Thought Control in Economics

The New Spirit of Economics

Economics is entering a Nietzschean period of creative destruction ... tectonic mindshifts are underway.
The Subversion of Capitalism by Ian Spriggs

For Hayek, a market was a personal voyage of discovery. Malthus once told Ricardo to be wary of becoming too attached to abstract ways of thinking. Keynes believed in “animal spirits.” Schumpeter sensed a brutal dynamic of “creative destruction” at the heart of capitalism. Heilbroner sternly warned economists to abandon their “suicidal formalism” if they wanted to progress … but such crunchy, philosophical insights into the soul of economics have largely been lost on the last few generations of its practitioners. For 50 years they’ve been rationalizing human behavior, sanitizing their models and trying their best to turn economics into a mathematically driven exact science like physics.

Now the old guard is under attack by students and scientists from other disciplines for its profound disconnect from reality. The logic freaks of neoclassical economics are in retreat … the old certitudes are crumbling. Economists are being forced to admit that their understanding of nonlinear, real-world systems is frail at best and that their abstract models have limited value. Everything, from banking, financial regulation and credit, right down to the bedrock fundamentals – growth, freedom, happiness, progress – are now being rethought. The profession is entering an almost Nietzschean period of creative destruction. Here are some of the tectonic mindshifts now underway:

• A theoretical shift from free market back to Keynesian economics. The idea that governments should step aside and let markets regulate themselves has been publicly, viscerally discredited.

• An aesthetic shift in the tone, style and spirit of economics. The abstract number cruncher, alone in his tower, lost in the abstraction of models – that dusty Apollonian archetype – is dead.

• An operational shift: After years of self-imposed isolation, economists are finding inspiration in psychology, environmental science, design, philosophy and art.

• An existential shift: Before last year’s meltdown it was considered heresy to question the wisdom of growth. Now economists are coming out of the closet and doing exactly that: openly proclaiming infinite growth cannot be sustained on a finite planet. This is the most far-reaching, penetrating paradigm shift imaginable – a monumental mindshift on par with what Einstein’s relativity did to physics. It points to what is perhaps the most exciting and intractable problem of our time: how to create a sustainble economy that does not feed off nature. It heralds the beginning of a debate that will occupy the best minds on the planet for centuries to come: How to manage our planetary household – how to live and be happy – without crashing Gaia?

31 comments on the article “The New Spirit of Economics”

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Here is an idea to study as an alternative means to fostering economic value. Study the models of OPEN SOURCE and how its volunteered labor powers its remarkable innovation and value! The communities birthed from the pre-web cyber-punks, hackers and phreakers reflected some of kind of future with PANARCHY traits. Open source DIY ethics and de centralized communities of volunteer labor reflects a perfect example and proof of how individuals* can quicken innovation within a hybrid collective where one can freely give new ideas, create, collaborate, and innovate without obstruction, regulation or rules. In this decentralized unspoken market of people from everywhere on the globe, without hinderance from any type of organized top down rules or any laws nor relevancy to gender, race or age- fostered a fast growing new market in which all past economic markets pale in size and impact.

This uncharted phenomenon continues to bring forth new innovations that are adopted and capitalized upon. Could our leaders ever imagine that a global community that rewards itself on social capital, where people contribute free labor without coercion, but rather for reputation and mutual self-interest. Could they recognize how the technological age advances leaps and bounds from these platforms without any help or regulations because the reward they seek is something intrinsic that they cannot provide. In these unspoken virtual communities without boarders, production is unhindered by any of our real world cultural wars or physical territory laws. In these renegade outposts is where new ideas are tested and technological innovation is birthed then released to all for improving the lives of all.

It feels like some sort of meta-colllective that's made up from individuals whom collaborate or contributes at his own volition within virtual post anarchy spaces, that possibly can be able to exist within the web's ethers connecting the participators. The fruits of all this freely contributed labor provides epic value for many people and created a massive shift in the way the world communicates to each other. We all reap the benefits from these frameworks of open source software and open standards that is constantly improved, mashed-up, debugged, freely traded and embellished upon every second.

This demonstrates the power of many to many when unfettered by rules. In contrast, centralized power and unnecessary bureaucracy hinders and stunts this innovation of our true potential. Open source DIY ethos compared with the history of the web fiasco guided by VCs and rigid economics steered the internet away from its un natural potential bringing along closed proprietary non standards, crappy coded browsers ( think : Microsoft IE with activeX's open door to drive by virus ) that almost destroyed the internets adoption with hype, ponsi styled IPOs and insider trading culminating a internet bubble and crash 2000 that hurt us all. While the Government was still trying to understand the web and its power, open source ethos and underground communities directed the internet back inline to its original roots for collaboration and social aspects.

YouTube, Google, etc., are now some of the largest valued economies in the world in modern history, all made possible from building upon the frameworks contributed from the back waters of the internet of coders, hackers, experimentalists, geeks and phreaks — people who volunteered their labor without any government coercion, propaganda nor without respect to any boarders, treaties, labor unions and further without contracts, without promotion or centralized management mining the leechers, flamers and n00bs. the most revealing aspect ? All the labor and creativity continues to foster without any sort of monetary compensation.

I learned that a ethos of this anarchy grows its value from which the participant deems desirable to obtain- guided by ones own self interest to gain access or make improvement upon something that he has already contributed. And at each completion one gains a reputation, much like a video game he scores for the better for more respect. We all can learn here that when man is left to his own devices even with language barriers and cultural bias - we don't move ourselves to destroy , kill, nor waste nimble time- but rather move to be productive, creative and contribute labor or knowledge to gain some recognized respect and reap the rewards of its shared materialization.

information wants to be free. knowledge is power. think for yourself. leave game theory for relic game boards.

*too bad ms. Ayne Rand died before seeing the epic innovation materialized by the unrestricted power of the internet, having aspects of her theories about the virtues from individuals liberated from bureaucrat chains.

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