How do we weed out the negative and accentuate the positive forms of growth?
Several problems with this thesis.
The claim “In nature, evolution isn’t smooth; it proceeds through long periods of near-equilibrium interrupted by short bursts of rapid change” – is not true.
What we see in nature is constant change, what varies is the rate of change. What we see is complex systems in action that have been selected by the process of differential survival over eons of time.
What we see is systems limited in their productivity by some factor, usually energy, often nutrients, sometimes water or temperature, or wind or ……
The idea of equilibrium in nature is mostly illusion imposed by the actual limits to growth.
What we see is some systems developing ever more powerful ways of exploring the systemic spaces available in the infinitely dimensional space of all possible systems.
In respect of using trusts, the sort of trust proposed requires coercive power, and traditionally that is the prerogative of the state.
The claim made “With such potent new agents on the playing field, the market itself will do an increasingly good job of harmonizing human activity with nature, maintaining good growth and sharing our abundance broadly.” is false.
The idea that a market can share abundance loses cohesion as the degree of abundance increases.
Universal abundance must, by definition, have a zero price in the market (as air does).
In an age where we have the technical capacity to create universal abundance in an exponentially expanding set of goods and services, retaining markets as a lead valuation mechanism delivers a strong set of incentives against any universal abundance.
Because markets require unmet demand to work, they have meta incentives to maintain poverty for some (often many).
Markets are internally incentivised to prevent the delivery of universal abundance.
Poverty is a structural feature of a market based system.
I say we need to start thinking beyond markets, and exploring other sets of technologies that can perform the many very useful functions that markets performed in our past, without the structural incentives against the delivery of universal abundance.