The Economic Superorganism: Review and criticism. Close but no Cigar.


The Economic Superorganism: Beyond the Competing Narratives on Energy, Growth, and PolicyThe Economic Superorganism: Beyond the Competing Narratives on Energy, Growth, and Policy by Carey W. King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Charles A. S. Hall’s Cover blurb for the Carey w King Tomb is I think a fair reaction to what is a long and complex book. The author himself says that the lengthy quotes ( for context) and juxtaposition of opposing narratives are overly long
As a choice for the material, I question the wisdom of the choice but congratulate the effort, the net result if one is being generous, works and is fittingly described in the blurb by a giant in the field of Energy-Based economics( Political Economy)Prof. Charles Hall.
Marx via Schumpeter makes an appearance late in the book, which saves some face on the shortcomings in monetary theory, and the influence on the Author’s thinking of Prof Steve Keen’s own flavour of heterodox Economics shows, also in reflecting Keen’s own limitations. The Authors dislike of Matt Riddley shines through and gives a tell to the Authors own inclinations, an admitted likely failing in his own introduction (“I discuss many matters as objectively as I can, but I don’t claim that either, or anyone can be perfectly objective. “) Well said.
The Chapters on Debt and Finance are fine as far as they go and the Schumpeter quotes save the whole piece to my own tastes for a better grasp of Shumpeters insights into the money as credit context see Werner, much of the polemic even allowing for putting both sides is hackneyed retreaded phony “enfant terriblism” of the Leather jacket like Yannis’ variety.
Getting the niceties out of the way the Lacunae is the old apples and Oranges problem encountered at the SEEDS Surplus Energy Blog of Dr. Tim Morgan, Dangerous Exponentials, and The Perfect Storm.
In Short, the book is an exercise in knocking down mutually opposed straw men arguments, much of the argumentation I take no issue with whatsoever but the Ultimate apologetics for the discredited Climate Scientism and advocacy for Carbon indulgences ( SPASH #WrongKindofGreen Brave New World of Carbon Trading ) coupled with a failure to consider International Finance and PetroDollar hegemony which is an effect that the Authors own “Swing producer” price stability arguments for Texas in 1935, and in which we find ourselves living again in a deflationary age of a Quasi Petro/Carbon Gold Standard.
QED.

View all my reviews

https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/careyking/publications/
https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-50295-9
The Economic Superorganism: Beyond the Competing Narratives on Energy, Growth, and Policy
More information: https://www.amazon.com/dp/3030502945/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_C8TX7Q6D3TV4HTJ43F6T
https://www.jsg.utexas.edu/careyking/publications/

This Cover blurb for the Carey w King Tomb is I think a fair reaction to what is a long and complex book. The Author himself says that the legnthy quotes ( for context) and juxtaposition of opposing narratives are overly long
As a choice for the material, I question the wisdom of the choice but congratulate the effort, the net result if one is being generous, works and is fittingly described in the blurb by a giant in the field of Energy-Based economics( Political Economy)Prof. Charles Hall.
Marx via Schumpeter makes an appearance late in the book, which saves some face on the shortcomings in monetary theory, and the influence on the Author’s thinking of Prof Steve Keen’s own flavour of heterodox Economics shows, also in reflecting Keen’s own limitations. The Authors dislike of Matt Riddley shines through and gives a tell to the Authors own inclinations, an admitted likely failing in his own introduction (“I discuss many matters as objectively as I can, but I don’t claim that either, or anyone can be perfectly objective. “) Well said.

The Chapters on Debt and Finance are fine as far as they go and the Schumpeter quotes save the whole piece to my own tastes for a better grasp of Shumpeters insights in a money as credit context see werner , much of the polemic even allowing for putting both sides is hackneyed retreaded phony “enfant terriblism” of the Leather jacket like Yannis’ variety.
That said I definitely echo Professor Halls encouraging words as follow.

We live in a time of increasing fracture and divisiveness. Younger people today probably
never lived at a time when the main means of resolving political, social, economic or other
issues was discussion, the marshalling and considering of facts used in support of various
positions, consensus, with a certain deference to science as a means of sifting through
different positions, interpretations or prejudices. Increasingly this is no longer the case.
The positions, often with no connection to principles, are well understood from the political
position of one party, one element of society or even one person. It seems anachronistic
to read of past students in college engaging in debate clubs, and even (long ago) being
forced to take courses in elocution (meaning, basically, making your argument). But today’s
arguments, or at least one’s position, often seems to be decided before the start and is often
decided by whomever has the most political power. Often science is used by one side or
another to justify whatever position is maintained. That is not the proper role of science,
which is, or should be according to most of the gatekeepers of scientific process, to test
hypotheses, not to defend a predetermined position.
This is a book about disagreements, mostly relating to energy and its role in economies,
where disagreements are rife. As such it is a refreshing perspective within a branch of
science I am particularly familiar with. It is a wealth of good basic information and insights
about energy and its role in society. Each chapter tends to explore a major issue where
different points of view, which King calls different narratives, exist. The range is quite
large, both in terms of importance (climate change), scale (global to local coal burning) and
relation to different philosophical groups (economic growth vs environmental protection).
It contains many perspectives that readers will find rather shocking (renewable energy
sometimes uses more non-renewable resources than fossil fuels; conventional economics
often leaves out critical economic information such as debt).
Perhaps most importantly, the book contrasts the difference between the physical
laws of nature (which appear immutable) and the laws of humans, which may or may
not be consistent with the laws of nature, setting up the most important difference, or
incompatibility, of the book. This sets up one of the few conclusions in the book “not only
can we use both social rules and physical laws to assess the constraints and possibilities for
future energy and economic scenarios, we absolutely must”.
King does not decide between the possible positions for the reader, but lets the reader
decide. By giving all sides a chance to air their arguments it is a useful exercise in what
young people training to enter science find later in their lives. It also demonstrates how
some arguments are won or lost by changing the subject, rather than via better science or
better quantitative analysis, I thought (probably naively) would be the case.

—Charles A. S. Hall, Professor Emeritus, SUNY College of Environmental Science and
Forestry

Getting the niceties out of the way the Lacunae is the old apples and Oranges problem encountered at the SEEDS Surplus Energy Blog of Dr Tim Morgan, Dangerous Exponentials and The Perfect Storm.

This Blog.

It Don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that Swing . Tides of the Petrodollar Moon.

This is the key misunderstanding, the whole basis of this analysis should look at Net Energy Surplus over cost of energy extraction, then in a real sense the Sentance , “We should be carefully looking at where we are investing our Energy ( qua, Energy )”, would have money taking the Debt based monetary unit as a referent renders the statement meaningless a per pro-energy capital allocation decisions.

Redefining Fiscal Conservatism. The Terra/Energy Based Fiscal Unit. Föres and Lagom White Paper, Boundary Conditions for a Fiscal Conservatism based upon Circular Economics. PART ONE Scope.

Price A piece of information, or metric, often attributed with magical or potentially sinister influence. On the magical attribute of price, there are market prices. A textbook market price, say of an energy commodity, is supposed to simultaneously include all influential information on supply from multiple producers and demand from multiple consumers. In the real world a market price neglects many external costs related to common goods such as the environment, sharing of information among all actors, disproportionate influence of actors (e.g., due to size), and other facets that are necessary for a textbook free market to exist. Even though all of the conditions for a perfect market never exist, existing markets work very well for many purposes. On the neutral-to-sinister attribute of price, monopolies or cartels can set restrictions on the flow of commodities and specify prices to achieve various goals including the balance of supply and demand, the maximization of profit, geopolitical influence, and the elimination of competitors. The U.S. has been no stranger to these practices, with oil trade front and center. Oil extraction from the early 1930s East Texas oil boom was so prolific that the 1933 National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) specified state-level oil extraction quotas. After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the NIRA, Texas senator Thomas Connally sponsored the Connally Hot Oil Act that became law in 1935.

( See the Authors 2010 paper).

This point should be considered in the light of the Us Secretary to the treasuries famous line when he famously told a group of European finance ministers worried about the export of American inflation that the dollar “is our currency, but your problem.”
https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/our-currency-your-problem-the-us-has-made-a-weapon-of-the-dollar-20180907-p502d7.html

https://www.chathamhouse.org/2021/09/policymakers-can-learn-nixons-dollar-shock

I think the Author Should spend some time with Prof. Richard Werner’s Princes of the Yen and Disaggregated Theory of Credit, and move on to considering the Work of Wes Freeberg on “The Big Apple Plan”

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eTGnMtCd-KyKdj3n8qcP2Rzq3BQ7qL8G/view?usp=sharing

p.57 Tragedy And Hope.
The Key International Banking Families
The names of some of these banking families are familiar to all of us and should he more so. They include Raring, Lazard, Erlanger, Warburg, Schroder, Seligman, the Speyers, Mirabaud, Mallet, Fould, and above all Rothschild and Morgan. Even after these banking families became fully involved in domestic industry by the emergence of
financial capitalism, they remained different from ordinary bankers in distinctive ways:
1. they were cosmopolitan and international;
2. they were close to governments and were particularly concerned with questions of government debts, including foreign government debts, even in areas which seemed, at first glance, poor risks, like Egypt,
Persia, Ottoman Turkey, Imperial China, and Latin America;
(3) their interests were
almost exclusively in bonds and very rarely in goods, since they admired “liquidity” and
regarded commitments in commodities or even real estate as the first step toward
bankruptcy;
(4) they were, accordingly, fanatical devotees of deflation (which they called
“sound” money from its close associations with high interest rates and a high value of
money) and of the gold standard, which, in their eyes, symbolized and ensured these
values; and
(5) they were almost equally devoted to secrecy and the secret use of
financial influence in political life. These bankers came to be called “international
bankers” and, more particularly, were known as “merchant bankers” in England, “private
bankers” in France, and “investment bankers” in the United States. In all countries they
carried on various kinds of banking and exchange activities, but everywhere they were
sharply distinguishable.

Money Power Is More Concerned With Money Than Goods
The obsession of the Money Power with deflation was partly a result of their concern
with money rather than with goods, but was also founded on other factors, one of which
was paradoxical. The paradox arose from the fact that the basic economic conditions of
the nineteenth century were deflationary, with a money system based on gold and an
industrial system pouring out increasing supplies of goods, but in spite of falling prices
(with its increasing value of money) the interest rate tended to fall rather than to rise. This
occurred because the relative limiting of the supply of money in business was not
reflected in the world of finance where excess profits of finance made excess funds
available for lending.

The PetroDollar Standard, with Saudi oil production being a swing producer to facilitate inflation of the currency. In January 2005, Saudi Arabia increased its operating rig count by 144%, to increase oil production by only 6.5%. This suggests that the market swing producer (as Saudi Arabia was seen) was not able to increase production enough to meet increasing demand.
Plateau Oil. A variation on the idea of peak oil. AT Plateaux production no swing capacity in Oil Supply is similar to demonetizing Silver giving a defacto PetroDollar Standard which is inherently deflationary.

QED,

Welcome to the new Oil Shock.

In Short, the book is an exercise in knocking down mutually opposed straw men arguments, much of the argumentation I take no issue with whatsoever but the Ultimate apologetics for the discredited Climate Scientism and advocacy for Carbon indulgences ( SPASH ) coupled with a failure to consider International Finance and PetroDollar hegemony which is an effect with the Authors own Swing producer arguments show we live in the age of a Quasi Gold Standard.
QED.

Meet The Fuggers, Brexit, The Euro and Clueless Elites.


https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1057521914001070

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