What is the essence of the economy

The essence of the economy

Günter Ropohl

The essence of the economy. And the mischief of economists

Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft 2015; 187 p .; 29, - €; ISBN 978-3-8487-2513-7

"Now there is of course the dispute of the doctrinal opinions in every subject, but the fact that political recommendations with great social implications are prematurely derived from controversial theories is part of what I call the mischief of economists." (25 f.) Based on the Everyday and rather unscientific use of the economic term, the author undertakes to outline "the essence of the economy" on the basis of central economic subject areas. Whether on the “division of labor”, “money and capital”, “companies” or, for example, “market economy and capitalism”, Günter Ropohl always asks the “constructs of today's economy” whether they are capable of developing helpful ideas about human life. In doing so, he explicitly points out that the usual questions of economic or corporate ethics are not the focus of his considerations, but rather, from an ideology-critical perspective, he aims at what he calls a "holistic doctrine of business people in society" ( 182). However, an economics that, from the perspective of a successful life, could claim to serve people, would also have to be more demanding and put supposed basic economic certainties to the critical test. Economists, who as “market fundamentalists” celebrate the “market” as the apotheosis of freedom ”(145), disguise the fundamental signature of capitalism, which endangers freedom, with their exemplary transfiguration of the market economy. Trapped in their “delusions of economics” (169), economists who have become victims of their own specialization spread the growth model of unrestrained and unleashed increase in money. With this, economists - according to Ropohl - become propagandists of an unreflective "growth fetishism" (178), with the result that the plurality of lifeworld standards falls victim to the unification dictate of economics. This tendency to apply the special view of economics to all areas of life is commonly referred to as the “economization of life” (179).