We are in a time of transition. The world no longer seems to present vast frontiers of new forests to fell, mineral wealth under our feet to extract, or of new soils to plough. Instead the Earth has become more like a garden which we realise we need to steward carefully to keep it productive.
We also see another transition, from societies where everyone more or less had the basics to massive inequalities where for instance in the UK, one in 200 is homeless.
At least from a European perspective, where the state is seen as the protector of people and resources, and firms are partners in providing what people need, we can see this a massive market failure.
The modern society puts its faith in the market solving societies problems, and in that market, firms will provide for needs.
Part of the explanation for this, I believe, lies in the basic configuration of society that we have come to accept as “normal”:
- The capitalist mode of production: privately or publicly owned formed with employees serving customers.
- A free market regulated lightly by the state.
- A democratic system where firms are given legal body rights including the right to influence democratic decision.
- A monetary system where banks lend money into existence.
In themselves, these building blocks of society on the face of it seem sensible and fair. In practice the combination gives rise to serious failings.
This E-book, produced from earlier writings, attempts to explain how Real Capital – the actual means of production – gets depleted by the current system. Rather the creating a platform for future prosperity the system is removing the very things that coming generations need to provide for themselves.
The hope is that this short text will clarify for policy makers where systemic changes need to be made, and where the changes need to be put in place to drive an industry-led transition to the circular economy.