It must have started with Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’.
As Conventional religion has gradually declined, the Economy seems to have risen to a greater and greater importance and taken its place.
Fortunately, most of us can still feel good because the Economy has most of the ingredients of a religion: jargon, ‘high priest’ specialists, holy books which people argue about, splits and non conformists, orthodoxy, prophesies, ideas about money, and of course it contains a value system.
Like religion too, misconceptions abound, nobody is quite sure whether it works and what it is for – some even wonder whether it is entirely true. But as going to Church on Sundays used to be the done thing for those wanting to get on in the world so believing in Economics serves the same function today. The City is quite similar to the Vatican if not quite so beautiful. Still, at least the Lord Mayor’s Parade is quite a spectacle.
As with most received wisdom that is so well engrained, shifting it is a difficult task and one that certainly requires a wide variety of techniques. I was therefore very impressed with the originality of the idea of Street School Economics.
It is a nod to those people who sometimes press one of those small leaflets into our hand as we struggle up the High Street that says ‘Discover the Light’ or something similar.
A stall is set up with various provocative quotes hanging on it. People’s interest is aroused so that they can decide for themselves whether the holy books really are special and whether the high priests are as self serving as they are in other religions. Leaflets may be distributed to spread the word. And in due course minds are opened to inquiry.
Economics for dummies this is not.
There is also a good video presentation away from the high street and ideal for the comfort of your own home here.
Amen to that.