28 Economic system

Three fundamental resources drive our economic system: private property (capital), private labour, and the public environment. Over the last three centuries, each has been emphasised, in turn. Since the 18th century the public environment has been taken for granted: assumed implicitly to be valueless because it had no price. Under capitalism and labourism, the owners of capital and the owners of labour jostled for shares of the net product attributable to the environment.

Under capitalism, private property owners claimed the net product for themselves. Under labourism, the working class claimed a substantial share of the net product. Labourism also generated a mass market for the goods and services that the capitalists wished to sell for profit.

Under environmentalism, the public owners of the environment claim the entire net product, rather than allowing it to be appropriated by capitalists and/or wage workers. Capitalists and workers are only able to lay claims to income arising from the contributions of their property or their labour.

Keith Rankin; http://keithrankin.co.nz/kra00PacificWorld4.html

Material and spiritual values determine our place in nature expressed as landscapes and biological niches by five cultural features of human economic socialisation:
  • consumerism;
  • biodiversity;
  • household economies;
  • market economies;
  • and land use.