What is Economy?
It seems strange to me that people are so constantly referring to “the economy” as being bad. Obviously the flow of money has become much tighter, especially in the past year… and people are worried about the future of their jobs and education, the country and the world. What strikes me as so odd is that saying “the economy’s bad” suggests that this is a temporary state. But I feel like we have had a bad economy for a long time… the entire premise of our economy is bad… the attitude we have towards land and resources, the lifestyle of consumption in the United States, the way people accept authoritarian definitions, the way we allow external entities to organize our labour, our access, and our individuality. That is not good economy to me. A good economy would have more respect for the earth, allow more people more opportunities, and be more globally responsible, for starters.
In the broadest sense, economy is the sum of human activity: it is how we get things done. Often economy is used as referring to trade, cash, capitalist economy, or even capitalist globalization. However, it also includes cottage industries, barter, gift economies, volunteer work and service, the work of clubs and religious groups, intentional communities, collectives, co-ops, and Community Supported Agriculture, and the, basic, ancient unit of family work. Excluding these aspects of economy restricts the understanding people have about what economy is and what control they have over it, including how to organize it.