The Economic Imperative


“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood.  Indeed the world is ruled by little else.”

-          John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)

During the time I’ve spent on this research project, some ideas or threads have come more and more to the fore of my consciousness and understanding.  One of the basic starting principles of the projects was to look at the economic situation and see if a re-engagement with an ideological position that seemed to be doing quite well at the start point (sustainability was a kind of economic free-for-all, or so it seemed) would assist in the crafts’ economic sustainability.  It was an interesting idea, and still bears looking at.  My real problem is that, the longer I looked at economic situations, the more convinced I was (am) that it is not just craft that is realigning itself according to changes in culture. 

Depending on who you listen to or believe, we are either coming out of a financial blip that will mean business as usual in a few months, are in the middle of a depression to rival that precipitated by the Wall Street Crash of 1929, or are in freefall from an unsustainable system of which economics is a huge part.  Not on the edge of the precipice, but already halfway down the cliff.  This idea was mentioned at the Making Futures conference by John Thackera, and whilst it was not news to me, clearly prompted some deep thought on the part of delegated for whom it was news.  How did the Romans know when their Empire was falling?  After all, Rome was neither built nor destroyed in a day.