Charles Konia, M.D.
Reprinted from the Journal of Orgonomy
The American College of Orgonomy
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION IN FUNCTIONAL ECONOMICS
Mechanistic thinking operates in the direction of separating the natural sciences into different branches each of which has little or no functional relationship to the other. In contrast, functional thinking is capable of integrating the various sciences into a comprehensive whole and is also able to investigate the specialized areas of science. Economics is a good example. From a functional perspective, economics is actually a less inclusive, more superficial branch of sociology which, in turn, is a less inclusive, more superficial branch of biology. Therefore, economics must also be included as part of the biological sciences. This perspective gives someone who has an in depth understanding of bio-emotional functions of individuals and of society the ability to contribute to the science of economics.
Significantly, from a historical perspective, these sciences originated in reverse order. Economics was the first to develop. Plato identified the economic basis of social life and in his Republic organized a model society on the basis of a careful division of labor. Aristotle, too, emphasized the importance to economic security as the basis for social and political health. However, it was not until the 18th century with Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations that economics was established as a separate scientific discipline. According to Smith, self-interest was the basic motivating economic force. He made a masterly analysis of the division of labor and had a comprehensive understanding of the development of economic institutions in the West. Sociology did not originate as a science until the following century with the emergence of the concept of society as separate from the State. In the 19th century Karl Marx was the first to understand the enormous productive capacity of human bio-social working power. The greatest challenge to classical economics came from the distortions of Marx’s economic ideas by his followers. Their criticism of capitalism particularly the recurrence of economic crises such as inflations and depressions had disastrous social consequences with their advocacy of government redistribution schemes and labor unions throughout the world in the 20th century. The quasi-Marxists continue to approach economics politically from their narrow perspective of 19th century sociology. Since it had no biological foundation, it not only failed as a solution to economic problems, it made economic conditions worse than they were before.
Despite of these failures, American democracy and the free market is again the target of yet another socialist “experiment” thanks to the current Obama administration showing that absolutely nothing has been learned from the past national and international disasters since the biological forces determining economic life continue to be ignored. A particularly glaring example is the lack of distinction between healthy and pathological economic activity. No distinction is made between rational, productive work and its pathological counterpart, the resultant destructive effect of armored work activity in the marketplace. Without a truly biological basis of economic life, the economist of today flounders focusing on the quantitative and specialized manifestations of the economy such as econometrics, interest rates, exchange rates, inflation and so on. The underlying biological basis of economic life, both healthy and pathological remains completely out of the economist’s domain. Completely out of touch with the original function of economics, economists today are focused on complicated theories dealing with the advanced state of our industrial society.
1 A free market can be defined as one in which everyone has considerable scope to go anywhere in the world and buy, sell and own (1) goods, (2) services and (3) ownership of productive enterprises (with attendant responsibilities and rights) Robert Harman in a personal communication.
With the relevant biological discoveries of Wilhelm Reich, M.D. and Elsworth Baker, M.D. it is possible to place economics and sociology on a firm biological foundation one that can be the start of a true understanding of this science. The destructiveness of distorted Marxist social criticisms can finally be put to rest.
Economics is defined as the science treating people’s exchange of goods and services. The fundamental relation in economics is that between the individual supplier of goods or services and supplied individual and the satisfaction of their material and personal needs. From a functional perspective, economics deals with core biological functions and addresses the question, how can people survive and live harmoniously together through the exchange of goods and services? The relation between supply and demand in the economic realm is derived from the satisfaction of basic biological needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and so on. This interaction between the supplier and the supplied individual is entirely spontaneous and, under natural, healthy conditions, is sustained by the biological work function of both parties. Without human labor there can be no economy again clearly showing that economics is, in fact, one of the biological sciences.
As societies transitioned from tribal to agrarian and industrial, the biological work function of humans also became increasingly more developed and specialized with greater development of tools and energy sources that are extensions of people’s work function. Correspondingly, human functioning became more complex and the economies of societies became more developed as well. Yet, under healthy conditions the underlying core economic functions and the necessity for a free market remain operative in the same way in economically developed industrialized societies as it does in primitive societies (see below).
2 From a functional perspective, every animal in the wild must work to survive and live. Building a nest, foraging for food or killing prey for food are, strictly speaking, forms of work. Unlike humans, the energy economy of animals in the wild is limited to core functions such as finding a mate and securing their own means of survival.
According to the functional view, there are three layers to the human bio-psychic structure from which all human activity originates: the biological core, the destructive, secondary or middle layer and the superficial or surface layer. This same layering also exists and is operative in the economic realm. All vital economic activity originates from the biological core since a healthy economy deals with the satisfaction of people’s core needs. In an armored society, not only does the core needs require satisfaction but the secondary destructive needs as well. Therefore, knowledge of the destructive manifestations of the middle layer on economic life is essential to distinguish between healthy and sick economic activity. In contrast, the traditional economist recognizes and deals primarily with the superficial layer of human life while ignoring the biological core and destructive, middle layers. The superficial layer of economics involves functions related to the intellect such as measurements of national income and productivity, observations of financial markets and so on. However, most of what happens in economics, both healthy and pathological, originates from the deeper layers. These layers are the primary determinants of all human activity including the economy of any modern society.
There is a close relationship between people’s emotional needs and their economic needs. This relationship becomes apparent, for example, in the use of the term, investment which refers to a quantity of energy attached to something that can apply either to an emotional need or to an economic activity. This is another example illustrating the close association between the biological and the economic realms.
3 An example of pathological economic activity is criminal work; that is, work that is destructive to the individual or to society such as drug trafficking.
The work function of biological orgone energy originating from the core of the organism that is the source of all economic activity is poorly understood by everyone including, in particular, economists. The Right views work moralistically from a compulsive standpoint as “a necessary part of the Christian work ethic.” The Left also views work moralistically but from a different socialist standpoint. For the left, work is “an activity of the worker that is exploited by the capitalist owner of the means of production.” Therefore, the owner of production is morally bound to compensate the exploited worker. If the owner does not give “voluntarily and fairly” he must be forced to do so either by the government or by the force of “the people”. These narrow, moralistically based views show how little people are in touch with the biological work function. As a result, human work is seen by many armored people as the bane of their existence. Since their work function is impaired to the extent that they experience no gratification in it, they look forward to the time of their retirement or to winning the lottery or to the government to take care of them.
In contrast, people with a healthy work function feel a sense of frustration if, for any reason, their work is interrupted. Biologic work has both quantitative properties in terms of the amount of work done and qualitative properties in terms of the kind of work. If allowed to develop without individual or social impediments, the biologic work function is inherently rational, lawful and productive. People with a healthy work function give rise to a marketplace that is self-regulating. . Human armor blocks the flow of biological energy resulting in emotional disturbances in the individual and also, by disturbing the work function interferes with social and economic interactions. In armored humans, energy is disrupted as it passes through the middle layer, the repository of destructive including criminal work activity, causing a disturbance in economic activity. Genuine pleasurable satisfaction in work and its products are disrupted. In the economic realm, these work disturbances are the ultimate causes in disruptions in the free market.
In an armored society, the market must be controlled or “regulated” in varying degrees by the government because of the destructive social effects caused by pathological economic activity of armored people. A manifestation of social armor, regulation is a rational response for governmental intrusion into the marketplace.
The biological function of the free market can be disturbed from forces originating from either the Left or the Right. When economic conditions worsen, political efforts from the Left enter with their misfired socialist “solutions” in the form of externally imposed “stimulus programs” to “jump start” an already disturbed and weakened free market. The biological origin of economic pathology, human armor, is consistently ignored.
On the political Right, confusion regarding existence of distinct biological, social and economic realms has had different but no less destructive social repercussions. Commercial industries with the help of the advertising industry thrive on this muddle in the name of “free enterprise” by marketing all sorts of material products some of which such as automobiles and houses are necessary for life and others such as jewelry and electronic gadgets when consumed excessively function as substitutes for an emotionally unsatisfied population. Satisfaction of neurotic material needs from the more superficial economic realm is offered as substitute gratification for deeper social and biological unsatisfied needs often using high pressured sales techniques. This practice is consistently supported by the political Right if for no other reason than “to keep the economy going.”
Confusing the biological and economic realms, Leftist ideologues claim that pathologic economic conditions such as inflations and depressions are intrinsic to a free market and that they can only be corrected through external manipulation by the government. Knowledge of the effect of human armor on economic life shows that when there is pathology causing trouble in the economy, there must be an underlying disturbance in people’s biological work function which, in turn, disturbs the free market. These disturbances are the result of armored people’s destructive behavior impacting on the economy. They are internally produced from within the armored population. This is why interfering with the market by instituting greater regulation or greater freedom may temporarily alleviate the problem but it is symptomatic treatment that cannot produce any permanent long-term solutions. It must be recognized that the behavior of armored people and not the free market is the ultimate source of economic problems.
Armored people can disturb the economy in one of two ways, either directly because their pre-existing work disturbance renders them emotionally helpless and dependent on others for their survival, or indirectly by acting as a carrier of the emotional plague–the tendency of humans to act destructively on one another– by, for example, destroying the work functioning of others in the workplace. Occurring on every level of social organization, the plague’s disturbance on economic life can have devastating effects leading to the destruction in the marketplace.
( To Be Continued)