Notes on the General Theory of Goods

All things are subject to the law of cause and effect. There is no exception.

One's own person and any of its state are links in the great universal structure of relationships.

It is impossible to conceive of a change of one's person from one state to the other without being subject to the law if causality.

For example one passes from a state of need to a state of satisfaction, sufficient causes for this change must exist. Either one's internal forces are acting to remedy the disturbed state Or external forces acting upon it that can produce the state we call satisfaction.

Things that can be placed in a causal connection to human satisfaction we call them Useful things, if however we recognize the causal connection and have power to direct the useful things to satisfy our needs we call them Goods

For a useful thing to acquire the good characteristics it has to satisfy the following:

  • A human need
  • Such properties as render the things to be brought into a causal connection with the satisfaction of the need
  • Human knowledge of this causal connection
  • Command of the thing sufficient to direct it to the satisfaction of the need

Hence a thing loses its good character if it loses any of the above:

  • Due to change in human needs, its not a need any more
  • Whenever the capacity of the thing to be placed in a causal connection with the satisfaction of the need is lost, due to change of it properties
  • If knowledge of the causal connection between the thing and the need disappears
  • If man loses command over it to apply to satisfy the need

A special situation can be observed when:

  • Attributes and capacities are erroneously ascribed to things that doesn't possess them
  • A non-existent human need is assumed to exist

here we have to deal with these things not as goods with the above characteristics but in the opinion of the people, Such as

Cosmetics, all charms, the majority of medicine administered to the sick by people of the early civilizations and by primitives even today, diving rods, love

Medicines for diseases that actually doesnt exist, statues, buildings

all of these are imaginary goods merely derive its good character from properties that they are imagined to poses.

As men attain higher level of civilization and penetrate more deeply into the constitution of things, the number of imaginary goods become less and the number of true goods become more.

It is important to note the relation between accurate knowledge and the human welfare.

The number of imaginary goods is shown to be higher among the poorest in true goods.

Special class of goods called "relationships", in this category are firms, good-will, monopolies, copyrights, patents, trade license, authors rights, family connections, love, religious fellowships

Some of them doesn't allow the rigorous examination as goods but some like firms, customer good-will, patents are actually goods without further proof as we encounter them in commerce