George Monbiot won the Orwell Prize for commentary or reporting that supposedly comes closest to meeting the ambition of George Orwell, writing about how capitalism is killing the planet. Almost immediately comes my Pavlovian response to this lofty kind of recognition; just because you write about something (often) does not mean you know what you are talking about.
George appears to elevate himself above the crowd of downstream suboptimizations by inferring the need for a new operating system of humanity, upstream. He is not wrong, but his purview is limited not by his writing but by his lack of understanding. The creation of a new system requires the adherence to a theory that drives the effectiveness and expected outcome of the system.
Without a new theory, a new system is like a weather system, a rebel without a cause. We cannot predict the weather accurately because we do not know the cause of weather. Without a proven causal theory, a system, as a consequence of a theory, becomes a rebel without a cause.
The problem is that capitalism, as a system, is not correlated and subjugated to a theory that improves humanity. In Einstein’s words, the theory determines what can be discovered. And without a theory that determines what capitalism aught to discover, capitalism becomes a rebel without a cause. A cause that merely serves the temporal personal interest of the people involved, and thus fails to serve the collective interests of humanity.
We can make capitalism work, when we subjugate the systems of capitalism to the theory of humanity. The only theory that matters to improve human adaptability to the decline of available energy referred to as nature’s entropy. The strength of renewal rather than the length of purported sustainability determines the survival of the human species.
A system that fundamentally improves humanity must be subjugated to a theory of humanity that in turn is subjugated to nature’s first-principles. The perspective of George Monbiot’s journalistic endeavors is a step-up of flatlining prior thinking, but in no way should be deemed the panacea to the problems humanity faces. Journalistically he may deserve the prize, substantially he does not.
We can improve the effectiveness of capitalism when it is -for the first time- subjugated to a theory abiding by nature first-principles. For only when we play nature’s game can we fundamentally improve the effectiveness of humanity dependent on nature.
Thank you, George, for elevating the cure to humanity to the level of systems thinking, one step above unending downstream suboptimizations amounting to nothing. You fired up the first stage of a multistage rocket jetting off into space. But a rocket where only the first stage completes successfully will not succeed in its mission of improving human excellence and longevity.
The winds of upstream change are in my sails, courtesy of the compounding problems we collectively face today. It is only a matter of time when the world turns into my direction. A direction not I stipulate, but nature does.