Meme Wars, The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economy

Meme Wars, The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical EconomyEngrossing, Exciting This Book Compels Us To Rethink Our Approaches To Economics Literary Review Of Canada Thought Provoking And Creative Julie Nelson, Author Of Beyond Economic Man Feminist Theory And Economics From The Editor And Magazine That Started And Named The Occupy Wall Street Movement, Meme Wars The Creative Destruction Of Neoclassical Economics Is An Articulation Of What Could Be The Next Steps In Rethinking And Remaking Our World That Challenges And Debunks Many Of The Assumptions Of Neoclassical Economics And Brings To Light A Ecological Model Meme Wars Aims To Accelerate The Shift Into This New Paradigm That Takes Into Account Psychonomics, Bionomics, And Other Aspects Of Our Physical And Mental Environment That Are Often Left Out In Discussions Of Economics Like Adbusters, The Book Will Be Image Heavy And Full Color Throughout Lasn Calls It A Textbook For The Future That Provides The Building Blocks, In Texts And Visuals, For A New Way Of Looking At And Changing Our World Through An Examination Of Alternative Economies, Lasn Hopes To Spur Students To Become Barefoot Economists And To See That A Humanization Of Economics Is Possible Meme Wars Will Include Contributions From Nobel Prize Winner Joseph Stiglitz, Paul Samuelson, George Akerlof, Lourdes Bener A, Julie Matthaei, Manfred Max Neef, David Orrell, Paul Gilding, Mathis Wackernagel And The Father Of Ecological Economics Herman Daly, Among OthersBased On Ideas That Were Presented In A Special Issue Of Adbusters Entitled Thought Control In Economics Beyond The Growth Paradigm An Activist Toolkit, Meme Wars Will Help Move Forward The Occupy Wall Street Movement For those who think that anarchists and Occupy movement types are thoughtless and without theoretical foundations, this book compiled by the Adbusters group under founder Kalle Lasn s dirction is a must read It focuses on economic theory, critiquing the current paradigm neoclassicism , but offering an amazing array of competing theories and visions. Where was this book ten years ago I really needed it when I was eighteen, fresh from being frustrated by the blinkered stupidity of A level economics and disappointed that the economics paper in my undergraduate course seemed little better Meme Wars is intended as an antidote to standard neoclassical economics textbooks, such as bloody Mankiw the unchallenged assumptions in that book drove me mad As such, I think it works well Meme Wars uses the same format as Adbusters magazine, which is well worth reading if you can find it in a newsagent This intersperses pieces on heterodox economic thought and politics with full page art pieces I like this approach, which gives the book a satisfying heft as well as keeping the eyes and mind stimulated As a warning, though, the absence of contents page or index means you can t go back and find a particular piece without leafing through the whole thing There aren t any page numbers, either, so you have to rely on the distinctiveness of the imagery Which, admittedly, is very distinctive.I thought the range of critiques of neoclassical economics were well chosen as an introduction to the heterodox field In addition to well known theorists like Herman Daly, E F Schumacher, Joseph Stiglitz, and George Akerlof, the work of many others is covered, most of whom were new to me I also appreciated the thoroughness of the critique of GDP, which really deserves to be abandoned as a useful metric It is fair to say, however, that the perspective of this book is largely white, male, and American On the one hand, not again On the other hand, it is also white, male, and American voices who do the most to promulgate neoclassical economics and thus have the strongest need to critique their assumptions So I am ambivalent about this point I cannot let one piece pass without mention, though, as it is perhaps the most jaw droppingly ironic thing I ve ever read Here is a quote To be fair, no matter how much wealth a person possesses, each person s consumption is equal A Bill Gates or Steve Jobs can still soar and be heroes of civilisation and celebrated by all, but they will live just like everyone else in a one planet footprint Thus we will guide and transform the whole society from a selfish society to a selfless society.This seems like a very laudable utopian ideal, does it not But consider the earlier context for the above statement In the past two hundred years of the vigorous international communist movement and the ninety years of history of the Communist Party of China, millions of people have sacrificed their lives for the realisation of a communist ideal The international communist movement is not defeated by capitalism but defers sic to develop its own theory Socialism with Chinese characteristics is still pressing ahead.Yes, this is the view of the Chinese government The same government that has shown how the largest and fastest growing market economy in the world can also profess communism The same government that has energetically refuted Fukuyama s notion that market economics and representative democracy require one another to thrive The same government that fosters vast inequalities in wealth, corruption at a gigantic scale, and the denial of any democratic freedoms to its citizens The sad thing is, the developed world is vastly hypocritical in its criticism of China for these things, as well as the extent to which China is blamed for increases in world carbon emissions Looking at the total stock of carbon shoved into the atmosphere by the industrialisation of Europe puts this in perspective In America, Republican politicians express admiration for China s lack of social security and wage protection The UK s democratic freedoms certainly aren t what they once were The level of irony can hardly be encompassed in words Essentially, I think that this particular piece needs a caveat that it is, like the vast majority of the rest of the book, aspirational Communist China is not actually a utopia and the millions who starved or were killed in China during Mao s regime did so in the name of totalitarianism, not a selfless society Nowadays, those dying prematurely due to terrible rates of pollution might say the same, except that the totalitarian idol has shifted to an abstraction of economic progress Thanks, neoclassical economics.That aside, Meme Wars is definitely thought provoking and very much worth reading I think I d have appreciated it when I was a member of its target audience undergraduate students dissatisfied with the neoclassical economics being rammed down their throats I ll recommend it to the undergrads that I sometimes teach, in fact. The best book I ve read yet this year Splendid call for ACTION

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  • Hardcover
  • 400 pages
  • Meme Wars, The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economy
  • Kalle Lasn
  • English
  • 12 October 2018
  • 9781609804329

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