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I have often argued—in lectures, talks, and publications—that every economic theory has a utopian dimension. Economists don’t explicitly talk about utopia but, my argument goes, they can’t do what they do without some utopian horizon. The issue of utopia is there, at least in the background, in every area of economics—perhaps especially on the topic […]

Much has been made of the rise of populism in recent years and the threat it poses to liberal democracy. My view is that liberal critics of populism, standing on their heads, get it wrong. If made to stand on their feet, they’d have to admit that populism actually represents the failure of liberal democracy. […]

Students are much too busy to think these days. So, when a junior comes to talk with me about the possibility of my directing their senior thesis, I ask them about their topic—and then their schedule. I explain to them that, if they really want to do a good project, they’re going to have to […]

I am pleased to announce that an article, “Utopia and the Critique of Political Economy,” based on my 2016 Wheelright Lecture, will soon be published in the Journal of Australian Political Economy. Here is a link to the pdf of the pre-publication draft of that article.

Themes of 2016

Posted: 6 January 2017 in Uncategorized

Looking back over the past year, here are the ten major themes I found in my blog posts: inequality critique of mainstream economics the U.S. presidential election, especially Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump class and surplus epistemology, especially uncertainty utopia working-class corporations and capital academy critique of liberalism We’ll see what happens in the current year. . […]

  Scenes from my talk last night, “Utopia and the Critique of Political Economy,” sponsored by the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney in a lecture series to honor Ted Wheelwright (1921-2007).

Utopia after the crash

Posted: 13 September 2016 in Uncategorized
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Another lecture I’ll be giving while in Australia next month. . .

I’ll admit, I’m a real sucker for any argument that takes a common sense, turns it on its head, and finds a radically different potential. That, of course, is what Karl Marx did with classical political economy. The idea is that what Marx was doing—and what Marxists after him need to do—is less the application of […]

End of utopia?

Posted: 13 July 2016 in Uncategorized
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  I’ve been reading and writing a lot about utopia and utopian communities these days.* As a result, I’ve done a lot of work on the Shakers, including Hancock Shaker Village (which I’ve visited a number of times, with family and friends), the community they built in the Berkshires that became a vibrant example and source of aid […]

I’m honored to have been invited to deliver the 9th Annual E. L. Wheelwright Memorial Lecture at the University of Sydney in October. The title of my lecture will be “Utopia and the Critique of Political Economy”: In my 2016 E. L. Wheelwright Memorial Lecture paper, I want to present for discussion the thesis that Karl Marx and […]