Comment 28395

By LL (registered) - website | Posted January 31, 2009 at 20:56:43

skeptical said:

"Economics is science. Unless you weight in every single variable, you cannot call it "evidence". We call that religion."

Economics is neither science nor religion. Economics is a political praxis. Until we clue into that, we will continue to chase our tails as a civilization.

First of all, it would be impossible to "weigh in on every single variable" since, in a "complex system", every variable affects every other variable. (I'm not saying that empiricism doesn't have it's place for social questions; I'm just saying recognize its limits.)

Secondly, human subjectivity is itself a variable in the system. When an economist makes a prediction on television, the very broadcasting of the prediction affects the outcome.

Third, as I will continue to point out, economic behaviour is historically conditioned. In the face of massive factory closings, workers in Buenos Aires responded by illegally occupying factories and running them democratically. Faced with a similar industrial failure, workers in Buffalo responded much more quiescently.

The difference? Buenos Aires has 100 years of revolutionary opposition and a culture of solidarity. They've been through a military dictorship that "disappeared" thousands of "individuals" in the name of "libertarian" Chicago-style economics. They know not to listen to such horses#!t.

When classes and communities begin to coordinate as economic "actors", the possibility of a "self-organizing system" emerges, wherein "self" denotes the ethical human personality - not just the system as a whole, with humans existing as manipulable components.

My point? Working people need to organize for a living wage.

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