[Marxism] POLITICAL ECONOMY AND CRITICAL THINKING: DOING A CLOZE EXERCISE
gary.maclennan1 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 30 17:20:14 MDT 2014
Political Economy and Critical thinking: Doing a cloze exercise
*READ THE FOLLOWING SENTENCE AND COMPLETE THE EXERCISE*
*_______________ Hong Kong is still one of the freest economies in the
world, it has long ceased to be a land of opportunity for ordinary Hong
Kong residents. It is a city dominated by billionaire plutocrats and
Chinese red princelings.**(Cai, 2014, para.8 <#_ENREF_1>)*
Fill in the gap in the above sentence with one of the following connectors:-
Because; Despite the fact that; As; Although; While; Since
In the original article Cai chose the connector “although”. It immediately
struck me that beneath this language choice, there was a world of political
semantics. In choosing “although”, he selected the logical connection of
opposition. The underlying assumption he is making is that if an economy
is “free”, then it should be a land of opportunity for all.
This assumption is in turn located within the neo-classical economic
paradigm, where free markets are seen as the necessary and sufficient
conditions for general prosperity.
However if we select the connectors “Because” or “As” or “Since”, we give
voice to the logical connection of explanation where the absence of the
land of opportunity and the presence of billionaires is seen as the result
of the presence of free markets.
Here the underlying assumption is that deregulated or free markets will
result in an uneven distribution of wealth and an elimination of the
possibility of a land of opportunity. The paradigms being invoked here are
varieties of Keynesian approaches and even of socialist economics.
There is much more that could be done with this exercise. I am specifically
interested in the utopian elements in the neo-classical approach with its
central pivot of “free” and “land of opportunity”. For socialists and
Keynesians alike, it is a problem that the framing invoked by “free” and
“opportunity” are intrinsically more appealing that “regulation”.
Cai, P. (2014). Hong Kong protests are about more than democracy. *China
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