Tuesday 8 September 2009

Economics is not a Science

It's not nature. It's a game, with very particular rules, set in motion by real people with real purposes. That's why it's so amazing to me that scientists, and people calling themselves scientists, would propose to study the market as if it were some natural system ??? like the weather, or a coral reef.

It's not. It's a product not of nature but of engineering. And to treat the market as nature, as some product of purely evolutionary forces, is to deny ourselves access to its ongoing redesign. It's as if we woke up in a world where just one operating system was running on all our computers and, worse, we didn't realize that any other operating system ever did or could ever exist.

Historically, 'Economics' was coined by Malthus simply because numbers and equations had done so well for Newton in convincing authorities of physics and gravitation, they thought maybe it could lend some Divine Credence to the grand plan to convert all Common Land into Crown Land and all Free Serfs into Employees. It was a delightfully clever swindle. And it would have worked too, if those pesky kids hadn't got in the way ...