Post-economics versus Coronavirus

Post-economics versus Coronavirus

We’re currently facing two huge, existential crises – environmental collapse and Coronavirus. In times of crisis the economic response says continue as you were. Sure we need some change but nothing big; don’t rock the economic boat; definitely don’t consider getting in a different boat.

And our governing system – economics – this completely intangible thing that doesn’t care about you as an individual because your existence is statistical , with your personal identity recognised with a segment at best, says making minor adjustments to your behaviour as a consumer is the approach . The market will adapt itself to the new requirements. But with only minor changes. A major, sustained, terminal hit to economic growth is unthinkable. Even though growth tends to trickle along at around 0 point something % growth anyway

But imagine if EC was removed as our system of value. Which is to say ‘money’. The generic idea of that costs this, this costs that (to you, no matter who you are). There is today an inherent interconnectivity of everything that is made, moved, sold and the sense of value created can be expressed as something other than monetary. If we use data to identify everyone as individuals in all that they do, understanding their contexts and unique situation each time – what would be different?

Out goes generic advice. In comes individual advice on how to avoid getting / spreading it (adapt your routine as follows, others around you adapt theirs in tandem). Or in an environmental sense, eat more of this, less of that (I have meat going off, move to someone to eat it – not ‘thou shalt be veggie ’ – greatest value today is in efficiency). In fact value can be created in every decision made. Even if supply chains badly hit, connect people to the things around them and make better use of all that exists.

If value not based on money but the outcome that activities produce, successfully preventing an pandemic / environmental collapse would be about as high value as you can think.

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