|The Moving Finger of Price in the Holy Grail of Economics|
not be built unless differential calculus had been discovered. To this day, therefore, Leibnitz is helping to build all tunnels. The way prices work out in this case has really been determined by that exertion of his spiritual forces. You can never answer these questions in Economics if you consider the past in the same way as the future. But, ladies and gentlemen, life does not move toward the past, nor does it even prolong the past; it goes on into the future.
And now by a simple deduction — we must verify it here (see diagram) — by a very simple deduction you can find the third. You will not doubt for a moment what the third thing is. We have had Payment and Loan. The third thing is Gift. Payment, Loan, and Gift — this is a real trinity of concepts, essential to a healthy economy. There is a prevailing disinclination to include “free gift ” in the economic process as such, but, ladies and gentlemen, if there is not a giving somewhere, the economic process cannot go on at all. Imagine for a moment what we should make of our children if we gave them nothing. We are constantly making free gifts to the children. If we consider the economic process as a whole — as a process that goes on and on continuously — Gift is part of it. There is no escaping the fact. It is wrong to regard the transfer of values from hand to hand, representing a process of free gift, as something inadmissible in the economic process as such. Precisely this one of the three is found — with horror by some people — worked out in my book The Threefold Commonwealth, where it is shown how values are to be transferred, how means of production, for instance, are to be transferred, by a process really identical with giving, to one who has the faculties necessary for managing them further. Provision must, of course, be made that the giving is not done in a haphazard way. But in the economic sense they are nonetheless free gifts, and such gifts are absolutely necessary.