People, not markets, drive sustainability

The world faces increasingly urgent, entwined, ecological, social and economic problems. Most people would agree that at least the following five human qualities are essential for solving these problems: high intelligence (e.g. the ability to reason logically), the capacity to plan ahead (e.g. to design policies that will shape a desirable future), the ability to cooperate in the achievement of common goals, the ability to make moral judgements and the capacity for compassion and empathy.

Which of the following is better able to exercise these abilities in the interests of society:

  1. well-educated, socially-committed human beings, or
  2. global markets as currently organized?

I vote for ‘well-educated, socially-committed human beings.’ Humans are uniquely capable of high intelligence and foresight and have the other key qualities as well. So: Why have Canada and other nations instead staked the future on the simplistic mechanics of economic models? Why have humans allowed the mindless marketplace to become the basis of economic policy and wellspring of social values? Continue reading People, not markets, drive sustainability