We Don’t Leave Our Destiny in the Invisible Hand

 

The world becomes more economically rational

Adam Smith is one of the the 18th century’s leading philosophers and also economists. He said that the market might appear chaotic but was actually guided by an invisible hand. People act or choose actions for self interest. Such actions result in the economic growth of the whole society. Thanks to the IT revolution, we are able to compare commodities more quickly and widely. In other words, our self-interest choices must be more accurate. Accordingly, our society must get more economically rational at least.

Invisible hand more powerful due to the IT revolution

The invisible hand has been gaining more power due to the IT revolution. I don’t wholeheartedly celebrate that, though. Indeed, we consumers are able to make more rational choices. Products, producers, sellers, etc. surviving at this moment have passed market valuation. The valuation is getting more and more severe by the IT revolution. I have to admit the value of marketability, but there are some items that I really miss even among things that have disappeared from the market.

Invisible hand ignoring minority enthusiasts

I know we should live with the consequences led by an invisible hand. It’s just like accepting majority decisions. At the same time, we should recognize our huge responsibility because such consequences (changes) are basically irreversible. Many people might think “If need be, we can get back things that disappeared, more easily with the latest technology.” The way of thinking should be correct technology-wise but not market-wise. For example, I really like the thick coconut-fiber seats of old Mercedes-Benz, but I’m sure such a complex (costly) structure will never be back again. I know it’s minority enthusiasts like me who want it, though. Once something disappears from the market, we will lose it forever. 

Our industry (premium wooden furniture manufacturing) is shrinking under pressure from cheap mass-produced furniture. We don’t give up easily, just saying “it’s a consequence led by an invisible hand” because we believe our products are worth handing over to the next generations.

By Shungo Ijima 2020/09/07


Instagram