Monocentrism as a New Ontology of Economics

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Abstract

The vast majority of economists acknowledge that there is a wide range of issues concerning economic relations. The need for economic relations control became obvious, not only at a country level, but also on a global scale, by virtue of the worldwide interrelationship and interdependence of each country.

If we consider knowledge to be a conjunction of data – which ensures an understanding of reality and enables us to take appropriate actions – it is clear that economists do not share the same view of what the economy actually is.

US President Harry S. Truman once asked to find a “one-handed economist” because every time he consulted his economic advisors on economic policy development, he heard “on the one hand….. on the other hand”.  Seventy years have passed since then, but comprehension of reality has not altered, so that even now our actions – translated into an economic policy – lead to crisis. It follows that, for an accurate understanding of reality, it is necessary to answer the question of what an economy is. In other words, it is essential to take a new look at the ontological basis of economics. This is the only way to accurately assess the complexity of economic issues and economics as a science.

Monocentrism is a philosophical approach that allows us to take a fresh look at the complexity of the subject being studied, alongside existing socio-economic development issues. According to this outlook, the world is unique. Everything we see or do not see is a fragment of the world. Every fragment’s task is the transformation of substance and energy. The transformation process of each fragment generates needs. The world represents a functional assembly of fragments from atoms to the planet as a whole. Humans and humankind are fragments of the planetary functional assembly. For humankind, from a social aspect, the transformation process translates into economic relationships – in other words, into social interactions in the production, exchange and distribution of amenities.

The set of values, i.e., what people consider necessary at every stage of humankind’s development, defines sets of amenities as well as means of their production, exchange and distribution.

Identification of values, needs, amenities, means of production, exchange and distribution – as immanent features of economic relationships – allows us to determine the complexity of economic relations and economic science.

In this context, the principle of monocentrism, an underlying feature of the system-based transdisciplinary approach, can be used to interpret national economy, corporate economy and household economy as global economy fragments, and economic relations as a fragment of the relationship between humankind and other fragments of the global functional assembly.

The logic determining the world’s unity allows us to divide socio-economic development problems into actual and pseudo-issues. Just as knowledge of the laws of refraction allows us to understand that a spoon bending in a glass of water is not a ‘fact’, so too the principle of monocentrism will not allow us to mistake pseudo-issues for real ones.

Posted for comments on 23 Oct 2017, 10:14 am.

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