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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Beyond the Growth Paradigm

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." J Krishnamurti

Following on the previous blog, just came across this from the excellent Adbusters in Canada and the latest edition of their magazine 'Thought control within economics' . Another analysis of the need to overturn the dominance of neo-classical economics within the academy

Other inspiring sources of the fightback against this neo-classical hegemony is the 'decroissance' or 'degrowth' movement in France and the 'Toxic Textbook' campaign of which I'm a member here in Ireland -more anon as soon as anything's organised. One great aspect of this latter campaign is its provocative 'health warning' stickers it has designed to be put on neo-classical economic textbooks- see above.
Its not that the neo-classical model has necessarily got it all wrong or is necessarily 'bad' but its hegemony is stifling pluralism and exposing students in Universities to different perspectives on economics, what the economy is, how it can or should be organised, with what principles, institutions etc. etc.
I sometimes think there is a lot of parallel between the struggle in Eastern Europe against communist domination and this similar intellectual (but with very real effects) struggle against the tyranny of neo-classical economics. and the pressing need for it to be returned to its proper position as one amongst many approaches, not the only, or necessarily the best. I'm reminded here of the following "Economists give answers not because what they say is true, but because they are asked".

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