Why divine belief in economics and its priests is a central problem..

An interesting article by Emil Urhammer, a PhD fellow at Aalborg University, Denmark.

He questions this near blind belief of people in economic religion and its priests. He compares it to a similar belief in Norse mythology which eventually collapsed:

Over the years, much has been written about the 21st century and its climate changes, social crises, and devastating wars. These works have tried to explain the conditions of society, which were the reason why highly developed societies did not react and adapt in time. Some of these works have also included the divine belief in Economics as part of their explanations. However, as far as I am aware, nobody has made a comparison between the divine belief in Economics and Norse mythology. This has been my attempt, and an important insight of this effort is the difference between the fundamental acceptance of the downfall in Norse mythology and the complete lack of this in economic mythology. In this manner, the Völuspá can be used as a commentary on a younger faith’s lacking ability to understand its own age and the terrible calamities approaching.

If one lets the Völva be a voice whose prophecy apply to the future of the world more generally, her predictions are not merely relevant to the men and gods of the Norse world, but also to the societies and divine worship of future ages. From this perspective, the Völva has the power to explain the terrible crises of the 21st century along with the demise of the gods of Economics.

That the gods of Economics were gradually swallowed up by twilight is because they, similarly to the Norse gods, lost their connection to the surrounding world, which was swiftly changing. Blinded by their withdrawal from the world, the worshippers of Economics overlooked the actual problems of society and devoted themselves to worshipping dying gods. The economic preachers, the ruling political parties, and the elite of society were thus guilty of ignoring the advancing moral, social, and natural disasters, which might have been avoided by paying attention to the prophecy of the Völva.

He perhaps overdoes it in the criticism but makes a valid point. There is little doubt that economics has emerged as a new religion of sorts with quite a few swearing by it. There is a lot of focus on how quickly can economies develop and  how the high priests of this system can help us grow. Most of such priesthood falls flat on the face when priests apply it to themselves. Then there are these events which take all by a surprise and the priests simply shrug it off saying it is all in God’s (read market’s) hands.

This does not mean the subject is useless and should be avoided. It does have a few important lessons with avoiding hubris as one of them. Just that we have all gone overboard on the same.

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