What is new about Bioeconomics?

I am conscious of being an individual struggling against the tide. Boltzman

Bioeconomics is endowed with the following properties:

  • Scientific:

    • Holistic vs. Reductionist

    • Synthetic vs. Analytic

    • Interdisciplinary vs. Unidisciplinary

    • Interactional vs.Relational

      • the socioeconomic system is not a simple system; it iscomplex and poly- systemic. Neither is it a linear system; it isnon-linear and as such cannot be reduced to its parts and studied according to reductionist methodology; if so it would lose its emergent properties.

    • Emergent Science

      • Integrating the discrete elements/processes of biology (biological resources, conservation, regeneration, etc) with those of socioeconomy (production, consumption, supply, demand, etc.). This would help to develop new theoretical-empirical investigative methods to study interactions between biological and socioeconomic systems and to resolve theemergent problems.
        The other economy-environment disciplines have failed because with their neoclassical foundation they have depended on the "Invisible Hand" but of course with no success: why? Because there is no invisible hand, it just does not exist.

    • Postmodern:

      • Bioeconomics is postmodern in the sense that it incorporates such considerations as value, quality, ethics and inclusion ofall stakeholders for the solution of emergent problems.

      • Bioeconomics is postmodern science because the objective facts of science have to be complemented with traditional values and cultural beliefs. For more details on this sectionplease refer to my article in the Special Issue of Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics.

      • We are faced with a new hermeneutics of reality; one which is based on complexity, uncertainty, insecurity, globalisation of human enterprise, interdependence andinteractivity. To be able to explain these concepts and their interactions we need a holistic science with an interdisciplinary methodology.

  • Economic:

    • Changing Production for conspicuous consumption to production forbasic necessities.

    • Work as natural necessity translated to employment to acquire resources for living: work is not only employment; it encompasses a lot more (housework; looking after the elders and ailing etc.)

    • Bioeconomic development in contrast to sustainable economic development has as its mantra economic equality and social equity viaexternalisation of profits but internalisation of costs; enforcingPPP (Prevention Pays Principle) vs. Pollution Pays Principle and pollution costs at point of origin ( exported now).

    • Decision to utilize biological resources should depend on three factors:
      1- economical: what quantity should be used? At what price? And also the political circumstances (cartels).
      2- biological: abundance / scarcity of these resources.
      3- social: what use should they have? For the good of the society or just for the benefit of a minority? 
      These factors are inseparable and are really interrelated andinteractive and therefore should be treated as bioeconomic
      Bioeconomics is against the minimalist approach of the cat and mouth economic policy of a few social /environmental / ethical measures enacted once in a while to keep the populace happy. It advocates going beyond this minimalist approach before social remedies and environmental degradation are beyond control.

  • Social
    Moving from competition to cooperation; solidarity; reciprocity; fraternity; peace and harmony.
    Solidarity, fraternity and reciprocity as ethical values are justified due to therealities of the contemporary world and Bioeconomics has them incorporated in its principles as instruments for practising voluntary work.
    These Bioeconomic values are part of the culture of responsibility and
    tolerance respecting cultural diversity and human dignity.

  • Cultural:
    from having to sharing and away from methodological individualism. Bioeconomics introduces some novel ideas in the economic process such as the Affective Non-economic components.

  • Academic:
    from unidisciplinarity to interdisciplinarity, which is against deductive logic (linear argument) and is for dialectical logic, that is binocular vision enabling us to evaluate problems in toto where the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
    To have an interdisciplinary vision is to create the Art of Communicationenabling us to have an intercultural, interacademic and interscientific attitude.
    This requires the use of a meta-language or a “perfect language” in the words of Umberto Eco.

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