In this article Brian Davey argues that theories are often used as justification to push people around and to bully them – particularly economic theories. If the future is one where we “grow people” rather than “growing economies” we need very different kinds of arrangements and skills – and we should start in our own movement.
I recently started reading Economics Unmasked by Philip B Smith and Manfred Max-Neef. Its message appeals to me and chimes with my background in mental health. A key idea is that we should replace the growth of economies with the growth of people – satisfying needs which, apart from subsistence provision like food, shelter and warmth, are largely not to be met in a material way. Examples are needs for affection, understanding, participation, idleness, creation, identity and freedom. Many of these imply, it seems to me, not just institutional and community arrangements but, often enough, what might be called “emotional intelligence”.