Home > The Economics Profession > “Open letter on pluralism in economics” from students in Germany

“Open letter on pluralism in economics” from students in Germany

This letter may be downloaded as a pdf here.
You may sign the letter here.
600 people have now signed it.

Dear Mr Chairman, Dear Members of the German Economic Association (Verein für So-cialpolitik),

We are students and teachers of economics at more than 50 universities in the German-speaking world and herewith want to draw attention to the alarming state of our disci-pline whilst wanting to play a constructive role in the reshaping of studies in political economy.

Decades of belief in the self-regulating forces of the market, the predominant “Modellplatonismus” (model Platonism), lack of self-reflection and lack of methodical and theoretical diversity have lead not only our profession to a dead end. The one-sidedness of economic thought also contributes to the ongoing economic crisis and the accompanying lack of perspective.

Economists have a great influence in the public discourse: they engage via numerous research and consulting organizations and the expert advisory board in social decision-making processes. As often quoted experts they act as carriers of the one-sidedness in current economic thinking into the society. But we as economists have an important social responsibility. We can only do justice to this, when we renew political economy by developing a pluralistic view on economic problems. 

We call on all lecturers and students to participate in the redesign of our profession and to consider the following principles in research and teachings.

PRINCIPLES TO RESHAPE ECONOMICS

I. THEORETICAL DIVERSITY INSTEAD OF INTELLECTUAL MONOCULTURE

The main emphasis of current teachings and research is on variants of neoclassical models. In German universities not enough consideration is given to varieties in re-search and teachings beyond this mainstream. This “intellectual monoculture” restricts economic analysis and makes it error-prone. We call for a critical interaction of differ-ent theories. Economics is a social science and must – like other social sciences as well – accommodate a variety of theoretical approaches. Promising but currently largely ne-glected approaches include: Old Institutional Economics, Evolutionary Economics, Femi-nist Economics, Happiness Research, Marxist Economics, Ecological Economics, Post-Keynesianism and post-growth Economics.

1.  A detailed list of the initiators and signatories can be found on http://www.plurale-oekonomik.de
http://www.plurale-oekonomik.de | contact: info@plurale-oekonomik.de

II. A VARIETY OF METHODS INSTEAD OF APPLIED MATHEMATICS

The mathematization of economics has resulted in the degeneration of teachings to applied mathematics. Mathematics should only be a means and not an end in itself for economists. Mathematics should only be one part of a colorful spectrum of methods in research and teachings in Economics. For research this means among other things inter-and trans-disciplinary case studies, theory comparisons, interviews, questionnaires, participant observation, simulation models and discourse analysis. Teaching methods need to be extended, for example, by plural textbooks, small group work, project semi-nars, inter- and trans-disciplinary events, case studies and the study of primary texts.

III. SELF-REFLECTION RATHER THAN UNQUESTIONED, NORMATIVE ASSUMPTIONS

The basic assumptions of economics are too often neither questioned nor explicitly stated. At the same time these assumptions are often not only of a descriptive but also of a normative nature. Ultimately every economic analysis contains some value judg-ments. Reflection of them in economics is a necessary part of scientific work. Especially the mathematization of economics leads to an obscuration of the value judgments and thus to an assumed rationalization of political programs. Despite all attempts to define it through mathematics as such, economics is not a natural science.

Moreover, students of economics should be made more aware of the historical and cul-tural context of economic action. Only those who are aware of the complexity of the reality can correctly apply the scientific models. Then there is no risk of confusing mod-els with reality. For this purpose economists must know the history of economic thought and the foundations of scientific theories. Lectures on the history of economic thought and the philosophy of science must become a part of the curriculum.
As the largest association of economists in the German-speaking countries, we believe your association has the duty to take our criticism seriously and work with us to implement the following requirements.

DEMANDS

First: Theoretical diversity in research and in teaching.

Second: Variety of methods in research and in teaching.

Third: Expansion of the curriculum to include courses on the history of economic thought, philosophy of science and interdiscipli- nary programs.

Fourth: Integration of plural textbooks in academic studies.

Fifth: Renunciation of the Thomson Reuters Impact Factor as the sole criterion for good research.

Sixth: Occupation of 20% of the chairs with heterodox economists.

http://www.plurale-oekonomik.de | contact: info@plurale-oekonomik.de

In order to lend weight to our demands, we will ensure transparency. We will document on the homepage http://www.plurale-oekonomik.de how these demands are taken into consideration in the organization of the studies in our universities.

Yours sincerely,

Concerned students, professors and lecturers of economics
GROUP OF INITIATORS
AK Plurale Ökonomik Bayreuth AK Real-World-Economics Hamburg AK Real-World-Economics Heidelberg AK Real-World-Economics Mainz Ecoation Augsburg Impuls Erfurt
Kritische Ökonomen Frankfurt Kritische Ökonomie Göttingen Kriwis Berlin Kriwis Potsdam Lost in Economics e.V. Regensburg Oikos Köln
Wirtschaft neu denken Initiative Bonn

FIRST SIGNATORIES

1. Prof. Dr. Stefan Baumgärtner, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
2. Prof. Dr. Frank Beckenbach, Universität Kassel
3. a.o. Prof. Dr. Joachim Becker, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
4. Prof. Dr. Andreas Bieler
5. Prof. i. R. Dr. Adelheid Biesecker
6. Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Mathias Binswanger, FH Nordwestschweiz, Universität St. Gallen
7. Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Heinz-J. Bontrup, Westfälische Hochschule
8. Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Brodbeck, FH Würzburg-Schweinfurt
9. Prof. Dr. Martin Büscher, Kirchliche Hochschule Wuppertal/Bethel
10. Prof. Dr. oec. Beat Burgenmeier
11. Prof. Dr. Marc Chesney, Universität Zürich
12. Prof. Dr. Paul H. Dembinski, Universität Freiburg (CH)
13. Prof. Dr. Christoph Deutschmann, Universität Tübingen
14. Prof. Dr. Klaus Dörre, Universität Jena
15. Prof. Dr. Felix Ekardt, LL.M., M.A., Universität Rostock
16. Prof. Dr. Trevor Evans, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
17. Univ.-Prof. em. Dr. phil. habil. Dr. h.c. mult. Peter Finke, Universität Bielefeld
18. Prof. Dr. Sylvie Geisendorf, ESCP Europe Business School Berlin
19. Univ. Doz. Dr. Erhard Glötzl
20. Prof. Dr. Torsten Graap, Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften 21. Ingolstadt
21. Prof. Dr. Luise Gubitzer, Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
22. Prof. Dr. Harald Hagemann, Universität Hohenheim
23. Prof. Dr. Reinhold Hedtke, Universität Bielefeld
http://www.plurale-oekonomik.de | contact: info@plurale-oekonomik.de
24. Prof. Dr. Eckhard Hein, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
25. Prof. Dr. Arne Heise, Universität Hamburg
26. Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, Wuppertal Institut
27. Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Rudolf Hickel, Universität Bremen
28. Prof. Dr. Gustav A. Horn, Institut für Makroökonomie und Konjunkturforschung
29. Prof. Dr. sc. phil. Helga E. Hörz
30. Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Dr. h.c. Herbert Hörz, Leibniz-Sozietät der Wissenschaften Berlin e.V.
31. Prof. Dr. Lorenz Jarass, Hochschule RheinMain
32. Prof. Dr. Ulf Kadritzke, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
33. Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Ulrich Kazmierski, Universität Paderborn
34. Prof. Dr. Heinz D. Kurz, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
35. Prof. Dr. rer. soc. habil. Jürgen Lackmann, Pädagogische Hochschule Weingarten
36. Prof. Dr. rer. pol. habil. Dipl. Volksw. Eva Lang, Universität der Bundeswehr München
37. Prof. Dr. habil. Marco Lehmann-Waffenschmidt, Technische Universität Dresden
38. Prof. Dr. Uwe Leprich, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes
39. Prof. Dr. Manfred G. Lieb, Hochschule Heilbronn
40. Prof. Dr. Dirk Löhr, Umweltcampus Birkenfeld, Fachhochschule Trier
41. Prof. Dr. Nina V. Michaelis, Fachhochschule Münster
42. Prof. Dr. Armin Müller, Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften Ingolstadt
43. Prof. Dr. Walter Otto Ötsch, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz
44. apl. Prof. Dr. Niko Paech, Universität Oldenburg
45. Prof. Dr. Stephan Panther, Universität Flensburg
46. apl. Prof. Dr. Dr. Helge Peukert, Universität Erfurt
47. Prof. Dr. Friedrun Quaas, Universität Leipzig
48. Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Ruckriegel, Georg-Simon-Ohm-Hochschule Nürnberg
49. Prof. Dr. rer. pol. Thomas Sauer, Fachhochschule Jena
50. Prof. Dr. Stefan Schaltegger, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg
51. Prof. em. Dr. Gerhard Scherhorn, Universität Hohenheim
52. Prof. em. Dr. rer. pol. Dorothea Schmidt, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
53. Prof. Dr. Peter Seele, Universität Basel
54. PD Dr. Irmi Seidl, Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL
55. Prof. Dr. oec. Stefan Seiter, ESB Business School, Hochschule Reutlingen
56. Prof. Dr. oec. Konstantin Theile, ESB Business School, Hochschule Reutlingen
57. PD Dr. Ulrich Thielemann, Me´M – Denkfabrik für Wirtschaftsethik
58. Prof. Dr. Claus Thomasberger, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin
59. Prof. Dr. Achim Truger, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
60. Prof. em. Dr. rer. pol. Peter Ulrich, Universität St. Gallen
61. apl. Prof. Dr. phil. Dipl.-Volkswirt Eberhard Umbach, Universität Osnabrück
62. Prof. Dr. Johann Walter, Westfälische Hochschule
63. Prof. Dr. Florian Wettstein, Universität St. Gallen
64. Prof. Dr. Bettina Zurstrassen, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

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  1. Steve
    November 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I heartily agree. My suggestion: Wisdom economics. In fact Wisdom Human systems/homo sapiens systems. How accurate can the policies of our systems be than our actual species designation?

  2. Nell
    November 7, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I hope the students requests are taken seriously and that this action is replicated in other countries (the UK and the US in particular).

    • November 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      To the best of my knowledge it all started in France a few yars ago and has been spreading to the UK and other English speaking countries. So it seems that there has been a movement going on for some time now… Check this

      http://www.paecon.net/PAEmovementindex1.htm

  3. November 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    It’s about time… Post autistiic economics will eventually prevail!

  4. November 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Good for them! But I do think their statement of principles – not their observations – misconceived. As I see it:

    The first Principle should be a new theoretical paradigm reflecting the 19th century theory of indivisible types of atoms with one reflecting 20th subatomic and communications structures. In these, indivisibility is at a deeper level and molecular diversity genetic, not the result of weaker atoms being devoured by stronger ones.

    Variety of method should be sought in the logical roots and diverse types of mathematics (which word is a contraction of ‘learning techniques’ including groups, geometries and topologies, not just a pseudonym for algebrised accountancy arithmetic): not INSTEAD of but AS WELL as in the observably co-operative, dialectical, multi-phase and in its own way ethical understanding of scientific method.

    Self-reflection should focus on reflection on the diversity of ourselves, and on the correspondingly different types of role we play the structure of economics. The reasons for these differences are
    physical, rooted the difference between the logic circuits of sense, memory, language, skill and instinctive evaluation, notably the difference between the Right and the Left: those good with verbal logic and those using language to index, recall and/or intuitively evaluate information-rich experience. Similarly with language: the point of information science is that we process physical symbols to narrow down the location of possible meanings – eliminating transmission errors as we go – until we find one sufficiently appropriate and unambiguous.

    The issue is not just to accomodate different interests and experience, necessary thought that is. It is like understanding how a few types of electronic component with different functions can be linked together to create a wider variety of electronic subsystems and systems capable together of performing (or not) an almost infinite combination of
    observable functions.

    • November 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

      Rhubarb! “My eyes are dim, I cannot see …”! In my second para the first ‘reflecting’ should of course have read ‘replacing’. Sorry.

  5. November 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    I am a firm believer in cognitive dissonance as a phenomon with wide explanatory powers for human behavior. For example, the old saying: “When all one has is a hammer, every problem looks like or is framed as a nail.” What tools are most important in economics? The one’s I have of course? What is one of the best schools in economics? The one I went to of course as who will admit to having gone to a paper mill, taken courses with little or no math, spent most of their time drunk or stoned, and basically whored for their dissertation advisor who was a hard-core neoclassical who took no prisoners and tolerated no students not like himself or clonable ideologically? Who will say I just kept quiet, drank the neoclassical kool-aide to get my paper, I have to keep the fraud up until I can get hired, then tenure, then promotions to full-professor where then I can come out of the ideological closet and be and express myself as the true heterodox I have been all along. I’ve got to get inside the system to change it don’t you know?

    To sell anything takes a buyer and to buy anything takes a seller. The opportunism and ideological cloning that goes on in Western universities takes two to tango and not only someone looking to buy the consciences and intellectual honesty and integrity of others, it takes those others willing to sell-out for the illusory trappings of academia.

    • November 8, 2012 at 11:14 am

      This of course can be applied to my comment as well as the German blog. What tools are most important in economics? Because I have worked with them I can believe that brains, logics, languages and mathematics are, but because I am me, who wants to know Why?, I have learned to understand Why: because they are the most important in every field and the means by which one field or person learns from another. But also because they have requisite diversity, meaning people and their schools can have the right (but may unwittingly use the wrong) type of logic, language and/or math for the purpose in question.

      That is almost bound to happen when teachers in everyday fields like economics don’t recognise, understand and draw attention to logical diversity and keep up to date with the growth of it.

      • November 8, 2012 at 4:59 pm

        You said:
        «What tools are most important in economics? Because I have worked with them I can believe that brains, logics, languages and mathematics are»-
        I assume that in «logics» you imply the knowledge of History (and a bit of Geography)……

      • November 8, 2012 at 9:07 pm

        Yes, but such knowledge is secondary to understanding the active logic significance of time and space, and so the need for history and geography. Francis Bacon’s physician being the Harvey who discovered the circulation of the blood, he envisaged scientific method as taking things to bits to see how they worked. An interesting way of doing that is to go back to what was there at the beginning of time and work out how energy can be spatially localised to generate and evolve material structures.

  6. November 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Reblogged this on Direito – Economia – Sociedade and commented:
    Modellpaltonismus in Economics – students protest

  7. November 8, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    For Dave Taylor 1’s reply I’m sorry but do not understand or get the message or argument you are advancing from your syntax and no doubt the problem is mine not yours. But my point is that ideological conformity does not only result from the dictatorial demands and impositions of the neoclassical professorate who do not tolerate deviations from their ideological Holy Grails that they assert without the predicative validty demanded by their crude philosophical postivism, this ideological conformity also goes on because they remain unchallenged except in venues and journals, or places like this, where each of us is basically “singing to the choir”. As someone 66 years old and who has taught some 40 years at all levels from high school to post doctoral students, and in places like China, India, Puerto Rico and Europe as well as America and Canada, I have also seen the institutional and career pressures on undergraudate and graduate students, along with their own careerism and spinelessness, cause them to join and follow the program of ideological cloning disguised as education, that they themselves characterized as such, always under the banner of “present tactical compromise for the purpose of strategic advance” in the case of covert subversives:

    It sounds like this: “Look, no advisor will sign on for me to do a PhD dissertation that says that his life’s work is a pile of crap and that his working paradigm is nothing but a collection of tautologies, metaphysical assertions or assumptions, contrived syllogisms and apology for a dysfunctional and increasingly barbaric and unstable system., So I am playing the long game; I’ll give them what they want; I’ll slip in some subversive heterodox stuff in the footnotes if I can get away with it; I’ll get my PhD. then get myself hired on tenure track gig; I’ll go to the right conferences (in exotic locales and stay in nice hotels) and meet the right people, get my tenure after 6 years, then, of course, I still have to make associate and full professor, but then I can come out of my ideological closet with the real me, a heterodox economist, a progressive who cares, then I can work to develop heterodox journalis and venues so that someday the next generations will not have to sell-out or keep quiet for as long as I had to to get into the system to change it…” Yeah right.”

    So do not blame only the old guard neoclassical professorate forf the idoeological cloning and protecting their mostly white privilege, petit-bourgeois creature comforts and powers in academia and protecting their life’s work from Willy Loman-like moments when they are about to retire, it takes not only those who use their powers to co-opt and divert the younger ones from challenging them when it is so easy to do so as neoclassical economics is so east to trash for any serious political economist, but also blame those who sell-out and allow themselves to be coopted with the illusory prospects of acquiring their own privilege and somehow doing something very different with it all within a system that does not tolerate diverstiy of thought and most especially action,.

    I am reminded of an old German joke from the 1930s where an old German socialist was asked if there would ever be a socialist revolution in Germany and he said not likely. When asked why he said because the pathway up to the Reichstag is very narrow and on both sides of it are spacious green lawns with “keep off the grass signs” and how can you get all those revolutionaries storming the Reichstag up that narrow pathway.

    For those crying about the loss of tenure (as a tenured professor I can tell you it is mostly an illusion in terms of any protection if the powers-that-be want to get you and plan on being sold out by fellow faculty who want your job and teaching load, welcome to the working class where people punch clocks, suffer bloated and toothless unions, routine reprisals for any supposed transgression or just to move the bottom line numbers, where one does not go where and just do what one wants when not teaching with no controls on off time and what is done with it, etc.

    • November 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm

      Jim, once again your reply is ambiguous, this time as to whether you are not understanding my #5 or my #8. Assuming #8, I was trying to say, in response to your example of tools, that, despite my advocacy of my own tools, it was not the avoidance of cognitive dissonance which was driving me. It was first-hand observation that we would not have cannot compute without human and computer logic circuits, adequate programming languages for them and the development of programs capable of doing whatever we need to do. In economics as elsewhere (even in using your hammer), being able to recognise and do what needs to be done is necessarily prior to successfully doing it.

      Apologies for my difficult syntax, but having been brought up on page-long Victorian sentences I can follow yours well enough and understand what you are saying here. As a 76-year-old pensioner I am even older than you, and thankfully no longer dependent for a livelihood on dancing to the tune of an uncomprehending and unsympathetic employer.

      • November 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

        Apologies once again for syntax made more difficult by typos. The third sentence here should have begun: “It was first-hand observation that we cannot compute without human and computer logic circuits” etc.

      • November 9, 2012 at 1:56 am

        Now I got it. My point was that so much of the use of math and excessive mathurbation and “Physics Envy” that is a lot like Freudian “Penis Envy”, actually is worship of the tool from those who have acquired and can only use one or a small range of tools. In other words any capabilities that I do not have must be worthless otherwise I would possess and use them (some narcissism thrown in also as this is so common in academia) Here I am only projecting the typical “voice” of these types of arguments advanced from the types of people who usually advance them.

        And actually the math that is taught and pushed, and put into the tautological and ideological stuff of say a Gary Becker, is quite pedestrian, mostly linear, a whole lot of “ceteris paribus” and hihgly restrictive assumptions to allow the simple math to run, and quite basic as Steve Keen has noted in his work with non-linear dynamics and endogenizing some of the formely assumed to be exogenous variables and or those simply ignored like money, debt, time, space, space-time, process and non-instantaneous exchanges over time and space with money and debt rather than barter-like exhanges…I have an article in the World Review of Political Economy on some of this in Volume I issue 2
        ◦Critiques of Neoclassical Economics: An Examination of Some of the Critiques of Steve Keen 315 James M. Craven and another relevant essay in the 4th Media http://www.4thmedia.org/2012/07/27/the-evolving-concept-of-social-capital-markets-market-based-processes-and-socialist-construction/ also available at

        http://jimcraven10.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/the-debunking-of-economics-a-review-of-the-work-of-steve-keen-et-al/

        There is no time, no space, certainly no space-time. There is no history or geography (That is all too “squishy”, “touchy-feely” for those who are math phobic and violates “ceteris paribus”). There is no social class, no power, no asymmetries worth worrying about. There is no culture except a collection of neoclassical memes and assumptions about eternal and immutable human nature and “given institutions” that have no endogeneity. There are no third “derivatives”, morphogenetic systems, no positive feedback loops only morphostatic and self-generating, self-equilibrating and self-stabilizing markets driven by exogenous shocks to supply and demand producing new and dynamic equilibria over the long-run. A nice neat narrative that in order to make the simple math run, requires a whole set of “axioms” (metaphysical and tautological assertions dressed up in linguistic finery like calling and dressing up naked imperialism some kind of “Docrtine”)

        And the sad thing is that the needed, realistic, clarifying and proper uses of math are lost and many, rather than doing and learning the math if for no other reason than to be able to read the equations of a Becker or Samuelson and expose them for the reductionistic and ideological nonsense that they are, we find students seeking watered down econometrics, statistics,calculus and the like courses, and proclaiming a new political economy that allows for “qualitative” hypotheses and analysis etc.

        Cognitive dissonance means that when there is a conflict between FACT and BELIEF, or between FACT and EMOTION (interests) and between BELIEF and EMOTION it sets up a kind of pysiologically and psychologically unbalancing dissonance or disharmony demanding resolution. So for example, what if say it is a FACT that the school one attended was actuallymore fluff than substance, more ideological cloning than any kind of education, more being a slave of some well-known scholar despot than being mentored by a real educator wanting her or his student to grow and develop even if it meant doing work that called into question some of the work of the mentor,. Admitting that FACT is not easy because it calls into question perhaps some self-image issues, self-esteem issues, how :educated” are you really, what is that degree from Harvard really worth? (look at Romney and Bush or Larry Summers for an example of Harvard pedagogy and output)

        So as Dave Collander and indeed scholars of the sociology of academia and science have demonstrated, that new ideas do not triumph with the conversion of the old guard with new and better evidence, science and reality, but when they die off. Who wants to say their life’s work, their legacy, was all a fraud and worse? That they are nothing but clones of those who got to them first. That they summarily dismiss all sorts of thinkers like Marx they have never even bothered to read as they leave a one page reference (to the boils on his ass, his dead children from poverty, etc) in their cloned textbooks sold at monopoly prices and imposed on the students. How can one turn students on to new paradigms not only they do not know, but have actively resisted any exposure to.

        It is amazing how the neoclassicals like Becker et al, the real kool-aid drinkers, project in the Freudian sense the Homo Oeconomicus greedy, nasty, vicious, selfish, atomistic maximizing calculator model that applies to everyone but themselves. Sort of like the mainstream media whose only sacred cow is itself. So my point all along is that paradigm shifts, as well as shifts in pedagogy and definiitions of what is real education, are more about the sociology, politics, power, political economy, and roles of academia in the SSAs and superstructures of of capitalism, than any kind of debate and exchange of diverse paradigms to find which one fits the master mega theory of everything sort of like what the five different flavors of string theory in physics that each proported to be a theory of everything linking the micro and the macro or not only the micro foundations of macro but the macro foundations of micro in economics.

        And again, there are a whole lot of Faustian Bargains that go on in academia all the time and that reality has to be looked at as well. Everybody wants to go to heaven but no body wants to die just as some want tenure, professorships, academic freedom, while also professing to be radical heterodox or whatever and even purporting to be potentially dangerous to the system but not to be regarded as enemies and suffer the retributions that working people suffer daily and not even for openly oposing that system or even purporting to be dangerous to it. Those who run that system know who their real enemies are and those not being messed with,even if they call themselves radicals of some sort, that they are sate and relatively comfortable says more about what they are really doing and producing than any irrationality of those who run the system about who are really dangerous to them.

  8. Steve
    November 9, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Human Wisdom in the condensed ideas, values and experiences of Confidence, Hope, Love and Grace are what we need as the primary basis for the straightforward derivation of economic and financial policy, not lesser and inadequate primary ideas like profit or even employment. And actually profit and employment are perfectly good secondary purposes which could fit easily within the above deeper considerations.

    Our species designation of homo sapiens, i.e. wisdom discerning man is what we need as a guide. What we have been largely forced into for far too long is homo economicus whose economic basics for the vast majority are the generation of the ideas, values and experiences of insecurity, hopelessness, mere exchange and enslavement. In other words the negative mirror image of Confidence, Hope, Love and Grace.

    True human wisdom is the higher order level of integrative thinking and acting which is the appropriate basis for both individual development and human systemic policy, and most urgently and specifically for the economic and financial systems. This is neither mysticism nor angel counting pinheaded religious folly. It is the recognition of who and what we are, and what would be best for each and all of us.

  9. José M. Mella
    November 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Great initiative! A considerable group of students, professors and lecturers is thinking the same in Spain, particularly at the Autonoma University of Madrid. Prof. Dr. José M. Mella

    • November 9, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      Os deseo lo mejor!!! Que tenham muito sucesso!!!… Best wishes of success!!!

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