[Marxism] Fwd: Class Interests as Economic Theory » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Nov 14 15:17:16 MST 2014

There is now a widespread consensus that mainstream/neoclassical 
economists failed miserably to either predict the coming of the 2008 
financial implosion, or provide a reasonable explanation when it 
actually arrived. Not surprisingly, many critics have argued that 
neoclassical economics has created more confusion than clarification, 
more obfuscation than elucidation. Economic “science” has, indeed, 
become “an ideological construct which serves to camouflage and justify 
the New World Order” [1].

Also not surprisingly, an increasing number of students who take classes 
and/or major in economics are complaining about the abstract and 
irrelevant nature of the discipline. For example, a group of French 
graduate students in economics recently wrote an open letter, akin to a 
manifesto, critical of their academic education in economics as 
“autistic” and “pathologically distant from the problems of real markets 
and real people”:

“We wish to escape from imaginary worlds! Most of us have chosen to 
study economics so as to acquire a deep understanding of the economic 
phenomena with which the citizens of today are confronted. But the 
teaching that is offered . . . does not generally answer this 
expectation. . . . This gap in the teaching, this disregard for concrete 
realities, poses an enormous problem for those who would like to render 
themselves useful to economic and social actors” [2].

The word “autistic” may be offensive and politically incorrect, but it 
certainly provides an apt description of mainstream economics.


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