Very Powerful Passage by Steve Keen

Steve Keen is, without a doubt, my favorite Post-Keynesian economist. He has brought back the movement against neoclassical theory and his work on debt is truly awesome. Austrians, especially my fellow radical subjectivists, would benefit greatly by reading Steve Keen. Of course one doesn’t have to agree with all of Keen’s work to appreciate what he has done in the profession. I conclude with one of my favorite passages by Keen, from his preface to the second edition of his book Debunking Economics – The Naked Emperor Dethroned? :

If we leave the development of economics to economists themselves, then it is highly likely that the intellectual revolution that economics desperately needs will never occur – after all, they resisted change so successfully after the Great Depression that the version of neoclassical economics that reigns today is far more extreme than that which Keynes railed against seven decades ago. I concluded the first edition with observation that economics is too important to leave to the economists. That remains the case today.

If change is going to come, it will be from the young, who have not yet been indoctrinated into a neoclassical way of thinking…

Well said Mr. Keen

-Isaac Marmolejo


3 responses to “Very Powerful Passage by Steve Keen

  1. Isaac,

    I think your interpretation of Austrian Economics is faulty. It seems like you praise Post Keynesians more and criticize Austrians like crazy. Keen is nothing more than a statist economist arguing for more government in a society, If you think Austrians would benefit by reading Keen, or any Post Keynesian for that matter, you are confused. There is a reason why Lachmann is not mentioned very much in Austrian circles…it is because of his sympathies towards Keynesian economics!

    • Lance,

      You are not a true Austrian at all if you ignore Lachmann literature, for he is probably the most Austrian of all the Austrians. Sure, I like some ideas that Post Keynesians (I do not see how this makes me not Austrian), namely, their writings on critiques on neoclassical theory, subjectivity, debt, and expectations. I don’t like the big government part of Post Keynesian theory, which is why my ‘About’ page says I am interested in Post Keynesian theory but remain skeptical.

      The modern Austrian circle discards Lachmann because they do not want to show the positive things of what Keynes had to say. Instead they rather remain dogmatic and state that the economics of Keynes and Keynesian economics are the same, which this is utterly false. But Lachmann doesn’t only show the positives to Keynes, he critiques Keynes and Keynesian economics (and neoclassical economics as a whole) quite well. But you wouldn’t understand this, since your interpretation of Lachmann’s literature is only through what Rothbard had to say about Lachmann, which is a complete strawman.

      In conclusion, sorry that radical subjectivists, like Lachmann, aren’t dogmatic enough for you.

    • “There is a reason why Lachmann is not mentioned very much in Austrian circles…it is because of his sympathies towards Keynesian economics”

      You mean he placed serious emphasis on subjective expectations, uncertainty, as Post Keynesians do. That doesn’t necessarily mean he had “sympathies towards Keynesian economics” at all. I doubt it. Walter Block says this of Lachmann:

      “I remember fondly Ludwig saying to me in his heavy accent: “Ve must smash zem!” And he was talking about non Austrians. Inspirational.

      I.e., Lachmann was just as hostile to other economic schools as any Rothbardian.

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