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= Chrematistics (from Greek: χρηματιστική) according to Thales of Miletus is the art of getting rich.


"Aristotle established the fundamental difference between economics and chrematistics. The accumulation of money itself is an unnatural activity that dehumanizes those who practice it. Like Plato, he condemns the accumulation of wealth. Trade exchanges money for goods and usury creates money from money. The merchant does not produce anything: both are reprehensible from the standpoint of philosophical ethics." (

"The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek οἰκονομία (Oikonomia, "management of a household, administration") from οἶκος (oikos, "house") + νόμος (nomos, "custom" or "law"), hence "rules of the house(hold)". Political economy was the earlier name for the subject, but economists in the late 19th century suggested "economics" as a shorter term." (


Inez Aponte:

"In their book ‘For the Common Good’ economist Herman Daly and theologian John Cobb, Jr explain the difference between the practice of economics (from the Greek word oikonomia ‘the management of the household so as to increase its use value to all members over the long term’) and chrematistics (from khrema, meaning money and referring to ‘the branch of political economy relating to the manipulation of property and wealth so as to maximize short-term monetary exchange value to the owner’):

“Oikonomia differs from Chrematistics in three ways.

First, it takes the long-run rather than the shortrun view.

Second, it considers costs and benefits to the whole community, not just to the parties to the transaction.

Third, it focuses on concrete use value and the limited accumulation thereof, rather than on an abstract exchange value and its impetus towards unlimited accumulation….

For oikonomia, there is such a thing as enough. For chrematistics, more is always better… “

In this definition of economics financial wealth does not trump the wellbeing of the community, as it is distinct from the actions a society must undertake to look after its members. The threat to our livelihoods that a fall in GDP represents is due to a conflation of economics with chrematistics. If for a moment we were to prise them apart we would see a different picture." (email, April 2020)

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