Economic theory, methodology, and secure foundations

Dr. Alec A. Schaerer
Exploring Economics, 2019
Niveau: avancé
Perspective: Autre
Sujet: Réflexion sur l'économie
Format: Essay

Economic theory, methodology, and secure foundations - Approaching the law of nature that determines all forms of economy

Author: Dr. Alec A. Schaerer

October 2019


Introductory remarks

The bulk of economic theory addresses the economic process by setting out on a catalogue of aspects, seeking the laws in the aspects and hoping to get together a reliable view of the whole. This is the case also for instance in doughnut economics with its 9 plus 13 conceptual constituents. Indeed, nearly all of today’s science is on this path towards its subject matter. Yet it would be more interesting to address directly the nature of the subject matter, for an overview and as a basis for unifying all the different approaches. Here we call it the intrinsic law of the subject matter – in this case the economic process – which is the simple fact that the process unravels just as it does, not otherwise. Behaviour is observable as appearances, but the intrinsic law is not, since the appearing behaviour follows the law. Empirical data do not reveal the cause of their arising and hence do not offer the criteria for arranging them in theories. Serious efforts at the level of concepts and categories can be shunned, but are ultimately inescapable. Now most economists keep repeating that economic activity is based on free human choice and eludes thus all laws of nature. Under the spell of such a belief it is impossible to find it. But under the appropriate conceptual conditions a complete view is possible, allowing the intrinsic law of the economic process to be addressed and grasped. This is now to be shown.

Economics and values

Economics is about the exchange of economic values, but there is no consensus about how to determine objectively the values. The first to raise clearly the question was Aristotle, with a distinction between the use value and the exchange value of things (which became important again for Marx). The relation to things was then strongly influenced by the Romans – a nation of conquerors, interested in things primarily in terms of their availability. Expertise in terms of knowledge about the process of things arising and passing away interested the Romans far less. In ancient times even people were often mere things, as slaves. This imperious trait led to a dominance of the idea of ownership over the idea of possession, which is determinative – by emphasizing the caring way of dealing with things – in peaceful agrarian societies where the use value is more important than the exchange value. While in Europe the somewhat retentive development up to the 16th Century made appear the use value as relevant, Adam Smith reckoned, after the advent of mechanistic thinking, that the exchange value of goods is mirrored adequately in their use value, by dint of acquisition in trade. This idea still dominates the majority of the theories in economics. By emphasizing material availability and arbitrary feasibility, the mechanistic attitude brought the process of trade and commerce to the fore. At the level of production, this attitude entailed the process of industrialization, and then again consumerism as a way of life, where the drive is not in the authentic relationship with things, but in arbitrary controllability. In lieu of ancient economies of supply, the modern economies of trade and profit arose (see Kapp 1961, Niehans 1994 or Bürgin 1996 for an overview). Thus, the question of the objective value of money became urgent and of the total amount of money required for adequate circulation, since the awareness had shifted away from the use value that ultimately determines the reason for economic processes. The proud hope of control over external matter – not seeking first of all to understand its intrinsic law, its ultimate autonomy in values arising and passing away – led to the dominance of engineering ways of thinking, up to the now fashionable manipulation of the personal and social realm ('social engineering', 'state-building'). This example shows how human destiny can easily be shaped by unconsciously or pre-consciously ruling ideas.

For determining values, today the national product (as GNP or GDP) is considered almost in unison to be the objective basis. In this perspective, the value of circulating money is equal to the value of traded goods and services, and grows together with them. But there is an error there because then the value of goods and services is at the same time being measured in money. Formally speaking: 'While A is a function of B, B is a function of A'. Mathematics would not get far on such a path, but the leading economists – usually very proud of their mathematical skills – pull the entire world economy from this basis as if by magic, like the rabbit out of the hat. Another complicating element is that money and labour are still being handled like tradeable goods, which does not correspond in any way to their essence. Due to the unsafe basis of thought and simultaneously the global coverage of the system, extensive crises occur by no means randomly, but are a fruit of intellectual imprudence, which the vast majority of people pays expensively and on many levels – even though the ruling minority of ‘specialists’ perform their attempts at control in the idea of providing the optimal allocation of resources.

The intrinsic law of the economic process

In spite of all other beliefs, an objective law does exist that determines strictly all forms of economy, purely in terms of value. For becoming aware of this one has to notice the root of economic action, where the strict regularity is in evidence. It is the fact that the act of setting all resources into value by means of physical work on nature ('land' in the broad sense) is the necessary and sufficient condition for sustaining the totality of the eco-social process. Since that act constitutes a necessary and sufficient condition, the correlation is a law, a strictly general regularity. The material result of the act ('primary product') allows – by providing all that is necessary for food, shelter, machinery, monetary system, etc. – to produce all goods ('secondary production') and to allow management, distribution, consumption and disposal. It constitutes therefore objectively the fundamental form of capital ('that which allows all future action'), prior to any subjective assessment (in monetary or other terms) and to activities such as saving or investing. The point is in being conceptually precise, free of any empirical bias (conventional approaches to capital theory as in Birner 1990 cannot foster this clarity).

If there were no division of labour, all people would have to participate in the primal act – and a division of labour is possible only because the capable people are fully supported in their organizational work, on the ideational level by the 'primal act' and on the material level by the 'primary product'. This is why the fundamental performance 'behind' the division of labour is relevant to the totality of society (and not only according physiocratic conceptions of value) as the compelling real value; all value judgments of people (especially those according to the 'theory of subjective economic value') - as in possession / ownership, interest, capital, labour, etc. - constitute only a layer of imaginary value, fantasized additionally. The valued added by dint of such imaginary values is always and inescapably dependent on the real value.

This regularity in the eco-social process should not be unknown in philosophy since its essential feature was contemplated already by J.G. Fichte (1921: 273-287), but apparently its relevance is still not recognized. When submitting it to economists, most find it absurd to put an activity at the origin of a theory that seems comparatively insignificant to them. The reason is that they do not perceive the root on principle of economic activity, but only the many results, the tradeable objects. They do not realize the origin of the process.

Operating through the intrinsic law of the economic process

The fundamental basis, the population, constitutes the maximum value of physical labour, and it would have to be performed if there were no division of labour. A division of labour is possible only by dint of organizational labour and organizational value, which at the same time can come into existence only where it is carried by physical labour and physical value. This dialectical relationship is dynamic and can thus be understood completely only as a process. In business economics, a distinction in elementary factors is often made between dispositive labour (planning / managerial positions) and executive labour (workmen), but it remains unclear in details because this distinction does not match the overall dynamics of human action for ensuring existence. The distinction we propose between physical labour and organizational labour corresponds to the same intention, but is conceptually completely appropriate, because it is rooted in the distinction between the movement of matter and the movement of thought for moving matter, and therefore reaches in a precise way into all of one’s own actions, including the mental realm. Action in practice always is composed of both aspects, but any thorough understanding requires the conceptual differentiation. Even the most esoteric writer must still move some matter, even if it is just a pencil, and even the simplest chopping work is successful only with some intelligence. This distinction between physical labour and organizational labour introduces no empirical concepts, but purely analytical terms, a polar pair of concepts as the purely logical necessity for a precise understanding of human labour in its complete spectrum. Both together are necessary for the understanding of the phenomena. In Schaerer (2014) these bearings are made more explicit.

In the theoretical analytical sense, another distinction is relevant too, namely between the population and the necessary natural basis. Then a quotient can be determined: the natural basis divided by the population, the per capita basis. It is the average amount of resources (primary product) attributable to a single person. This real value is necessary for supporting on average one person. It determines the specific value of the product of a specific person because that quantity of resources is actually necessary for indemnifying the person per time unit. It varies with the degree of division of labour and thus productivity. This quotient can be called the 'unit of account' and used as such since it is generally the dimension that allows counting off the values saved in physical labour by applying values of organizational labour.

This does not mean rehashing Marxism or Physiocracy. The Physiocrats believed that nature itself is the supplier of value, while we interpret – against labour theory of value (reduction to working time and physiological consumption) and with modernity – human labour as the agency that imparts economic value. That does not preclude, in a discussion of change, labour and performance, resorting to categories that allow the processes of nature itself to be included (in fact completely consistently, without the theoretical gaps of today's mainstream science). In economic theory, this goal has also been pursued, but naively copying from a physics that can only describe inanimate objects and must remain, as a logical consequence, captivated in its 'either-or' descriptions at the quantum level. The structuration in theory that follows from the intrinsic law of the economic process merely means that the Physiocrats – in spite of their dubious classification of nature – had a certain sense of the real dependency of the economic process that is still present in Adam Smith and gradually disappears, starting with David Ricardo, and is entirely forgotten in neo-classicism and neo-liberalism and their side branches. These in turn share a feature with Marxist economic theory that we deem naive and misleading: both nurture the belief – or at least do not prevent it by theoretical clarity – that the crucial economic basis for society is control over the means of production by means of power, through political class struggle, or monetary capital, or by manipulation of the legislation, etc. This belief seduces power-hungry people, and hence opens the door to abuse. The belief also manifests some blindness to the production dimension in the mental realm. If the conceptual capacity is understood in it’s full potential of originality and scope, any desire for social leveling and egalitarianism through seemingly general needs or an allocation of rations eliminates itself. In contrast to such schematizations, choosing the intrinsic law of the economic process as a basis for thinking allows all forms of social division of labour to be derived and sub-differentiated, in appreciation of the creativity at all levels.

Digression into a connection between understanding and acting

Being humans we are compelled by our bodily organism to secure our existence, and we can recognize the law of nature of the values in the interactive process unraveling between us and Nature. We can realize the purpose of the process and the systemic relevance of setting resources into value. On the other hand, as materially living beings we also have the power to do whatever is necessary. The natural order comprises both sides, cognizing and acting, and the complex can be formulated in terms of laws. This does not limit any freedom in any way, because a pure law can never operate absolutely on its own; in order to have an effect, a force must be connected with the law. Also the terms of 'law' and 'force' are analytical, purely theoretical concepts. Any phenomenon appears as a combination of the two, if it is to be understood from the viewpoint of modification or process. In the whole universe there is the order of the universe, including the forces that make things arise and fall apart in accordance with their intrinsic laws. Our being incarnated forces us to conform to the basic law of economics. But in this state we have materially the forces for doing what is necessary, and ideationally the ability to deliberate the relationship. Adequate mental activity can gradually liberate us from purely physical coercion as soon as we become aware of our fundamental query perspective and when we develop the appropriate analytical concepts in it, in order to clarify the empirical questions.

Concepts are the only 'things' with the fascinating feature of being simultaneously the result of mental action and the means for steering mental action: formed through experience, but then any intention is guided by content and thus something (at least potentially) conceptual. There is a self-referential dyna­mism in the psychic setup that is not adequately addressed in most ways of theorizing. The key to overcoming limits is first in allowing one's mental activity to become something one experiences by becoming aware of the idea to which one lends one's will in thinking, and later in allowing the principle of non-limit to become the lodestar towards totality. In the eco-social process, even the simplest bartering requires the basic ideas that are relevant to economics – even if those ideas are not always conscious. A secure socio-economic overview requires relating them systematically to reality as a whole – in a theory that can cover therefore not only the things thought of, but also the activity of thinking about them. The presently fashionable, seemingly objective theoretical view 'from outside' on the psyche – especially as in rational choice theory, game theory, etc. – cannot encompass all of the economically relevant interconnections.

The objective value of money

As mentioned, the fact that human beings are constrained to set resources into value for being able to start an economy constitutes a law imposed by nature; this is reflected in the fact that the compelled act is a necessary and sufficient condition for the realization of the process. The ascertainment is totally precise. Insight into this intrinsic law allows then to recognize the objective value of money. Its is in the fact that the total amount of resources brought forward ('primary product') in one period of time (for instance, one year) corresponds – in terms of value – exactly to the amount of money that is circulating in this period. This is because exactly this activity or precisely this primary product bears the entire economic process, both materially and in terms of value (the considered aspect – things or values – determines the result of the consideration). Interestingly, in this ratio the number of monetary units ($, £, €, etc.) is irrelevant because only the numbers vary, but not the reality of the constant physical relationship. The portion relating on average to each person merely has a different numerical value, but remains a constant material value. This factual context provides a conceptual bridge between the value of the existential basis and the value of the medium of exchange. In its real sense, money has nothing to do with debt. Any form of debt is a man-made feature. And Hudson (2018) is a reminder of economic instability incurred by insisting on creditor elites and oligarchs. The law of being compelled to primal production is valid in a strict sense only for humanity as a whole, because differences between countries (and hence their national economies) in the distribution of natural resources and manpower differ somewhat from the arithmetic average. The balance achieved by trade is secondary.

This set of facts constitutes a clear basis for the precise and strictly general differentiation of all fundamental concepts of economic theory. Real satisfaction of needs does not require growth or other artificial ideas, but a comprehensive ascertainment of the deficiencies and needs in mental clarity. Today's standard basic concepts of economic theory – land, labour, capital, balance, exchange, utility, market, price, etc. – reflect aspects of a structure that is the subject of economic theory and should be covered systematically without conceptual gaps, in complete coherence. Since this can not be accomplished in a strictly complete way by means of the usual terms, due to their empirical stain, the real meaning of the aspects and concepts of economic theory can be measured fully only in the context of a conceptual complex such as the one proposed here, offering a really sound foundation.

In what is proposed here, the derivation of the basic concepts of economic theory is carried out on the general conceptual basis of change / process, which implies work (physics), labour (economics), natural conditions (land, in the broadest sense), the act of primal production, primary product (corresponding to capital in the most complete sense: 'what allows all future action'), constancy of material value (and hence monetary value), unit of account (primary product per person), conceptual polarity between physical labour and organizational labour, polarity between the individual and society, the market and its equilibria (with utility as an aspect), the social institutions for regulating the economic process without generating conflict (through free associations of affected people), banking and credit, forms of money through the types of use of money, investment and profit; this structure allows a securely sustainable self-administration. For a detailed presentation see Schaerer (2011: 459-551).

The reach of the outlined law

The intrinsic law of the economic process applies to all forms of economy, whether with or without money, growing or recessive, capitalist or socialist, subsistence or high-tech, with or without basic income, blockchains, etc.. In today's global constellation it does not matter how far the industrialization or the rule of monetary capital is being driven, because inalienably the need to acquire the actually supporting basis of energy-matter remains. For achieving a fully correct theory, the dependence should thus be taken conceptually into consideration in a precise way – which is by far not the case, while since a long time the market is launching itself out of intuitive hunches at raw materials that are recognized as valuable by dint of their importance – partly for systemic reasons (eg, oil, water), partly for mythical reasons (e.g. precious metals). The dependency on resources produced a sector of naked power in the economy (Glencore, etc.). This grabbing of resources by the market can unfortunately not have a corrective effect – in opposition to the belief of market gurus – but only increase the distortion, because the stock market as a management tool organizes itself in the economic process in the aim of monetary profit. The stock market can not achieve any meaningful overall correction since stock market participants do not pursue the objective of an overall dynamic equilibrium. This social process does not fundamentally have to do with greed – and should therefore not be addressed in a moralizing way, even though it drives greedy people to the forefront of decision making and exposes all agents to greed as seduction. Also, corrective movements in the money supply by central banks without considering fully the real value can produce no real systemic cure. The popular argument of the creation of jobs is equally misguided. The task of the economy in the sense of entrepreneurship is not to create jobs, but to manufacture products that meet the needs. In an economy that is being thought from totality towards its aspects, the question of jobs never becomes acute, because it is continuously and 'automatically' becoming solvable by thinking in adequate concepts. To wit, when the sustainedness of the whole economic process is at the center of consciousness, and serves as the systematic basis in the conceptual system of the theory, all people are 'automatically' included adequately. This eliminates, for example, the currently ruling narrow-minded idea that an activity can only be presumed to be labour when it produces directly economically exploitable things in pre-production, industry, distribution, trade, scheduling, and production of cultural values. It is no coincidence that pressure is growing for example towards recognizing the economic value of housework, or an increasing need of sponsorship in order to maintain important social and cultural functions that otherwise would disappear. The currently fashionable idea of extending services into just about everything, making anything into a tradeable commodity, offers no guarantee of covering the whole of the economic process. It only subjects human activities to the rule of monetarism with its needless coercions. In real economy, the distorting effect of the usual notion of economically relevant labour and of economic value results in us all increasingly performing forced labour for nothing more than the maintenance of the system that extorts this from us through our need of income as payment for a direct performence, while we became accustomed to award an income only to those who obey the system constraints – and while we must apparently endure this coercion until finally getting the point. Until then, the 'siphoning off' of profits will remain operative, which now paralyzes the system, while its representatives present themseves on top of that as saviors with the 'argument' of job creation, which is – upon precise systematic examination – either a self-deception (where unclear thinking is at work) or a screen of smoke (where clear thinking and therefore dishonesty is at work). Many problems in the economic fabric have their roots in a one-eyed vision of the structural relationships and corresponding disturbed implementations at all levels of the economic system.

Bridging the gap between theory and practice

Achieving an all-out recovery of socio-cultural reality through the economy would thus require efforts on several levels simultaneously. On the one hand there is the strategic level where one should move according to the laws imposed by nature – including those that determine the basics of logic – in order to develop truly effective theoretical structures (but most of what is presnted today is forecasted tactics). On the other hand, there is the tactical level of acting under the constraints of a specific situation, identifying the appropriate material movements. But one should not hope to have good tactics until one has developed a good strategy. This dependence is very clear, and if we got bogged down globally thsi is by not having thought about it before. But we can always learn! So we have to cultivate both, strategy and tactics, at the same time, in parallel – but in a very precise intellectual order.

On the one hand, at the theoretical level some serious basic academic efforts are necessary for ensuring in a systematic way the complete coverage of the subject matter and the complete coherence of the conceptual system. In terms of cognition it would have to be an uncompromising perspective that includes explicitly at the theoretical level the intrinsic law of primary production. On the other hand, the wider public too should be allowed to gain clear insight into the fundamental conceptual relationships, for unfolding an increasingly conflict-free practice. This is best achieved through steady practical experience that can relaxedly be reflected.

The difference between relaxed solutions based on reality and today's tense state of affairs can be bridged by different processes. Where today's majority of decision makers persist in the mainstream opinion, due to reasons of principle (by following the law of today’s monetary system) they cannot avoid generating – as the development clearly shows – sooner or later a state bankruptcy. Interestingly, however, a bankruptcy of the existing global monetary system is never to be worried about, even hough it is in private hands and constitutes, as it were, a state for itself. The reason for this superiority is that the existing system benefits of any conflict and disaster because loans for reconstruction are then always necessary, while the fate of all goods is to decay anyway. The principle of debt, jealously kept secret, guarantees at the very end the desperation of the clientele – but she does not know that. All the more the currently most visible representatives of this system, the banks, must give themselves a very splendid gloss. All this should give the state leadership – and in the last resort the population – something to think about in terms of structure.

A state bankruptcy is still only a disaster if the people lose their belongings, as is the case in today's type of organization. Since most decision-makers are involved in this organization, and hence benefit from the misfortune of others, they have hardly any interest in changing the situation. They feel justified in it because the habitual way of thinking can offer them no reasonable alternative. For precisely this reason the intrinsic law of coercion to primary production has been outlined above, for facilitating non-ideological forms of thought (in-depth considerations are surely required for further steps). If experts would minister this intrinsic law of the economic process, society could proceed relatively efficiently. Otherwise, some state bankruptcy will be actualized. It is known that in the euro area, such a moment is to be feared in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc., and specialists are of the opinion that the series will continue. Now the U.S. is faced with the problem too. As to ways of handling this danger, one should not lose sight of who may have an interest – considering the geopolitical situation – in a development that makes some nation states (but not others) go bankrupt. Fairly often, interests in raw material resources in the sacrificed countries play an important role, which then can be taken over.

The situation is, however, rarely being discussed in an appropriate way. When it is thought in complete transparency, the tangle can be resolved smoothly. Even if a state bankruptcy arises, it can run off lightly if a broad awareness of the positive ways of thinking is already effective. Such is more and more likely since handling goods, money and values will sooner or later awaken the awareness for the basic interrelations. Distractions can not be effective forever. In a state bankruptcy, the material facilities, services and goods are still available – the question is how to balance them against each other. The outlined real value of money reveals the foundation that allows a transformation of the situation without real conflicts; where conflicts arise, they are due to illusory ideas or arbitrary forceful inteventions.

There are thus different paths on which the transition can be approched. The important point is the clarity in the basic concepts, because this is ultimately relevant. These need to be developed and cultivated without compromise. This is both a theoretical and a practical effort – theoretically as clear ways of handling laws imposed by nature, and practically as dealing with other people through activities, goods and services that can always be made conflict-free, thereby promoting constructive alertness for the conceptual relationships.

An integral practical implementation

Aside from a sincere basic debate in the academic realm, an access to solutions for the current economic problems could be found in complete local economies that are supported by a minimum of about 1000 people. This social dimension is already sufficient for bringing to bear a reasonable division of labour for simple things and a local market can already flourish. Projects that are designed to operate on mere barter, or in pure self-sufficiency, siphon off too much creative energy of participants into mere survival and are thus at best precursors of meaningful solutions. Since not all people like to think in a purely theoretical way, in external practice the interconnections must also become explorable. Complete local economies with their division of labour provide the minimum field for investigating the effectiveness of the law of having to achieve primal production for allowing further economic steps. In the local economies the principle of banking need not be abandoned, because as an entity for balance sheets of the circulating money it needs to be appreciated. But today's commercial bank is really only useful for itself and its beneficiaries; with increasing transparency it will therefore become unnecessary, and then all banks are branches of the respective Central Bank. Just like all people need to know, for their satisfactory social inclusion, what is at stake in medicine or in physics, they should also be clear what is at stake in the economy.

An interesting point is the communication between local economies. The most expedient cooperation between them can come about through the groups of people who are all affected materially by the same type of problem, which organize themselves out of their joint objective interest by developing non-coercive mutual agreements, and thereby gradually – in the same way as networked works councils, professional committees or regional councils – give rise to a social fabric of associative character. In this network between local economies, questions such as the following ones can adequately be developed and cultivated:

• explorations of the intrinsic connection between physical labour and organizational labour;

• issues of alienation from the sense of our activities, which is built into the division of labour, but where questions become manifest only when partial aspects bully the whole system;

• adequacy of the forms of cooperation at the level of the associative federation;

• establishing a functional local money system; as is well known, such systems can generally be compatible with a larger or even global system, and can therefore be coupled to these;

• questions concerning the means for the center for social coordination (actually taxes would become unnecessary because primal production sustains the whole social structure);

• contributions to the design of a global monetary system without systemic weaknesses; etc.

Let us be clear at this point that we are no longer at the mere beginning of a development. In addition to sound critiques from Marx to today, meanwhile numerous attempts at more or less local or otherwise specific forms of alternative economy have emerged, from the LETS systems or the proposals by Bernard Lietaer in the monetary area, through a variety of local economies mainly for self-preservation, up to designs on a larger scale such as the proposal of Richard Douthwaite. Fortunately awareness is growing and networks are being formed.

Complete local economies are particularly interesting, first because within their context the principle of primary production can be experienced as closely as ever possible, and second because the personal experience of participants in their economy can be related to their own local economy in feedbacks for transforming it, stabilizing and developing it further, in the sense of an unfolding autopoietic system. In this way, a large number of possible solutions to the basic economic problem can emerge. In every such design, a sense of its uniqueness and individuality is naturally being developed. None of them can lay claim to have found the one and only general solution, but in the debate between these designs, gradually the blind spots – which are leading us to the limit of the sufferable – can be overcome and the bearing can be explored more deeply. The associative network is suitable – by dint of its modus operandi – for contributing to a better understanding rather than breeding constraints. The point is in mediating constructively in a continuous dialogue between all process partners. The means of control is unlike the exploitation and exclusion with 'hire-and-fire' under the compulsion to profit; instead it is a relaxed rearrangement of labour between sectors and regions according to objective needs. This is possible in the totality of the socio-economic process in referring to the mentioned sustainment by the original act and primary production, which is calculable by means of the 'unit of account' that is obtained from the quotient of the primary product per population (per capita real value). Schaerer [2011: 459-535] offers a precise account of the required conceptual instrumentation, including detailed illustrations [2011: 539-551]. In a debate at the associative level, the necessary universality in the basic concepts can become fruitful for the development of an informal but fact-oriented global understanding towards the design of a consensual social and cultural togetherness, from the least to the greatest, such as the U.S. with the Dollar and the European Union with the Euro.


The proposed approach to the law of nature that determines all forms of economy allows all possible economic theories and practices to be coordinated under oner conceptual umbrella, and also to identify malformations in an objective way without getting into subjective or even moralizing judgements.

The point is in the quest for meaning, which in all living beings is inevitably stretched out between the level of their intrinsic laws and that of materiality, mediated by their specific mode of conscious being – for humans as individual and social beings this takes place between handling thought (cultural life, self-realization, freedom, legislative, republican view), handling agreement (mature participation, equality, law and political life, adjudicative, democratic-parliamentary view) and handling commodities (sociality, fraternity, economy, executive, network of fact-oriented associative groupings).

Where sensitive intelligence and precise dialogue management in transparency is allowed to prevail over powerful demeanor, this development process can even pleasurable. For putting it into motion, a careful discussion of the basic issues is necessary. Whether they appear to be extremely complex, or rather surveyable, depends largely on the type of categoriality through which they are being considered. At this level, some residual obstacles need to be disposed of by means of an integral vista in leaving away all prejudices, also in terms of fundamental assumptions. Then the mental space can open up to procedures according to its real potential. Then the debate can get rid of unnecessary tensions and become fruitful in a refreshing way.



Bürgin, Alfred (1996): Zur Soziogenese der politischen Ökonomie; Marburg: Metropolis.

Fichte, Johann Gottlieb (1921): Volk und Staat. Eine Auswahl seiner Schriften, compiled by Prof. Dr. Otto Braun;    Munich: Drei Masken Verlag; see especially the chapter Jurisdiction (Rechtslehre, pp 273 – 87).

Hudson, Michael (2018): …and forgive them their debts. Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year. Dresden: ISLET-Verlag.

Kapp, K. William (1961): Towards a Science of Man in Society; The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff.

Niehans, Jürg (1994): A History of Economic Theory. Baltimore / London: The John Hopkins U.P.

Schaerer, Alec (2011): Systematische Ganzheitlichkeit – Eine methodologische Vermittlung zwischen Perspektivität und Universalität – mit einem Grundriß der Anwendbarkeit dieses Ansatzes auf die Geowissen­schaften; Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann.

Schaerer, Alec (2014): "Stabilizing the Dynamics in the Global Socio-Economic System – Categorial Clarification for Exhaustive Transparency and Sustainability", in: European Union Foreign Affairs Journal no. 1-2014, available at their website:

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Ce projet est le fruit du travail des membres du réseau international pour le pluralisme en économie, dans la sphère germanophone (Netzwerk Plurale Ökonomik e.V.) et dans la sphère francophone (Rethinking Economics Switzerland / Rethinking Economics Belgium / PEPS-Économie France). Nous sommes fortement attachés à notre indépendance et à notre diversité et vos dons permettent de le rester !