May 12, 2018

Marx’s bicentennial ― nothing to discuss, nothing to celebrate

Comment on Tom Hickey on ‘Steve Keen — Karl Marx sacrificed logic on the altar of his desire for revolution’


What economists produce is not so much scientific knowledge but some mixture of propaganda, how-to-get-rich quackery, disinformation, and entertainment. The four main approaches ― Walrasianism, Keynesianism, Marxianism, and Austrianism ― are mutually contradictory, axiomatically false, materially/formally inconsistent and all got the pivotal economic concept of profit wrong. With the pluralism of provably false theories economics sits squarely at the proto-scientific level.

Economics is one of the most embarrassing scientific failures of all time. Economic policy guidance NEVER had sound scientific foundations. And it does not matter at all whether this guidance has been more rightist or more leftist, more capitalist or more communist. Because of this, the discussions of economists of different schools never had any scientific relevance and have roughly the same entertainment value as a wrestling show.

The irrelevance of Steve Keen’s critique of Marx consists in the fact that both so-called economists have no idea of the foundational economic concept of profit.#1, #2 Everybody knows from methodology that when the premises are false the whole analytical superstructure is false. Or in the words of Aristotle: “When the premises are certain, true, and primary, and the conclusion formally follows from them, this is demonstration, and produces scientific knowledge of a thing.”

Economics started as Political Economy. Marxianism is not so much economics as Sociology, Anthropology, History, Political Science, Philosophy, Psychology, and agenda-pushing.#3 Marx got the pivotal concepts of profit, exploitation, and class wrong.#4, #5 The axiomatically correct profit theory tells everybody that macroeconomic profit is determined in the most elementary case by dissaving = growth of household- and public sector debt#6 and NOT by exploitation and that there is NO antagonism between wages and profits for the economy as a whole.

Economists of ALL camps are cargo cult scientists and have not gotten their foundational concepts straight in the last 200+ years. Nothing to celebrate on Marx’s bicentennial but the persistence of economists’ stupidity and corruption.#7, #8

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke

#1 Profit for Marxists
#2 How the Intelligent Non-Economist Can Refute Every Economist Hands Down
#3 It is not quite clear which agenda Marx was pushing. See Karl Marx, Prussian government agent
#4 Capitalism, poverty, exploitation, and cross-over exploitation
#5 Ricardo and the invention of class war
#6 Keynes, Lerner, MMT, Trump and exploding profit
#7 Economists: scientists or political clowns?
#8 The end of political economics


REPLY to Tom Hickey on May 19

Schopenhauer called Hegel “A flat-headed, insipid, nauseating, illiterate charlatan.” No wonder that Hegel appealed to Marx and later on to other flat-headed philosophers like Tom Hickey.

The bad luck of philosophers is that philosophy is entirely irrelevant to economics which means for the philosopher Tom Hickey that he is in the wrong place at an economics blog.

MMT, clearly, is a program for the one-percenters.#1 Why do MMTers like Bill Mitchell and Tom Hickey demonstrably wave the Marx flag? Something is wrong here.

Marx is known as a lousy economist#2 and political agenda pusher and, most of all, for his claim that the working class will one day fully replace the capitalist class due to the law of social dialectics. Quite naturally, this sociological/historical hypothesis appeals more to the ninety-nine-percenters than to the one-percenters.

Bill Mitchell, Tom Hickey, and the rest of the sales team use Marx in order to make MMT palatable to the ninety-nine-percenters.#3, #4

An intelligent Marxist/MMTer (who is indeed as rare as a unicorn) would simply create some extra money but NOT for deficit spending, which only boosts macroeconomic profit according to the axiomatically correct Profit Law Public Deficit = Private Profit, but for continuously buying shares on Wall Street and successively taking over the control of all big corporations. No social revolution is needed. In fact, nothing is easier than abolishing capitalism.#5 Why do MMTers waste so much time with the Job Guarantee and other social programs?