Thesis Two and Three: Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice

In my previous post I started blogging through these theses.

The point being presented to us is: Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

When one shifts the word conversations back to markets, the point becomes immediately clear: “Markets among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.

One can see my mutual interlocutors on thesis two here and here.

Thesis three from the project from other blogs is here and here.

I addressed point two in brief at the end of my first post, and thought to highlight them through my fellow interlocutors and their efforts.

Suffice it to say, in brief: Markets are a human medium, and as such, their control is not a nebulous divinity to which we ascribe wisdom and power. Markets are in fact the opposite, they are earthly, grounded in transactions, and conversations, and that as markets conduct themselves, they should do so with a human voice.

This is not to say economics is the locus of humanity, but we do an awful damned lot of trading, and to pretend that ethics and consumption have no interaction is silly. Even though most people don’t actively deny the link between ethics and purchase, we tend to avoid it. We tend to defer the impact of our economic choices, or cloak ourselves in the mask of the indignant when factory workers producing cheap goods die in fires.

Markets conducted in a human voice take stock of themselves and their participants, recognizing that the ethical choices made by such markets are in fact not only good for participants, but as we expand these examinations in the near future, they may even be good for business.

I’m no expert, but when I conduct business I have found anecdotally, that being honest and direct about expectations, trade offs and etcetera have made for better business for clients and myself.

When a market chooses to have ethics, it can put aside the binary bullshit of Left vs. Right and start to address real issues, like: What sort of market are we? What are we saying as a market? What sort of markets shall we be? What is our market’s purpose? What needs does this market meet? Who has access to the goods of this market?

Of course a market by itself cannot answer these questions. That’s silly. Which is why in the digital age we must accept the market as culture, and at the same time defer this market as it currently stands from being tomorrow’s culture through injections of rupture, deferral and cultural disobedience.

The entrepreneur calls this disruption, but often his disruptions are the self-same method of doing things, under the guise of a new idea, or product. Instead of being caught up in the glitter of such uselessly nebulous marketing artifacts, and their difficulties, let’s instead think honestly about rupture in the market that is a conversation.

On the one hand is a glorious utopia where everyone considers human rights, the environment and actually does things to make the market more human. On the other is that place which is nearer where we find ourselves, where the market uses its attempt at humanity to mask the barbarism that fuels it.

Neither is correct. We must always be wary of what the current market would assert is humanity, because that selfsame human voice is often the product of our own self-imposed ignorance, blindness, and greed.

Just because the defense market passes itself off as humanitarian, and for the safety of all, shall we accept this human voice? Shall we accept the cascading indifference that marks our sentiments about drone warfare, spy technology or the nano-weapons arms race? What do we do with all this seeming benevolence? And what about surveillance? Should we accept that Big Brother is a human market like all others? No.

Instead the market has to recognize its own humanity, (which is a clusterfuck since the market is never technically outside humanity, but we’ll get there down the line,) admittedly, this is the great and overwhelming challenge of our era.

Markets are a human medium, but what is their message?


2 thoughts on “Thesis Two and Three: Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice

  1. The problem I run into is that I often know these sorts of things on a gut level but find that I lack both the terminology and the knowledge of the right body of literature to express that visceral feeling in a comfortably intelligent way. Thank you for writing these; they’re both enlightening and edifying.

    • If you ever have questions about reading materials, i’m by no means an expert, but I can point you to some, if I know them.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying them. I am too.

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