Standard Doctrine "... standard doctrine
holds that one should always pay the lowest possible wages and taxes, charge
the highest possible prices and rents, and never give anything away unless
the gift confers some hidden possibly over compensatory personal benefit."
Conventional Economic Theory
The Belief System of the Free Market.
Excerpt from David Korten's book: When Corporations Rule
the World, 1995, Kumarian Press/Berrett Koehler
- Sustained economic growth as measured by gross national product,
is the path to human progress.
- Free markets, unrestrained by government, generally result
in the most efficient and socially optimal allocation of resources.
- Economic globalization, achieved by removing barriers to
the free flow of goods and money anywhere in the world, spurs competition,
increases economic efficiency, creates jobs, lowers consumer prices, increases
consumer choice, increases economic growth, and is generally beneficial
to almost everyone.
- Privatization, which moves functions and assets from governments
to the private sector, improves efficiency.
- The primary responsibility of government is to provide the infrastructure
necessary to advance commerce and enforce the rule of law with respect to property rights and contracts.
These beliefs are based on a number of explicit underlying assumptions embedded
in the theories of classical economics:
- Humans are motivated by self-interest, which is expressed primarily
through the quest for financial gain.
- The action that yields the greatest financial return to the individual
or firm is the one that is most beneficial to society.
- Competitive behaviour is more rational for the individual and the
firm than cooperative behaviour; consequently, societies should be built
around the competitive motive.
- Human progress is best measured by increases in the value of what
the members of society consume, and ever higher levels of consumer spending
advance the well-being of society by stimulating greater economic output.
To put it in harsher language, these ideological doctrines assume that:
- People are by nature motivated primarily by greed.
- The drive to acquire is the highest expression of what it means
to be human.
- The relentless pursuit of greed and acquisition leads to socially
- It is in the best interest of human societies to encourage, honour
and reward the above values.
David Korten Directs the People Centered Development Forum.