Memenomics is a theoretical framework that examines the long-term effects of economic policy on culture as seen through the scientific prism of value-systems (vMEMEs). It stars where evolutionary economics ends and uses methodologies from developmental psychology that address the bio-psycho-social aspects of human and cultural development. This is where psychology-at-the-large-scale meets macroeconomics.
The study of value-systems was initially pioneered by Dr. Clare W. Graves and further developed by his colleague and successor Dr. Don E. Beck. The Memenomics framework is the application of the Graves/Beck research into a whole-systems approach to viewing and solving economic challenges. I have applied its concepts and principles in the field and I have been teaching them at graduate transformational leadership programs for several years. The framework borrows from all economic principles but is not a part of the economics mainstream. By its very vMEME nature, the theory prescribes to no particular ideology, but uses solutions that fit into a functional flow based on the Memetic analysis of a culture in order to achieve a desired outcome. The principles are based on natural evolutionary theories. This is where complexity theory and biomimicry meet economic policy. Our theoretical framework does not set out to fault certain aspects of economic theory and practice or to favor the premise of one ideology over the other. It may not help a reader in picking certain stocks, or a brokerage house in enhancing its hedge fund strategies. It’s more about creating a paradigm shift away from the cold and empirical nature of economics, to the wider view of the role that modern day commerce plays in the emergence or stagnation of humanity. It is by macro-memetic design that the effects of economic stagnation are minimized and a culture is placed on a long-term trajectory of economic prosperity. .
Competing thought leaders make compelling cases for why we should return to Keynesian economics and have government play a greater role in directing economic policy, while others want to revive the virtues of the Reaganomics era of laissez-faire capitalism. Memenomics provides the only approach to solving economic conflict based on an evolutionary approach to the problem. It is a cutting edge concept that is at the confluence of contemporary ideas on emergence, complex systems and sustainable economic policies.
Memenomics is my attempt to explain from a unique perspective the role cultural values-systems play in defining the success or failure of economic policy. Through better knowledge of this emerging science that examines psychology at the large scale, behaviors and ideologies emanating from certain values-systems are easily detected and put through a new prism that determines their potential for either long-term sustainability or short-term exploitation. Once we understand economics through the prism of value-systems,we get to understand how events like the 2008 financial crisis and its recessionary aftermath represent our culture exiting from one value system to the next along our journey of human emergence in an endless quest towards higher values. Memenomics opens the doorway to start thinking in terms of evolving systems that change in response to a changing reality instead of being frozen in ideologies beholden to values fixed in time.