Economics with Justice at its Heart

The challenge of Economics is to discover the laws governing the workings of societies and their economies so that we can order our affairs in a way that allows everyone to live full, natural and prosperous lives if they choose to do so.

Śrī Śāntānanda Sarasvatī

The ultimate unit for economic consideration is the family… When cultural, religious and philosophical traditions become weak, the disintegration of family begins. Individuals become greedy for security. Once general greed takes over, the economic structure begins to crack.

Economics Introductory Course

Term : May - Aug

Cost : R1040

Where : There are no branches currently running this course. Please contact the Economics faculty below if you are interested.

scales of justice
  • Why are there are global financial crises and recessions?
  • Why are economic affairs organised the way they are?
  • What are the assumptions on which economic systems are based?
  • Who benefits? Why are there so many people who can’t find jobs?
  • Is nationalising mines, banks and land the only way?

The Introductory Course of 10 lectures offers a refreshing perspective based on fundamental principles and adds a sense of justice which has long been neglected in the field of economics.  The course attempts to identify natural laws that govern human beings and how they relate to the economic world around us in the 21stCentury.

Absolutely no prior qualification is needed other than the desire that all may live well.


Introductory Course

This course examines such questions as:

  • Can everyone be wealthy?
  • Why are there so many poor people in rich countries and why are there very rich people in poor countries?

So few countries in the world produce and consume so much of its wealth. So many people in the world fail to reach their economic potential. The course asks:

  • Is this inevitable?
  • How could it improve?
  • What are the principles governing access to land and other natural resources?

This course offers a challenging perspective on economics for anyone who has wondered why economic affairs are organised the way they are – and whether there might be a better way. Most economic systems are based on assumptions. What are they? Whose are they? Whom do they benefit?
To see different possibilities requires a different way of looking.

Further Courses

However one looks at economics, the question is whether phenomena such as boom and bust cycles together with grinding poverty and injustice are indeed natural or necessary.

Economics: Theory and Practice    

This course builds on the principles discussed in the Introductory course. Many students ask about the basic economic systems – classical, neo-classical, Marxist, Keynesian, monetarist. This course gives brief descriptions of these and assesses the extent to which they demonstrate natural laws and the effects they have had.

Study of great economists and their ideas is used to focus attention on some of the hidden assumptions of economic life – the idea of property, the place of land, labour and capital as factors of production; the importance of natural resources and the incomes derived from them and the role of government in managing modern economics. Understanding these enables students to see the causes of many of the modern economies and how they might be avoided or resolved.

Growth, Sustainability and Human Development

Economic growth has become the standard by which the success of national economies and international businesses are judged. But economic growth is also having a devastating effect on our planet. Can the human economy continue to offer greater and greater wealth without destroying its own foundations?

This course looks at the big questions facing the globalised economy. Is economic growth sustainable? Can the natural environment survive the impact of the industrialisation? How can human beings cope with technological advance and ecological change? What can we do to help? Building on the analysis offered in the previous two courses, this course explores how economic affairs can be arranged so as to offer freedom, justice and equity to humanity without destructive exploitation or misuse of the natural world.