Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Undercover Historian — Do current debates reflect diverging definitions of economics?


Important backgrounder. A takeaway is that economists haven't agreed on what they are doing.

For me, economics is the study of the material life support system of society. An economy is a subsystem in the overarching system that constitutes a society. As a subsystem in functions interdependently with other subsystems and the society in which the subsystems are embedded.

A society is an integrated whole whose components cannot be disentangled without destroying the system. However, the system can be analyzed intellectually using conceptual and mathematical models. But to the degree that the aspects of the system are viewed apart from the system, they are stylized and therefore limited by the assumptions  on which analysis is based.

1 comment:

jrbarch said...

The desire to be fulfilled drives a human. People have their concepts about how this may happen.

Besides fulfilling basic needs, the economy is all about wants. Trying to fulfil the human through the physical world. Of all the billions and billions of people that have come and gone on this earth, no one has been successful. They always want more. They leave, empty-handed; wondering. If you don’t believe me, walk down the aisle of the terminally ill at your local hospital and look into their eyes.

The world of art and creativity is a search for fulfilment through emotional registration. Once again, the artist’s work never finishes. The hand and eye fails them and they leave, still burning with creative passion.

The use of mind and intellect is a search for fulfilment through the accumulation of knowledge (that often has to be revised). The Professors leave, with more questions than answers; perhaps the old problems solved but just as many new ones in the world as when they arrived. Somehow, the problems have grown, exponentially.
The mystics search through their mysticism; the occultists through arcane law; the humanitarians through endeavour and service.

All of this can happen in the one human being, and at the centre of it all is the ‘I’, demanding fulfilment. And there is the rub. It is the heart that needs to be fulfilled; the ‘I’ has appropriated this NEED and turned it into wants and formulae. This is difficult for the human to understand. Pulling up the ”Seawise Giant” under full steam would be easier, if it were not for the Captain.
One of the oldest wisdoms on the planet is ‘what you are looking for is within’. The human heart the door to knowledge of the self; and this knowledge (raj vidya) fulfilling the human being, moment by moment.

This too is undercover history.