Chrematistics, derived from Greek, χρηματιστική, means the accumulation of money. Thales of Miletus defined chrematistics as the art of getting rich, just to be rich. Aristotle denotes this activity as unnatural, since it would dehumanize anyone who practices it. Aristotle also establishes a difference between chrematistics and economics. According to Aristotle, economics is a natural activity, that involves the production, distribution and consumption of goods.
Nevertheless, there is such a thing like a necessary chrematistic economy, even for Aristotle. According to the philosopher BC, a chrematistic economy is licit, if the sale of goods is made between producer and buyer directly and at the right price. It would be o.k., if such deals would not generate added value for either of the traders. As soon as the producer purchases for resale to consumers for a higher price, in acting somehow driven by moneymaking, the activity would be illicit. Aristotle states, money must be only a medium of exchange and a measure of value – nothing else – and above all: without added value.
Aristotle bared his thoughts about the role of money, money makers and money fetishists long before society gave birth to the international banking system and to the rest of our economy … .
Hooray chrematistics. R.I.P. Aristotle.