Monday, March 7, 2016

Book Review: A Revolutionary New Concept of Economics

‘A Revolutionary New Concept of Economics’ By Richard J. Wilson J.D.   

Imagine a future when machines are available to do complex jobs and perform beyond human capacity, while working for nothing. Our monetary system, which is the cardinal pole, on which the transactions that make our society possible, rests, is going to be pushed towards oblivion. This being a possible scenario of the future, there is a need to set aside our attachment and look for alternatives to the present system of money.

Richard begins with the observation that our economic system, which was a good one for the age in which it was adopted, is not a fit one for the age of science. But we, even when our financial system was failing, showing inefficiency, instability and injustice, never thought to blame the system, instead profusely are blaming a few people, calling whomever we do not like by repugnant names.

He thereafter suggests a new economic system based more on nature and its properties, while overcoming the impediments of the old system, which we still use. For example he notes: in the absence of money, people would have produced what they need, as any excess would have been spoiled and lost. Money, which got introduced as a convenience, however changed all that when it overstayed its useful period. A new system of self-correcting labor and a money-less society will evolve, which shall not be based on the idea that people need to be ‘driven’ to work.

Then he discusses the possible ways of organizing society into an industrial conglomerate, and how all the activities like planning, conflict resolution, exchange and rights can be dovetailed.

In the next chapter, Blind Adversary, Richard ponders on the challenges ahead for such a system. Just like the ancient Greek sages, who thought that everything is built of fire, earth, air and water, the founder of economics, Adam Smith, thought of wealth in terms of similar qualitative divisions of labor, capital etc. Millenniums have flown by, and in the age of science, just as we have adopted the ideas of matter and its constitution greatly different from what the sages thought, we need to replace the present theory of economics with one based more on science rather than a couple of solid pillars like labor and capital. Economics need to evolve into a new branch of thought, say econoscience, which will replace the system of money to something more fitting to a society on the move.
I found many of the ideas presented, a welcome departure from the routine. Though towards the end, I felt the discussions on what should have been the most interesting part of the book, the new idea of controlling production, coming to a rather abrupt end. Even in spite of this, it is a brilliant dissertation and an engrossing book.

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