Oldjohnw wrote:So with an entirely different kind of economics needed to counter climate and inequality we actually need more state rather than less. The market simply cannot be left to run things. But I fear it is.
The so-called "Free Market" is often referred to as if it were a natural phenomenon exuding from a law of the universe. Of course it is no such thing but rather another human cultural construct. It relies on a thousand laws and a thousand cultural beliefs, assumptions, practices and institutions to function. It was completely absent for thousands of years of human history and, in its current form, is a very modern cultural construct. It was constructed to benefit an aristocratic few. All that's changed, over the past two or three centuries of modern capitalism, is the definition of an aristocrat.
There is nothing free about the "Free Market". It's enforced by law and the underpinning violence of The State. In many Western societies, property rights are more important than human rights.
There are endless hi-stories that claim capitalism, in one form or another, has always been with us. These histories are just propaganda - made-up-stuff to justify capitalism as a natural not a man-made thing. Any anthropologist can point to dozens of societies in which there was no concept or practice of private property; no concept or practice of money; no concept or practice of many other essential mechanisms of human relationships and institutions that underpin capitalism.
It is possible to construct socio-economic relationships, laws, institutions and beliefs that operate with alternatives to the privatisation of everything; the reduction of all things (physical & metaphysical) to a commodity; the reduction of all values to cash value. Many such alternative arrangements exited within our own history. Many such alternatives from the history of other societies could serve as examples or models. Many alternatives never tried are now possible, especially given the novel mechanisms of current technology, such as the block-chain.
The issue, as always, is the inertia of traditions, vested interests and the inclination of many humans to be reactionary rather than merely conservative. There's no easy way out of the morass of our current moribund condition. We like to think we can "rationalise" fine new ways of solving problems but that's just human hubris.
Yet the situation will evolve. Perhaps it'll do so via a mass extinction, though. There have been several, some of which occured because of a plague of an initially successful species that was too successful for it's own good so consumed all the environment on which it depended. That could be the very definition of capitalist "free" market humanity, eh?