In response to the painful dysfunction of globalization, this debut book offers an argument for planetary rent as the linchpin of a new economic system.
Globalization has become a dirty word recently and is credited with all manner of social and economic crises. Bezgodov argues that globalization has failed to make good on its promise to ultimately transcend the moral, socio-economic, and ideological tribalism that continues to divide the world, and the rise of unchecked consumerism has ushered in an even greater withering of social bonds and institutions. The proper response is increased integration and a “cosmocentric” economic model that prioritizes the shared stewardship of the planet’s resources. The centerpiece of such a model is planetary rent, which not only requires a system for the collection and distribution of funds, but also an expansion of both the notion of planetary ownership rights and what counts as a planetary resource. The author considers the mechanics of a “planetary resource management” system as well, discussing in great detail practical issues like how the value of a particular resource will be determined. Bezgodov also furnishes a sweeping history of the very notion of rent and its interpretation within various economic paradigms of thought. Ultimately, the author contends that planetary rent has the potential to solve the foundational problem out of which so many others spring: global inequality. The point, Bezgodov explains, is not to dismissively reject the claims of sovereignty but to situate those declarations within the demands of a necessarily shared ecological whole. The author’s prose is dryly academic but mercifully clear and free of ideological partisanship. His treatment of globalization at large and planetary rent in particular is notably rigorous, and he appreciates the fact that the ultimate plausibility of his proposal would require not only significant political and legal reform, but also a sea change in human consciousness itself. Sometimes, however, the author’s admirable ambitions run a touch wild: “We think of planetary rent as the economy of the foreseeable future, the one that will be able to solve global problems, save humanity from self-destruction and lay the foundations of the planetary civilization.”
A genuinely original contribution to an important economic debate.