Economics is likely the most critical, relevant and influential societal characteristic there is. Virtually every aspect of our lives, often without conscious recognition, has a relationship to the historical development and present practice of economic thought on one level or another, molding our most basic social institutions, core beliefs and values. In fact, the very essence of how we as a society think about our relationship to each other and the habitat which supports us is, in large part, a direct result of the economic theories and practices we perpetuate.

Thoughtful review of historical religious & moral philosophies, governmental development, political parties, legal statutes and other social contracts and beliefs that comprise a given social system and its culture, reveal the deep impact economic assumptions have and continue to have in shaping of the “Zeitgeist” of a time.

Slavery, classism, xenophobia, racism, sexism, subjugation and many other divisive & exploitative notions still common to human cultural history will be found to have kernels of origin or perpetuation in many generally accepted economic philosophies to one degree or another. History is fairly clear with respect to how the social condition is groomed by the prevailing economic assumptions of a given period and this broad sociological consideration is sadly not given much gravity in the world today when thinking about why the world is the way it is and why we think the way we do.

As a preliminary point, there has commonly been a duality noted in most modern economic thought where the “Capitalist Free-Market”, meaning the “free” actions of independent producers, laborer and traders, working in aggregate to buy, sell and employ, is to be contrasted to that of the “State”, meaning a unified system of delegated power that has the capacity to set legal policy and economic mandates that can inhibit the actions of the “Free-Market” through interference. Most economic debates today revolved around this duality on one level or another with the “Laissez-faire” interests, or those who wish to have a completely non-regulated market economy, constantly at war with the “Statists”, or those who think some kind of centralized government control and decision making over economic planning and policy is best.

The bottom line is that modern economic thought is really not modern at all and the vast majority of assumptions still held as 'given', such as “property”, “money”, “classism”, theories of “value”, “capital” and other concepts that run through virtually all contextually relevant historical arguments, are really outdated in their underlying premises. Rapid development in the industrial, informational and human sciences, which have gone largely ignored by the established economic tradition, are posing critical reconsiderations and new relationships which simply do not exist in the traditional models.

With respect to the ever mutating “schools” of thought that have brought the economic debate to where it rests today, the academic, often formulaic, traditionalized evolution of established economic theory (and practice) appears to have developed a self-referring frame of reference. In other words, the most common “mainstream” economic considerations discussed/accepted today, those most propagated in the prestigious academic schools and governmental conferences, will be found to derive their importance from the mere fact that they have been considered important for so long. As a metaphor, it is similar to viewing the engine of an automobile and assuming the structure of that engine's components are immutable and only variation among those existing components parts is possible, as opposed to the radical idea of redesigning the entire engine structure from the ground up, perhaps based upon new technology and information that serves the utility more efficiently and successfully.

However, it is not the case that current economics is the culprit. Economics just simplifies all economic happenings into models and studies them partially. The only difference is that today it is studied from the viewpoint of scarcity, in the future it might be studied from the viewpoint of abundance. It is just a science. Hence, it is required that we understand the current economic thought in detail before we start criticizing it for its shortcomings with respect to today's technical capabilities.

Have a look at the following video in order to get a taste of what economics looks like (be wary of the 'human nature' argument presented, rest all is quite an accurate explanation of how an economy works):

YouTube Video

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