History of Thinking about Resources, Organization, and Value

In this blog, I have shared my exploration of the emergent ecosynomics of experiences people are having that lead to much better outcomes, including greater well-being, abundance, harmony, and vibrancy.  We are at a turning point in realizing that many people are already living sustainably from these emerging principles — I suggest that there are hundreds of thousands of these groups.

In recent posts, I have used the five primary relationships and three levels of perceived reality to highlight the fundamentally different assumptions these emerging groups have about four basic questions all groups ask: (1) how much resource is there?: (2) who decides how to allocate the resources?; (3) based on what criteria?; and (4) how do the different primary relationships interact?

People have explored these four questions for many years.  If you are interested in the evolution of human responses to these four questions, characterized in economic terms, respectively, as factors of production, resource allocation mechanisms, values, and organization, I highly recommend three recently published histories.

  1. Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber (2011 Melvillehouse).  An anthropologic study of what people value, how that value is exchanged, and the systems that support that exchange.  These are the three big questions we explored around value.  Graeber finds that economics has completely ignored most of the data of what people have actually valued and how they exchanged it, using a rich basis in anthropology to support this claim.
  2. Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius by Sylvia Nasar (2011 Simon and Schuster).  Starting almost two centuries ago with Charles Dickens, Nasar paints vivid pictures of the context, process, and insights of influential thoughts leaders who were describing the principles of economics of their time.  This story brings to life what otherwise can be quite dry theory.
  3. The Wealth of Ideas: A History of Economic Thought by Alessandro Roncaglia (2006 Cambridge University Press).  As an economic historian, Roncaglia shows the evolution of the theories of resources, organization, and value since prehistoric times, diving into the specifics of the insights gained at each stage of evolution, as well as some of the incentives that drove those insights.
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2 thoughts on “History of Thinking about Resources, Organization, and Value

  1. Pingback: 4 Questions that Changed the World « Jim Ritchie-Dunham

  2. Pingback: Ecosynomics: The Agreements Guiding Human Interacions (free online course) | Institute for Strategic Clarity

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