Wisdom Posted To Billy Mitchell’s Blog 06/12/2017

Me:  Wisdom is the discernment and integration of the truths in opposing perspectives, not the fine tuning of orthodoxy. The signature of Wisdom is a humble thirdness and more complete overall oneness not increased arrogant and obsessive contention.

MarkH:  It’s very easy to motivate people into cooperative action – convince them they are facing an overwhelming and immediate existential threat. You can do that legitimately by pointing to the real advances of a tyrannical warmonger. You can also be that tyrant and make the compulsion very tangible. All the other inconvenient things that make your citizens recognisably human will magically disappear, and you’ll have cogs in an efficient machine, ready for war or whatever peacetime folly you’ve concocted. Twentieth century history, in a nutshell.

There followed his famous list, itemising the characteristics of ‘X’:

… is a full-blown nightmare. As is “the idea that the state was like an economic engineer”. Have you ever met an engineer? I am one, and it’s very obvious to me that you don’t want specialists of any sort with political power, especially those who think that a complex system like an economy (or a person) is reducible to the sum of its parts, or even fully knowable. The “stocks and flows” terminology used in MMT economic models come from Systems Dynamics, a field which exists to study the neglected insight that complex dynamic systems cannot be fully controlled, because their behaviour is an emergent phenomenon of other interacting systems. They can only be modeled imperfectly, and perhaps managed if your modeling is good enough.

Attempting to control the uncontrollable is a dangerous folly. Suggesting it without proper reference to the Soviet and Southeast Asian economic experiments, tests which came after the shopping list detailed above, is both inconceivable and ghastly. The suggestion is nothing less than reducing people to a naive economic model, a handful of inputs and outputs in an equation, and then enforcing that reduction, either through fear of a legitimate existential threat or one invented by those in power. I despise the neoliberals, but I’ll take their brand of compulsion any day over that.

Me:  MarkH,

I agree regarding reductionism, and yes, perfection is impossible in the temporal universe, yet paradigm change (not tweaking capitalist or socialist orthodoxy) and regulation aligned with it, especially if they free both the individual and enterprise from the dominance of the old financial and monetary paradigms of Debt and Loan only and also integrate macro theory and micro-foundational policy, is a deeper and longer lived progression. 5000 years is long enough for the paradigms of Debt and Loan only.


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