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2573. Economics replaces politics
Society lost the understanding that society should make life ok for the whole population. We turned the decision making discussion and acts of implementation as a part of social thought to economics alone, economics replacing politics as the governing center of power in society. This was a big mistake as it led to exploitation of people a environment that has led us to ecological destruction and anticipated social collapse.
Even monarch and oligopolies talked of the benefit to the whole. From Aristotle to Machiavelli to Adam Smith and Keynes the intent was to improve society, not the mere aggrandizement of the clever and connected. This narrowing of concern came from opportunism and low development of theory which dropped philosophy and social science, such as Defoe’s study of the rural poor , Hogarth’s painting and Dickens’ Novels. The deeper thinking about society, power and politic theory was pushed aside. Aristotle, Machiavelli, Vico, Sorokin and Voegelin have been marginalized and few economists have opened those books. The result is we have economics which seems powerless and no politics as in how to govern a large state.much less had a university economics course that touched on any of these thinkers. The result has been a narrowing of ownership and citizenship to a smaller part of society and the marginalizing of the rest, between and within countries.
We have forgotten to tell the narrative of how we got from trade and empire to the Treaty of Westphalia and on to competition among the new nations , with huge armies and mega deaths in the service of ownership s by the wealthy and powerful. The even deeper story of the loss of Christianity in Europe leading to loss of belief in a humane and meaningful society. Interesting and important questions, such as can a society cohere without a shared belief system, has not been engaged. Instead we are left with the mathematics of supply and demand. I surmise that the focus of the capitalist press to focus on the evils of communism was a way of sullying any discussion of socialism,
Economy should be a theory of possible economies, but it has only developed two points in what ought to be a large space of possible theories. The two of course are Marxism and market capitalism. Part of the cost has been the default to the caste society of labor, capital and land. Perhaps Keynes and a social welfare society can be included, but the space of economic theory is largely empty and undeveloped. The questions about the good life for all hav hardly been surfaced at the level of political economy, we are not moving from toothless economic policy to necessarily messy political engagements. The need and opportunity is a strong magnet for those with imagination to see those possibilities in the shadows.