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In a Trap of Neoclassical Economics and Marxism

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 29-03-2017
Тематический раздел:
This paper is a reaction to the book "Economic ideas and the world economic environment: a retrospective of interaction". The idea of writing a book with this title is just excellent. Traditional consideration of the development of economic ideas as exclusively intellectual history cannot give understanding of their evolution, since this evolution is influenced (often critically) by a large number of external "factors". Why did I take the word "factors" in quotation marks? It is because this term is not very suitable to explain the evolution of economic ideas. It orients us to the causal model explaining this evolution, which for this purpose is totally inadequate. What kind of model, instead of causal, must be used here? In order to answer this question it is necessary to keep in mind that economic ideas are generated, developed and transmitted by people, immersed in certain social relations. These social relations are governed by certain rules, so in order to understand the evolution of economic ideas it is necessary to identify these rules. These rules are not confined to the desire of economists to understand economic reality. As it is shown by many historical studies of the real development of the economic discipline, the hypothesis, that social relations within the community of economists are motivated solely by the desire for a more accurate reflection of economic reality is fundamentally wrong. The author of the book is based on the hypothesis that "the theory is... more or less truthful reflection of contemporary to it conditions". The main, I would say fatal, mistake of the author of the book under consideration here is to use a causal model explaining the evolution of economic ideas, and selection of "technological factor" as a decisive factor acting in the framework of this model.
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