Definition of economism in US English:



  • Belief in the primacy of economic causes or factors.

    • ‘Monocausal economism is replaced with the dialectical notion that social relations of production only exist in the form of economic, legal and political relations.’
    • ‘But it requires a longer term perspective on the Labour Movement which rejects the catastrophism, inflation, impatience and economism which have been hallmarks of the British Left.’
    • ‘The excesses of both economism and historicism can be avoided, while the benefits of analytical structure and narrative detail can be exploited to render social phenomena intelligible.’
    • ‘My worry is that this will lead to a new kind of crude economism redolent of the Cold War Left.’
    • ‘Today, the greatest ally of obscurantism is the spiritually empty economism of our prosperous liberal societies.’
    • ‘There is for the first time the possibility of a European labour movement that is inherently transnational in orientation and which overcomes the sectionalism and economism of nation labour movements.’
    • ‘The new networks and alliances articulate forms of consciousness that go beyond single issue campaigns and narrow trade union economism on the one hand and reified and alienated forms of social democratic universalism on the other.’
    • ‘More fundamentally, the Greens reject the adherence of both left and right to economism, the modern sense that economic relations, and their various ramifications, are the primary factors in life.’
    • ‘Emblematic of the turn to economism, the 1925 agreement also provided for a profitsharing scheme in the form of a bonus linked to the global lead price - the so-called ‘lead bonus’.’
    • ‘The prevalent economism of Whig political theory is obvious in the fact that the protection of property is assigned as the origin of law and the end of government.’
    • ‘Many workers have been swayed by communal propaganda and trade union organisations have not cared to educate them because they seldom look beyond their economism.’
    • ‘It's also a product of the economism that has bedevilled the union movement in this country.’
    • ‘Modern indifference rests on economism: on the illusory and in principle non-completable separation of the economic from the political, of private from public, of gift from exchange.’
    • ‘That instrumentalism takes the form of an obsessive economism.’
    • ‘The charge of economism is one I have not sought to take up here, largely through lack of space.’
    • ‘Not uncritical of a world of commercial relations, many are also critical of a climate of naked economism that reigns in their homeland, stressing the role of religion as a counterweight.’


Early 20th century: from French économisme, based on Greek oikonomia ‘household management’ (see economy).