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Know Thy Limits: The Noneconomics of Abundance

Mark Broski


There was indeed a time in human history when the linkage between the objective moral order and subjective values was strong. Indeed the identification of the two was complete. A plenitude of goodness characterized Gods original creation. Like no other creature, man and woman bore the image of God himself. Hence, everything about creation, including the inner life of the human person, moved in harmony. This original abundance made for a world that we can hardly imagine. There was no need for property because nothing valuable was in short supply. Without property, trading would have been pointless. No one would have missed the absence of markets when all prices would have been zero or nonexistent. Moreover, because mans inner life was securely anchored in objective value, we can be sure that both trust and selflessness characterized human relationships, particularly those between men and women. Contracts would have been figments of the imagination and the prisoners dilemma would have been an impossible theorem to explain. Work would havebeen a joy. The acquisition of knowledge would have been as effortless as breathing in fresh air.

Mark Broski, "Know Thy Limits: The Noneconomics of Abundance," Journal of Markets and Morality 4, no. 2 (Fall 2001): 325-333

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