The key point of this paper is that there is a general intersection between the study of complex adaptive systems and the study of capitalism, and that the application of the former to the latter reveals certain inherent limits to our current global economic system.
James Crutchfield, working out of the Complexity Sciences Center at the University of California, has written an article entitled The Hidden Fragility of Complex Systems, which is a very good primer on the dynamics of complex adaptive systems and how they breed instability. He states the following about the most recent financial crisis in our complex global economy (what he terms a “truly complex system”):
“The Fall 2008 near collapse of the global financial system and its heart-wrenching impacts are empirical evidence that pure-market ideology does not work as a design principle for the world’s economies. Historically, this design principle was justified in terms of the Efficient Market Hypothesis – markets in their collective behavior will find the unique, optimal equilibrium condition that homogeneously maximizes human welfare. Sadly, this view is a theoretical artifact of experimentally ungrounded models. The mismatch between ideology and reality is desperately large.”