I’ve been studying Physiocracy in the last week or so, and have really enjoyed it. It’s essentially one of the first schools of economics — it’s extremely agrarian. It’s based on a collection of French thinkers in the 1700s who concluded that all economic productivity stemmed from agriculture, and the government should essentially keep its hands off the economy.
It’s obviously a little primitive, but I really like the approach. They seem to be looking for “natural laws” of human and economic behavior that society should try to follow. It’s a great sister-philosophy to natural law and natural rights. Big fan.
Of course, the obvious problem is that agriculture is just one source of productivity, but I do like a natural-resource oriented approach. I’m probably a modified physiocrat myself — I’d agree that all economic productivity comes from natural resources, and that it’s really just a question of how we harvest those resources.
I still have a lot to read. I’m reading the Economics of Physiocrocy right now, and it’s been amazing. A great book on the topic. Hope to keep learning about this train of thought. I’m going to try to learn economics from a historical perspective — starting with the old beliefs and moving on closer and closer to modern economics. It should give me a good feel of the theories that exist.