Thermodynamic Isolation and the New World Order
The general stream of economic thinking is thoroughly a-physical and a-historic. This direction is becoming increasingly absurd as the nexus between the human biomass and its ecological constraints ripens. Economics will eventually have to absorb apodictically that regardless of scientific-technical development and the intensity of entrepreneurial drive, the aggregate, long-run supply of telluric substance-borne free energy is on a path of declining elasticity. To hasten recognition, it would be helpful to consider the Earth an isolated, rather than a closed thermodynamic system. From the perspective of its evolutionary potential, the world is indeed Under the Dome. This paper argues that (a) the emergence of classical capitalism in the 19th century answered the need for global-scale self-organization; (b) this scheme, interrupted by World War I, was replaced after World War II; (c) the implied transformation has been accompanied by a nonarbitrary, causally determined, irreversible socialization of intranational and international economic relations; (d) contemporary civilization is moving toward a new form of self-organization that would recognize limits to demographic-economic expansion. What will it take to go from the current hostile disgust with the dystopia of tightened modes of multilateral governance to people around the world on their knees begging for a planetary guild? It will take nothing less than a mutation in consciousness, as outlined in the oeuvre of Jean Gebser (1905-1973).
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