In Dutch, the word ‘economie’ describes two different concepts. It points to ‘economy’, the world we see around us; the system that includes companies, banks, governments, our jobs, our holidays, products, services and of course: money.  Economie also means ‘economics’: the part of academia that studies this subsystem of the world, develops theory, and uses this theory to inform political and business decisions. Even in English the words ‘economy’ and ‘economics’ are often used interchangeably.

I believe it’s important to make a conscious distinction between the two: Economics being the Science, or if you will, the field of moral philosophy, and Economy being the Art; the system that we manifest every day, bringing it into being through all our actions, in-actions and transactions.

Economics is the inner values system. Our theories, beliefs, value-perspective and moral philosophy.
Economy is its outward expression. Our behaviour, our actions and transactions.

The economy is an outward expression of our inner value systems. Our beliefs, worldviews, value-perspectives continuously influence how we act in the world. What we buy, where we work, what we eat, wear, pay for or leave to one side. When our knowledge, insight and personal experience develop, the inner changes also influence our external behaviour and economic decisions.

The reverse is also true: our thinking – and underlying ethical and value-perspectives – are continually shaped by the world around us. What we find normal, acceptable or desirable is to a great extent influenced by the cultural context we live in. The way we make economic decisions is – sometimes unconsciously – shaped by what is being rewarded or penalised in our societies.

Beautiful Economy

A Beautiful Economy is a values-system that expresses a care for Life. It is a system in which all economic activity – production, consumption, trade, politics and public spending, business and organisation, money and the way we work – is based on the understanding that we are all part of one, big living system. Well-being is therefore a collective quality; not something one individual can obtain, while others – human or other – are made worse off.

In a Beautiful Economy we recognize the intrinsic value of every form of life, rather than its utilitarian value to humans alone. What is good for the community of Life, is valued higher than what seems beneficial to one or few individuals. A Beautiful Economy is a system of choice, and can by its own nature never be enforced. Instead, its creation is driven by a shared wish and determination to be part of a society and ecosystem that live in harmony and right relationship. For many generations to come.

Beautiful Economics

Beautiful Economics is the field of moral philosophy that fosters the development of a Beautiful Economy. Rather than being a study of merely quantitative analysis, based on a single, utilitarian and anthropocentric view on progress and wealth, it is a dynamic field of inquiry, in which the creation of a healthy system for all Life is central.

Beautiful Economics is not just another branch of academia. Instead, it is an ongoing learning process for all of us, as we are all co-creators of the economy. It is an inquiry into our inner values, outer behaviour, and the integrity between the two. It comprises exploration of a wide spectrum of worldviews and (economic) theories, which pushes us to become aware and continuously develop our own moral philosophies. And triggers us to live it, as praxis learning, every day.

See also my blog-article – Collective Acts of Beauty