could be balance in the world?
Abundance and equality just simply can't emerge in this system.
It's impossible! So,
on the human health realm, the public health level,
is that good for us? Obviously not. We need to meet human needs.
The vast majority of crimes are related to money. They can't get their basic needs met.
They're related to all sorts of other complex layers
of conditions that happen from scarcity, from familial developments
that create the spiral, as I'll mention in a second, the spiral of distortion
for human behavior and malintent and mental neuroses.
So, meeting human needs is critical!
Why would you want a society, scientifically, that can't do that?
Equality, as well, is the ultimate positive for public health.
Equality, if you compare for example the US
(extremely stratified, a very deeply imbalanced society,
the excessive *** rates)
to Canada, which has some stratification but nothing compared to the US.
Why is it that the US has these enormous *** rates
and Canada, right across a little river, has just a fraction of them?
What does that mean? There's all sorts of public health issues
that coincide with imbalance in society; it's called psychosocial stress,
and I suggest you look into it. It's literally unhealthy for us to live
in a stratified society, and the worse it gets the worst we behave.
I call this whole kind of concept the 'Spectrum of Social Disorder,'
whether it's debt collapse, pollution, mental disorders,
resource depletion, general destabilization, overall public sickness,
war, waste, poverty, scarcity, drug addiction,
unemployment obviously, crime in general.
Life support systems that fuel good public health
are basically in decline as a whole because of the evolution of this system,
and I can go on a very long tangent describing certain experiences I've had in my life
with respect to friends that came from super deprived environments;
and I've been able to watch them, in sort of this forbidden experiment,
manifest themselves in these very neurotic distorted ways,
all because of this lack of understanding in our culture of what causality does.
I strongly suggest the work of Gabor Maté
if you're interested in how society as a whole and its condition
affects us at very young ages and distorts us systematically from those points on,
building into it.
On the left side here, that you can't really read,
are a series of points that are kind of general societal problems:
abject poverty, relative poverty, inequality, unemployment,
destabilization conflict, the debt collapse, pollution, waste,
energy scarcity, water and resource scarcity as well,
public health disorders in general.
When you take the broad view of what's possible
and our understanding of public health, that can be statistically evaluated,
all of these issues are technically obsolete. They don't have to exist.
This is our potential; we have an enormous potential!
Removing the environmental and sociological inefficiency inherent to the market
and simply applying modern scientific understandings
resolves or greatly reduces these issues.