September 18, 2017

New Economic Thinking = old scientific garbage

Comment on David Orrell on ‘Economyths: The Five Stages of Economic Grief’

Blog-Reference and Blog-Reference

Myth, well told, is still the most convincing way to explain how the world and humankind came to be in their present form. To recall, Zeus was the god of sky and thunder. He oversaw the universe, assigned the various gods their roles, and was known for his erotic escapades. Zeus was emotional, spontaneous and had a lot of trouble with other gods, goddesses, and humans. To handle his problems, Zeus regularly fell back to chicanery, force, and violence.#1 Since antiquity, everybody “understands” Zeus and his actions.

Not much has changed since the ancient Greeks. Ninety-nine percent of human communication still consists of myth, storytelling, and psychologism. Storytelling and psychologism are scientifically worthless. The “explanation” consists of connecting phenomenological dots by simply imputing a plausible emotional motive (anger, greed, fear, jealousy, hubris, revenge, etcetera) to an assumed actor with extraordinary capabilities.

The characteristic of science is the rejection of storytelling and the insistence on material and formal consistency: “Research is, in fact, a continuous discussion of the consistency of theories: formal consistency insofar as the discussion relates to the logical cohesion of what is asserted in joint theories; material consistency insofar as the agreement of observations with theories is concerned.” (Klant)

The goal of science is the true theory. The true theory is the humanly best mental representation of reality. Economics is a failed science. The major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and all got the foundational economic concepts profit and income wrong. Neither orthodox nor heterodox economists can explain how the economy works and why crises happen.

The methodologically proper measure to overcome scientific failure is a paradigm shift. This, though, is NOT what David Orrell proposes. Instead, he reinterprets the manifest scientific mess as a psychological problem and advocates therapy: “I’m sure there are plenty of sociologists and psychologists (even grief counsellors probably) who can help.”

Needless to emphasize that David Orrell’s story of sickness and healing appeals very much to the ninety-nine percenters who can only understand what is presented in the accustomed sitcom format. Psychologism is the mode of explanation of morons for other morons. Psychology, to recall, is a so-called social science and the so-called social sciences have been debunked by Richard Feynman as cargo cult science.

Economics is a systems science and the functioning of the economic system has to be explained without recourse to psychological concepts like utility or greed.#2

Economics is a failure ― NOT a psychological or communicative failure but a scientific failure ― and the ultimate cause is not some mysterious psychological disorder but plain scientific incompetence. Both orthodox and heterodox economics has never been more than storytelling. There is neither material or formal consistency. The representative economist can until this very day not tell what profit is.#3 This is like medieval physics before the concept of energy was properly understood.

Economists have no mysterious psychological disorder, they are fake scientists.#4 This scourge cannot be overcome with therapy but only with the immediate expulsion of economists from the sciences.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Wikipedia, Zeus
#2 First Lecture in New Economic Thinking
#3 Why economists don’t know what profit is
#4 CORE: more lipstick on the dead economics pig

Related 'Why is economics such a scientific embarrassment?' and 'Economics: the emancipation of science from politics' and 'What makes economics a failed science?' and 'Hunting down the economics body snatchers' and 'In search of new economists' and 'The myth of economics knowledge'  and 'How the representative economist gets it wrong big-time' and 'New Economic Thinking: the 10 crucial points'. For details of the bigger picture see cross-references Paradigm Shift.


FACT: The comment above vanished within minutes from the Evonomics blog.
FICTION: This is how the New Economic Thinkers advertise themselves.