Home Forum Political Economy Disaster – Mitigated or Unmitigated?

  • Creator
  • #248878

    A while back, I lost a bet with a prominent economist; left-leaning, altruistic and science-literate but still very much a conventional economist. I do not know him personally, I have just frequented his blog. The bet was made in 2010 and came to maturity in 2020. I eventually paid up and added in an adjustment for inflation as the bet was in 2010 dollars. The payout went to a charity as per the winner’s request.

    The worst mistake I made was not in losing/donating an affordable amount to a charity nor was it in betting with an economist. My worst mistake was that the object of the bet was denominated in the numéraire (as change in world income over time). I would have lost that particular bet no matter how it had been defined and denominated but it is still a mistake, not just in principle but in science, to gauge the future, past or anything else in the numéraire or in any other notional measure and not in scientific units and their derived units… that is unless one wants to be playing at speculative prophecy. Hat tip to Bichler, Nitzan, Fix and Martin for teaching me that fact via their books and papers.

    The collapse I had predicted for the decade 2011 to 2020, simply following the scientists, has arrived just one decade later. It is happening now. No-one should be in any doubt that this is the collapse. Even objective economists like the one I lost my bet to, admit it, now openly using terms like “mitigated disaster” to describe the necessary least-worst, possible outcome. Yet, the problems with conventional economics run far too deep and these problems cannot be reconciled with science at all. Extant capitalism is failing the majority of the people of the world and is destroying the world as a liveable place for humans and most other meso and macro species. Conventional economics even when “left-leaning, altruistic and science-literate” – the latter where it can be so without being internally contradictory- cannot chart a survivable course.

    This article below says some really interesting stuff about this issue and the fundamental faults which lie at the heart of conventional economics. The research program of conventional economics is flawed in enough parts to render the whole structure untenable. The empirical proofs are now undeniable. The collapse is the proof.

    “The Paradigm in the Iron Mask: Toward an Institutional Ecology of Ecological Economics” – Gregory A. Daneke (Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University, USA)

    Click to access Daneke102.pdf

    Conventional economics is a failed or degenerate research program to use Lakatos’s terminology. Economics needs a renovation or “instauration” as profound as Bacon’s “Great Instauration and Novum Organum” against the scholastic syllogism and for the empirical investigation. Bacon’s cry for the great instauration must now be applied to economics, a still alchemical as well as chrematistic discipline, by abandoning it and junking it. We cannot mitigate disasters when the system creating them is running at full speed.

    All of Bacon’s aphorisms are well worth reading and these below are especially applicable to conventional economics:

    “xii – The logic now in use serves to fix and give stability to the errors which have their foundations in commonly received notions, than to help the search after truth. So it does more harm than good.

    xiii – The syllogism is not applied to the first principles of the sciences, and is applied in vain to intermediate axioms; being no match for the subtlety of nature. It commands assent to the proposition but does not take hold of the thing (the real natural phenomenon).

    xiv – The syllogism consists of propositions, propositions consist of words, words are symbols of notions. Therefore if the notions themselves (the root of the matter) are confused and over hastily abstracted from the facts, there can be no firmness in the superstructure. Our only hope therefore lies in a true induction.” – Bacon – Aphorisms from Novum Organum.

    Bacon then goes on to mention  “experiment”.

    Of course, none of this (abandoning conventional economics for something both more ethical and scientific) will happen while the current hegemony applies. Capitalism now completely dominates the world system. Capitalism has achieved its apotheosis. All the great economies now obey and compete within late capitalism’s system prescriptions, which are mainly but not wholly dictated by the USA. Even Russia and China are fully subsumed into the global mega-machine of capitalism. Wherever capitalisation is the dominant principle, along with financialism in general, this is true.  Capitalist dictatorships like Russia and China and capitalist oligopolies like the USA still compete (economically and militarily via economic wars, proxy wars, cyber wars, grey wars and bio-wars at least) but they compete in one system. China’s final and utter capitulation to capitalism dates precisely from its capitulation to the COVID-19 pandemic. Controlling the spread of the BSL 3 pathogen, SARS2, was the last substantial, objective thing China was doing differently from late stage global capitalism elsewhere. SARS2 probably was engineered at Wuhan Institute of Virology with significant US money and research assistance, bizarre as it seems, and then escaped. The circumstantial evidence is extensive and compelling but it usually takes decades to find smoking guns when states and deep states are hiding them. See Professor Raina MacIntyre’s book “Dark Winter” which maybe should have been called “Dark Genetics”.  Prof. MacIntyre is a global authority in forensic epidemiology. It signals a final watershed, on the biosecurity and epidemiological front, that China has abandoned its people to the unstoppable pandemic, just as the people of the West and third world have been abandoned by the leading Western governments.

    To reiterate, we cannot mitigate disasters, of ecological or epidemiological nature, when the system creating them is still running at full speed. And the system, as appears to date, is so hegemonic and the public so addicted to consumerism, beguiled with manufactured consent and deluded with cornucopian techno-optimism, that the system cannot be changed from within. “Within” is now the whole human world. In that case, it will be changed from without. The natural forces of the biosphere and ecosphere will collapse and are collapsing our system rapidly now. When will people wake up from their all-enveloping false consciousness? That is the only serious question at this stage.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Rowan Pryor. Reason: Fix link and correct typos
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.