Firstly what do we mean when we say ‘capitalism’? Well there are many perspectives on this but most cohere around certain key constructs which themselves drive capitalism’s core growth requirement.
It is an economic system in which specialised producers produce commodities for markets but not for their own subsistence. Capitalists have a monopoly of ownership of the means to production and must sell this production onto the market to receive their own means to subsistence and to purchase new means for production.
Capitalism is a method of ownership of productive assets. There is no requirement for specialisation, for production for markets, nothing about monopoly either. For example, we have at present a niminally capitalist society but we\’ve an awfully large number of not capitalist producers within that supposedly capitalist economy.
There\’s also nothing inherent in capitalism that leads to the necessity of growth either. Indeed, the growth we do get tends to come not from capitalism but from markets and specialisation: as already noted, not requirements of capitalism.
And then we get true lunacy:
This new economics could have as its new objective not growth for growth’s sake, not money or making markets our gods. Its aim could be to maximise the ecological efficiency of delivering to the wellbeing needs of today’s and future people.
It could seek not to rely on growth of the macro-economy. It could recognise the intrinsic value of the natural world with which we are so spiritually linked. It could once again make us stewards not dominators of nature.
It could be framed not by a drive towards efficiency but one of sufficiency and will require a values shift from extrinsic individualist vales to intrinsic ones which champion collective, greater-than-self solutions to sustainability challenges.
Excellent, so our new economics is going to maximise efficiency by ignoring efficiency.
I think we can let this tosser get back to his tube sock and Whole Earth Catalogue while the rest of us get on with life, eh?