Feb 6, 2010

2 Comments on Polanyi's Great Transformation

1. CAS: Society, social organization, laws, ethics, etc. are all either economic foundation or superstructure (at least that what I have learned, unlearned and relearned again.) Therefore, they are all CAS (complex adaptive systems) fighting for their own survival. A democratic government just has to cling to its power and legitimacy the same way as a monarch or autocrat does. It is a stochastic process (history, transformation and evolution) in a game setting and whichever survives and all its beneficiaries would obtain the advantage of “might is right” status. In such sense, economic systems are not superior to the other social CAS because it is just one of them and is composed of the other CASes even though it could be considered as a leading indicator because it is much closer to the basic human need of survival and propagation. No CAS is going to dissolve or become extinct without putting up a fight. No mercy or fairness either here.
2. Commoditization: Everything that has some utility (in broad sense) has the potential to become goods in the market. Corruption, power politics, social status, college entrance exam scores and even an opinion expressed in this blog could be commoditized as long as there is demand for that. Again, this is a game of economic agents (another name for the CAS) and we cannot and should not single out some of that as purer than the other goods traded.

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