Remember Prague Spring, Arab Spring … Now Economists Spring?
|November 29, 2013||Posted by Staff under Social Change|
This 2013 excerpt of the Renegade Economist, Spt 3, is by Dan Gay.
Most economists failed to understand or predict the global economic crisis, and should therefore be deposed. Just as the despots of north Africa and the middle East crumbled in the face of a critical mass of popular opposition, so too mainstream economics is looking shaky in the fresh-faced glare of laymen.
Establishment economists have been so bad at understanding the crisis that a lot of knowledgeable outsiders look far more convincing — and their remedies better.
Paul Krugman, New York Times columnist, said that the previous two decades of macroeconomics had been a “waste of time”. Later he called macroeconomics a “sorry spectacle of unnecessary ignorance”.
Power, rather than the marketplace of ideas, dictates which theories become prominent.
What is the first function of economic knowledge? It’s prejudice. It teaches you to think about the world in a certain way so that your bottom line response is: no you can’t do that.
A 2003 Harvard petition and the earlier French post-Autistic student movement criticised the neoliberal stance of the mainstream.
Often revolutions occur when radicals subvert the status quo and simply start doing new things in new ways. Trying to fight power structures only tends to reinforce them.
Ed. Notes: So some economists criticize their discipline — that’s good news. It’s hard for economists to do real science, since they must look the other way when it comes to controversial inputs such as property and privilege — it’d be like doctors overlooking a patient’s smoking. So a little internal reflection can be healthy. However, can economics be fixed or must it be replaced? The discipline is so embedded into the power structure of banks and big government, it’s too useful to the establishment to ever become a proper science. What’s needed instead is geonomics, an objective study of how we turn raw materials into wealth, answering who does the work and who gets the wealth, and what patterns are followed, just as a human body follows its natural laws. That’s the sort of study that’d be worthy of a Nobel, bearing in mind Alfred Nobel left no money for economists — they get theirs from a consortium of global bankers.