Evolution, Interior Capital, and the Cosmic Economy
It's analogous to asking what a human being is for. A Darwinian will say, "to pass along his genes to the next generation." Obviously a human being does infinitely more than that, which is precisely why the theory of natural selection falls so short of being an adequate explanation of man. It doesn't mean the theory is false. Only that it is a piece of the puzzle.
No one set out to "create" the "free market" (in the aggregate sense). Rather, it was simply an unintended consequence of freedom -- of people just doing what comes naturally -- in a context of stable law and private property (which are more apparent and objective) and more subtle, subjective factors such as trust, self-discipline, delayed gratification, hope, belief in progress, faith in the reality and reliability of the material world, and a rich moral tradition that values all of these latter terms.
In fact, capitalism has little to do with material resources and everything to do with what I call interior capital. This explains how resource-poor but pneumatically rich nations such as Japan and Israel are such economic powerhouses, while countless resource-rich but pnuematically poor peoples remain mired in poverty (and on micro level, one could say the same of the poorest places in America, all of the economically backward cities that have been run by liberal Democrats for decades). For these evolutionary stragglers have not learned the secrets of how to create wealth.
Two of the most intriguing subtexts of Money, Greed, and God have to do with creation and evolution. One of the most odd and unexpected characteristics of a free market economy -- and one which liberals still struggle to grasp, or at least pander to their crassroots who don't get it -- is the ability to create wealth from subjective factors alone. The second is its ability to evolve, which is not at all dissimilar to the ability of Life as such to transform and evolve in such shocking ways.
Bear in mind that for a radical Darwinist, "evolution" is not the purpose of natural selection. Rather, it is a side effect only of an intrinsically random and meaningless material process.
The same is true of the free market. Left alone, it comes up with novelties far too diverse to ever catalogue, at such a rapid rate that one generation's luxuries become the next generation's needs. This results in the left's continuous redefinition of "poverty," for in their sour worldview, one generation's luxuries are the next generation's entitlements.
The irony is that in so doing, the leftist undermines the only system that could have created these luxurious new needs to begin with. A stagnant socialist economy doesn't innovate, so one doesn't have to worry about its novelties provoking envy in those who cannot yet afford them.
It is a commonplace to note that man's moral development does not keep pace with his scientific development. But is this actually true? As a matter of fact, I have no fear whatsoever of nuclear weapons in the hands of people capable of creating them from scratch, e.g., the Americans or Israelis.
Rather, the nations and peoples we worry about wouldn't have the ability to build a toaster without poaching on the knowledge of the West. Somehow the irony is lost on the Iranian mullahs who, like the rest of us, rely upon "Jewish physics" to assemble their bomb. Muslim physics couldn't produce so much as a suicide belt, let alone telephones, computers, and airplanes.
The free market definitely leads to unintended externalites with which we must cope, both positive and negative ones. No one planned for air pollution, but neither did anyone plan (i.e., without the entire unplanned scientific superstructure) for the means to cope with it.
And yet, the advanced economies that resulted in so much pollution have arrived at the most successful means to minimize it, mainly because we can afford the luxury of worrying about the environment.
But it is equally critical to bear in mind that positive externalities have a hidden cost that can even exceed the negative type, because we embrace them with such unambivalent enthusiasm, meanwhile failing to realize that we are messing with the very nature of man.
Contemporary examples are social media and video games, which seem to have an effect on the very structure of the brain. I see what the latter do to my son, and try to minimize his playing with them, especially at this age, when his brain is still being assembled. (Another example: have birth control pills contributed to the visible increase in wimphood?)
Man lives in the transitional space of the imagination, and to the extent that the imagination is foreclosed in childhood, there may be no getting it back. One is literally exiled into this impoverished country we call "the world," forever chasing after sensation and other phantoms that cannot satisfy.
In an advanced economy, sexual differences take on much less importance. In premodern economies survival is dependent upon a biological division of labor, i.e., farming and child-rearing. And just because a woman can adapt to a modern economy, this doesn't mean she can so readily overcome her womanhood. Likewise, a contemporary man has countless options through which to avoid the developmental burden of manhood. But is this a good thing?
Back to the subject of interior capital. Just as evolution would have gone nowhere in the absence of a "hidden reserve" of genetic potential, the free market would have gone nowhere in the absence of a hidden reserve of psychospiritual potential.
In other words, both natural selection and the free market are mechanisms through which potential is actualized. Conversely, in, say, the old USSR, no one was truly allowed to achieve his full human potential. It was literally against the law -- if not the written then certainly the unwritten law. Indeed, a saint or independent genius would have likely ended up in the Gulag. (Note that left wing PC is just such an unwritten anti-evolutionary law to enforce a static ideological solidarity in the group.)
Likewise, we are told that great leaps in genetic evolution cannot occur in the absence of extrinsic factors such as cladogenesis, i.e., isolation from the group. Otherwise species tend to be static, which is another way of saying that evolution does not occur.
Transposed to human reality, we can see at a glance how isolation from the group -- or what we call individualism -- is the great facilitator of evolution. For only individualism unleashes the full range of human potential and creativity. Bands, tribes, and kinship groups do not innovate or evolve. Rather, there must be something analogous to punctuated equilibrium that accounts for the Great Leaps of mankind.
A committee did not arrive at the theory of relativity, rather, only a solitary genius relatively isolated from the group. To be sure, the group is always necessary -- a point we have always maintained -- but it must be the type of group that not only allows but nurtures and promotes individualism.
Is it possible for individualism to cross a line into narcissism, grandiosity, entitlement, and even sociopathy (i.e., violence toward the group)? Yes, no doubt. Which is one reason why we must always maintain the group/individual complementarity, in contrast to extremist libertarians on the one end and solipsistic and entitled leftists on the other.
Socialist economies are run by committee. Instead of allowing the spontaneous order of the market, they arrive at some pretermined outcome -- say, "universal healthcare" -- and proceed to impose it from on high.
Does it work? No, never, not in the real economic world. For one thing, these systems must parasitize the ceaseless medical innovation that can only occur in a competitive and profit-driven economy. If the entire, worldwide medical system were instantaneously relieved of free market forces, the unintended consequences would be catastrophic -- analogous to unilaterally eliminating our nuclear arsenal. For we would be unilaterally caving in to the arsenal of health disasters awaiting each of us, and which require constant innovation to keep up with.
I'd better stop. Work to do.