So wot if all this Evolutionary Economics malarkey was not intriguing analogy ... suppose it was reality? Just suppose evolution was the only game in town?
Of course, if in the fullness of time, evidence of human economic behaviour emerged which falsified the output of Adam Smith's forge & Darwin's insight and human behaviour was indeed the outcome of some supernatural intelligent designer with foresight ... perhaps, a God behind every tree, or even a Bishop, Prince, General or Bureaucrat ... or maybe bog standard Designers by plausible, deliberate, rational, purposeful, intentional, planning? ... and not the evolutionary alternative of trial & error ... copy/vary/select ... in that case there will be many red faces ... including ours.
'rather than being appalled when we see the problems resulting from bad behaviour, we should be astounded & awed by the opportunities resulting from good behaviour'
Day by day the evidence for the natural selection of good behaviour mounted and became so compelling that we were confident enough to strike a wager with our future great grandchildren's children and their mates -
There will continue to be THREE inseparable characteristics of human social behaviour which will tend to help human survival through the unleashing of a process of technological & institutional innovation involving the generating & testing of a diversity of ideas which discover & accumulate more survival value for the costs incurred than competing alternatives ... ideas ... first pruned in the imagination and then tested for real against the rigors of reality -
COPY - inheritance -
experience - accumulation/imitation of past
'Path Dependency' - social interactions intensity in larger cohesive communities -
ECONOMIES of SCALE
from customary TORT LAW (Cooperative
... trust ... from HONESTY (instinctive fairness of shares & resentment of cheats from moral sentiments)
... rather than accept the arbitrary dogma of
parasitic & predatory Bishops, Princes, Generals or Bureaucrats
'stick to the knitting, nobody knows where the next good idea is coming from'
VARY - diversity - experiment -
discovery/creativity of individual differences.
'Trial & Error' - nobody knows where the next good idea is coming from as individuals -
SPECIALISATION and TRADE
... learn ... from HARD WORK (instinctive memory of empirical outcomes)
... rather than the mythical control of deliberate, rational, purposeful, intentional planning
'mind your own business, the bills have to be paid'
SELECT - natural selection - differential survival -
weeding out failures.
'+ve Feedback Loops' - billions of global deals grow mutual benefits and punish cheats -
TECHNOLOGY (Immune Systems)
... invest ... from THRIFT (Due Diligence, Caveat Emptor)
... rather than the cost up & output down
arrogance of tax &
'get on with the job of empirical science, you can't pass the buck'
Three essential inseparable behavioural characteristics embedded in Complex Adaptive Systems ... very complex, full of change, conflict & scarcity.
We bet that social cooperative behaviour 2+2=5 will tend to out trump selfish compromise 2-2=0 ... the dice are loaded. Good behaviour is a survival aid.
Will you take the bet?
We won't be around to collect ... by then we will have made a little space for future betterment ... and our future great grandchildren's children and their mates will know a lot more than us about education & compound interest ... for sure!
Grist for the Wager -
jpb 2000 -
Evolutionary Economics explains the unleashing of the process of
technological & institutional innovation involving the generating & testing
of a diversity of ideas which discover & accumulate more survival value for
the costs incurred than competing alternatives.
The evidence suggests that it could be adaptive efficiency that defines economic efficiency.
'A pre-existing inherited variant with a survival advantage in the local environment always increases in population frequency in the gene pool as alternative variants die out. Thus the environment changes feeding back and influences the survival chances of any new variants'
Benjamin Franklin was a beer drinker -
'a man forced against his will
is of the same opinion still'
Jonathan Sumption was a Medieval Historian -
'In a society so riven that the spirit of cooperation
has gone, no Court can save,
in a society where that spirit flourishes, no Court need save'
Winston Churchill on Leberal Democracy -
'not the best system just better than the alternatives'
Complex Adaptive Systems -
complex ... not easy
change ... not luck
conflict ... don't blame others
scarcity ... there's no free lunch
'The Blind Watchmaker'
'it's all a woven web of guesses'
'we are ignorant of what it is we don't know even though we know more than we can ever say'
'natural selection is the only game in town'
'long necked giraffs result from the death of the short necked variety'
'good behaviour, bad behaviour, it's an arms race, but synergies of specialisation & scale load the dice'
'business customers vote with their feet, reducing costs of gluts & queues when paying their bills'
'51% screw 49%, result crowd trouble'
'Mob Rule & Emasculation of the Wise'
'who guards the Guardians'
'I told them what to do but the said they wanted to discuss it'
'The Fatal Conceit'
'Free to Choose without harm to others'
'Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds'
'we only see survivors, including parasites & predators'
'everything affects everything else; there's no place to hide'
'analysis paralysis; more equals less'
'look for the big picture; the helicopter view'
'hard work (blood sweat & tears), honesty (good behaviour) & thrift (investment)'
'cooperation 2+2=5 not compromise 2-2=0'
'don't sprinkle the desert with a teaspoon'
'stick to the knitting'
'mind your own business'
'get on with the job'
'vote with your feet and join a club of your choice'
'caveat emptor, due diligence'
'you can't pass the buck, '
'others maybe up to no good; tying your shoelaces together'
'use your imagination'
'education & compound interest'
'chase profits, cut losses'
'run with exciting opportunities'
'by pass fearful problems'
Interesting words -
adaptation, anthropomorphism, immanence & transcendence, visceral diversity, satisficing, conscience.
Profound difficulties -
2nd Law of Thermodynamics, anthropic principle, emergent novelty, natural selection, moral sentiments, comparative advantage, total factor productivity, blockchains, special & general relativity, general artificial intelligence ...
Historical Evidence -
Whigish Evolution >>>> Panglossian Revolution
Pecking Orders >>>> Violence
English Language, Common Law Custom & Practice >>>> Civil Law Imposition
Trade Synergies of Specialisation & Scale & positive sum 2+2=5 >>>> State Mercantilism & zero sum 2-2=0
Liberal Democracy & UDHR >>>> Bishops, Princes, Generals, Bureaucrats
Empirical Science & Industrial Revolution >>>> Myth, Magic & Mirrors
Commonwealth >>>> Empire
World Wars & Defence >>>> Territory & Aggression
Globalisation >>>> Iron Curtains
Structural Reforms & Emerging Markets >>>> Socialism, Equality & Inflation
Intellectual Property 'know how' diverse, dispersed, incomplete, tacit & DNA >>>> User Manuals & Specifications