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Session: What Is The Nature Of Our Economic System?
This is a Session within the Topic Business
How does it affect the well-being of citizens? How does it stimulate desire, consumerism?
 
 
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Perspectives & Resources
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"Hedonism – gaining whatever we desire – is at the heart of economics"
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Topic: What is the nature of our economic system?


Hedonism – gaining whatever we desire – is at the heart of economics

There is one fixed idea in the mind of every European progressive politician, at this time; namely, that by a certain application of Financial Art, and by the erection of a certain quantity of new buildings on a colossal scale, it will be possible for society hereafter to pass its entire life in eating, smoking, harlotry, and talk; without doing anything whatever with its hands or feet of a laborious character.”

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
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Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
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Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on September 07, 2015
 
This is the opinion of John Ruskin
"The economic system depends on competition, property, scarcity"
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Topic: What is the nature of our economic system?


The economic system depends on competition, property, scarcity

“Scarcity is the peculiar obsession of a business economy… The market makes freely available a dazzling array of products – all these ‘good things’ are within a man’s reach – but never his grasp, for one never has enough to buy everything.”

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on September 07, 2015
 
"The economy produces unethical, unhealthy human beings"
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Topic: What is the nature of our economic system?


The economy produces unethical, unhealthy human beings

The merchants are the biggest fools of all. They carry on the most sordid business and by the most corrupt methods. Whenever it is necessary, they will lie, perjure themselves, steal, cheat, and mislead the public. Nevertheless, they are highly respected because of their money. There is no lack of flattering friars to kowtow to them and call them Right Honorable in public.

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on September 07, 2015
 
This is the opinion of Desiderius Erasmus
 
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Other Resources
 
Text: Resource in Business view
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Resource in Business view

 Money making and the pursuit of wealth is harmful
"Well, then....from there they progress in money-making, and the more honorable they consider it, the less honorable they consider virtue. Or isn't virtue in tension with wealth, as though each were lying in the scale of a balance, always inclining in opposite directions?" Plato, Republic, page 166
"When someone's desires incline strongly to some one thing, they are therefore weaker with respect to the rest, like a stream that has been channeled off in that other direction." Plato, Republic, Book VI, 485d

 Corrupts public taste and tarnishes virtue
John Ruskin
The whole of your life will have been spent in corrupting public taste and encouraging public extravagance....Your life has been successful in retarding the arts, tarnishing the virtues, and confusing the manners of your country.” 228
Good. “You must remember always that your business, as manufacturers, is to form the market, as much as to supply it...
Modern manufacture and design, Page 228 [1 page]

Merchants carry on the most sordid business by the most corrupt methods
“The merchants are the biggest fools of all. They carry on the most sordid business and by the most corrupt methods. Whenever it is necessary, they will lie, perjure themselves, steal, cheat, and mislead the public. Nevertheless, they are highly respected because of their money. There is no lack of flattering friars to kowtow to them and call them Right Honorable in public. The motive of the friars is clear enough: they are after some of the loot.” Desiderius Erasmus, The Praise of Folly (1509)

Wealth is often a sign of depravity
→ “The whole question, therefore, respecting not only the advantage, but even the quantity, of national wealth, resolves itself finally into one of abstract justice... Its real value depends on the moral sign attached to it.” 251
 Yes – ‘meaning.’ “Any given accumulation of commercial wealth may be indicative, on the one hand, of faithful industries, progressive energies, and productive ingenuities: or, on the other, it maybe indicative of mortal luxury, merciless tyranny, ruinous chicane.” 251
“So many strong men’s courage broken, so many productive operations hindered... That which seems to be wealth may in verity be only the gilded index of far-reaching ruin.” 251
 “And therefore, the idea that directions can be given for the gaining of wealth, irrespectively of the consideration of its moral sources,... is perhaps the most insolently futile of all that ever beguiled men through their vices.” 252
The Genius of John Ruskin, 251

Plato, Ruskin, Erasmus


 
 
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