Is it possible to positively apply Economic principles to Social Capital?

Thank you for the answer to my previous question Prof. You helped me realize I had been momentarily trapped in regressive financial thinking. I was looking for an economically manipulatory solution based on classic liberal capitalist principles. (I wish there was a way to continue the discussion on the previous question without creating a new post) In my view, neoliberal capitalism is based upon selfish self-interest, built uniquely and exclusively to appeal to humanity's worst impulses, geared and engineered to appease, rely upon and enhance our individualistic tendencies to sociopathic levels. The institutions that arise out of this principle are artificially intelligent systems purposefully designed to alienate its human components from the socially predatory consequences of their actions (effectively a psychopathic hive mind), in the relentless pursuit of monopoly, and/or supremacy, oriented by the singular pursuit of maximal accumulation of wealth. I was thinking it could be possible to find an opposite economic principle to appeal to our "better" social nature instead. One that would guide our efforts and deeds for the "greater good", a similar imperative, an economic incentive that would lead people to maximize well-being instead of financial profit. However, as you reminded me, like Smith's delusion was to suppose an emergent well-being from economic self-interest it would also be a delusion to suppose the possibility of a purely economical alternative to achieve social justice. While studying post-anarchism I have recently discovered Pierre Bourdieu's concept of Social Capital (aka Cultural Capital) and this led me to think about the possibility of finding this capitalist antithesis. A spontaneously driving principle of accumulation of social well-being. In some ways Social Capital seems compatible with Aristotelian ethics and could (potentially) drive people towards an "accumulation of virtue" (knowledge and excellence), acting as an incentive to the increase of their Social Capital by conflating (or expanding) their "self-interest" with a better defined and localized sense of "social-interest" (a better defined version of public-interest, possibly). The sociological "holistic" approach, which considers social groups to be greater than the sum of their parts (something Marx proposed, apparently) if applied in conjunction with the study and measurement of the social capital in communities, organizations, and their individuals, could serve as a kind of metric to better assess the value of such collectives according to their particular social goals. The "Social stock" of a school would rise according to its effectiveness in educating students, while the "Social stock" of a hospital would rise according to the effectiveness of treating patients, and so on. Do you think this would be a valid and worthy avenue for measuring success in a free socialist society?

Showing 1 reaction

How would you tag this suggestion?
Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Carlos Cox
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-08-31 15:17:11 -0400