Thursday, May 24, 2012
Arnsperger reviews Integral Economics
Christian Arnsperger reviews Integral Economics in the March 2012 issue of the Intergral Leadership Review. The book is by Lessem and Schieffer, which was discussed earlier in the IPS "progressive economics" thread. Arnsperger's work was also discussed therein, as well as a thread specifically devoted to his work. An excerpt of the review:
“What is problematic is that one of the paths – namely, the Western path of private enterprise and finance – has effectively silenced the others and deprived them of a distinctive voice on the global scene.... The widespread claim that 'There Is No Alternative' (TINA) to private-capital driven trade and finance globalization...is based on a stark form of cultural and spiritual reductionism.
"Lessem and Schieffer very interestingly trace this imperialistic worldview to a powerful process of intellectual and spiritual repression within Euro-American economic thought itself....the 'Western' living economy itself, characterized by organic dynamism and the flourishing of personal initiative, has been distorted beyond recognition by mainstream economics’ focus on a very narrow set of assumptions (isolated agents, instrumental rationality, static equilibrium, etc.), agency principles (cognitive minimalism, insatiable wants, inability of agents to criticize the economy they live in, no existential or spiritual self-perception, etc.), and institutional settings (capitalist markets, statist 'top down' public sector, a single all-purpose currency, etc.). So when a Western economist looks at her own intellectual tradition and realizes its impoverishment, she shouldn’t be to surprised by the fact that, having been spread over most of the planet in the form of policies and regulations, this impoverished tradition also causes poverty and inequality worldwide due to capitalism’s inability to distribute incomes well and to the market’s incapacity at taking everyone’s interests into account.”