Tag Archives: Politics

Michael Hudson – Russia, China and the Battle Against Dollar Hegemony

Link to an interview with Michael Hudson:

“The Saker Interviews Michael Hudson”


“Classical economics was a doctrine of how to industrialize and become more competitive – and at the same time, more fair – by bringing prices in line with actual, socially necessary costs of production. The resulting doctrine (with Marx and Thorstein Veblen being the last great classical economists) was largely a guide to what to avoid: special privilege, unearned income, unproductive overhead.

“The aim was to create a circular flow model of national income distinguishing real wealth from mere overhead. The idea was to strip away what was unnecessary – what Marx called the ‘excrescences’ of post-feudal society that remained embedded in the industrial economies of his day. When the great classical economists spoke of a ‘free market,’ they meant a market free from rentier classes, free from monopolies and above all free from predatory bank credit.

“Of course, we know now that Marx was too optimistic. He described the destiny of industrial capitalism as being to liberate economies from the rentiers. But World War I changed the momentum of Western civilization. The rentiers fought back – the Austrian School, von Mises and Hayek, fascism and the University of Chicago’s ideologues redefined ‘free markets’ to mean markets free for rentiers, free from government taxation of land and natural resources, free from public price regulation and oversight. The Reform Era was called ‘the road to serfdom’ – and in its place, the post-classical neoliberals promoted today’s road to debt peonage.

“Today’s Cold War may be viewed in its intellectual aspects as an attempt to prevent countries outside of the United States from realizing that (contra Thatcher) there is an alternative, and acting on it. The struggle is for the economy’s brain and understanding on the part of governments. Only a strong government has the power to achieve the reforms at which 19th century reformers failed to achieve.

“The alternative is what happened as Rome collapsed into serfdom and feudalism.”

Mike Norman – Dean Baker

Link to an article by Mike Norman:

“Dean Baker…Perfect Example of Why the Progressive Movement Goes Nowhere”

See also Robin Marie Averbeck on Liberalism

I have always disliked Dean Baker’s writing for a number of reasons, many of which are explicitly mentioned in the comments section of the Mike Norman blog post, and, indirectly, in Robin Marie Averbeck’s articles.  In short, Baker adopts a strict center-right Keynesian (i.e. New Deal) economic theory but staunchly refuses to acknowledge that ideological position, instead opting to write shrill screeds that do little more than describe how economists who promote other economic theories are “mistaken” due to their (quite intentional) disregard for and non-adherence to Keynesian economic theory.  He never justifies the assumptions that underlie his Keynesian theories, and when pressed on such points from the left simply responds that alternatives are “unrealistic” (thereby shutting down debate regarding such assumptions).  This is a gutless approach that simply denies the existence of real disputes — it isn’t that neo-liberals fail to recognize how their economic policies promote inequality; most are actively trying to increase inequality — and ultimately, to quote Alain Badiou, maintains “silent acceptance of . . . external corruption under the cover of of practical ‘realism'” that assumes away the possibility of a paradigm shift or of the tacit political underpinnings of all economic theory.  And anyway, aren’t even his own inadequate, self-defeating Keynesian policies “unrealistic” too, in the sense that neo-liberals refuse to endorse them?  At least people from the MMT, institutional and Marxist economic schools of thought openly acknowledge that they are relying on political policy assumptions.  Michael Hudson‘s many books are great examples of a better approach!

Bonus link: “Keynesianism Will Not Save the World”