Wednesday 29 February 2012

More loops.

Free markets are efficient.

Free markets outperform all other means of commerce.
Free markets are self correcting. When demand exceeds supply, prices rise and more enter the market. When prices fall and an enterprise is not longer profitable, it fails. History and geography are littered with the skeletons of failed enterprises but at least for a time, we succeed best by doing what we do best.

Free markets are natural.
Yes, Nature is a free market, and that is where it becomes really scary because, like our towns and farms that are littered with the skeletons of failed enterprises, the history and geography of Nature is littered with the skeletons of failed species and we are not immune.

In the free market of Nature, species evolve to fill a slot in the ecosystem. If you fit the slot well, your species thrives. If not, it dies back so populations and resources are in equilibrium.

But we have changed the rules. We no longer evolve to fit our slot. We have found ways to change our slots to fit us, so our numbers have exploded. Can we avoid ‘market correction’? Of course not but we are in denial as has always been our nature. Diligent investigation identifies the problem and accurate identification suggests solutions. So why are we not choosing solutions?

Hope trumps action. Hope makes us feel better so we ignore the hard choices. We have faith that problems will solve themselves eventually one way or another and they do, sometimes killing us in the process.

So, are we on our way to extinction?
All species are but few have gone through the cycle of evolution from emergence to extinction quite so fast. If history is any guide we are on track to be the shortest lived species ever. But there is hope.

We are the first species to predict its own demise and the first to have the technology to prevent it, so there is a choice. Do we choose sustainability and suffer the cost, or do we procrastinate and find ourselves fighting to the death over the scraps?
Both choices are being made now. Some are fighting, some are cooperating. So how do we choose cooperation? How do we stop those are who will choose war in our name?

War has always been the default position and it did serve its purpose in Nature, but all-out war is now too destructive; too final. We can no longer let it happen. So are we thinking? Are we being brave enough to speak up when our friends are spouting political slogans, unaware of the implications? Are we asking the hard question? Are we demanding a future? Are we thinking big-picture, speaking out, voting, evolving?

On a good day, I believe reason will prevail but on a bad day I despair.
Make my day!


  1. I hope we do prevail and the inevitable is put off for a while yet but the problem with inevitable is just that - it's inevitable.

  2. I'm no socioeconomist, but there are too many factions in the world. It is inevitable that the strongest will devestate the weaker. That is just the way it is in a freemarket society. Yes, we have the ability to correct this world, but all must be of the same mindset for salvation of the masses - one world government, one grand plan ... or perish.

  3. About 1968, I read an article about the Komodo dragons in Life Magazine. The article stated that they often grew to fifteen feet or more in length and close to a ton in weight and were not aggressive. About four years ago, National Geographic had an article about Komodo dragons. They stated that the dragons grew to be about five feet in length and about three hundred pounds in weight and were extremely aggressive.

    During the early 1970's people became concerned that there were so few of the dragons and began to try to protect them. As a result the population has skyrocketed. The entire population of other animals and birds indigenous to Komodo Island have been killed and eaten, and now the entire dragon population is only able to survive because those who tried to save them ship hundreds of cattle to the island every day and by eating each other. they have even eaten several of the people who were feeding them. Little ones get eaten because they are small adn big ones because they can't move fast enough to get away.

    Just as misguided efforts to preserve the Komodo dragon caused the extinction of numerous other species, and almost guaranteed the eventual extinction of the Komodo dragon,misguided efforts to preserve specific industries and companies may cause the loss of all of them. Without the protection of government, companies can never gain a monopoly large enough to cause a country to collapse.

  4. I could devote pages to this line of thought and I like to think that the intrinsic good in humanity will prevail and will overcome the dark, cloying greed that seems to drive so many of us. But there are things that happen weekly, daily, by the minute in government, in society at large and in my little microcosmic world that drive me to despair and I think it's only a matter of time until we destroy ourselves. Are the independent thinkers, the idealists, the good will triumph over evil advocates enough to save us from the lure of the corporations and the almighty dollar? I don't know. Even activism has a degree of self interest. It's depressing to think how beautiful the world is and how much we are messing it up. Is there a fatalist gene in the human DNA that will eventually override everything else? Is that what stops us from recognising that we can't go on like this forever? I think Eddie Veder from Pearl Jam summed up the world very well - 'It's Devolution, baby.' Oh yeah.

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