By Jonathan Gershuny
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Additional info for After Industrial Society?: The Emerging Self-service Economy
That means we don't have any captains of industry or omnipotent financiers. Better still, we have no omnipotent politicians or bureaucrats. Pala's a federation of self-governing uni ts, professional uni ts, economic uni ts - so there's plenty of scope for small-scale initiative and democratic leaders, but no place for any kind of dicta tor at the head of a cen tralised governmen t. (p. 152) And residual differences between people do not give rise to resentment; the islanders realise that all social functions are equally necessary, and those that perform them are hence equally deserving of respect.
But Pala's main activities smack somewhat of English arts and crafts. Though some middle-class A BUDDHIST ECONOMICS? 49 individuals (in fact, precisely our liberal theorists) may certainly be happy to exist on bread and Sophocles, can we assurne that all members of a society may be satisfied this way? This provides us with a serious worry: can we do without work, or, rather, can we transform the nature of work in developed societies? Consider the all-too-credible description ofthe unemployed men in the bar in Player Piano Piano-or, - or, for that matter, the agreement across all political groups that our present high level of unemployment is unacceptable.
The Subordination of the Firm The private corporation bases its behaviour on its economic best interests. These are not necessarily profit maximisation, but they will certainly have something to do with the flow of funds into and out of the firm. There is, however, nothing to connect these flows of funds with the external costs of the firm's operations, and as the scope of government actions widens, private corporations will be increasingly subject to government regulation to bring the firms' actions into conformity with public policy.
After Industrial Society?: The Emerging Self-service Economy by Jonathan Gershuny