Communities have formed the basis of economics since Aristotle, Aristophanes, and Xenophon. Etymologically, our use of “economy” is derived from the ancient Greek for “household” and “management”, the definition encompassing community as much as transaction.
Commonality has continued as the “red thread” within economic analysis and development. While periodically we embrace rugged individualism and, indeed, are experiencing an era almost defined by it, the context in which this sits remains one of community and common purpose.
The juxtaposition of individualism and collective purpose can trace its origins to another Greek; Hesiod, the father of Greek mythology through his Theogony. But for our purposes it is his Works and Days that guides the work. In this, Hesiod identified two forms of strife. The bad led to argument and war. The good, similarly based in rivalry and individual desire, was said to lead to common good or wealth.
Good strife, driven by individuals, leads to common wealth, the benefit of the community and yet the axiom that the individual is antipatheticto the community has long been challenged, and remains so to this day.
We argue that we cannot build common wealth without the endeavours of individuals. We contend that these endeavours are not altruistic in isolation but that, in common, are the basis for common wealth. We believe that, by bringing those with funds to invest together with those with businesses requiring investment, we play an important role in the creation of common wealth.
VIVA Investment Partners has recently hosted the latest of its Summit series, Keanaissance. Not for nothing was this gathering held in Greece. We share the views of Hesiod. We believe individuals are central to creating wealth, not just for those concerned but for the common good.
Or, in a less classical lexicon, we do well when those around us do better.