Purpose of economy

What is the purpose of economy? We just need to look at the meaning of the word. The word oikonomia is of an ancient greek origin and means management of household (oicos – house, nomos – law).[1]

The purpose of economy is to manage the household; to produce and distribute food, water and other needs and goods primarily for preserving the human life.

So economy need a responsible and generous managers to take care for the family, group, state or world population if we talk about world economy. And we talk about the world economy.

Which organizations deal with the world economy? World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organisation and G7 (rich countries). They took the charge over the world economy.

Let’s see today’s situation of world population about the purpose of economy. We have 1.6 billion overweight people[2] and 1 billion starving people[3]. Let’s also face with the fact, that we have enough food to feed the world population.[4]

This facts gives us a picture that world economy does not work. . . that something is wrong. . . It could be because of irresponsible and selfish ‘householders’. Or maybe because their incompetence.

Something is clear: purpose of economy is not followed.

So if the world economy managers does not follow the purpose of it, which purpose then they follow? They follow the purpose of chrematistics (money-getting). Its only purpose is to accumulate the wealth (money) and does not care for economy.

Aristotle clearly distinguish economy and chrematistics and after discussing about its differences he said: “We have now considered that art of money-getting which is not necessary, and have seen in what manner we became in want of it; and also that which is necessary, which is different from it; for that economy which is natural, and whose object is to provide food, is not like this unlimited in its extent, but has its bounds.”[5]

We must follow the purpose of economy.


Notes and references:
1. ^ Wiktionary
2. ^ WHO – World Health Organization
3. ^ FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN
4. ^ a) Worldhunger.org, b) Foodfirst.org
5. ^ Politics, Aristotle. Book 1, Chapter 9.

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2 responses to “Purpose of economy

  1. Žiga Zaplotnik

    Through we come closer to real meaning of the word economy, but I’m affraid we will never reach it again..

    But we have to be optimistic! That’s what we can always be! 🙂

    • I’m optimistic. We must rationalize the economy and follow its purpose.

      But today’s economy (chrematistics) follow our uncontrolled desires (I will write about that later) and we think there are unlimited resources. Reason tells us that economy has it’s bounds. We just need to accept this concept. Economy must be rationalized.

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