As someone interested in biology, economics has always been my secondary muse.
I had always believed that economics was nothing more than indirect expression of rules of biology, so economics, for me had been a subservient phenomenon with no real existence of its own. But lately I have started feeling that economics is trying to decouple from the engine of biology, and hence the time has come for us to think things through before we allow economics a life of its own.
If we look at biological phenomenon of “ecology” that biological rules always end up building where there is some kind of closed environment, it is actually nothing but an economy that uses a different form of currency.
An ecology has various stakeholders involved in energy-transactions. If environmental conditions remain static, an ecology will stabilise with each life form finding a niche, and if some upheaval (like climate change) changes the environment, an ecology will destabilise only to evolve new life forms that work in the new order.
A human economy has been nothing more than an expression of the same transaction-based phenomenon that we have lately disturbed by allowing hoarding of wealth (that biology didn’t permit) as it has led to humans extracting far more energy they need from the biological systems around them. This has led to the kind of environmental crisis that we see unfolding around us and it is good that we are at least recognising it now.
But, as I look around today, economic concept of ownership is not the only crisis that looks threatening, as we have another monster rising its ugly head, and that is called marketing.
Traditional economics has been always about the supply and demand dynamics. More supply and less demand will mean dropping of price and vice versa.
The foundation of this phenomena has been the biological fact that human body constantly needs input of certain items to stay alive. So, the concept of demand was based on something very real and tangible that humans can’t do without.
The concept of “business” had started with the game of playing with the demand and supply. If one can control the supply, one can control the price, and this always works because there are certain essential items that humans can do without. But, as time passed, smart businessmen realised that the demand was a brain-driven concept that can be controlled using completely different tools.
Demand can be created by making people want things that are not really essential.
If we look at the modern world and the economics that is driving it, it is clear that essential items are no longer at the helm of affairs. Human world is now circling around gratification and hence it is the non-essential items that rule the roost.
As humanity continue to play with the fire of gratification, we are now heading for a brand new economy that is not driven by market forces but by marketing forces.
Unfortunately for humans, we have now discovered tools of global connectivity and hence a new social order is emerging that is redefining demand in the most absurd way. As humans can be reached through new communication mediums, the race is on to make them want completely unnecessary things ranging from a million rupee purse to videos of human coitus.
As new business idea today is very often about finding out a brand new unnecessary item that can be sold to humans, it is clear that the conventional economics is not going to help us predict the behaviour of world markets and hence a brand new economics is required to understand how we will be making ourselves go extinct soon.
If we get brave enough to accept that the idea of freedom that humans are harbouring can’t be had at the scale that we desire and we do need some order to survive as a cohesively functioning species that is not keen to self-destruct, time has come to rediscover a tool that we have discarded thinking that it is restrictive to our growth.
We need to reinvent morals that we once had.
These morals every born from biology that still rules this planet and if we want to survive, we should let it rule till we are prepared to replace it completely.
We once were animals that formed societies where greed existed but it was looked down upon. Gratification of senses also existed but its excess was always frowned upon.
Moral values that look restrictive to modern humans existed because biology knows that happens when these forces are unleashed.
At this point humanity is now like a drug addict that needs newer and newer fixes to feel good and hence marketing forces have taken over the world economy.
We need to start the painful process of de-addiction if we don’t want to get reduced to gratification zombies walking towards self-destruction.
The way forward requires new thinkers and new economics that can help us help ourselves before it is too late.