Morality & Economics

Preliminary notes for a forthcoming investigation
In the epoch of finance it was very hard to get people to be good to each other. That is at least what the philosophers thought. They thought that science had displaced religion and now there was no moral anchor for human conduct and ethics.
These philosophers were university men and their belief in scientific progress and technology and their distrust for metaphysics had made them atheists and materialists. At the same time they were also very affected by the horrors of the Holocaust. Indeed, many of the important continental philosophers were Jews and did philosophy in order to make arguments to stop the next Holocaust. But since they also denied the existence of any God, their moral arguments needed to be made without a metaphysical foundation. It was a difficult problem for these men. How did you get men to be nice to each other without any moral anchor, any metaphysics?
But these efforts were all in error.
Historically, men were kind to each other and didn’t hack each other to pieces not because of some religious reason, or edict from a State, or argument made by a philosopher. It was economics. It was trade. Men gained something from respecting and keeping alive “the other”, to use the language of the continental philosopher. Religion only came along and formalized many of the ideas men were already practicing between one another. Religion simply codified what was already manifest in the first market relations between men.
It is man’s interventions into markets and the resulting distortions of economics that cause moral decline.
Verily, one must return to the idea of hoarding and the ancient prohibitions against it. One must not annihilate one’s trading partner. One must not strip him of everything. But, verily, all sorts of annihilations, both large and small, are favored by the oligarchs of today and their central banking and regulatory apparatuses. Indeed, the men most admired in western societies are those that have hoarded and annihilated the most. Hoarding has become the dominant (moral) value,.
It is when the rules of the game are changed to protect individuals and favor particular groups that moral life breaks down. Both fiscal and monetary policy are rule changes designed to conduct these redistributions. Regulations and laws are also created and amended to provide selective legal protections.
But economics cannot be successfully manipulated. Inefficiencies build up over time and then express themselves suddenly and violently (recessions-depressions-civil wars). Indeed, the manipulated economies have created so much inefficiency and indebtedness as to cause a breakdown in moral life. But with the violent breakdown of these manipulated economies there will appear a new expression of moral life, of an originary moral life, long since suppressed. The re-emergence of morality will coincide with great violence and social upheaval.
The decline and failure of these manipulations may take many more generations, but with this rebirth of morality will be a return of love, a return to family, and the return of mothers. The churches will once again be respected and priests and ministers will re-assume their roles of leadership in communities. Goods and service will be created with much greater care and individuality. Artisans will re-appear. Great art will once again be made, art that matters to all men.
Economics will become moral again. And the nature of man’s morality will reveal itself. Not some morality founded on Gods and written in philosophy books, but a morality that lives in men and operates through human action. The books of the philosophers and religious men are just commentary upon this originary morality, which is itself an originary and un-tampered with economics.
Morality in this originary sense is a fact of the species
. It is a fact that modern, manipulated economies have attempted to subvert and suppress. All attempts by man to alter or deny the facts of his species have had disastrous unintended consequences. And it is through debt creation and economic manipulation that man denies a central moral/economic fact and most endangers himself and his future. Irresponsible and excessive debt creation allows him to think he has broken the first economic/moral relation: that a man no longer needs to work in order to eat.*
Indeed, there will be terrific bloodshed and pain to restore this originary economics/morality. But that bloodshed is only the flipside of the violence already perpetrated upon the people by those who manipulate economics. Men in needing to fight so that they might eat are expressing the primary economic/moral impulse, upon which all moral life is based. Men will tolerate tyranny. But when a tyranny denies them too many meals men will go to war against it.**
* A discussion needs to follow on what is morally & economically productive work. Any debt-based work that raises GDP is today considered productive. But what happens when that debt was built upon inefficiencies and is totally unsustainable? When that debt collapses it annihilates real wealth. A distinction must be made between the work of planting a small garden in your backyard to feed your family and sitting in front of a computer screen and day trading Treasury Bond futures contracts. The former is morally & economically productive while the latter is not.
** Indeed, there are always economic reasons for armed conflict, even involving Muslims (supposedly the people least concerned with life on this earth). The Arab Spring can be viewed as a food protest after central bank cheap monies caused a bubble in food prices and poor Muslims were starving.

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