imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

The Naked P{rophets

by Tom Schimmeck Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 at 6:47 AM
mbatko1@hotmail.com

Economics' sharpest critics regard it as an auxiliary science of astrology, a sect that sings its same little song. Classical authors like John Kenneth Galbraith are finally rediscovered. Exactness is impossible. The coming generation should be protected from mono-cultural ideology

THE NAKED PROPHETS

By Tom Schimmeck

[This article published in the German union journal Gegenblende Jan 9, 2012 is translated from the German on the Internet, . Tom Schimmeck, 51, co-founder of taz, former editor of taz, Tempo, Spiegel, profil and Woche is a free author in the areas of politics, society and science.]

Everything has been said about economics. Its reputation is battered. Economics’ sharpest critics regard it as an auxiliary science of astrology, a sect that sings its same little song in fervent ideological unison since the 1980s: about the holy market and the salvation-bringing unleashing of its powers through deregulation, liberalization, stripping of state power and privatization. At that time the great turn occurred from John Maynard Keynes to Friedrich August von Hayek. Margaret Thatcher always carried Hayek’s work “The Constitution of Liberty” in her handbag. For a long while, The “Economic wise men” were stylized as prophets. Hardly any one still hears them today when they proclaim their conventional market truths.

However we should try to be balanced. Not every lawyer advances to a cynical power politician. Economists are not all of the same beat. To be sure, old mainstream economists exist, that phalanx of the so-called law-and-order school that dominates the institutes and universities, think tanks and talk show hosts of the nation for years. The “fresh water economists” flee. Paul Krugman, one of the most eloquent critics and a Nobel Prize winner for economics, raised the question of questions in 2009 in The New York Times: Why were they all so wrong and blind? “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?”

How? Is this a pseudo-science miles away from all world reality like a sect clinging to its prayers? Did its spokespersons inure themselves in their windowless ivory tower? Do they calculate instead of think? With the “Homo oeconomicus,” do they pay homage to a simple and dreary view of the person? As Hans-Werner Sinn (Bild: “Germany’s best economic professor”) once formulated: “The market economy is a system that doesn’t need good persons. The market economy functions with the person as he is: an egoistic profit-addicted individual who wants to maximize his consumption.” How pathetic!

Since the crisis, the economy has stood rather naked. Why get excited about Mr. Sinn? What about the other brave knights of neoclassical doctrine, all the neat professors who commodify themselves as givers of keywords and “ambassadors of the industry-financed “Initiative of the New Social Market Economy”? Economics is changing. The long scorned dissenters are heard increasingly. Heiner Flassbeck, chief economist of UNCTAD, decries the “incapacity” of his guild “to properly interpret the world.” Joseph E. Stiglitz, former chief advisor of Bill Clinton, pillories the “rightwing of economists.” Classic authors are finally rediscovered, thinkers like John Kenneth Galbraith who wrote about “private affluence and public poverty” in 1958 long before the neoliberal crusade.

That was the last straw for th3e economics’ press. When 190 German professors ranted and raved against an expansion of the Euro bailout umbrella with the usual arguments in February 2011, the Financial Times of Germany groaned “Economists blame themselves in Working for the Euro Bailout Fund.”

In Uni-Spiegel, Miriam Olbrisch and Michaela Schiessel recently described the mad cosmos of German economic theory. The young Henrik wanted to understand the world and wrote as a student of economics in Heidelberrg:

“Outside the time-honored walls, the markets seemed mad, driven by the greed and panic of investors. Inside students learned that “the invisible hand “ of the market according to Adam Smith, pope of economists, always leads to a balance. The markets are efficient, the professors told them, perfectly balanced by competition, supply and demand. The stude3nts studied hard through neoclassical mathematical models in which only rational actors exist. Welcome to the world of the Homo oeconomicus.”

Some cannot endure this anymore. That is why the “post-autistic economy” has arrived in Germany. “Post-autists” is the self-ironic term of a movement of economists who resist the enormous conformity pressure of their discipline. They stand up to empty theory and seek to anchor their perspectives in society. They understand the economy as a social science and the human subject as more than a robot programmed for selfishness.

This movement arose ten years ago at the Sorbonne. Since 2000, its organ, the real-world economics review, has been published and is read by over 17,000 interested persons in over 150 countries. Since then, it has grown, fueled by the crisis and the hunger for plurality, new thinking and wiser explanations. In 2011 the new “World Economics Association” arose. 3600 economists from 110 countries joined within ten days of its creation. The explicit goal of economics should be “better serving society.” This requires more competence, relevance and openness to other social fields. It is high time for alternative economics. The macro-economy of the last 30 years, Paul Krugman concludes, has been “at best spectacularly useless and at worst absolutely harmful.”

Post-autists are not alone. In 2009 the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) was founded with funds from George Soros. In Germany, the “sustainable economy network” (“Netzwerk Nachhaltige Okonomie”) decried the blindness against every religious preacher of the market who sees himself as a manager of a supposedly objective reality. Their showmanship is not a sign of intellectual greatness. As John Maynard Keynes explained, “practitioners who believe they are not subject to any intellectual influences are usually slaves of a long dead economist.” Even Hayek recognized: “One who only wants to be an economist cannot be a good economist.”

What must happen now? Wolfgang Streeck, managing director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Research wrote a pointed essay that should be required reading. “Exactness is impossible. The coming generation, particularly the part studying economics, should be protected fr5om the mono-cultural brainwashing pursued at the universities with standard economic rational- and market models.”

The text is a wise accounting with the distortions of the standard economy and its forecast mania… Streeck recalled the grandiosely wrong predictions of the great German economic research institutes for 2009. The narrow horizon of conventional economists long courted by politics is far more important to him. “The worldview that must be part of the critical debate should have been set more passionately long before the present financial crisis is the worldview of the standard economy with its machine model of a social world that automatically becomes the best of all worlds driven by the rational egoism of autistic calculating automatons if politics only left everything to the so-called free play of market forcers.”

Streeck goes back to the old Keynes who 75 years ago explained why the economy cannot predict anything. Streeck concluded: “One c cannot know anything about the world as long as the economy – and that also meant with Keynes the society – is treated as nature and the science of the economy is pursued as a search for natural laws. By their natured, systems of actions referring to one another are too complex – that is too living, too reactive and too historical – to be calculable according to general unchangeable laws external to them.”

We should ask ourselves why we always listen to the forecasts of think tanks.

On January 12, 2012, Jurgen Karl wrote: For a long while, “economic wise men” were regarded as prophets. Hardly anyone listens to them today when they proclaim their conventional market truths.

The opposite seems true when one sees the German chancellor ac ting in the present Euro crisis. Merkel or Merkozy stringently follow their neoliberal agenda with debt brakes and demolish the public budgets, especially what is left of all the welfare state posts.

Yesterday Merkel praised Italy for its radical austerity course with the usual ingredients like raising the initial pension age, cutting pensions and increasing the value-added tax. This corresponds to one of the main neoliberal goals, starving the state and the public sector with the final goal of carrying out a policy of deregulation, privatization and social cuts.

In an interview with Germany radio, the president of the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Udo Steffens and representative of the neoliberal mainstream addressed the question whether an intensified austerity course did not portend the danger of a recession.

“That could be blamed for a recession… Still one must argue whether that can finally clean up our social systems.”

Unfortunately the neoliberal ideology seems more alive than ever to me.

On January 12, 2012, Sebastian J. wrote:

“I can understand the frustration that arises whenever someone moves the old slogans to the front. Your article certainly speaks from the soul to an alternate economist.

Naming names like Flassbeck, Stiglitz and Krugman is almost symptomatic. I am reminded that one swallow does not make a summer.

It is wonderful the media are increasingly taking up alternative voices. It is also nice that there are new movements (like the post-autists). However individual action groups or “institutes” do not change anything in the muddled situation at German universities. I would recommend studying the job ads in the realm of economics.

Although a generational change is on the horizon, the substantive continuity of professorships is sometimes shocking. In short, I share the criticism of the author but I do not see a real summer despite different swallows…

Interest groups, employers and employees are supported by politics and use the nascent system for their interests. Politics tolerates this since the unemployment percentage is falling. No jobs policy is effective with simultaneous spending cuts of several sectors within a self-contained economy (the EU-17 has no balance of payments surpluses or deficits toward the rest of the world).

This is common sense, not a pseudo-science. It is disgusting when the protagonists of the existing apartheid system including unions, politics and academics like Mr. Streeck act as though there were no apartheid or exclusion of the long-term unemployed… Science was not only used for sinister goals under Stalinism and National Socialism.

ORLANDO PASCHEIT (EDITOR OF www.nachdenkseiten.de) ON “THE NAKED PROPHETS”

Holger Rogall gives a good survey on the deficiencies of dominant economics. How gratifying that such essays gradually find their way into daily newspapers like the Stuttgarter Zeitung. As the title and introduction suggest, the radical market fundamentalism of the neoliberal mainstream has little to do with Adam Smith. I presume the editors can be blamed who wanted to pep up the essay. In criticizing economics, the baby should not be thrown out with the bathwater and condemned with its progenitors. The text is devoted above all to neoclassicism and its model whi9ch is not viable. Neoliberalism ignores the premises of the model, for example the assumption of complete information of the market actors and elevates the model to an economic-political or social-political recommendation. The “invisible hand” through which the goal of one’s “own interest” is promoted as the “public interest” points to the ordering power of the market in Smith’s main work “The Wealth of Nations” (1776) on a theoretical plane. In his second main work “The Theory of Ethical Feelings” (1779), Smith explicitly separates himself from persons only acting in self-interest. Adam Smith never rose to the neoliberal Walter Eucken’s statement: “Social justice comes about through creation of a functioning macro-order where income development is subject to the strict rules of competition, risk and liability.” Today wed know the “invisible hand” failed with incomplete competition (market power), external effects like pollution of the environment and income distribution and necessitates state regulation. Smith knew the phenomenon of market failure. Smith supported regulations for the banking- and money industry. The dislocations of the Scottish banking system through the bankruptcy of the Scottish Ayr Bank are not comparable with the present crisis. His advocacy of a legally fixed highest interest rate against usury sounds good. Borrowed money is wasted and destroyed and is not taken from sober people or given to prodigals and projectors (squanders and speculators) who would be ready to pay the high interest (Book II, Chapter IV).

One could also understand Smith’s phrase as an ironic joke. In his time, this metaphor was used in the religious context, for example as the invisible hand of providence. But in the context of Book IV, Chapter 11 and other passages, his picture of the invisible hand for the first time in the history of economic thought like decentr4alized knowledge throu9gh the market mechanism leads to a result that no individual could have realized or planned, a discovery of great range but with limits. Whoever is interested in a dissenting heterodox economy will appreciate the text by Tom Schimmeck, “The Naked Prophets.”.. Food is more expensive than ever,

RELATED LINKS:

Rogall, Holger, “The Invisible Hand Doesn’t Help Any More,” December 2011

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2012/02/413901.shtml

Ulrich, Peter, “Justice Before Efficiency,” January 2012

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2012/01/413580.shtml

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy