Part 12: What A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy mean
About politics in relation to economic reality of society, both prevail with numbers and letters. The count begins with period in political office according to the constitution. Numbers extend to include economic value translated in money count. Lettering spells out who the rulers are and those to be ruled on what terms. It also includes what will be provided during a term of political office. Thus, we have A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy in perspective.
Curious about why social reality linked to the economy gained the popular name political science, I decided thinking outside the box in exploration for clarity.
The more I tried to accept political science for what traditional academics seek to impress, the harder my mind outside the box defeats me. Then I thought something deserves a better look in the eyes of truth not just how everyone is told, but objective reality at best reasoning.
My years of critical reflection and observing various experts revealed to me their ability to simplify complex issues while the rest of us complicate simple issues adding to more confusion
Learning the alphabet and numbers could have been a complex encounter for the unschooled, especially children. Thanks to our elementary school teachers for sinking it in with fun and sometimes strictness.
Thinking about it critically, all that you needed in your toolbox of schooling are set of letters and numbers better called A B C and 1 2 3.
For the remaining of your educational pursuit along the schooling track, how you associate and utilise those letters and numbers at whatever frequency or scale makes any difference between you and the rest of us.
Then I concluded without hesitation that creating better political awareness is possible by loading toolbox of everyone in society the A B C and 1 2 3 of economic reality binding all of us the political arena houses.
By my account of critical exploration social reality in the context of politics and the economy belongs to another domain. That in my view is something else beyond political science as many of us are made to believe without asking pertinent questions. Those issues below provide the inroad on our journey in search of economic life line political power hinges on.
The Concept and Perspective of Your A B C and 1 2 3 Political Economy
Everywhere in society when people talk about politics, they relate everything to economic conditions. People want good roads, schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, policing for security, and plenty of food on the table. They expect politicians to do something about these and many other needs. Economic reality tells us there is not enough for getting everything everybody wants at every time. Therefore, if we are unable to get so much of what we want the rule says we go by the economic thinking of making a choice in distributing our limited resources to get optimal satisfaction. We settle for what gives us the best possible satisfaction. In that way of deciding what is best for us according our means, the rich and poor enjoy similar level of satisfaction although with vastly different possession. That is why both rich and poor rub shoulders in the market or street corners laughing about different matters. You still smile about what gives you the occasion to do so.
Individually we all make personal economic decisions based on resources at our disposal. The economic principle of scarcity and choice governs us all and that is true even for those who may not be aware of such rational allocation in principle. To an extent everyone performs the job of an economist without being called by that name. Nobody in their right frame of mind will prefer squandering limited resources at hand. Knowing it or not, we are all faced with this critical economic situation requiring rational choice over limited resources.
Collectively, the national economy is life sustaining property of everyone in society. Government is the organised establishment given permission to make the rational decision on behalf of everyone. Money is collected by a sitting government from various sources and kept for everyone to benefit from. The same government pays specialised institutions and individuals employed to facilitate distribution. Those employed as financial milking agents collect money. Others are employed as custodians of what is collected. Final decision is taken by those with political authority; people at the top. We are not sure if people given the gigantic responsibility of making crucial economic decisions by any occasion utilise high capacity and competence or simply rely on impulse. That is where everyone needs to think seriously before placing in the hands few the keys to our collective economic powerhouse as they assume the lofty political seat of authority. That includes holders of key positions at local council level. Local councils are by extension the financial milking fat cows of public revenue. Leaving them free may result to so much milk spilling at a cost.
Further exploration of politics and the economic superstructure reveals how we are all linked to the national grid of values. It is fatal error by some of us when we think of handing political power to groups and individuals who end up taking full custody of our shared resources without being competently scrutinised. The risk is too high when people are handed the exclusive power over resources affecting livelihood of everyone in society.
Key line of enquiry and overall orientation of Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy is in the perspective that by empowering an individual as head of government or their political party through votes, they are being handed keys to the economic powerhouse. Doing so just by sweet talks and soul soothing cool promises can be risky at very high cost to everyone.
Everyone in society has very high stakes with high interest to deserve high power and influence over collective resources. For some reasons many of us simply resign and surrender to the few that promise they will manage our economy when we hand them political power.
People deserve to make informed choices and that is better done when everyone adequately knows that political power is linked to economic livelihood of all in society. That information is hidden from the rest of us. The need to make it simple is what motivates Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy.
How Scientific is Political Science?
Considering how unpredictable our politicians can be, one is inclined to wonder how scientific political science becomes. Granted that science does not create and that scientific task in bulk is lot about observation then the job of political scientists becomes more challenging than ever thought about.
Whereas scientific research involving experiments relies on evidence with uniformity, then observation and behaviour patterns of politicians will break all test tubes in the lab without clean results.
Yes, the objective of drawing valid conclusion from critical assessment cannot be applied to political samples just so easily. Political behaviour in social relations is such a fat bite for easy chewing. Patterns are so diverse that laws of precision as applicable in science proves more difficult in measuring the behaviour of this complex social person taking political nose dive at everyone’s risk.
Calling politics social science is still not enough making a case for observing, analysing, and drawing valid conclusion from such variety in behaviour patterns. Similarities in political conduct does not make the job any easy for near perfection. It is baffling how a body of knowledge as political science remains scientific by word and action.
The complexity of political behaviour deepens further when you think principles apply to the letter. Given that party politics operates within the bounds of constitutions and other regulatory instruments, we still see the same party shifting gears with any change of leadership.
Experience provides ample evidence at hand indicating that no two set of political grouping perform at perfectly regulated order of dispensation. Personalities weigh in with their special likes and dislikes which changes the game as each captain prefers, without needing to obey the referee.
In all nations around the world, any new political dispensations come up with their preferred ways of dealing with the economy, regulations, and laws as they deem fit. Nothing stays the same. New ministers take up established old jobs and sail with those they feel safe along the journey.
From the critical perspective of unpredictable political behaviour and dynamics of social awareness, political science faces increasing challenges beyond existing book knowledge. So much has changed and lot more lined up for continued change due to technology and patterns in social awareness. The need for resettling the drawing board can be no better time.
Goalposts requiring shifting with rules of the game subjected to changes. Politics can no longer be the same game as usual. There is economic life line in politics where everyone is connected and deserving to be catered for.
Everyone Connected to the Economic Life Line of Politics
Elsewhere in the series on Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy, we explored the economic link to whole society where everyone is connected. All the time majority of us take politics for granted as though we are not counted. We surrender our rights and commit serious risks in politics thereby bearing potentially damaging economic implications.
How we all relate to the national economy is no bedtime story telling for lulling little children in sleep. The truth is that politicians by their majority deviate from discussing economic reality in total seriousness. They say one thing when seeking votes. Once seated in power, they do exact opposite and feel free to bend rules or change them to suit their momentary personal goals while in authority.
Listen to that politician telling you how they think of making changes by promise of better sanitation, healthy cashflow, booming economy and all others. If you ask how that is possible, half of the politicians don’t rely on any concrete plans with resources assured. Most likely, they know what their limitations are but will never want to scare voters by telling you real facts and figures.
If people complain about lack of money, some politicians may be thinking of printing more bank notes as possible solution to acute cash shortage in society. Without a productive economic base, will people chew bank notes for survival at all. Of course not. Unhealthy cashflow is like bad blood transfusion causes more illness. In case of the national economy, pumping more money chasing after few goods and services indicates economic sickness at all levels of society. There is no enough political muscle to keep a sick economy alive even over the shortest run. Politicians must stop tongue twisting deception and learn to speak clear economic language to those voting for them. People deserve positive change in their living conditions. The good life that motivates politicians to seek that high office is what ordinary people in society also want. Politics is national grid for total economic settlement of everyone. You are equally connected like anyone.
The political Arena is one big Social Lab not just for Experiments
Thinking of it in broad dimension, entire political dispensation places everyone in one big social lab with experiments carried on real people and real economy. Politicians test their ideas by coming up with schemes that may not be readily feasible. They decide about matters at conference rooms in the absence of key stakeholders like the tax payer public.
Should anything go wrong with ideas that politicians put to test without second thought, the damage is extended beyond them. Just because it takes public resources, individual politicians or their parties hardly take responsibility. One failure leads the way to more failures when priorities are not properly set in right order.
Dictatorship is worse with experiment on public resources due to their excessive political power. They are not alone. We see numerous cases where public resources are squandered with little or no value adding effect. Politicians are not punished for putting public resources at risk of failure. They have mandate and therefore use it to their maximum personal advantage.
Matters get more serious when politicians exercise power without recourse to policy and procedures. Some politicians feel they are above regulated conduct which misleads them to carry out resource consuming experiments at prohibitive high costs.
The point needing to take home is that politicians around the world are granted unrestricted access to public resources. If they are not sensible and considerate, that can lead to abuse of power. Some of them get punished once out of power. They would have already done extensive damages beyond repair.
Knowing that some politicians cannot resist the temptation of abusing office power through corruption it is most prudent subjecting sitting public office holders to competent scrutiny.
When citizens subject their political post holders to scrutiny in good spirit that is not offensive to the public post holder. On the other hand, advocacy and scrutiny in pursuit of good governance can be done with utmost responsibility. It will be wrong and seen offensive where citizens cross the boundary of their responsible conduct towards public office holders as seen in extreme situations where the occasion does not call for such.
The voting public has responsibility to scrutinise public office holders by refusing to remain quiet as docile spectators. Political experiments involving huge cost to public resources are open to scrutiny thereby mitigating any losses.
Politicians are meant to be competent economic drivers of society
Everyone looking for public office in political capacity will be doing more justice by demonstrating working knowledge of the national economy.
Politicians without working knowledge of how the national economy runs will put public resources at risk. Due to distorting images associated with some politicians, even the better ones face tough challenges.
It is not reasonable expecting every political office holders to shine as Class A Economist. The truth is that even those we bank on as economists guiding political officer bearers, not all of them pass the test of times.
Highly competent financial experts like their counterpart economists are seen being swallowed by debts to their throat. That is because they are unable to utilise book knowledge in real life situation. Some economist by title are also entangled by daily challenges of real life economic situations. There are economic models that have failed in some nations where bulk of our branded economists are trained.
Perhaps with working knowledge of how the economy operates through prudent allocation of resources, our politicians will keep their feet on the gas pedal and propel the nation to everyone’s desired prosperity.
Your A B C and 1 2 3 of Political Economy seeks to stimulate public interest by focusing attention on how everyone relates to the national economy. In that context, those who are licenced to drive the economy on the superhighway of politics genuinely require the right tools and proper driving ability for most assuring journey to prosperity we all deserve.