February 07, 2011

A sustainable alternative to capitalism

In Pursuing self-interest or self-actualization? From capitalism to a steady-state, wisdom economy , published in Ecological EconomicsNiaz Murtaza makes the standard complaints about capitalism and proposes Sapienism as an alternative. Aware that "several alternatives to capitalism have emerged over time" and failed "by not basing their structures on the foundations of clear and appealing values" he proposes one based on "the highest reaches of human nature." 
Self-actualization, in particular, results in peak experiences encompassing serenity, intense well-being, and an awareness of transcendental unity.
According to Murtaza, capitalism was designed by neo-classical economists, who "operated under assumptions such as markets with high resource-allocation efficiency, value-maximizing individuals, self-regulating invisible hand and perfect information and competition" and who decided that pursuing self-interest was the best way to organize society. People listened to "neo-classical economists" and diligently set to pursue their self-interest. Crime, environmental destruction, economic growth and instability, inequality, stress, obesity, drug-addiction, single-parenthood and information overload followed. To remedy these and other problems Murtaza wants people to listen to him and focus less on self-interest and more on self-actualization.
The pursuit of self-actualization leads to a steady-state economy, higher personal welfare and long-term sustainability.

2 comments:

  1. Why would people pursue self-actualisation unless they wanted to, i.e. unless they were self-interested to do so?

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  2. An Alternative to Capitalism (which we need here in the USA)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: "There is no alternative". She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still prevails.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: "Home of the Brave?" which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

    http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

    John Steinsvold

    Perhaps in time the so-called dark ages will be thought of as including our own.
    --Georg C. Lichtenberg

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