Wednesday, September 7, 2016

David Sloan Wilson — The Death of the Invisible Hand: Why the Narrow Pursuit of Self Interest Always Fails


Good read. I recommend reading the whole thing. It is not long. It relates to recent discussion about "Darwinism" in the comment.

Evonomics
The Death of the Invisible Hand: Why the Narrow Pursuit of Self Interest Always Fails
David Sloan Wilson | SUNY Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and Arne Næss Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo

15 comments:

Kaivey said...

There's a documentary made by biologists which shows you how much the plant kingdom cooperates with each other. Some plants go deep into the ground to bring up nutrients, while others grow tall to get the Sun, and so on. Each plant does its own bit for the collective biosphere all helping each other to survive. I can't find she documentary now, but if I ever do I will put it out.

Bob said...

Economics is said to be a subset of ecology. No unemployment in the natural world. If i see a squirrel laying in the sun i assume it's on a break.

Matt Franko said...

There is plenty of cooperation in mankind.... Mankind arranges for continuous economic surpluses...

What does any of this Evolutionism mumbo jumbo have do do with diagnosing this current situation we find ourselves in where we have these incompetent leadership going all around saying "we're out of money!" ?

We have a massive cognitive/technocratic failure in understanding the design/operation of our numismatic systems in our nations...

t=0 was in 1971 not 3 million years ago or wtf....

Matt Franko said...

"For the general public, unfettered competition has been turned into a moral virtue and “regulation” has become a sin."

Darwin: "natural selection is survival of the fittest"

The competition for survival IS the regulatory process....

Regulation means: to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc....

The regulatory method IS the competition.... Not cooperation....

Tom Hickey said...

Matt, DSW is writing in opposition to the neoclassical view of Smith's so-called invisible hand as market fundamentalism that frosts in spontaneous natural order with government only as night watchman. That was not the view Smith advanced as DSW says. While DSW doesn't say it, it's an appeal to Smith's authority to bolster the argument even though Smith did not hold that view or advance it.

Conventional economics is based on assumptions that are either fanciful or simplistic. DSW points out that nature operates rather uniformly on the big picture, using tools that work and building on success. We don't know all about how it works yet, but we know enough to understand that conventional economics is not correct. DSW explains why in terms of evolutionary theory and the emerging evolutionary economics.

Tom Hickey said...

Both Darwin and Smith are brought out as historical authorities promoting laissez-faire and market fundamentalism with their respective theories. That is just misrepresentation, as people who are knowledge have pointed out.

Appeal to authority is a rhetorical device and an informal fallacy in logic. It's used widely to dupe the rubes.

Matt Franko said...

How is our current surplus society not a success in "the big picture"?

We cooperate well enough to arrange massive surpluses in everything.....

We have distributional problems... that doesn't have anything to do with cooperation....

If somebody has a disability and can't work, then we establish policy to subsidize that persons lifestyle via provision of currency balances for them to acquire some of the surplus that is not cooperation.

Cooperation is working together, what if a person cannot work? A policy of Subsidies to that person is not cooperation...

Gary Hart said...

"For the general public, unfettered competition has been turned into a moral virtue and “regulation” has become a sin." As Ralph Nader pointed out it is just regulation on corporations that is a sin, to see the regulations they put on us just look at your phone bill. From regulating them to regulating us, now that is evolution.

Ignacio said...

"that doesn't have anything to do with cooperation...."

Non-cooperation from the elites. More like, co-optation? ;)

Tom Hickey said...

How is our current surplus society not a success in "the big picture"?

Even Marx in his day admitted that the no-holds barred capitalism of his day produced greater general unity that the best of days under feudalism. That is not an argument that capitalism is not exploitive, that it cannot be improved upon, and the there is no alternative to the status quo.

There's a good argument based on evidence that the world is bette economically in aggregate since capitalism replaced feudalism. Few argue against this. The issue is distribution and distributional effects that extend beyond economics.

Matt Franko said...

Yeah but Tom if you read David S here you would think the world is coming to an end or something...

I don't think he really understands how F-ed up the academe of economics is...

Tom Hickey said...

I suggest that those interested in evolution and economics read DSW's series on it.

Biologist David Sloan Wilson on social science, economics and evolution

WillORNG said...

Matt I don't think having a disability is a lifestyle. How does one choose to be disabled? Is it a lifestyle choice? There's an awful lot of hogwash like those previous two sentences that have been used to undermine public support for social security and it's one part of widening inequality let alone cheapening our respective people's and country's living quality standards.

WillORNG said...

Matt I don't think having a disability is a lifestyle. How does one choose to be disabled? Is it a lifestyle choice? There's an awful lot of hogwash like those previous two sentences that have been used to undermine public support for social security and it's one part of widening inequality let alone cheapening our respective people's and country's living quality standards.

Matthew Franko said...

Maybe then "quality of life..." instead of 'lifestyle'

iow the person would get currency balances to purchase surplus services and goods even though that person couldnt "work" to make enough munnie to purchase those goods and services by themselves as they were disabled....

That's not 'cooperation' or 'working together' or even 'charity'.... that is perhaps righteousness, just policy, etc but not cooperation...

We would just implement that policy because we think it is the righteous thing to do...

If the libertarian, Darwinian morons dont like it, they can go F themselves and get the F out and be told that in no uncertain terms...