The new religions: first, economics

Economics these days is starting to look much like a religion. It offers, in fact, a moral code that is supposed to guarantee salvation in this world. It has also his prophets, moralists and his priests. Economics is promising us material abundance and it seemed to work preatty well, heled by the technological revolutions. The priests were then honored with status and wealth and had the power to shape our society. In the 20th century economics reached his boom and it really seemed like it was about to conquer the entire world.

But then Wall Street crashed in 1929, and people started to lose faith. And then there was the 2008’s crash again, and the priesthood started to search others to blame, blinded by their hubris.

As say my french friend, OptionMag Director, trader always win, workers always loose, just life.

But this attitude is dangerous, because if you are educated to believe greed is good, then you will start to live following a false conviction, believing that economics is a science. But in fact, it operates just like a church.

Religion is an economic today

When someone begins to oppose the main organization, for example, is repressed without even a second thought. This is an important part of economics credo: taboos. Some studies have also shown that people who prefer order in their life are more likely to become passionate about economics. Order, just like religion promises to help contain the chaos of our existence. So this believe started to interpret the world stating that people are self-interested, rational individuals and yearn for money. But even though they wanted people to believe that economy is a science, they hadn’t data and statistics to prove it. They tried to create them, of course, and because people often believe what they want to believe, they gathered many followers around the world. 

But this is, like other emerging religions, just a fashion, and it’s destined to go on and out in history. Although we need economics, we should always remember what it can and can’t do. Business get all that more than the actual economics does, and this is a very funny fact. It understands how narrative is important for humans being to relate to each other experiences and be persuaded along the road chosen by the narrator. The mental frames that determine people’s decision are, in fact, shaped by the stories they are told and tell themselves.

The collapse of the cult of experts

If just pure theory, economics would be so far from our day-to-day reality and wouldn’t be able to understand people mundane concerns. It is best then to build pure models with little empirical relevance? They also concluded that, to conquer a better understanding of society as a whole they had to work together with other disciplines. The remainder that the same religions that can sustain human freedom and dignity can become obsessed with their rightness still remains a crucial factor and it’s best to always have that in mind when doing a social analysis. Applying a scientific method to the human realm can lead to their retreat from dogmatism in their claims. Concluding, it’s better to just acknowledge this limits and use economics with the right expectations.

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