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The warnings about the consequences of global warming are becoming increasingly dire. And with good reason. Just last month, a report by a multidisciplinary research team published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences made the case that even fairly modest future carbon dioxide emissions could set off a cascade of catastrophic effects, with melting […]

We’re ten years on from the events the triggered the worst crisis of capitalism since the first Great Depression (although read my caveat here) and centrists—on both sides of the Atlantic—continue to peddle an ahistorical nostalgia. Fortunately, people aren’t buying it. As Jack Shenker has explained in the case of Britain, one of the most darkly […]

The argument I’ve been making during this series on utopia is that the utopian moment of the Marxian alternative to mainstream economics is critique.* Let me explain. All modern economic theories have a utopian moment. In the case of mainstream economics, that moment is a full-blown utopianism—the idea that there is, or at least in […]

In a recent article, Dan Falk [ht: ja] identifies a fundamental problem in contemporary physics: many physicists working today have been led astray by mathematics — seduced by equations that might be “beautiful” or “elegant” but which lack obvious connection to the real world. What struck me is that, if you changed physics and physicists […]

The goal of mainstream economists is to get everybody to work. As a result, they celebrate capitalism for creating full employment—and worry that capitalism will falter if not enough people are working. The utopian premise and promise of mainstream economic theory are that capitalism generates an efficient allocation of resources, including labor. Thus, underlying all […]

Forget Bitcoin. It’s the underlying technology, blockchain, that is generating the most excitement. Even utopia! Bitcoin is a digital currency that was invented in 2009 by a person (or group) who called himself Satoshi Nakamoto. His stated goal was to create “a new electronic cash system” that was “completely decentralized with no server or central authority.” After cultivating […]

Austin O’Brien is a J.D. Candidate (Class of 2019) at the Fordham University School of Law and a former student of mine at the University of Notre Dame. He sent the following response to my recent piece on “utopia and markets,” which I am pleased to publish here as a guest post. Dear Professor Ruccio, I have […]

We hear it all the time. On a regular basis. Having to do with pretty much everything. Why is the price of gasoline so high? Mainstream economists respond, “it’s the market.” Or if you think you deserve a pay raise, the answer again is, “go get another offer and we’ll see if you’re worth it […]

From the very beginning, the area of mainstream economics devoted to Third World development has been imbued with a utopian impulse. The basic idea has been that traditional societies need to be transformed in order to pass through the various stages of growth and, if successful, they will eventually climb the ladder of progress and […]

From the beginning, mainstream macroeconomics has been a battleground between the visible and the invisible hand. Keynesian macroeconomics, represented on the left-hand side of the chart above, has an aggregate supply curve with a long horizontal section at levels of output (Y or real GDP) below full employment (Yfe). What this means is that the […]