What if economics is unnecessary to understand economy? If we had no discipline of economics we might have common sense about the economy, the pragmatic relations of humanity and society to the material world in all its manifestations. “Economics” has been aligned with elite needs from its early use just after Wealth of Nations as the nation became an instrument of wealth centralization rather the good of the whole.
“Economy” goes back to the Greeks. “Economics”, probably from Alfred Marshal, early 1800’s, was an attempt to – by adding “ic” to be scientif- ic. (Economic and economics do no occur in Wealth Of Nations. The adjective “economical” does a few times in the sense of austere management. “Economy occurs a few times, always in the context of a specific: “the economy of the rich” , “The economy of private people”, and a few times as “political economy”.
(From Wikipedia – The discipline was renamed in the late 19th century primarily due to Alfred Marshall from “political economy” to “economics” as a shorter term for “economic science”. At that time, it became more open to rigorous thinking and made increased use of mathematics, which helped support efforts to have it accepted as a science and as a separate discipline outside of political science and other social sciences)
Interesting to imagine if accounting had been taken as the basis for understanding the economy rather than economics .
As it is, economics has been a force for fragmentation (“separate discipline outside the other social sciences”) making it hard to understand the economy in all its relations between society, people and the material world).
Economics has a strong tendency to be pulled into ideologies.
We miss out on common sense about how to make a good world, and we are left with fighting fragmentation of social thought.