November 7, 2017

Heterodoxy and Pluralism, too, are proto-scientific garbage

Note on Edward Fullbrook on ‘This intellectual cult threatening us all’


Edward Fullbrook summarizes: “Locke’s general conception of the human mind became commonplace among 18th-century philosophers, so when Adam Smith came to write the foundational text for economics, The Wealth of Nations (1776), he had the example not only of Newton’s material atomism but also of Locke’s extension of it to an altogether different area of inquiry. If atomism could form the basis of a theory of ideas, then why not apply it as well to a theory of human beings?”

Joseph Schumpeter characterized Adam Smith correctly as a storyteller: “… in fact he disliked whatever went beyond plain common sense. He never moved above the heads of even the dullest readers. He led them on gently, encouraging them by trivialities and homely observations, making them feel comfortable all along.”

In fact, Smith is the founder of economics as narrative or soapbox rhetoric or plain sophistry or sitcom entertainment. With Newton as the beacon of science before everyone’s eyes, 18th-century philosophers and economists were seen for what they were: scientifically incompetent blatherers who cannot be taken seriously.

This lead to a change of rhetoric in public discourse. Locke and Smith, among others, mimicked physics without ever understanding what science is all about. This is how the so-called social sciences became what Feynman famously called cargo cult science: “They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. ... But it doesn’t work. ... So I call these things cargo cult science because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential.”

Understanding nothing, the fake scientists of Political Economy took determinism as the characteristic feature of science. This was a rather silly methodological mistake because it was long known that determinism does not apply to human action: “The bifurcation of motion into two fundamentally different types, one for natural motions of non-living objects and another for acts of human volition ... is obviously related to the issue of free will, and demonstrates the strong tendency of scientists in all ages to exempt human behavior from the natural laws of physics, and to regard motions resulting from human actions as original, in the sense that they need not be attributed to other motions.” (Brown) What scientists of all ages knew, the fake scientists of economics simply ignored.

But the incompetence of the representative economist goes even deeper. What economists never realized is that economics cannot be founded on any assumptions about Human Nature/motives/behavior/action. Economics is not a so-called social science but a systems science. There is, of course, no such thing as a deterministic law of human behavior but there are indeed deterministic laws of the economic system.#2

The state of economics is this: theoretical economics (= science) had been hijacked from the very beginning by political economists (= agenda pushers). Political economics has produced NOTHING of scientific value in the last 200+ years.#3 The major approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent, and all got profit wrong. With the pluralism of provably false theories economics sits squarely at the proto-scientific level.

Heterodoxy’s crime against science consists in (i) praising the pluralism of false theories, (ii) misleading students about want science is all about, and (iii), the inability for 200+ years to come forward with something better than Orthodoxy.#4

Economists in their utter scientific incompetence ― right-wing or left-wing do not matter ― always were and still are a threat to their fellow citizens.

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 What is so great about cargo cult science? or, How economists learned to stop worrying about failure
#2 The existence of economic laws and the nonexistence of behavioral laws
#3 Economics: 200+ years of scientific incompetence and fraud
#4 The stupidity of Heterodoxy is the life insurance of Orthodoxy

Related 'Are economics professors really that incompetent? Yes!' and 'What it takes to become a great economist' and 'How Heterodoxy became the venue for science’s scum'. For details of the big picture see cross-references Heterodoxy and cross-references Pluralism and cross-references Failed/Fake Scientists and cross-references Political Economics/Stupidity/Corruption.