To finish our analysis of the first apriori element of action I want to finish straight-forwardly economically. The reason for the turn to economics has to do with the thought that its interest in production has been neglected by those, like me, who would do well to digest the insights. Production of the good is everything, and production like trade is an action. So, the apriori of action invites us to expand our notion of economics to the grand question of everything. Who doesn’t want more of the good? He does? Then he wants insight from economics.
Supply and demand are two old and well used categories for understanding economic activity. More on supply soon. But let us rest, for a minute, on the notion of demand. Demand is that which calls out supply. It is also that which is ultimately modified by restrictions on supply. I cannot help turning to the metaphor of the unrestrained child stomping foot so biased am I in thinking about demand. I want to expand my notion. How did I begin thinking of demand as something so immature?
We have started our analysis with the notion of the end of action. The end is the goal of action, that to which action is directed. If there is action, then there is an end. This we know apriori. The ends to which our actions are directed are such that were they different the action would be different. Were the end absent, the action would be absent.
When an action is performed the end is always in the distance and not present. Were we at the end action would not be necessary. Rest would be recommended and rational. This means, in a very real and legitimate sense, that the moment of action is a moment of lack, absence, need, there is a gaping hole that is waiting to be filled. This is demand.
So, it is supply that be produced to fill demand. In this sense it is consumers who make the wealth of the tycoon who finds a way to profitably match supply with demand. Presumably any sage whose status is understandable as a development through action had demand what was met with supply.
In a free market consumers are ultimately the gods that direct. It is, unequivocally, their demanding which directs production and trade. Here at Puritanical Libertarianism we explicitly say that we demand virtue then money. These are both goods, they are both ends. So, we recognize that we lack all we need. But we demand them in what we think is proper hierarchy. Moral rest is our first end, to quell the dissatisfaction with our lack in the moral sphere. Earthly rest is our second end, and it is a matter of quelling demand for sugar, sex, shelter, and the security of each of these. As long as the status of any is unstable the animal demands not just the goods but there stable security.
I demand. What I say I aim for is to be the child who stomps his foot for virtue. I aim to be the child who is satisfied with nothing else. The sage Jesus bets (in his beatitudes) that such demanding will result in hunger and thirst for rightness and will culminate in purity of heart. All the sages hold that carrot out. I take the bait. That is demand elevated.
Next we look at the means. We, temporarily, take the spotlight off of the end, the goal, the demand and put it on the means…supply. Onward. Until then, consider your demand. You are the demander over there. I am the demander over here.