Popular economics is a dialogue about power. While “economics,” most often referring to “neo-classical economics” (the principle component of mainstream economics), is a monologue that excludes all but a small elite of highly trained professionals, popular economics, rooted in struggles of people against oppression and for social justice and a “better possible world,” uses popular education as a means to learn, organize and “name” more truthfully the world in which the vast majority of us live.
“Popular” as used here, does not mean “widely accepted” or “commonly liked,” though some day this may be true. “Popular” is used here in a sense largely lost in English but still alive in French and Spanish: of/for/by/with the people. Neither an “economics for beginners” approach to learning nor a synonym for progressive or alternative economics, popular economics, as developed and practiced by many popular education organizations in Canada (the Catalyst Centre, et al), the United States (Highlander, the Center for Popular Economics, United for a Fair Economy, et al) and around the world, includes at least three components: it develops a critical literacy and history of the necessary jargon, terms, discourse, personalities and schools of thought; it debunks many dominant notions that are promoted as common sense but which are rooted in particular histories that privilege certain groups while disadvantaging (if not oppressing) others; it imagines, creates and organizes new economic relationships not merely in opposition to (or as alternatives to) dominant capitalist economics but by drawing on a far wider set of choices than are evident in a capitalocentric world (a crucial piece of thinking developed by J.K. Gibson-Graham and the Community EconomiesCollective).
This blog is a contribution to a popular economics dialogue and will share resources, thinking, methods, tools, theory, praxis and, hopefully some humour as well (if we laugh hardest at that which causes us most suffering, then we need a LOT of laughter).