The role of the economy is to establish formal relationships among people as their daily business of living.
The economy is as good as the relationships that people have with each other in society on a daily basis. They are optimistic and are keen to interact with each other and work hard to be creative and innovative in order to improve things.
The economy is bad when people become pessimistic and feel demotivated to put in effort because they feel that there is danger out there or that there is grave injustice in society.
The underlying motivating force of society therefore has an important impact on the future of the economy.
The national psyche of Malaysia started from the unification of the various states by a common master or enemy. The fight for independence or self-determination was the rallying force that brought people of different races to forge a common identity.
With self-determination and the disappearance of the common enemy, civil disorder entered the national fabric in the name of justice or, its obverse, injustice.
The disintegration of unity into duality creates a myriad of problems for the economy.
Normal established relationships were destroyed and replaced with parochial paranoia which distorted the national economic balance.
The loss of economic balance, in turn, threatens political stability.
The return to normacy in the shape of world standards of investment and trade for the sake of economic prosperity today in Malaysia is one big circle of experience and maturation of the Malaysian economy and, hopefully, the Malaysian society.
In bringing in international standards to the local economy, there is a glimpse of certainty in the rules of the game of doing investing and making a profit in the local and global market places.
It will help the nation to focus on the essential - the need to create or remould activities, the need to mobilise capital, the need to sink things to the ground for roots to take place, the need to wait for things to grow, the need to give time for things to grow, the need to be able for one to harvest the fruit of one's effort, the need to put in effort to contribute to society rather than stealing from it, the need to be open and generous and be confident of life and its future.
Markets & Enlightenment
The mechanism of market exchange is but one way for people to interact - this is not necessarily the only way nor the best way. The market is the way that is found to be most suitable in a society where people have relationships that are expressed in terms of tokens that can last through time.
In more enlightened societies, people interact on the basis of the goodwill they generate with each other, exchanging cordiality and charity whenever they can, and give without the need for the simulataneous need to take. Such is a society where there is no debt nor financial crisis.
The worst social construct is when the primary motivation is to take from others because it leads to self-destruction. This model has not proven to work successfully for the whole of society in any part or any history of the world as we know it.
The economy is nothing more than a playing field where people are fully engaged in their daily lives in activities which they find amiable, if not pleasant, while they grow gracefully old towards their own mortal demise - the most pleasurable being the relationships they have with fellow human beings.