Is an Economics of love and kindness even possible? It may seem so beyond our current context that it may seem like a dream too far. However, economics comes from the Greek word Oikos, which literally means household. Whoever heard of a household that was really flourishing that wasn’t built on love and kindness? It is true that the simple model of a household is a bit defunct when comparing it to complex economic systems, but the foundational ethical principles need not differ.
Our recent “Love Economics” event in Morecambe Bay was kicked off by the excellent Prof Imogen Tyler, head of the Sociology Department at Lancaster University, who sets out the case for the utter failure of the economics of austerity. Her devastating diagnosis of the current trickle-down economic model to (ever) deliver real human flourishing and environmental sustainability is not easy listening. Her insights and wisdom based on sound data and research set the foundations for our conversation in the current reality and pain which our economic models are causing every day. You will find in parts 2, 3 and 4 loads of reasons for hope. However, our hope must not be based in denial of what we are experiencing now, otherwise, we will go on to repeat the same mistakes over and over again.