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Two concept proposals: from neoclassical economics to neoliberal economics and from neoliberalism to plutocratism

November 15, 2013 9 comments

from Deniz Kellecioglu

It is important to talk about concepts that reflect reality. This is especially true if we are concerned about people’s emancipation – it is easier to struggle when your nemeses are conceptualised and visible. In my opinion, one of the greatest obstacles of recent history is the evasive and concealed character of hegemony.

In our context of economics, it has been obvious for a while that we can no longer use the term neoclassical economics (NCE) to describe the current mainstream economics (theory and education). NCE has been so distorted and so disfigured over the past decades that it no longer reflects mainstream theoretical narratives (see Lawson 2013 for a recent discussion). From one perspective, as the economist Joan Robinson talked about “bastard Keynesianism” in the 1960s, we have now a “bastard Neoclassicism”. This followed from an elite capture and customisation of NCE. The fundamental flaws of NCE, as we real-world economists see it, were actually sources of strength for the elites and elite-oriented individuals. The basics of NCE functioned brilliantly to advance their perspectives, interests and power (not only economical and political, but also social and cultural). A “free” world is wonderful if you start with a stronger upper hand, i.e. unequal point of departures. Because NCE was moulded at the hands of neoliberal forces, I think it should now be called neoliberal economicsRead more…

Why won’t the Eurozone disintegrate?

November 22, 2012 24 comments

from Deniz Kellecioglu

About a year ago, while having coffee with friends in Addis Ababa, I postulated that the Eurozone would break up, probably by May, but certainly by September. Of course, I was not the only one offering such projections. But why did we miss the mark (so far)?

Economically, it does not make much sense to go on with the Euro, especially if we have the general populace at heart. Last Thursday, statistics from Eurostat confirmed that the Eurozone remains in recession. The day before that, millions of people across Europe, but predominantly in the most affected countries Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece, took to the streets against austerity. As you already know, the unemployment figures are at record heightsRead more…

Global economic inequality: the billionaires vs. the penniless

September 18, 2012 1 comment

from Deniz Kellecioglu

The top richest individuals of the world have economically recovered from the global financial crises and its aftermath. They are now actually wealthier than five years ago.

A look at the Forbes annual lists of the world’s billionaires reveal that this group had their wealth almost halved between 2008 and 2009. However, this proved to be just a temporary slump as all their losses were recovered in just two years (see table below). If people in poverty could also recover like that, it would be easy to eradicate poverty. Read more…

The economics behind the killings of South African mine workers

September 13, 2012 2 comments

from Deniz Kellecioglu

“We were only tolerated simply because our cheap labour is needed.” (Steve Biko)

The killings of 34 demonstrating mine workers in South Africa last month has several background factors, but two of them stand out: police brutality and the exploitation of workers. And they are interlinked.

The aggressiveness of the security forces’ represent the conditioning produced by the governmentality of national and international elites. Thus, the assault in Marikana, South Africa is not an isolated event, it’s a global phenomenon. One major difference is the explicitness of this event – workers usually perish in silence due to, for instance, poor health or social violence, away from the cameras.

The economics behind this governmentality propose that the labour market has to be “flexible” to the demands of “the market”. In other words, Read more…

Why some countries are poor and some rich – a non-Eurocentric view

from Deniz Kellecioglu

The latest issue of Real-World Economics Review includes my paper “Why some countries are poor and some rich – a non-Eurocentric view”.  You may access it here (http://www.paecon.net/PAEReview/issue52/Kellecioglu52.pdf). Below is an abstract not previously included.  I hope many of you will read the article, recommend it to others, and perhaps use it in your research and/or lectures.  Also, this blog post provides a forum to discuss the article (comments section below).  Read more…

Categories: The Economy
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