The hardest thing to change is often perspective. To see the world from a different angle requires either movement to a new position or an out-of-body experience.
Given how frozen our identities have become in political tribes, it is almost certainly easier to pull someone’s consciousness out their daily routine than to call them over to a new position. Where new perspective is essential to understand radical change in this world, the first step has to be a separation from conventional language and thought. Everything has to be unlearned.
So it is with People’s Economics. Longtime readers will be familiar with the concept that has been developed in real time here on this blog. Now that the camp has been set up in the middle of the dark woods, it’s time to light a fire. People’s Economics is now the Camp/Fire for Barataria, aside from period asides which will in other ways help the promote the general concept of developing new perspective.
The urgency of this topic cannot be overstated. There is little doubt that many people throughout the world feel disconnected from the systems which govern everything from their daily grind to the realization of their dreams. Anxiety is expressed in cynicism, resignation, and anger often rotating in turns. Americans in particular have shown that they are susceptible to an elaborate political cons based on ideologies which are largely empty at the core.
Something has to be done.
Time is proving that the political parties are ideologically bankrupt, fighting wars that are entirely personal and tribal with no substance at all. This is the end-game when it has become clear that the best thinkers of our day got nuthin’. For all of the rigid ideologies our world has produced, none seem to illuminate a bright future for a free, democratic people living closer together than ever before in a world made different by the light of every dawn.
This is why People’s Economics is essential. It’s not an ideology but a perspective.
Economics is often called “The Dismal Science” for a good reason. At its heart it seems to be sociology, given that it describes the most fundamental relationship between individuals and society. Yet it is largely a lot of math, a series of equations designed to explain trends which have been in place long enough to supply huge piles of cold, dark data.
The reason economics went down the hole it’s in is obvious. The practitioners are employed by large corporations and governments interested in understanding bulk movements of money. Indeed, the focus is almost entirely on money, not people, because it is so easy to measure and plug into a spreadsheet. People aren’t.
So the dismal science stays dark, hardly a topic for greater illumination.
This is a hot topic in economics itself, which is to say that People’s Economics itself is based on theory. It’s been nearly ten years since Barataria covered it directly,but the application of game theory to economics has opened up a new way of looking at trends in the world as the sum of a series of actions and reactions. In a certain sense there is no macro-economics any longer. There is only bounded chaos in a rich, beautiful world full of people making their own choices.
While the math only gets harder in this approach, the implications for economics are even more difficult. The client becomes the citizens of a democracy who make choices based on their own experiences and goals. The focus moves from analysis of trends to solid predictions about the future, or at least the boundaries of the fractal paths we find ourselves on.
After all, isn’t risk analysis or predicting the boundaries of future possibilities the core of a functional free market with a rich reliance on credit?
The goal of this Camp/Fire experiment is to find the best methods of creating a conversation which illuminates and invites. It is not about an ideology but rather a way of taking control of the systems which have guided policy for those with the power and money to make use of the pronouncements.
What will come from it? Perhaps a movement for a world sick of the obvious limitations of the endless arguments between wild capitalism and controlling socialism. Perhaps this will help us past the divide between left and right which continues despite not having much significant meaning. Perhaps it will give everyone a new way of looking at the world that unites rather than divides.
All of these goals are large and unreasonably noble for a wonderfully messy world. That’s well and good, but it starts with something much simpler. The greatest resource of this or any other nation is the combined skills and drive of its people. Let’s think about that for a moment.