Economy and Society

Economy is fundamentally a social activity. No one does it all by themselves. We depend on each other and we interact with each other during our work.

It is common to compare the economy with private or individual wealth, profit and selfishness, so it may seem strange to describe it as social.

In fact capitalist economy is not individualistic but social and in many ways it is cooperative. The world's richest billionaire couldn't make a dollar without the supporting roles played by his workers, suppliers and customers. Our financial lives are becoming more and more intertwined as we each play our small roles in the bigger picture. So most of us live in cities. In this way we can communicate economically with people in other countries thousands of miles away.

An economy is about work, organizing it, distributing its products, this economy is about work.

The link between economy and society goes two ways. Economy is fundamentally a social sector, but society as a whole is completely dependent on the state of the economy. Politics, culture, religion and international affairs all have a profound effect on the progress of our economy. Governments are re-elected or removed from office depending on the state of the economy. Our family life is organized around the demands of work. Being able to comfortably support oneself and one's family is a central determinant of much happiness.

Therefore, economy is an important and powerful force in human development. This does not mean that we should sacrifice for the sake of economy, because the whole point of economy is to meet our material needs, not the other way around. This certainly does not mean that we should give undue attention or influence to economists. But it does mean that when we understand more about economics, we will understand a lot more about our history, our current social reality, and our future evolution as a species.