What gives its special quality and character, its toughness and cohesion, to the industrial system built up in the last century and a-half, is not its exploded theory of economic harmonies. It is the doctrine that economic rights are anterior to, and independent of, economic functions.
The fact that two people exchange their products is by no means simply an economic fact. Such a fact -- that is, one whose content would be exhausted in the image that economics presents of it -- does not exist.
Wealth is like muck. It is not good but it be spread.
I do not deny that modern economic theory can make a contribution to running a household, or a village, or a region, or even the entire world -- though such a denial would at all be unrealistic. What I do deny is that modern economic theory can replace the traditional ways without any loss of information or quality of life.
Nothing, however profitable, goes on forever.
Between things there exist bonds of mutual aid hampered by man.
No man can save himself alone.
--Simone de Beauvoir