Posted on 13.01.22
So, the whole eco:nomics thing.
First off, it’s not about money. It’s about the world we live in, and live off. And how we work with it.
The origin of the word “economy” can be traced back to the Greek word oikonomia, which in turn is composed of two words: oikos, which is usually translated as “household”; and nemein, which is best translated as “management and dispensation.”
So it’s eco: nomia – management of the housedhold, or surroundings.
So eco:logy (logos meaning “knowledge of”) means knowledge of our surroundings.
So it’s interesting to think we assume we can do the first without the second …
And it’s also interesting that in ancient economic theory, an action is considered economically rational only when taken towards a praiseworthy end. Moreover, the ancient philosophers had a distinct view of what constituted such an end—specifically, acting as a philosopher or as an active participant in the life of the city-state.
Somehow we have moved away from both the need for knowledge before management; and the notion that is action is economically rational only when it has a “praiseworthy” end. Not sure how many of our biggest businesses we can think of can honestly lay claim to that, right now. Food for thought.
In the meantime: check out the fabulous Ha Joon Chang to help us understand there are many ways to skin an economic cat (apologies to all cats out there, it’s just a turn of phrase):
And to get proper inspired: check out the also deeply fabulous Kate Raworth on the magical simplicity of Doughnut Economics: