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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.76 n.3 Pretoria  2011


Rhizoids, technicism and economism


Risoïedes, tegnisisme en ekonomisme



P. Simons

Wellington, New Zealand. School for Basic Sciences, Vaal Triangle Campus, North-West University. E-mail:




A highly differentiated society requires integration. Dooyeweerd refers in this regard to science and technology. Intersocietal linkages play a key role in this process. They are affected, however, by technicism and economism.
Rhizoids are configurations or distinct patterns of intersocietal relationships, linking activities in society to the kingdoms of material things, plants and animals. A delineated theory of rhizoids is given, especially configured as technical-economic relationships. The article defines elements of rhizoids such as flows, stows and transformations. In principle, rhizoids enable all important economic dispositions, including non-monetary ones, to be accounted for. This is important if economising is to take place within ecological limits. The presence and impacts of technicism and economism may be discerned in the shape and operation of rhizoids.
An application to the treadmill problem in agricultural production for world markets is outlined. This is followed by a brief discussion of the spirit of capitalism, as reflected in technicism and economism (the earth is seen as a machine). They trigger a dialectical movement, leading to the establishment of smaller local rhizoids as alternatives to global ones. Schuurman's plea for a paradigm shift towards seeing the earth as a garden-city offers a way of escaping from such dialectics.

Key concepts: agriculture, capitalism, economism, networks, rhizoids, technicism


n Hoogs gedifferensieerde gemeenskap vereis integrasie. Dooyeweerd verwys in hierdie verband onder andere na weten-skappe en tegnologie. Intergemeenskaplike verbindings het n kernrol in hierdie proses, maar word deur tegnisisme en ekonomisme beïnvloed.
Risoïedes is groeperings of bepaalde patrone van intergemeenskaplike verhoudings wat aktiwiteite in die samelewing verbind tot die ryk van materiële dinge, plante en diere. n Basiese teo-rie word vir risoïedes verskaf, met spesifieke fokus op tegnies-ekonomiese verhoudings. Hierdie artikel omskryf die elemente waaruit risoïedes bestaan, byvoorbeeld vloeiings, bergings en transformasies. Risoïedes maak dit moontlik om in beginsel alle belangrike ekonomiese neigings, nie-monetêre/geldelike neigings ingesluit, te verreken. Dit is belangrik indien ekonomiese aktiwiteite binne ekologiese beperkings moet plaasvind. Die teenwoordigheid en impak van tegnisisme en ekonomisme kan in die vorm en aktiwiteite van risoïedes onderskei word.
' n Toepassing van die trapmeulprobleem in landbouproduksie vir die wêreldmark word geskets. Dit word opgevolg deur n kort bespreking oor die gees van kapitalisme soos dit in tegnisisme en ekonomisme (die aarde word as n masjien beskou) weerspiëel word. Tegnisisme en ekonomisme veroorsaak n dialektiese beweging wat aanleiding gee tot die ontstaan van kleiner plaaslike risoïedes as alternatiewe vir globale risoïedes. Schuurman se pleidooi vir n paradigmaskuif om die aarde as n tuinstad voor te stel, bied n manier om van sodanige dialektiek te ontsnap.

Kernbegrippe: ekonomisme, kapitalisme, landbou, netwerke, risoïedes, tegnisisme



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