Say's Law and the current recession

Travis Fast tfast at
Sat Dec 8 12:00:46 MST 2001

>Ms. McCloskey's faith — and the concensus forecast — have their
>origins in the writings of Jean-Baptiste Say, a French economist in
>the early 1800's, who gained fame as a popularizer of Adam Smith's
>"Wealth of Nations," capitalism's seminal treatise, published in
>1776. A "law of markets" that bears Say's name is still the theme
>song for those who count on the economy to repair itself. Say himself
>never wrote or uttered or fully subscribed to what came to be known
>as Say's law, which is expressed in just five words: "Supply creates
>its own demand."

At a later time I will post Say's quote.  Say did articulate Say's Law, 
although not quite so efficiently  in 5 words, and ideologically quite self 
-consciously so.  What is most important in the present conjuncture 
concerning Say's law was the refusal by monetarists, most notably in 
Friedman et al at Chicago, to ever reject it.  It is only through an 
embrace of Says Law that bourgeois economists can excuse unemployed 
resources most significantly Labour, and excuse the massive redistribution 
of public assets to the private hands of capital (supply side 
policies).  The unconscious acceptance of Say's Law by the public has been 
perhaps the most ideologically significant achievement of capital and state 
bureaucrats in that it effectively neutralizes (partially through 
naturalization) more revolutionary analyses of the causes and solutions to 
the spectacle of unemployed workers.


PLEASE clip all extraneous text before replying to a message.

More information about the Marxism mailing list