Volume 30, Number 2

The Love of Economics
(The Economics of Love)

Jim Boswell

Once upon a time in the future in a land called Castalia, Horatio Culver XXIII, received the highest award for achievement given to the leading philosopher in the science of Globanomics, an advanced offshoot to what in our present-day terms has been called the study of Economics. The award, His Excellency’s Noblest Achievement Award in Globanomics, was especially significant because it was only the fifth such award issued by an Excellency since Castalia claimed its independence from the Feuilletons more than two hundred and thirty years before. In accepting his award in front of kings, queens and other like noble dignitaries, Horatio Culver XXIII gave the following speech.

“Before I begin I would like to take this opportunity to thank every one that has attended this ceremony tonight, and especially his Excellency, for recognizing me with this high honor that has just been bestowed upon me. In all honesty, I question whether I am worthy of such an honor. With my acceptance, I am humbled beyond words.

“Regardless, whether I am worthy or not, since being notified three months ago of this award, many friends and colleagues have asked me why I thought my achievements warranted such recognition. At first, my response to my friends was a simple and courteous ‘I don’t have the slightest idea.’ But then later on, as I gave more consideration to this recurring question, I realized that my initial response was not an entirely fair one, nor an entirely truthful one. Tonight, I want to share with you my more considered response to this question. Why am I worthy?

“Let me start out by saying that as a child I was raised in a wonderful household with loving parents and caring sibling helpers. During my youth, I discovered early on that I was very good at learning games, mathematics, puzzles, music, history, among a myriad of other such things. Then as I progressed from school to school, advancing myself in the area of public and private sector theories, I found myself delving lightly into the area of Globanomics, primarily playing around on the peripheral boundaries of Globanomic’s ancient foundation—what people used to call Economics. It was there, in those ancient esoteric studies, that I learned about such things as Pareto and his Optimum, Pure Competition and Monopolistic Control. And as it turned out, it was from those early roots that I came to discover a twofold secret.

“What was that twofold secret? Well, first of all, I came to learn that I had a Love of Economics. I found that I enjoyed delving into the theories, mathematics and general logic that were used to build the foundation for our current Globanomic policies. As important as my love for economics might have been, however, it should be obvious that this alone would not make me worthy of this award given to me tonight. After all, many others, now and before me, have either shared or even excelled me in their love for economics.

“It is the second part of my secret that I think might better explain why I am standing here tonight. More important than my love for economics, I discovered that no matter how I looked at the theories behind our Globanomic policies, I always ended up coming to the same conclusion, and that is this—at the original source, at the very foundation of every Globanomic theory, lies a cornerstone that is based upon the Economics of Love.

“Let me try to explain myself better with an example or two. Let me start out with good old Pareto—Filfredo Pareto, that is. After all, it was the ancient Pareto who originated the theory that an optimum economic solution to a given problem is the “best that could be achieved without disadvantaging at least one group.” In other words, it was Pareto that first concluded that if any project was worth pursuing then there ought to be an optimal solution where all conflicting parties that fight within the decision process end up benefiting. Every last one benefiting. Pareto with his Optimum essentially said that if there can be a gain from processing then there ought to be a way to share that gain with every participant involved in the process at least in some way. Or in other words, Pareto’s Optimum defined a process where no one suffers injury, and the resulting whole is unquestionably greater than the sum of the parts.

“I will have to admit that when I first fell upon Pareto and his lauded concept, I questioned whether something like what he was talking about was possible. After all, Pareto and his Optimum seemed contradictory to Natural Law. No one in the physical sciences would dare claim to be able to create more from that with which he started. Why then should Pareto be able to make such a claim with his economic optimum?

“It was not until later that it came to me. The answer was not one relating to physical law, but one relating to a combination of biological and metaphysical law—together in the form of evolution and the Natural Law of Karma. Is it not true, for example, that the scientific man says that the universe is evolving and expanding? In fact, life on Earth has developed in what most scientists would call a law of advancing evolutionary stages. From the lowly single cell amoeba, life on Earth has grown to the point that now a human species exists that can begin to contemplate the mysteries of the entire universe—even God. And most scientists, whether they would want to or not, if forced to make a moral judgment, would say that those things which help evolution are good and those things which hinder evolution are bad. Who for example, among the scientists would call it progress to move from the human species in the direction of the one cell amoeba?

“Consistent with the scientific evolutionary principals, the Natural Law of Karma says when man struggles to gain anything for himself at the expense of others he is distinctly doing evil, and it is evil because it is against the interest of the whole. The Natural Law of Karma says that the only true gain is that which is a gain for the race as a whole, and the man who gains something without cost or wrong to anyone is raising the whole race somewhat in the process. The Natural Law of Karma says the former man of evil moves against evolution; the latter man of gain moves in the direction of evolution.

“Okay, so where does that leave us? After having given considerable thought to the matter, I came to the conclusion that the only way all participants in a decision process could benefit in the optimal manner that Pareto prophesized, without a single participant suffering injury in the process, was if the decision was implemented with Love. Based upon metaphysical considerations, evolution and the Natural Law of Karma, I came to the conclusion, that outside of Love, there was no other form or process of implementation where every participant in a Globanomic process could benefit without injury. I concluded that only through Love will are Globanomic policies be efficient and optimal. And only through Love will our species continue to evolve.”

At this point Horatio Culver, XXIII, paused and took a sip from a glass of water that had been provided by his podium. Then he began again.

“Shortly after resolving my issues with Pareto and his Optimum, I later found myself delving even further into the ancient theories that form the foundation of Globanomics. It was not long before I discovered that the ancients used to categorize their more micro principals as falling into one of four different forms of competition. I soon learned that the highest of the four levels of competition, the one most touted from an efficient and optimal standpoint, the ancients called “Pure” Competition. The lowest of the four, the least desirable and least efficient of all competitive forms, the ancients called a “Monopoly.” Assuming that the ancients chose their words carefully—a habit well documented—let us think on that for a moment.

“The word Pure means to be free from anything of a different, inferior or contaminating kind. Let me repeat that again. Pure means to be free—free from anything of a different, inferior or contaminating kind. A Monopoly on the other hand means having exclusive control of a commodity or service in a particular market, or a control that makes possible the manipulation of prices.

“In truth the ability for a society to achieve anything like a Pareto Optimum under a Monopolistic environment is based upon the Hope of having a Benevolent Dictator at the controls. However, we all know that Power corrupts. Besides, Hope is a desire and not an economic fact. So, I asked myself the question, who amongst us would pin their future Globanomic efforts on a concept with monopolistic control at its foundation. I could not. And therefore, given the choice between Purity and Freedom versus an alternative choice involving Manipulation and Control, I chose to make Purity and Freedom a part of my foundation, supporting my cornerstone of Love, as the basis for all of my future work in Globanomics.”

“Then subsequently, later on as an adult, I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to develop based upon my earlier conclusions my own theory of Globanomics, and in the process I developed a game called Golopoly. In the game of Golopoly players play the role of competing world entities. As it was, in my game of Golopoly I set it up so that each Player could regularly check an automated electronic global stockmarket board, something I called the EGSB, that would readily indicate where each Player stood in relation to each other Player in the game. With this knowledge readily at hand, each Player could plan his or her next move, of which there were three optional choices he or she could make. The three optional moves that each Player had were the following:

“Firstly, each Player could take from the things that they had already accumulated in the game and Invest them into new things that they believed in—somewhat like what in the Real World we associate with someone buying stock in a company or from another perspective, someone choosing to go to school and getting an education—an investment wholly within themselves.

“Secondly, a Player could go into Debt or in other words borrow things from another Player. Although with this option a Player could develop the same things that they did under the Investment strategy of Option 1, this Debt option is more like a compromised investment—here someone else is investing in another Player with an agreement that the lending Player will be paid back in full—with interest. This Debt option is a little more complex in its subtleties than the more simple Investment option I mentioned first.

“And thirdly, a Player could try to Rape and Pillage another Player. In other words, I allowed a Player the ability to try to destroy another Player’s property and value, take it over, then rebuild anew from the rubble—that is, if they could. The trouble with this option, however, was that in the game of Golopoly it could backfire, and the Player who tried this option might in fact become the one who was Raped and Pillaged instead of the opponent.

“It was only after monitoring several hundred games of Golopoly that I came to discover using correlation analyses that those players that more regularly chose the first strategy of Investment tended to do better than those players that more regularly chose the option of Debt. Likewise, the same historical evidence showed that Players that more regularly chose a strategy of Debt tended to do better than those players that more regularly chose Rape and Pillage as a strategy. The problem was, regardless of what I thought was a naturally intuitive finding, historical evidence also showed that at one time or another, nearly every Player that has ever played the game of Golopoly used each of the three options at one time or another during the game.

“This I could not understand. If Investment was the optimal choice, then I asked myself why the Investment option, versus that of the other two options, was not the choice made each and every time by each and every player. There had to be something that I was missing that explained this phenomena.

“It was only after further study and historical analysis, again including correlation analyses, that I found my answer. After much research into the matter, sifting through numerous questionnaires and data results, I came to discover that it was only players who Felt Good about their overall position in the game that used Investment as their predominant strategy. I discovered that those players who used Debt as their normal choice of options tended to have Doubt about their strategy and did not feel as good about their position in the game. Finally, it also became clear that those players who chose to use Rape and Pillaging as a strategy were highly Fearful of their position in the game. In fact, in actual interviews with Players, I came to discover that the players that chose Rape and Pillage as their primary option of choice, did not have the slightest idea of what it meant to Feel Good about their strategy; in fact, it turned out that players who followed this third option were so Fearful that they might go bankrupt that they did not even have Doubt about their strategy. Fear, as I came to understand it, is an entirely different emotion altogether than either the Feel Good or Doubt emotions associated with the first two options available to a Player.

“In any case, and so as not to belabor the point, in summary, I formulated what now has become known as the Culver theory of Globanomics. The basis of which is the following: In the end my theory states that if one is to do well in the world of Globanomics, then one must base their policies on Love, one must be Pure, one must enjoy their Freedom, and one must Feel Good about themselves. My theory propounds that any deviation from these standards will result in a less than optimal Globanomic outcome.

“And as of today, since no one has found a better alternative theory than this simple one of mine, I guess it is maybe for this reason, and this reason alone, that I am standing here talking to you tonight. Thank you all, and God bless.