One of the slippery aspects about economics as a whole, is that for a discipline that holds as much power in human life as universal laws do for nature, economics is neither a science nor a philosophy. Mostly, it is a governing practice of human activity that is guided and moved as much by human behavior as by weather patterns and environmental conditions. In the history of our species, who would’ve thought that the gravity of market forces would command the functions of heaven and earth as anyone in the pantheon of our collective gods, and that market forces had the power to save or destroy our planet and all whom we share it with.
Having said that, I do want to say that there are a lot of economic models out there. And while the cult of the “free-market” may have the most adherents, there are other economic partnerships and policies that have traction. Some, like the BRICS partnership may have more equity, some like MERCOSUR and ASEAN may strive to be more regionally efficient, some like the SEEA could be more ambitious, some like ALBA may just be necessary, others like the GPI might strive for grander ideals, and some like Alternative Well-Being Indicators are based on principles that may be culturally more specific to one region than another, but what they all have in common is that they are all positioning themselves to engage in how to measure and regulate market forces.
One has to think of market forces as a juggernaut that keeps moving forward, never in reverse. What economic policy does is lay out the track to keep this force moving in a direction that is most in play with the gravity of the market.
We may be living in a time when corruption, arrogance and sheer greed has lost control over market forces. Now, there are competing policies trying to open alternative pathways, and Wall St, in their hubris, is trying to control this by legislating laws benefitting corporate rights, creating bully-power trade partnerships, and militarizing shipping routes as if they own or created the market forces that were there long before the first corner stone was laid. What seems to have become apparent to almost everyone else, is that market forces are moving in a different direction from where Wall St. wants to take it. This is the problem. The hubris and sense of entitlement of Wall St executives also have WMDs in their back pocket and they see losing the market to alternative systems as a national security threat.
Even the smallest among us are held in the gravity of 21st century globalization and the market forces that we think we know or understand should not be dismissed because we are small. We are all the market force and we are as vast as the ocean. If we can come to use our size to provide for a stronger regulatory framework that accounts for health and biodiversity before profits, we may yet restore sanity to our planet.