As the society and the economy gets more complex, the design fault lines are becoming increasing visible. Today, the global economy faces a number of serious challenges and issues. For example, while globalisation had a good run over the past 4 decades  benefitting a large percentage of the global population, but at the same time, the increasing interconnectedness of the global economy has created a number of issues, which has made people question the larger benefits of globalisation. 

There are many short term and long term problems facing the global human society, and the current architecture of the global economic system isn’t designed to meet all those challenges, and continue to deliver for the larger human society. The problems including of widening global inequality,  unequal distribution of economic development, rising global poverty especially in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 induced pandemic, degradation and depletion of the environment, the human impact on global warming, as well as systemic problems associated with the  financial markets

So it is becoming increasingly evident that, the current economic system isn’t working well. Socialism, capitalism or communism  all have underlying design flaws. In every simulated scenario exploring a wide range of economic policies and various design changes in the financial markets along with high tax as well as low tax structure, the current economic system fails to deliver for more than 15% of the global population. The question then is, why ? If we can successfully land a human on the moon, and a machine on mars then, we should be able to design a more efficient economic system. Do we lack imagination for it ?

But the answer isn’t that complicated. I am now of the view that, when it comes to conceiving the larger architecture of the economy as well as the financial markets, we are being guided by wrong principles. And while most of our scientific development came from nature or was inspired by nature, somehow, we have completely ignored the lessons nature has for us for designing an ecosystem that should work for majority of the global human population on a sustainable basis. 

 Our current view of the living world is surely a by-product of culture. And therefore, we tend to have different perspective on a subject matter. Parts of the market economy has existed in different  forms ever since human beings began trading with one another. And over time the idea of free markets emerged as a natural process of social coordination. There is no evidence to suggest that a  single intellectual invented voluntary exchange or private property rights; no government developed the concept or implemented the first use of money as a means of exchange. 

Well before the concept of money was invented or conceived , human beings engaged in trade with one another.  The evidence for this stretches back far longer than written history. For example, trade was informal initially, based mostly on principle without written rules, and perhaps over time economic participants eventually realised that a monetary medium of exchange would help facilitate these transactions more efficiently, which lead to the creation of money as a tool.

And to draw a comparison, at times I do wonder if the natural ecosystem needs a tool like money to create free exchange of values and resource between different species sharing the Earth. As I see it, the natural ecosystem is built of co-creation, co- value addition, co-sharing, co-utilisation, co- dependency. And it has worked amazingly well for over 8.7 million different species sharing the same planet called Earth including of 10 quintillion insects, 10 billion billion ants, 7+ billion humans. 

But perhaps, here lies the problem?  The human need to posses and own everything, even though they die eventually like all the other species may be at the heart of the problem?  Humans have this inherent desire to posses and own everything, and in that desire they have built an economic system that isn’t sustainable. 

The development of the modern economic system is by no means spontaneous, it has been managed by a programmed and controlled process. So therefore, economy is always a controlled system in which there is always an appropriate subject of management. This system of management is the driving force behind the complexity of the global economy as well as the financial markets. And what are they based on? Principles or the larger human nature ? 

Humans created the concept of right to ownership, so now they own the lands created by earth as well as natural resources created by nature and other species. The fossil fuel and other natural resources that humans own weren’t created by humans. It was created by the collective, but humans took ownership over it.

I just don’t see the current economic systems delivering for the growing global human society because it is designed wrong and works on wrong principles. I have spent years imagining a sustainable economic system and a financial markets that genuinely works for people, only to realise that I have looking at the wrong places. All we have to do is build a system that nature has been running sustainably for billions of years. 

I understand this a contentious topic, and people do tend to have strong views on the subject, some of them enshrined in people’s cultural values. So the discussion becomes more of an argument, one idea versus the other, or left versus right, capitalism versus socialism etc. Also, most people who believe that a free market is all about, wanting to own and posses, and letting people empower themselves. Are taking a principle based stand routed in their cultural view of the issue. And the same goes for people who believe that a large government is the answer to all the problems. And that’s perfectly fine. But my aim is to simply create a real discussion around the subject, and then hopefully arrive at an idea that the best chance of succeeding. In my view that idea that has been tried and tested by nature for billions of years. And it is that idea which lead to the creation of humans.

One thought on “Inspired by Nature: Creating a sustainable economic system

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