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The Darwin Economy: The frightening mind of the technocrat

The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

In “Delving into the mind of the technocrat” (Spiked, February 2012), Daniel Ben-Ami tells us,

Robert H Frank’s The Darwin Economy tells us little useful about the economy, but it does provide a frightening glimpse into the democracy-averse mindset of our rulers.

But it is not enough just to dislike Frank’s conclusions. There are several substantial flaws in his premises.

At the most fundamental level, it is wrong to compare humans with other animals. People are not elks. They have the unique capacity to interact with each other and consciously change their environment. Humans are not constrained by their evolutionary heritage in the same way as mere animals. We can find creative solutions to the challenges we confront.

Frank’s conflation of human and animal behaviour leads directly to his implicit denigration of politics. The political sphere provides humans with the space to discuss and resolve conflicts over resources and priorities. It enables us to make collective decisions about how best to benefit society as a whole. Frank’s alternative is the imposition of technocratic measures from above. He frequently condemns those with any kind of political conviction as ‘ideologues’.

There are also problems with a framework that evades debates about moral principles. …

But, to the Darwinist, the mind itself is an illusion. Great rhetoric is no different from the bellowing of angry elks.

Actually, it’s either Darwin or democracy.

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