I have been trying to teach the core issues of modern commerce for nearly 20 years. I have to think back about what I’ve learned.
Nobody understands the necessity for using the phrase ‘modern commerce’ or ‘pro commerce’ so we have to be patient with the misnomers capitalism, business and the free market.
The two ideas that are getting through to the understanding of modern commerce are the connection between individual freedom and meritocracy. That is an important step that has taken 20 years.
Fortunately these are both positive values for Americans. Americans consider their personal freedom to be a unique and desirable quality of living. It has many meanings which need to be fleshed out.
Individual freedom should slowly grow to be understood as living with the ability to lead a complex, multifaceted life that is self organized. That really doesn’t exist for most of the world, nor does it have meaning for the many Americans who see life as a job or a career with the freedom existing on weekends and in retirement.
The notion of an authentic person is also a growing concept but it hasn’t been connected to the idea of a self organized life. And the need for modern commerce in a society with individual freedom.
I am delighted to see the concept of meritocracy emerging among thinkers, recently. It is probably the strongest value that Americans can connect with that is a core part of modern commerce.
Most people have no idea how narrow the world of meritocracy is. It simply doesn’t exist anywhere that tribal or family cohesion is paramount. That includes all of Africa, Islam, India, China and in the hereditary elites in the rest of the world. It is good to connect meritocracy to modern commerce but it may be impossible to get people to understand that it is limited to very few societies.
Lastly, the idea of modern commerce as a Darwinian form of evolution is still limited to the phrase ‘creative destruction’ without any sense that thousands of businesses are merging, failing and expanding every day. The dynamics are not visible. Only one or two of the top 100 companies of 1960 even exists today and only a handful are still in the top 100.
Hopefully, progress in understanding more about modern commerce is underway.