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Right Relationship by Geoffrey Garver, Peter Brown

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23

1 What’s the Economy For? A Flourishing Commonwealth of Life

Today the main object of business activity is to make a quick profit, the quicker the better. The main object of contemporary statecraft is to make societies ever richer. To what end, and with what effect on individual and social virtue, we no longer ask, and scarcely dare think about. Keynes was the last great economist to hold economics in some sort of relation to the “good life.” But already the language available to him to talk about the relationship sounded threadbare. What, in fact, was the connection between being rich and being good? Keynes was troubled by such questions but could make little progress in answering them. It became sufficient to keep the existing system ...

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