Class 7 – February 28, 2014
Things do not have a relative value – it works by you get what you get for what you can give
The Greek citystate is a distributive economy, whereas the Spartans relied on the helots to
provide food for the citizens. This is not a distributive economy because it doesn’t go into a
storehouse. Instead, the lots are split up and given to a family and the helots work the land for
food for the owners. Economics is the art of running an oikos. The oikos is not selfsustaining
and had to look for outside resources.
War has been a significant economic driver. Booting coming from war is an influx of income into
the winners’ pockets. The growth in population, in many cases it grew to a point where it could
not be selfsufficient so they needed to bring in extra resources. If you do not have any wood or
the metals (copper, silver, gold), you have to go somewhere else to get them. You will need to
trade and bargain for these things. These things push the Greek polis to more of a free market.
The preference will always be to take it if you can do so.
The vast majority of the population of the Greek citystates was not able to move to a free market
system and had to sustain themselves. Land was not alienable/attainable; they had to take the
debt against themselves. The people would have to borrow resources and such until they were
able to pay off the debt. Slavery emerged as an ec