Knowledge, wisdom, erudition, arts, and elegance, what are they, but the mere trappings of the mind, if they do not serve to increase the happiness of the possessor? A mind rightly instituted in the school of philosophy, acquires at once the stability of the oak, and the flexibility of the osier. Philosophy can add to our happiness in no other manner but by diminishing our misery; it should not pretend to increase our present stock, but make us economists of what we are possessed of. Happy were we all born philosophers; all born with a talent of thus dissipating our own cares by spreading them upon all mankind.
Labour is the source of all wealth, the political economists assert. And it really is the source -- next to nature, which supplies it with the material that it converts into wealth. But it is even infinitely more than this. It is the prime basic condition for all human existence, and this to such an extent that, in a sense, we have to say that labour created man himself.
I have arrived at the conviction that the neglect by economists to discuss seriously what is really the crucial problem of our time is due to a certain timidity about soiling their hands by going from purely scientific questions into value questions.
We have to define that word which good economists always try to avoid: capitalism is that form of private property economy in which innovations are carried out by means of borrowed money.
Some economists argue that the apparent paradox rests on an illusion: there is no real 'labor shortage,' only a shortage of people willing to work at the wages currently being offered. You might as well talk about a 'Lexus shortage' — which there is, in a sense, for anyone unwilling to pay $40,000 for a car.
Doing the right things for the wrong reasons is typical of humanity. Precession — not conscious planning — provides a productive outcome for misguided political and military campaigns. Nature's long-term design intervenes to circumvent the shortsightedness of human individuals, corporations, and nations competing for a share of the economic pie. Fundamentally, political economists misassume an inadequacy of life support to exist on our planet. Humanity therefore competes militarily to see which political system... is fittest to survive. In slavish observance of this misassumption, humans devote their most costly efforts and resources to killingry — a vast arsenal of weapons skillfully designed to kill ever more people at ever-greater distances in ever-shorter periods of time while employing ever-fewer pounds of material, ergs of energy, and seconds of time per killing.
EFA certainly remains an imperfect tool. However, its major weakness may be the inherent conservatism of the method rather than the concerns expressed by economists and techno-optimists. EFA findings, already alarming enough, likely under-estimate rather than over-estimate the total human load. In this light the real sustainability problem is that the official world remains in the thrall of the perpetual growth myth.
But many economists don
Conventional economics starts with certain basic premises that are clearly, unequivocally incorrect: that the environment is a subset of the economy; that resources are infinitely substitutable; and that growth in population and consumption can continue forever. In conventional economics, natural resources like fossil fuels are treated as expendable income, when in fact they should be treated as capital, since they are subject to depletion. As many alternative economists have pointed out, if economics is to stop steering society into the ditch it has to start by reexamining these assumptions.
Few economists saw our current crisis coming, but this predictive failure was the least of the field
If economists often underestimate the contribution of energy to economic growth, it would be just as wrong to disregard the role of specialization. Adam Smith, who was writing when Britain was still burning relatively trivial amounts of coal, believed that economic expansion would come about
The near-religious belief that economic growth depends not on energy and resources, but solely on increasing innovation, efficiency, trade, and division of labor, can sometimes lead economists to say silly things.
From the standpoint of theory, this idea disregards the elementary propositions of Marxism concerning the inevitability of capitalist development where commodity production exists. Marxism teaches that a society which is based on commodity production, and which has commercial intercourse with civilised capitalist nations, at a certain stage of its development, itself, inevitably takes the road of capitalism.
Let the “socialist” snivelers croak, let the bourgeoisie rage and fume, but only people who shut their eyes so as not to see, and stuff their ears so as not to hear, can fail to notice that all over the world the birth pangs of the old, capitalist society, which is pregnant with socialism, have begun.
This struggle must be organized, according to “all the rules of the art”, by people who are professionally engaged in revolutionary activity. The fact that the masses are spontaneously being drawn into the movement does not make the organization of this struggle less necessary. On the contrary, it makes it more necessary.
While the bourgeois state methodically concentrates all its efforts on doping the urban workers, adapting all the literature published at state expense and at the expense of the tsarist and bourgeois parties for this purpose, we can and must utilize our political power to make the urban worker an effective vehicle of communist ideas among the rural proletariat.
Our brain accepts what the eyes see and our eye looks for whatever our brain wants.
If human vices such as greed and envy are systematically cultivated, the inevitable result is nothing less than a collapse of intelligence. A man driven by greed or envy loses the power of seeing things as they really are, of seeing things in their roundness and wholeness, and his very successes become failures. If whole societies become infected by these vices, they may indeed achieve astonishing things but they become increasingly incapable of solving the most elementary problems of everyday existence.
To talk about the future is useful only if it leads to action now.
And amid all the splendors of the World, its vast halls and spaces, and its wheeling fires, Il£vatar chose a place for their habitation in the Deeps of Time and in the midst of the innumerable stars.