“The blind spot of our time is that we take mainstream economic thought for granted, as if it were a natural law. But in reality, all so-called economic laws begin to melt and morph into something else the moment you begin to change the most important variable: the quality of awareness of the participants in a system.” ~ Dr. C. Otto Scharmer, MIT Senior Lecturer
When we take a trip to the grocery store, the mall or peruse wares
online from the comfort of our homes (assuming we have one) we are presented with a variety
of goods that all share one common attribute – that of price. As we
know all too well if we wish to acquire the goods we need and desire
we must engage in various calculations – whether emotionally driven
or by careful analysis – to arrive at the balance between the
monetary credits we happen to possess and the prices of those goods.
However in our ongoing contention between need, wants and price,
rarely do we stop and ask ourselves why are the prices of our goods
what they are. What are the myriad of relationships that underly and
interconnect and finally sum together into this singular metric? What
precisely are we paying for or just as importantly what does that
price not include in the greater scope of our lives and the world
How much of the price is directed to marketing & advertising
budgets, legal fees, packaging, executive bonuses, taxes, tariffs,
wages, monopolistic dominance, corruption, trade secrets, copyright,
patents, regulation and numerous other factors?
Today where the majority of the goods that arrive at our doorstep
follow complex production chains – quite often spanning the globe –
often between competing entities whose methods are shrouded from each
other in layers of proprietary secrecy, and by consequence opaque to
society as a whole, it can be said in all but the most simple of
cases we simply have little idea what constitutes the prices we pay.
More importantly, these siloed & obfuscatory methods of
production by their very nature generate a cacophony of social &
environmental ills – as each player in their narrow pursuit of
profit maximization seek to externalize all else which may negatively
impact their bottom lines.
Though Classically trained economists, and others similarly aligned, have and continue to believe that this individualized pursuit of
profit somehow translates into the best possible state for society (an
"invisible guiding hand"), given the large & growing
body of evidence to the contrary (chronic inequality, environmental decline, mass starvation, etc.) it is becoming clear that humanity
has yet to fully discover & implement the economic solutions
necessary to come into harmony with the delicate life systems of the
Earth and to efficiently & justly allocate resources to maximize
our collective wellbeing.
Today we as a species are faced with a confluence of
planetary-wide crises and at a critical juncture that will require
each of us to deeply reexamine many of the beliefs we currently hold
as well as necessitate the opening of our minds to new & evolving
frames of reference. Whether it be the reasons behind the prices we
pay, to the sensibility of markets or even money itself our ability
to survive is now directly dependent on our coming to a correct
understanding – and alignment with – the mechanisms which truly
undergird our existence...
Economic Calculation in a Natural Law / RBE, Peter Joseph