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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 9 / 2014 (598)

The epistemic abandonment

„The consequence of violence is even greater violence, the power of one extreme activates the force of the other extreme and the structural adversity produces adverse systems.”

When Economics centred its analytical system on wealth, a double epistemic abandonment occurred. Economics chose to prevalently single out an exception – the individual wealth – and to promote it as the exclusive target for human action. Instead of serving the natural diversity of the roles of coexistence, Economics has now also chosen to segregate the options of identity from the moral motivation.

The direct consequence was that the conceptual heart of Economics has migrated from the place of restraint where its modern form was forged and then tried to reach its maturity by socially devaluing the ancient vision known as Oikonomia. As such, any link of filial respect for tradition has been severed and the intellectual effort for understanding and making functional the actional structures supporting human subsistence has been annulled. From this moment on, Economics bet everything on the sumptuary condition of abundance.

Opening the Pandora’s Box of individual wealth has complicated the rationalization of the human condition by creating expansion channels for the animal spirits. In an anti-modern way, establishing wealth as the target of economicity has again focused the human nature on a state of conflict for the territorial supremacy on resources, where the quotidian behaviour is exclusively modelled on fundamental adversity.

Additionally, the path of materialness represented by wealth has banished the individual’s inclination towards balancing the scales of preoccupations, turning spiritual values into the ingredients of the obsession for the lucrative.

That economy which is conceptually centred on wealth has parted forever with the primordial universe made up of things which are measured against life’s needs. That happened when it chose to exhibit the experiential forms of arranging the rules of survival according to the model of the social pyramid. From now on the choice of roles – in the ancient way of ordering by destination the places in the social machine of survival – no longer functions. The subordination of roles in the unfolding of the specific processes related to the human condition – work, labour, action – has been thoroughly functionalized putting wealth on a position of strength towards which all personal interests have been allocated.

The conceptual about-turn has generated the upheaval of the logical order of natural things on which the world is built. By introducing the virus of expectations miraculously fulfilled in some possible future, a radical desensitization to the social purpose of individual action has been instilled. We stepped away from the reality of concrete existence, which is limited by human arrangements as a result of naturally formed acumen, and through the gates of utopia. It was an error with costs on a planetary scale, throwing mankind into a whirlwind of dystopias created by ideological extremes, by rationalized fundamentalisms and by institutionalized violence.

The economy of the last 100 years, which straddled two centuries, with its debut marked by the first global conflagration, is the scenery of the great epistemic abandonment in Economics. The consequence of violence is an even greater violence, the power of one extreme activates the force of the other extreme and the structural adversity produces adverse systems.

Even though at the dawn of the rationalist Enlightenment it was called Political Economics, the theoretical reconstruction around the concept of wealth has pretended to be – simply, neutrally and correctly – Economics. In fact, in order to dissimulate the rational founding error bestowed by Wealth onto the interests, the king actually wanted to be seen naked because he had nothing left to hide, as the interests were his very dermis.

The exhibitive evolution has proved inventive in fighting against the social vision on the redistribution of wealth, in erasing the traces of sentimentalism from the quantification of happiness as an indicator of yield, in demolishing the scaffolding around the construction of the welfare state. The forms of the exhibition are now certifying the correctness of the socialization of the losses incurred by bad corporate governance, the public budget propping of the failures in the market etc. We can also add to the exhibition the trend to experiment with global monopolies – with transient phases dissimulated in fraternal oligopolies – by splitting the controlling power of markets.

The pretence that it is no longer political is successfully exhibited in a world which was taught Economics from manuals fabricated to contain only the hypothesis of wealth and not the reason behind it: the interest in controlling the political power through wealth. The niche of econometrics-Economics is destined to represent the hard proof that the rationalization of work, labour and action pertains to the logic of science by definition.

Except that Economics is a special king of science, whose interior conceptual relevance is attained when it supports something exterior: the bases of human life, among which subsistence is the differentia and sociality is the genus.

Economics is a science only because it rationalizes the human condition for the wellbeing of the human nature. Any other perspective, such as the reversed vision of exhibiting the evil contained in the human nature in order to obtain successful results in rationalizing the human condition, confers Economics with the status of a Machiavellian book of recipes for managing the power of wealth against man’s freedom to rationally seek the royal path of fulfilling the human nature.

The reduction of human happiness to wealth is in opposition to the diversity of humanity, to the complex human nature of the experiences of life. This reductionism introduces the option of a totalitarianism sublimed around a single dimension of the human nature and it turns Anti-Prometheism into an eschatological ideal for human creationism.

The world built on wealth is without soul, while the materialist Economics is a neurotoxin for the spirit. Economics must be, after all, a science of the human condition.


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The epistemic abandonment
Marin Dinu

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The Economicity. The Epistemic Landscape, Marin Dinu, 2016

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