“But it has to make economic sense…”

Yes please! Here’s a quick reminder of what that means

B. Lorraine Smith
3 min readAug 28, 2022


A supermarket aisle with products to *look after the home*. Does this *make sense*? (Photo by me)

When I state my vision, I often get two reactions. First, laughter — a sort of nervous snort. Second, a reminder that things have to make economic sense.

My vision is a world where the entire economy is a force for healing, where all human needs and wants are met by a global industrial complex that serves life, as opposed to the current one where most life serves industry.

I respect those reactions, having received them often enough to know they’re coming from a deep well of honest perception. But I want to remind us what “economic sense” actually is, and to invite new, different reactions.

I call these #langclues — little breadcrumbs in the social technology we call language — left along the trail by those who came before, to guide us on our way.


The word origin of “economy” is a convergence of “oikos” meaning house or home, and “nemein” meaning manage or look after.

If changing industrial reality to better look after our home doesn’t make economic sense, I don’t know what does. The insightful Alison Malisa pointed out to me that my corporate art project, Matereality, has “Mater” right up front. I hadn’t done that intentionally (I just inserted “reality”) but… well, it makes sense.

Mater. Mother. Earth. Home. See?

The economy is about looking after our home.

Hold that thought for a moment and see how it feels. More laughter? Something else?


Speaking of feeling, “sense” is about feeling. There are a lot of different types of feelings — sadness, joy, anger, fear, pain, calm, etc.

We us our bodies — these amazing, dynamic, self-healing, wisdom-holding, physical creatures that house us — to sense. We see, hear, touch, taste, smell. We sense in our hearts, our minds, our guts.

Nowhere in the definitions of “sense” that I’ve encountered is there any phrasing…



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B. Lorraine Smith

Recovering ESG "expert"; yarn spinner; distance runner; magical realist. Sensing a path to an economy serving life. also at https://blorrainesmith.substack.com/