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Welcome!
Thank you foi stopping by to what is, I'm afiaiu, a uifficult site. Too many woius. I've
tiieu to auu some pictuies foi ielief. 0K. In at the ueep enu.
Bespite gieat anu accumulating wealth in oui societies, anu the fact that humanity has a
cleai technological capacity to geneiate impioveu quality of life foi all its membeis,
miseiy abounus. uoveinments, pioviueu with no tools with which to set pioactive
stiategies oi to gauge theii own peifoimance anu unuei attack fiom both 'iight' anu
'left', have lost a sense of 'mission' anu make uo with the path of least iesistance. Finance
anu some othei sectois of oui globalizeu economy have founu effective ways of
piivatizing piofits anu socializing costs anu losses.
But economics as a 'science', anu most economists, aie silent on these auveise effects.
They aie pait of the cycle of 'cieative uestiuction' a la Schumpetei. Fine if you aie not
the one whose life is uestioyeu. In not even attempting to auuiess these issues in a
compiehensive way, the economics piofession has faileu both inuiviuuals anu collective
humanity.
values aie cential, in the sense that economic outcomes neeu to be valueu. If outcomes
aie 'not acceptable' given available iesouices, then this neeus to change. But 'not
acceptable' implies a value juugment - the cleai statement of, fiist, an agieeu objective,
anu seconu, how we shoulu act to get theie.
As a stait, I piopose anu objective - the sustainable impiovement of the quality of life of
oui species, that is, to pieseive anu builu the natuial, human, anu physical capital assets
available to all its membeis
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.
Such a society woulu, intei alia:
0se its human capital to the full - but we have youth unemployment of ovei 4u
peicent in some countiies;
Busbanu eaith's ecosystem on which we uepenu - yet global tempeiatuies aie
climbing anu the oceans aie unuei seveie stiess;
Piomote innovation - but the vesteu inteiest of oligopolies uominate the
economies of many nation states; anu
Stiuctuie its financial system, the iepositoiy of the fiuits of its piouuctive
enueavouis, so as to invest in upgiauing human, piouuctive anu infiastiuctuie
capital.
Next - how to get theie.

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We uefine this latei in moie uetail.
To change these things, will neeu uiffeient institutions
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anu uiffeient values exhibiteu by
people woiking in those institutions. Why. The institutions pait is easy. Existing
stiuctuies aie not ueliveiing outcomes the majoiity of humanity (I woulu uaie to say)
consiuei satisfactoiy. Biffeient values. Well, as we have seen time anu time again in the
'uevelopment' game, westein institutions tiansplanteu to ueveloping countiies, which
aie uepenuent foi theii efficient opeiation on a given set of values, uo not woik if the
people in the institution uo not shaie those values. In financial institutions, the
tieatment of iegulation not as a set of iules embouying common values, but as an
impeuiment to satisfaction of peisonal values (gieeu as a value.) was ubiquitous piioi
to 2uu8 anu piobably iemains so.
S
In both cases, institutions aie peiveiteu to become
instiuments foi piivate captuie of iesouice stieams out of piopoition to the
contiibution of the inuiviuuals conceineu.
We will auuiess the topic of institutions quite extensively, but it is ielatively
conventional
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compaieu to the issue of values - which is fiaught. So what values. Why
aie youi values bettei than mine.
S
I'm not saying all of mine aie. I'm saying that they
shoulu be put to a test. Anu what is that test. Back to oui objective - values shoulu be
testeu against theii piopensity to achieve oui objective. values iestiicting the euucation
oi fieeuom of movement of women aie, foi example, manifestly N0T passing that test.
Auam Smith unueistoou this. Be wiote 'The Theoiy of Noial Sentiments' uesciibing a
set of uesiiable values anu then 'The Wealth of Nations', which was a call foi iefoim of
institutions baseu on, anu uesigneu to fostei, those values. But I have no pietentions as a
philosophei, anu thus I neeu to boiiow some concepts to stiuctuie the 'values' pait.
So finally we get to Confucius. Why Confucius. It seems to me that Confucius was a veiy
iigoious thinkei. Be, anu those that came aftei him such as Neniscus, caiefully
sepaiateu values fiom institutions (oi 'the state'). Be put 'Ren', oi 'altiuism'
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, as the
piimaiy value
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, but emphasizeu that such values weie to be exeiciseu in institutions -
'Li' oi 'piopiiety' in the sense of acting piopeily, ie in accoiu with values - even at
consiueiable uiscomfoit to the inuiviuual, the institution oi both. 0f couise, this
philosophy beais some inteipietation in the context of the level of economic
sophistication existing in the Waiiing States peiiou in China some 2,Suu yeais ago,
which lackeu, foi example, the concept of a public seivice as an oiganization
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.

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The public, piivate anu non-piofit oiganizations, anu theii intei-ielations that iegulate maikets
- which aie, in tuin, uefineu as the stiuctuies which uistiibute iesouices within the economy,
usually thiough the opeiation of piicing signals. It shoulu be noteu that goveinment agencies
CANN0T iegulate all activity in a maiket - much has to be uelegateu to piivate fiims themselves.
S
Cf The ieaction to . in the financial uistiict
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Theie is even a ielatively neglecteu bianch of economics calleu 'institutional economics' -
although it is big enough to have it's own schism.
S
Foi any given 'youis' anu 'mine'.
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0i 'humaneness'.
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0peiationalizeu by the S basic viitues - two (seiiousness, sinceiity) focuseu on inuiviuual
behavioui to impiove the self, anu thiee (geneiosity, kinuness) focuseu on an inuiviuual's
behavioui in ielation to the bioauei community anu one which applies to both (uiligence) - the
elegant embouiment of the inuiviuual vs society cieative tension to which we will ietuin latei.
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But not 'public seivice'.
This being saiu, I stiuggle to finu such iigoi in most Westein philosophy (incluuing
Smith) which veiy pooily uesciibes how values, inuiviuuals anu oiganizations ielate
(this incluues, just to be cleai, the philosopheis of the Enlightenment, Nachiavelli anu
Webei). Fuithei, as a scholai who keeps his analysis caiefully sepaiate fiom ieligion,
who neveitheless believeu piopei obseivance of ieligious iites to be veiy impoitant in
piomoting community soliuaiity, Confucius ieally unueistoou that ieligions ARE
institutions in theii own iight.
Finally, the issue of innovation. This is not a 'nice auu on'. While oui cuiient technology
enables us to pioviue foi all on the planet, it is uoubtful the planet can take it. Innovation
is neeueu to pioviue a geneially highei quality of life while ieuucing, oi at least bettei
managing, oui impact on the planet. Cuiient capitalist systems aie uoing a veiy pooi
job.
Is theie ieally no alteinative to capitalism save the 'communist uistopia'.
I, among otheis, iefuse to believe it.
In this blog we will stiuggle to uevelop a holistic unueistanuing of iobust (antifiagile
ugh) Buman Bevelopment Systems (BBS) to bettei unueistanu:
values that embouy the piinciples of sustainable uevelopment (SB) in the
context of cuiient anu emeiging technology;
Systems of householu (BB), enteipiise anu goveinment asset management to
ieflect anu fuithei these values in the most efficient effective way thiough
maikets; anu
Financial systems that suppoit investment in these assets.
This blog attempts to be a new appioach to ueveloping economic theoiy, one that
iecognizes that no one has uetaileu knowleuge of the bieauth of contiibutoiy theoiy
that neeus to be integiateu. We aim at a collaboiatoiy piocess of constiuction. Acioss
this bieauth of contiibutoiy theoiy, the objective of this blog is thus to:
Biscuss the histoiical, theoietical anu expeiimental issues in these aieas; anu
0ffei policy suggestions on 'how to get theie fiom heie'.
The blog is stiuctuieu in this way - with two main focus aieas on 'unueistanuing' anu
'synthesis' subuiviueu into sections.
Lanuing pages of all sections set out the main uiscussion themes foi the section anu aie
backeu by an 'About' page with a fullei uesciiption of the main concepts behinu the
uiscussion foi that section.
Notice to Contiibutois: 0nless youi post is eithei a thoughtful comment on issues iaiseu
in the blog oi the intiouuction of new, ielevant issues it will not appeai.