[Marxism] Looking Back for Insights into a New Paradigm

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 18 12:22:27 MDT 2011


Looking Back for Insights into a New Paradigm
by Mark Lindley and James Farmelant

It is becoming widely acknowledged that the leading ideas of some 
of the most prestigious late-20th-century economists (such as Alan 
Greenspan and Lawrence Summers in the American government) are 
outmoded and that a new paradigm of economics is needed.  Part I 
of this essay will focus on two issues which we think it has to 
address and will cite some passages in which great economists of 
the last 250 years have called attention to them: the inadequacy 
of the "economic man" concept in microeconomics and of 
"closed-system" models in macroeconomics (i.e. models taking 
account of social exchanges only, to the exclusion of material 
exchanges between humankind and the rest of nature).  Part II will 
begin with a brief consideration of (a) the traditional metaphor 
(in Western writings) of the benign "invisible hand" and (b) some 
related aspects of the work of the most renowned economist of the 
first half of the 20th century, John Maynard Keynes, and of a 
brilliant contemporary of his at the University of Chicago; then 
it will shift, via a critical assessment of a statement posted 
recently by Keynes' most knowledgeable biographer, to a statement 
of what seems to us to be the main challenge facing 21st-century 
economics.  Part III will be about some past and present 
ideological excesses which 21st-century economists -- and 
politicians -- ought to avoid.

full: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/lf170811.html




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