ENL Framework

Humankind's economic activities have driven the biosphere into overshoot, thereby threatening life on Earth. The root cause of this catastrophe is the economic logic of capitalism, which generates economic outcomes based on the market interactions of corporate profits and manipulated consumer desires.

Although a modified version of capitalist logic can be useful for economic coordination, it cannot be permitted to guide an economy's activities, because this creates a dependence on economic growth and severely restricts the improvement of ecological efficiencies.

The inevitable result is a system that becomes ecocidal as soon as environmental limits are encountered.

Capitalist logic must therefore be quickly replaced by the logic of sustainable well-being.1

In a progressive context this logic is a conceptual framework that permits analysts to determine rational targets for output quantities, resource utilization rates, waste flow rates, and the population level.

The Economics of Needs and Limits, or ENL, is such a framework.

This section discusses some general attributes of ENL, including the framework’s ethical stance, the scope of its analysis, its abstract representation of the economic world, and how it views the relationship between humankind and nature.

Because ENL is a new mode of economic thought, it unavoidably introduces a number of technical terms. Please consult the ENL Glossary for definitions.

Contents of this section:

Analytical Scope This refers to the boundaries of ENL's subject matter, the range of topics for which the framework takes analytical responsibility. ENL is exclusively a guiding framework and is not intended to replace economic thought as a whole. Read on…
Economic Abstraction When combined with analytical and geographical scope, ENL's economic abstraction fully defines the range of topics that constitute its analytical universe. Read on…
Ethical Stance ENL’s ethical stance is that all human beings, present and future, are of high and equal worth. Read on…
Geographical Scope Geographical scope in ENL is either regional or global, depending on the analyst's perspective and requirements. Read on…
Graphs and Quantification Because ENL is in its infancy, all the graphs shown here express broad conceptual relationships using notional curves. Read on…
Marginal Analysis ENL is deeply concerned with maximizing the benefits of economic activity, and it is therefore strongly committed to optimization and the marginal analysis this necessitates. Read on…
Output Life Cycle ENL considers an output of production to be part of a long chain of activities that ends in consumption, and this unified process is called the output life cycle. Read on…
Technological Neutrality For ENL, the term economic progress refers only to changes that move an economy towards sustainable well-being. Progress is not equated with increasing output quantity, greater scientific knowledge, or rising technical sophistication. Read on…

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