Rediscovering Physiocrats A Plea for an Economy that Integrates the Ecological Imperative Publication date : October 19, 2022
Jean-Marc Daniel is an economist and Professor Emeritus at ESCP Business School, specialising in the history of economic though and policies. He also contributes to Les Echos and the BFM morning show.
Does the protection of the environment and climate imperative necessarily require the downfall of capitalism and the liberal market society?
No, says Jean-Marc Daniel, as he calls for liberal environmentalism. Denouncing what he calls the “pagan-leftists” and environmental policies that he sees as punitive, he suggests an alternative somewhere between the gradual and irreversible destruction of nature and the equally irreversible destruction of freedom, especially of entrepreneurship. This alternative path was inspired by the 18th century physiocrats. These thinkers, the forefathers of economic science led by François Quesnay, focused on the relationship between man and natural resources, particularly agricultural ones.
While exploring this intellectual legacy, Jean-Marc Daniel underlines its modernity: valuing work against mercantilism and the sun as a source of energy. He urges us to use our “common sense” and not give up on growth and productivity, to encourage competition to force companies to be responsible and reimplement the carbon tax, so as to accelerate the energy transition.