From Economy to Oeconomy

Excerpts from “L’Essai sur l’oeconomie”, by Pierre Calame (Editions Charles-Léopold Mayer 2009).

par Pierre Calame, octobre 2009
Langue : anglais - Traduction : De l’économie à l’oeconomie

Œconomy, Returning to the Source

Up till the 18th century, one spoke of ‘œconomics’, not ‘economics’. “The rules of household management”, œconomics was, according to the botanist Carl von Linné, “the art of putting all of the goods of nature to good use”. It is this definition that we must rediscover.

The Art of Bifurcation

Like great ocean liners, societies advance rapidly but turn slowly; large organizations are good at innovating along the margins but are incapable of calling themselves into question; the radical innovation that is today necessary must thus come from the outside.

Actors, Scales and Steps of a Strategy of Change

Systematic change is difficult because it relies on multiple conditions that have to do with the actors, scales and steps of the strategy. These various conditions are described and illustrated in the case of the œconomy.

Conclusions: The Definition and Specifications of the ŒconomyAt the end of this first part, we may define the œconomy as the branch of governance that concerns the production and distribution of goods and services according to regimes of governance adapted to their nature and purpose. The specifications of the œconomy bring together the principle conclusions of the first, analytic part of the book, in order to provide a foundation for propositions advanced in the second part.

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