Home > The Economics Profession > The “Kick It Over Manifesto” and 31 supporting links

The “Kick It Over Manifesto” and 31 supporting links

An international student movement to free the economics curriculum from its neoclassical straightjacket was launched last week at the University of California at Berkeley.  For its first action, students worldwide are being encouraged to post the following manifesto, preferably printed on brightly coloured paper, on the doors and bulletin boards of their univeristy’s  economics department.    

Kick It Over Manifesto 

We, the undersigned, make this accusation: that you, the teachers of neoclassical economics and the students that you graduate, have perpetuated a gigantic fraud upon the world. 

You claim to work in a pure science of formula and law, but yours is a social science, with all the fragility and uncertainty that this entails. We accuse you of pretending to be what you are not.

You hide in your offices, protected by your mathematical jargon, while in the real world, forests vanish, species perish and human lives are callously destroyed. We accuse you of gross negligence in the management of our planetary household.

You have known since its inception that one of your measures of economic progress, the Gross Domestic Product, is fundamentally flawed and incomplete, and yet you have allowed it to become a global standard, reported day in, day out in every form of media. We accuse you of recklessly projecting an illusion of progress.

You have done great harm, but your time is coming to a close. Your systems are crumbling, your flaws increasingly laid bare. An economic revolution has begun, as hopeful and determined as any in history. We will have our clash of economic paradigms, we will have our moment of truth, and out of each will come a new economics – open, holistic, human‑scale.

On campus after campus, we will chase you old goats out of power. Then, in the months and years that follow, we will begin the work of reprogramming your doomsday machine.

Sign the manifesto at


Here are some supporting links:

Economics department under attack… Nobel Prize winner at Berkeley jammed

Toxic Textbooks

Neocon Indoctrination – The Mankiw Way


Mad, Bad and Dangerous

A Textbook Insurgency

Paradigm Lost

The Delusion Revolution

A Preface to the Student

A New Kind of Global Marketplace

Fulfillment Paradox

Facebook Toxic Textbook Group

From monopoly to pluralism

Toward a new sustainable economy

Will economists wake up in 2009?

Economics needs a scientific revolution

What would a scientific economics look like?

Can Economists Improve the Human Condition?

The Slow Food Revolt

Whirlpools and Turbulent Flows

Econophysics: A New Paradigm

Post- Pythagorean Economics

Confessions of a Radical Prof

When the Going Gets Tough

Fresh PerspectivesHerman Daly

The New Spirit of Economics


Neocon Indoctrination – The Mankiw Way

The Post-Autistic Movement

Ivory Tower Unswayed by Crashing Economy

Your Place in the Revolution

  1. October 24, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Perhaps they’ve been reading Prof Mason Gaffney’s (PhD economics from Berkeley) great work “The Corruption of Economics”.

  2. October 25, 2010 at 2:31 am

    The Soviet Empire imploded because of the growing discrepancy between theory and reality where the bureaucrats lived in their own fantasies.
    The New York based financially driven empire is heading in the same direction.
    The question is: What will it be replaced by?
    More greed and corruption?

  3. merijnknibbe
    October 25, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Dear lambs,

    Well written – at least one of you should consider to become an early nineteenth century english poet! Alas, you are already repeating one of the mistakes of your teachers: it’s not about GDP, it’s about the magnificent system of National Accounts (which do include environmental accounts, at least for my country). I’ll give you however one phrase and one question.

    1. The phrase. To describe Hall Varian style neo-classical economics you may try: ‘a-historical marketerialism’. Warning: especially the oldest goats will mutter and sometimes even like it. The younger goats might however not grasp the implicit message that there may be some utopian dogma in neo classical style economics.

    2. The question. DSGE-economists tend (there are some small exceptions) to describe the economy with one ‘representative consumer’ which stands for the entire sector ‘households’. And that’s sure the way DSGE is tought to students. Consider however the following statistics:

    Table 1. USA National Accounts table 674. Money income of households – percentage distribution by income level, race, and hispanic origin, in constant 2007 dollars (first figure: 1967-1996, second figure 1997-2007), means per race as percentage of mean of total.

    Blacks 66/68
    Whites 104/104
    Asian 122/124
    Hispanic 76/75

    source: http://www.census.gov

    Technical note: hispanics, first figure: 1972-1996, Asians, first figure: 1987-1996
    Note that the national accounts, when estimating disposable income, add non monetary income to money income

    The question: are DSGE models what they are (a-historical, just one ‘representative consumer’ which encompasses all races) because DSGE economists are in denial about statistics like the above?

    • October 26, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      Since I am more of an English Poet than an economist, what does “DGSE” mean?
      As far as figures go, you can pretty well cook up any recipe you like from base data, depending on your inclination as a chef and who owns the restaurant.

      • Peter Radford
        October 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm

        DSGE = Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium

        In other words a sort of stationary machine with lots of moving parts that magically fuels itself, defies entropy a la Maxwell’s demon, solves all the world’s problems, and has time left over to generate random Nobel Prizes for the wizards who attend to its every desire.

        It is nothing important to those of us concerned with real things, but is fun to gaze at and wonder at all the technical bits and pieces that went into its construction. It is a fantasy for those unable to engage the real world, and a maze within which many a fine mind has become hopelessly lost. It is the sink hole into which economic theory fell a few decades ago.

        Think Alice in Wonderland meets Doctor Who.

      • Greg
        October 31, 2010 at 12:27 am

        > what does “DGSE” mean?

        As a poet, you might like a metaphor.

        Think of it like this: a DSGE model is a water-tank stapled to the back of a donkey, which the proud owner insists is a camel.

        In this metaphor the donkey is probability theory and the water tank is General Equilibrium theory.

        Like the donkey, probability theory is often sturdy, sometimes fragile, always subtle, and dangerous to the inexperienced.

        The water-tank, with its flows in and out, and the level in the tank representing the balance, connotes equilibrium. Like GE compared to a real economy, the tank has only a sketchy resemblance to a real-world lake in all its complex, everchanging glory, and, again like the water-tank, it is less useful than its proponents like to assert.

        The camel, as you know, is superbly well adapted to the environment in which it lives, and has been of great service down through the ages.

        A water-tank stapled to a donkey, though, is not much use to anyone.

  4. October 27, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Hmmm… Reminds me of Taoism. You just sit back and let the Universe do its thing.
    Or: “Don’t worry, be happy” (as long as you have a good salary)

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