Wooden cube with word

Charles Hugh Smith writes:

(The market and the government will continue to promote and support a neofeudal status quo until they are forced by society to restore the common good and opportunity.)

Of the three primary dynamics of human endeavor–the market, government and society–we focus almost exclusively on the first two. Society is rarely considered as a force of its own. It is implicitly viewed as reactive to the market economy and government, the churning wake left as the market and government chart the course.

In other words, society is secondary to the economy and governance, the venue of fashions, trends, entertainment, culture wars, etc., fodder for media and social media, a reflection of what’s happening in the market and government.

As I explain in my book Global Crisis, National Renewal, this is a misunderstanding of society’s role as a force that changes the economy and governance in profound ways.

We give social transformation short shrift because it’s not easy to study or understand. Social change is amorphous and doesn’t lend itself to quantification like the market or the legal structures of government policy. We end up relying on snapshots such as opinion polls that are inherently limited in scope and accuracy. Respondents tend to give answers they they believe are expected or reflect their views of the moment. Other data is collected from groups that are self-selecting.

Despite these limitations, it’s clear that American society is unraveling and undergoing profound changes that will eventually upend markets and governance. We will come to realize society is transforming markets and governance, not the other way around.

Charts of the stock market and economy in the 1960s do not reflect the social changes in values that made the 1960s so tumultuous and consequential. Three social movements–civil rights, the environment and women’s rights–all changed the economy and governance in the 1970s, unleashing forces that continue to shape our economy and government to this day…

The full post can be read here.