Getting to the real heart of economics

Modern Economics seems to be inextricably linked to fixed views and vested interests. CAMILLUS POWER has designed a course in Economic Justice and here he tells us about the source of his inspiration.

There is much written about inequality in the world today but few are genuinely prepared to consider the underlying diagnosis. Even amongst those who know something, most tend to shy away from action and accept the status quo. Every so often we hear a rare voice speak the truth and act in accordance with that truth.

The founder of our School, Leon MacLaren was such a man. In 1952, he reminded us of the Golden rule — “Do unto others as you would they should do unto you” — and concluded with the following: “Economics teaches the same lesson. Would you go and seize another man’s land and turn him off? Would you wilfully reduce a man into poverty, and see his children uneducated and ill- clad? You would not do any of these things knowing you were doing them; but we are doing them and we must stop doing them. That would be Justice”.


I offered a practical health course in the school for seven years (2007-2014) based on the principles of Ayureveda. However, in the middle of this we had the Bank Bailout and the economic collapse of 2008–2014. The impact on health was tangible and medical metaphors abounded. One of my favourites was Michael Hudson, in his book written in 2015, Killing the host; How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy.

More than the medical model an even better question asks if our study of Practical Philosophy offers help. We tell a narrative in the school that our origins, at least in London, go back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. Concerned students then considered how this calamity had happened. Could Humanity prevent a recurrence — somehow the answers led us to philosophy.

It seemed to me that we were back at the place from whence we started, and to paraphrase TS Elliot, did we know it for the first time. How can we put our practical philosophy into action for the benefit of the society in which we live? Practical economics.


Sri Shantanda Saraswati tells us “that everyone is trying to convince others of the truth of their inflated needs by minimising the natural needs of others. All of this is being done by proposing new economic theories with total disregard to the laws of nature”. With this in mind, we re-launched Economic Justice, a three-term course based on the revised (2015) three-year Foundation Course (1967) of the School of Economic Science London.

We offered this for three years and learnt a lot about the key principles in play in modern economics with justice as a key rubric; a fair amount of knowledge happiness, health, freedom and prosperity for everyone. The course is also available via an online class from London.

However, something even more exciting took place in 2017 when Mr Lambie asked a new question on Economics of Sri Vasudevananda Sarawati. Reflecting on this answer, Mr Lambie, the successor to Leon MacLaren, generated six key ideals for a better society and asked the Irish school to reflect on them.


We now have a one-term foundation course which we hope to make available to as many groups who want it. It looks at the emotional ground needed to embrace change in how we live and offers a guide for our journey towards these ideals, with rules based on the natural laws and a map that will make sense of the terrain that we will pass through. Economics returns home to the place from whence it started — Natural Philosophy — in the hope that Humanity can be guided by a better template to achieve prosperity and freedom for all.