Capitalism and the Copernican Revolution

Social sciences, the ways of understanding that get created are ways of understanding ourselves. And they have an enormous influence on how we think, what we aspire to, and how we act. But with ideas - false ideas about human beings will not go away if people believe that they're true. Because if people believe that they're true, they create ways of living and institutions that are consistent with these very false ideas.



Snapshot Summary


he dismal "science", economics, was born. We've made the Profit Motive the center of the economic universe. Is the equivalent of claiming the earth was the center of the universe.


It's time we reinvent the Capitalism; make Purpose the center of the Economic landscape, and profit revolves around it. This would fundamentally shift economic theory.


Here's The Problem


Physical science doesn't care about your theories. It will continue to operate exactly as designed. But unlike physical science, social science will act


In addition to creating things, science creates ideas. Science creates ways of understanding. And in the social sciences, the ways of understanding that get created are ways of understanding ourselves. And they have an enormous influence on how we think, what we aspire to, and how we act. This is the role ideas play in shaping us as human beings, and this is why ideas may be the most profoundly important technology that science gives us.


There's something special about idea technology that makes it different from the technology of things. With things, if the technology sucks, it just vanishes. But with ideas - false ideas about human beings will not go away if people believe that they're true. Because if people believe that they're true, they create ways of living and institutions that are consistent with these very false ideas.


The Industrial Revolution


The industrial revolution created a factory system in which there was really nothing you could get out of a day's work except for pay at the end of the day. Because the father of the Industrial Revolution, was convinced that human beings were by their very nature lazy, and wouldn't do anything unless you made it worth their while, and the way you make it worth their while was by incentivizing them with rewards. The only reason anyone ever did anything. So we created a factory system consistent with that false view of human nature. But once that system of production was in place, there was no other way for people to operate, except in a way that was consistent with Adam Smith's vision. So the work example is merely an example of how false ideas can create a circumstance that ends up making them true.


The Profit Motive.


The Copernican Revolution


For centuries, the prevailing view of the scientific community was that the earth was center of the universe, a stationary point around which the sun, planets, and cosmos moved. This was based on second-century theory, and normal science modeled the tracks of celestial bodies around an immovable earth. But by the mid-sixteenth century, our ability to track the movements of the starts had advanced to such an extent that cracks in this model were beginning to show. Planets and stars seemed to move in ways that didn't fit the paradigm.


In 1543, astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus published De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), in which he proposed a new cosmology, with the sun at the center and the earth as just one of the planets revolving around it. Needless to say, Nick wasn't winning any popularity contests. He was largely dismissed, in part because the math didn't quite work. He had the right idea, but the wrong data. He attempted to use the tools of normal science, to map out the movements of the planets around the sun. Try as he might, he failed to increase the accuracy of his predictions using his new paradigm.


It wasn't until Galileo Galilei articulated a new theory of objects in motion, a half century or so later, that the revolution really took hold. He compensated for the gaps in Nick's ideas and he was also condemned as a heretic, the seventeenth century equivalent to cancel culture. But when Jo Kepler and Isaac Newton built on his work, they sealed the deal, established a new paradigm, and affirmed new laws of planetary motion.


It wasn't too long ago that the majority of people believed the world was flat. This perceived truth impacted behavior. During this period of time, there was very little exploration. People feared that if they traveled too far they might fall off the edge of the earth. So for the most part, they stayed put. It wasn't until that minor detail was revealed - the world is round - that behaviors changed on a massive scale.