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A summary view of this fifty-year program of interdisciplinary research and publication can be found at From Rationalism to Relationalism.
Toward Concordian economics
I spent the entire summer of 1965 in strenuous intellectual struggle with Keynes’ General Theory, the book that dominates mainstream economics. That book dominates the discipline, but it is not yet well understood. Every so often a new writer appears on the horizon proclaiming a new understanding of the General Theory.
I did the same in those vexatious months. I would build one theory, follow it to its logical end—and find myself grasping air, grasping a cloud. I questioned the sanity of my mind.
But I had a concrete aim: Coming from the depressed South of the innermost Southern Italy (just below Eboli, where Carlo Levi was confined by the Fascists), I knew precisely what I was looking for. I needed to know what is Investment and what are the conditions that favor this ativity.
So, I plodded along, paragraph after paragraph, intricate page after intricate page, chapter after sobering chapter. Once I reached page 328 of that masterpiece, this is what Keynes had to say: A "view" which considers that saving is not equal to investment is "more usually supported by arguments which have no foundation at all apart from confusion of mind."
I exploded, am I confused? Is this science or dogma? So, I started reading the book again from the start. Gradually, I turned the proposition that Saving is equal to Investment inside out. With the firm understanding that Investment is all productive wealth, I reached the conclusion that Saving is all nonproductive wealth. Later I firmed up this conclusion by substituting the word Saving with Hoarding. I was then on my way to building Concordian economics.
In a hop, a skip, and a jump, I wuas able to discover three verities: 1. More Hoarding, less Investment, then fewer jobs, then less productivity: 2. More Hoarding, more poverty; 3. More Hoarding more inflation: more money but fewer goods in circulation.
As it can be seen, the entire structure of Concordian economics is germinated from the seed left by Jesus in the Parable of the Talents.
That is the essence of The Economic Process, a book that I have issued in three editions. Annotating this book—for the second time—the Journal of Economic Literature in its December 2017 issue (p. 1642) stated: "Expanded third edition presents the transformation of economic theory into Concordian economics, shifting the understanding of the economic system from a mechanical, Newtonian entity to a more dynamic, relational process.”
Somism is a word I coined in the sixties. It is a very serviceable word: It stands for “Men and women in the social context.” This is a very simple-complex truth. Aristotle uttered the thought and this conception of “man” as a social animal ruled the world for two thousand years. Rationalism came and gradually destroyed this conception; it reduced men and women to simple individuals, simple automatons who live by themselves in themselves, hoping at best to accumulate more and more financial wealth.
Somism discovers that men and women, ever since they are born, modern neuroscience confirms, want to be in a social context; need to be in a social context. Hence, they feel responsible for one another, and that making money is only one of the avenues open to them.
Somism brings Concordian economics into operation by accepting a set of mutual economic rights and responsibilities that create the common good.
Concordianism brings Somism in the political realm; it purifies both Capitalism and Socialism, and asserts itself as the way of the future, a world in which there is enough for everybody; a world conquered gradually and peacefully to the benefit of everybody, the rich as well as the poor.
Just as Rationalism has reduced the social reality to single separate entities, so it has done to the rest of our culture. Umpty-dumpty has been broken and Rationalism is not interested, not capable of bringing society back together again.
Relationalism picks up the pieces and constructs a world in which everything is dynamically, harmoniously related to everything else.
The major steps in the transition “From Rationalism to Relationalism” are outlined in a recently published Academia Letter. The final result of this transition is a culture that is of the people, by the people, for the people.