We need an economy that is more plural, complex and sociable

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I've just finished reading Nature Cure by Richard Mabey. This is a delightful and insightful account of the author's recovery from deep depression which did, along the way, involve his moving to Norfolk and a re-engagement with nature. I recommend it: it's beautifully written.

What did leap out towards the end of the book was this sentence:

The natural long term tendency of any eco-system is to become progressively more plural, complex, sociable.

This opinion does, of course, challenge the idea of some who think survival of the fittest might suggest otherwise. I strongly suspect Mabey is right: the evidence is all around us if only we are willing to look.

But that is not what economics is seeking to do. There is monoculture in our economy: a persistent belief that only the market can deliver and only material reward matters leading to concentration on a singular approach to decision making and so to the form in which society is developing.

We need an economy that is more plural, complex and sociable. It so happens that nature has worked out that this is the basis for sustainability. The economy we have is the opposite of that.