In this book, the author critically examines a number of socialist proposals that have been put forward since the end of the Cold War. It is shown that although these proposals have many merits, their inability effectively to incorporate the benefits of information technology into their models has limited their ability to solve the problem of socialist construction. The final section of the book proposes an entirely new model of socialist development, based on a "needs profile" that makes it possible to convert the needs of large numbers of people into data that can be used as a guide for resource allocation. This analysis makes it possible to rethink and carefully specify the conditions necessary for the abolition of capital and consequently the requirements for socialist revolution and, ultimately, communist society.
Historical Alternatives to Mass Production: Politics, Markets and Technology in Nineteenth-Century Industrialization
Sabel and Zeitlin present the persistence of small firms in Europe against the rise of mass production and modern enterprises Their article starts by analysing how mass production can be considered a historical necessity for the classical view as it is a highly specialized structure where man and machine can …
The outbreak of COVID-19 has substantially accelerated the digitalization of the economy. Yet, this unprecedented growth of digital technology brought novel challenges to the labour market. Rise in income inequalities and precarious working conditions or polarization of jobs. In this essay, we try to assess what tools to use to counter these trends.
The notion that the demand and supply side are independent is a key feature of textbook undergraduate economics and of modern macroeconomic models. Economic output is thought to be constrained by the productive capabilities of the economy - the ‘supply-side' - through technology, demographics and capital investment. In the short run a boost in demand may increase GDP and employment due to frictions such as sticky wages, but over the long-term successive rises in demand without corresponding improvements on the supply side can only create inflation as the economy reaches capacity. In this post I will explore the alternative idea of demand-led growth, where an increase in demand can translate into long-run supply side gains. This theory is most commonly associated with post-Keynesian economics, though it has been increasingly recognised in the mainstream literature.
Paul Mason presents the main arguments of his book PostCapitalism. First, he argues that capitalism runs out of its capability to adapt to crises and second states that information technology challenges the capitalist system. In a nutshell, he argues that a society which fully exploits information technologies can't include concepts such as intellectual property, free market or private ownership. This has far-reaching consequences for the organisation of wages and work. The talk stops at minute 37.30.
While many are unsatisfied with capitalism and critique it in highly sophisticated ways, there are few concrete proposals for a socialist mode of production that could replace the capitalist one. Daniel E. Saros has developed such a proposal in his book "Information Technology and Socialist Construction – The End of Capital and the Transition to Socialism" which we discuss at length over the course of two episodes.
As the global economic landscape evolves, demographics shift, inequality expands, climate change gets worse and technology continues to advance at breakneck speed, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is struggling to stay relevant.
"Energy issues have always been important in international relations, but in recent years may have become even more important than in the past due to the widespread awareness of existing limits to energy sources and negative climate impacts. The course discusses global trends in energy consumption and production, various available scenarios for potential developments in the coming decades, the availability of oil reserves and the evolution of the oil industry. It then discusses natural gas and highlights the differences between oil and gas. It will also discuss renewable energy sources, nuclear energy and EU energy policy. The course aims at providing students whose main interest is in international relations a background on energy resources, technology and economic realities to allow them to correctly interpret the political impact of current developments. It also aims at providing students, who already have a technical background in energy science or engineering, with the broad global view of energy issues that will allow them to better understand the social, economic and political impact of their technical knowledge."
Big challenges lie ahead for our society: increased automation of work, and the threat of catastrophic climate change. But so, too, are the huge possibilities presented by new technology and better ways of organising our economy in the wake of neoliberalism's failure.
Examine what would happen if we were to deploy blockchain technology at the sovereign level and use it to create a decentralized cashless economy. This book explains how finance and economics work today, and how the convergence of various technologies related to the financial sector can help us find solutions to problems, such as excessive debt creation, banks getting too big to fail, and shadow banking.
Three dominant forces worldwide are driving change today in our financial markets: competition, technology and regulation. But their collective impact in reshaping the markets, though they may be viewed individually as desirable or well-intentioned, is producing challenging results that are difficult to predict, hard to control and not easy to understand.
From the two premises that (1) economies are complex systems and (2) the accumulation of knowledge about reality is desirable, I derive the conclusion that pluralism with regard to economic research programs is a more viable position to hold than monism. To substantiate this claim an epistemological framework of how scholars study their objects of inquiry and relate their models to reality is discussed. Furthermore, it is argued that given the current institutions of our scientific system, economics self-organizes towards a state of scientific unity. Since such a state is epistemologically inferior to a state of plurality, critical intervention is desirable.
The objective of the course is to explore the main strengths and weaknesses of orthodox and heterodox paradigms within development economics.
Towards a post-work future: a necessary agenda to reconcile feminist & ecological concerns with work
In this essay the author outlines the basis for embracing a post-work agenda, rooted in an emancipatory potential from the domination of waged work, which could help answer both feminist and ecological concerns with work.
A review of:  Intermediate Microeconomics, H.R. Varian  Mikrooekonomie, R.S. Pindyck, D.L. Rubinfeld  Grundzuege der mikrooekonomischen Theorie, J. Schumann, U. Meyer, W. Stroebele
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
If there’s one method economists have neglected the most, it’s qualitative research. Whereas economists favour mathematical models and statistics, qualitative research seeks to understand the world through intensive investigation of particular circumstances, which usually entails interviewing people directly about their experiences. While this may sound simple to quantitative types the style, purpose, context, and interpretation of an interview can vary widely. Because of this variety, I have written a longer post than usual on this topic rather than doing it a disservice. Having said that, examples of qualitative research in economics are sadly scant enough that it doesn’t warrant multiple posts. In this post I will introduce qualitative research in general with nods to several applications including the study of firm behaviour, race, Austrian economics, and health economics. More than usual I will utilise block quotes, which I feel is in the spirit of the topic.
This paper is a product of an online workshop held in Nigeria on the topic Unemployment: Policy Review and Recommendations. It explores the various unemployment policies introduced by the Nigerian Government and analysis how effective they are and suggests some practicable solutions to solving unemployment problems in the country. The workshop was organized by Rethinking Economics The Uploaders (RETU) as part of the project Solving the Major Economic Problem in Nigeria (SMEPN), an output of the Global Pluralist Economics Training (GPET). More details here: https://www.retheuploaders.org/programs/SMEPN
Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century is the most widely discussed work of economics in recent history, selling millions of copies in dozens of languages. But are its analyses of inequality and economic growth on target? Where should researchers go from here in exploring the ideas Piketty pushed to the forefront of global conversation? A cast of economists and other social scientists tackle these questions in dialogue with Piketty, in what is sure to be a much-debated book in its own right.
An essay of the writing workshop on contemporary issues in the field of Nigerian economics: In Nigeria, it appears that there is nothing in the constitution, which excludes the participation of women in politics. Yet, when it comes to actual practice, there is extensive discrimination. The under-representation of women in political participation gained root due to the patriarchal practice inherent in our society, much of which were obvious from pre-colonial era till date.
Marx’s theory of the falling rate of profit is not only empirically borne out, but the theory he proposed seems to describe accurately how that happens. Furthermore, the whole process is useful for understanding the history of contemporary capitalism.
Environmental catastrophe looms large over politics: from the young person’s climate march to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, increasing amounts of political space are devoted to the issue. Central to this debate is the question of whether economic growth inevitably leads to environmental issues such as depleted finite resources and increased waste, disruption of natural cycles and ecosystems, and of course climate change. Growth is the focal point of the de-growth and zero-growth movements who charge that despite efficiency gains, increased GDP always results in increased use of energy and emissions. On the other side of the debate, advocates of continued growth (largely mainstream economists) believe that technological progress and policies can ‘decouple’ growth from emissions.
An essay of the writing workshop on Nigeria’s Readiness for and the Effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
In the history of the social sciences, few individuals have exerted as much influence as has Jeremy Bentham. His attempt to become “the Newton of morals” has left a marked impression upon the methodology and form of analysis that social sciences like economics and political science have chosen as modus operandi.
Exploring Economics, an open-access e-learning platform, giving you the opportunity to discover & study a variety of economic theories, topics, and methods.
Introduction Economics is by necessity a multi paradigmatic science Several theoretical structures exist side by side and each theory can never be more than a partial theory Rothschild 1999 Likening scientific work to the self coordinating invisible hand of the market Michael Polanyi cautioned strongly against centralized attempts to steer …
‘We cannot afford their peace & We cannot bear their wars’: Value, Exploitation, Profitability Crises & ‘Rectification’
Institutional economics focuses on the role of social institutions in terms of laws or contracts, but also those of social norms and patterns of human behaviour that are connected to the social organisation of production, distribution and consumption in the economy.
Evolutionary economics focuses on economic change. Hence processes of change such as growth, innovation, structural and technological change, as well as economic development in general are analysed. Evolutionary economics often gives emphasis to populations and (sub-)systems.
Leigh Phillips and Michal Rozworski examine the apparent contradiction between the demise of real-existing socialism and the rise of large corporations engaging in planning every day, making a strong argument that these planning efforts should be transformed to now fulfil the needs of the people.
As the world's energy system faces a period of unprecedented change, a global struggle over who controls the sector--and for what purposes--is intensifying. The question of "green capitalism" is now unavoidable, for capitalist planners and anti-capitalist struggles alike.
This essay draws on several analyses on the gender impact of the recession and of austerity policies, in which authors acknowledge a threat to women’s labour market integration and a potential backlash to traditional gender labour structures. We contribute to that literature by asking whether recession and austerity convey a gender effect on educational attainment. Our aim in this essay is to portray the likely effects of austerity measures on gender equality with a focus on women’s participation in tertiary education and to hypothesize the implications of these scenarios for labour market effects, to be tested in future empirical research.