Economics & Nature

Economics is not merely a set of schemes dreamed up by wealthy businessmen in the smoke-filled back rooms of New York office buildings for the purpose of amassing wealth for themselves by confounding the public. Nor is it just a dry and dull subject of abstruse graphs and mathematics and fancy-sounding financial gibberish to pad the middle sections of Forbes Magazine or the Wall Street Journal or to fill over sized textbooks for university classes.

This is not to say that there aren’t schemes made up by men in back rooms for the purpose of enriching their own accounts (although their back rooms are likely to be a bit less “smoke filled” than they were a few decades ago.) Just as it cannot be denied that there is a vast amount of verbiage by writers in popular business publications and weighing down the backpacks of students in business colleges.

But that’s not all that economics consists of. There are fundamental principles at work in the field of economics that certainly do not originate from these sources. In fact, the principles of economics are not even an entirely human creation. They describe some of the most natural activities in the world. And, far from being merely the dull and arcane study of human selfishness in financial institutions, it is more useful and accurate to see economics as a description of fundamental laws of nature multiplied by the complexities of human interaction and desires, and compounded again by human intellect with its resulting technology.

Ultimately, economics is about life.

Balance and equilibrium, chaos and pandemonium, conflict and survival, growth, consumption, desire, strategy. Every activity that life — human or otherwise — experiences every day touches the realm of economics. And, conversely, every kind of enterprise or struggle that we describe in our modern study of economics is a reflection of a similar kind of activity that has been going on in the natural realm ever since the beginning of life on Earth.

Everything in Nature counts the cost of its endeavors, from a rabbit expending her energy burrowing a hole in the ground, to a fox deciding whether the rabbit is close enough to attempt a high-speed chase for a quick meal to the giant corporation embarking on an enterprise to develop some fantastic new technology. Everything, even a seemingly inactive plant, protects its territory against intruders. Every part of life looks after and takes care of its own needs, at whatever level and scope it is capable of understanding or is willing to define as “its own.” The main difference between humans and the rest of Nature is the complexity of our understanding.

Risk & Reward

Economics is psychology

Not a zero-sum game

Beyond the law of the jungle

Business: psychology, sociology, arithmetic,

Darwin. Natural selection. Basic principles function regardless of imposed system from the most open free market economy to the most closed and controlled “communistic” dictatorship. It took them some 50 years, but the Chinese have discovered the need to understand and work with these principles. (Faster learners than Russians. It took them nearly 80 years to learn a similar lesson.) China has apparently learned it more effectively. Even though they’ve gone through some rapid internal evolutions and even revolutions, System of authoritarian control continuously intact throughout the years.

But although fundamental activities base upon Darwinian principles, we’re NOT limited to an entirely Darwinian world. “Social Darwinism” is not a necessity.

Because of our level of development, our intellect, our empathy, and our technology, human beings have the potential to spend less of their time and energy consuming and far more of it contemplating, enjoying, and appreciating life than any other species on the planet.