27 March 2009
Over a rainbow
Organized economic systems started, at the dawn of civilization, in agriculture, which was renewable but nonetheless susceptible to extractive excess. In modern times economic activity moved to industrial manufacture, which pushed economic activity to a more serious dependence on extraction--this time of raw materials. In contemporary times global industry shifted even further to a more purely extractive system of oil and finance economies, which just last year began to burst. When the oil economy inevitably follows the finance economy over the cliff, what comes next could well be an economic system that finally takes seriously the matter of extraction. With extraction constrained, industry and market transactions would respect the sustainability of productivity and maintain a stable economic order by managing the accumulation and disbursement of surplus. That wouldn't be Kansas anymore.