“Economics—It Wants to Be Ethical”
Number 2129.—February 14, 2024
Dear Unknown Friends:
n this issue of TRO we publish the final section of Economics Is Diverse, by Eli Siegel. The talk is one in his great Goodbye Profit System series of lectures, begun in 1970. Economics Is Diverse was given in November of that year; and as we’ve been publishing it, I’ve been commenting on what Mr. Siegel was showing in the Goodbye Profit System series—because what he explained then is knowledge we need now.
In this final section of Economics Is Diverse, he uses a humorous work—very different from the sources he had quoted from earlier. Yet it too is a means of understanding economic history.
Here’s What Has Happened
As I have described: Mr. Siegel explained in the 1970s that history had reached the point at which economics based on contempt—on seeing people and events and the world’s possibilities in terms of how much money one could make from them—had fundamentally failed. To have the profit motive as the basis of an economy—to have as one’s impetus How much money can I make from you and him and her and that?—is something humanity more and more has seen as insulting and ugly. Men and women have felt, with anger, that this profit-driven economy has made their lives increasingly difficult rather than increasingly at ease; has added to their ill-nature rather than to their kindness and true self-expression…more
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