Bioeconomics: The Hidden Megascience – Resilience


Bioeconomics: The Hidden Megascience – Resilience

Bioeconomics: The Hidden Megascience

By Andreas Weber, originally published by Shareable

  • July 19, 2013

NOTE: Images in this archived article have been removed.

In this section I want to explore on a more specific level why we living beings have mostly forgotten or marginalized the notion of life. To do this, I wish to draw attention to the astonishing interconnections and mutual support between the two guiding metaphysics of our culture. These are (Neo-)Darwinism, with its big idea of biological optimization, in which functional adaptations supposedly create biodiversity, and (Neo-)Liberalism, with its concept of economic efficiency, supposedly creating wealth and equal distribution.

For more than 150 years, both assumptions have become intertwined streams of one coherent pattern of thought that forms the basic matrix of our official understanding of reality. The premises of neo-Darwinism and neoliberalism constitute the tacit, taken-for-granted understanding of “how the world works”. Inside its deep and compact logical structure, the two currents of biological and economic optimization theory are so mutually reinforcing and normative that respectable thoughts considers them beyond question.1

It is not by chance that “eco-nomy” and “eco-logy” are nearly identical terms. Both build on the metaphor of housekeeping and the provisioning of existential goods and services (the Greek word “oikos” means “house”, “householding” or “family”). Both concepts have a particular and related manner of treating the organisation of this existential supply. Both start from the idea that keeping a house – or making a living, for that matter – is a theater of competition and contest whose object is an ever-more-optimal efficiency. In the neoDarwinian, neoliberal narrative, the household is not, however, a place where feeling agents pursue their individual good. The householding process is strangely conceived of as completely subject-less. Its logic does not need to take account of the actual presence of agents. Indeed, it does not need to take life into account at all.

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Bioeconomics: The Hidden Megascience – Resilience