It isn’t unheard of, when we seek astrologers for choosing auspicious dates for various commencements, naming a child or matching horoscopes for matrimony. But of late, we have discarded astrology as archaic, irrelevant and unimportant. We cringe at our belief in something as rudimentary. (Or is it?) But how is economics even remotely related to astrology?
Economics is a relatively new field of study that came under limelight because of the industrial revolution. Not that economics did not exist before, but its significance grew stupendously, owing to the large scale production, ushered in by mechanization. Yet we have literature dating back to early centuries that talk of administration and economics synonymously.
At a time when people just began to explore things around them in a new way, questions were asked. Fear and dearth of knowledge meant that religion scored. Men conveniently relied upon religion when logic failed to convince. Conventional wisdom was much the hegemon. If one dared to oppose it, they were guillotined (thanks to technology!!). How long did it take to convince man that earth was indeed round? And that the sun is at the center of our galaxy? We needed centuries before we valued Galileo. Yet today, these are general knowledge.
Asian mysticism has to a far extent, astrology to blame for its dubious distinction, of course, after snake charmers and rope tricks have been cited enough. But is astrology seriously worthy of nothing more than being discarded? So you say to your granny that it doesn’t matter what time of the day you start your chores, until you do it well!
Consider this. Astrology and Economics – Both involve predictions, forecasting, data analysis, expert opinion that is unchallenged and so on. Both depend on cyclic motions – planets and business respectively. Economics is called as an inexact science, astrology, pseudo science. Both have its fair share of criticism. Present the same set of data to 2 different economists, they will predict diametrically opposite things just as 2 astrologers will. It is expert opinion, who is to challenge their expertise? If your citations are “destiny” and “fate” from astrology, we have “the invisible hand” and “business cycles” from economics. If you do have a “free will”, so do you have “random walk”. So can you make accurate predictions? Well, one is subject to planetary motions, the other to market fluctuation. The underlying statement, “Who is to say what shall happen – one never knows!”
It is very hard to accept that economics, which is so heavily dependent upon scientific tools of regression and causation analysis, cannot predict outcomes accurately. Well, you always have the disclaimer, with 95% confidence, this is a sure thing. Ironically, (guess not anymore) so is it in astrology. The past matters. In Economics, it is what you call history. In astrology, it is what you call karma.
“Astro-economics” is the practice of relating the movements of celestial bodies to events in financial markets. The use of astrology in financial markets is not consistent with standard economic or financial theory, but might be considered heterodox economics.
In the past centuries, a small minority studied astrology, mainly because it took so many years of concentrated effort to master this complex subject. Today’s astrologers are equipped with computers and astronomical accuracy, yet it’s still a vast and complex area of knowledge, so niches of expertise have arisen.
Back to the past!
Chief Belief Officer of Future groups, Dr.Devdutt Pattanaik’s clarion to go back to mythology is another innovation in the Indian business scenario. The culture and tradition of a country says a lot about its people, inherently affecting their behavioral patterns. If economics is a behavioral science, then why not flip through dusty volumes of Epics to see how history repeats itself in business too, not just in fashion!
The craze to predict the future and see it come true is not a new phenomenon, it has of late gained acceptance as human nature. The real thrill of the game is that most often than not, your predictions don’t materialize. But hey, the more elusive it is, the more addictive it gets.
Astrology reminds us that truth depends on one’s perspective: when it’s summer south of the equator, it’s winter north of the equator. We can view the planets from a geocentric or heliocentric perspective. In an era where technology and intellectual property revolutionize our tomorrow; it is time we give way to innovative permutations and combinations of disciplines. An ala carte doesn’t sound so pointless anymore, does it?
The jack of all trades shall indeed be the man of the century. The more you add on to your repertoire, the better it is, for you never know which task entails which of your skills. On a similar note, it should not be surprising if Astrology soon finds a place in managerial studies. For that matter, anything worthy of instilling your inquisitiveness is worth giving a thought. You never know, as they say, it may well be the next big thing!! You know what they say- some ideas are born anew, others are renewed , cross disciplines.
I am Nivetha, a passionate individual whose zest for learning more keeps me going. I love to write, debate and orate. I love economics and wish to pursue it further. Currently, I am a 4th year student of the integrated program in management at IIM-Indore.