Profit maximization is a ‘clean’, strong forcing idea, i.e. one that allows for the abstraction from local context. It binds human actions together in a social structure that proves very hard to disentangle. Communal welfare cannot abstract from life in this way. The internal motivation hinges on local outcomes and thus erodes, leading either to societal collapse or suppression, which represent more primitive forcing ideas, namely following orders and immediate survival.
was originally published on Meandering home