Tuesday, September 23, 2014

“The economics profession is presently experiencing a grave crisis of legitimacy.”

I've just started reading The Empire of Value by André Orléan and I am very impressed. As was Jamie Galbraith in his blurb for the book:
“In lucid, accessible language, André Orléan resurrects and explores the vital (but neglected) problem of value, grappling along the way with some fundamental defects of conventional theory. Through his mimetic hypothesis, the role of money emerges in the central role that both classical political economy and neoclassical economics denied to it. The Empire of Value is a bold argument, and a deep rejection of the justification for reliance on markets, except as a device for obtaining consent.”
First sentence in the introduction to Empire of Value: “The economics profession is presently experiencing a grave crisis of legitimacy.” This proves to be understatement, not hyperbole.


media said...

To paraphrase a phrase by a well known SWM, this looks like 'eloquent bs'.

Or rather, eloquent truisms. Definately in the baroque tradition. (see also 'debt' by graeber---a refugee from his home country of yale now in a camp called LSE).

There appears to be absolutely nothing new there. (Apparently he cites simmel, durkheim, and other profound authors, tho he missed Pierre Bourdieu (who pretty much laid it down awhile back, though you can outside of the sociology tradition put it all down succintly in 3 pages of math).

It reminds me of the social science papers coming out of IAS (where einstein, godel, freeman dyson, and others work/ed). They seem to be the most redundant set of excess verbiage on the planet (though it appears all the 'open access journals' (where you pay to play or publish), and some, such as my local 'humanist' group might argue--- religious texts are also in the game.
And its from MIT, a mixed bag (a close family just started there) ---eg sherry turkle of media lab ('computers are bad, based on my reading of derrida, so dont support them, like me (the preacher at my mom's unitarian church in hawaii cited her when i attended---same one obama went to (and people i know went to church with him as kids back in the day)--- but do support MIT media lab because some people need computers and they pay pay me to be an ombudswomyn.

He has a great idea of 'mimesis' or something (Dawkins, mimetics, anti-chomskyian linguistics, late Hayek etc. ). An all new brand of potato chips (but you don't owe the indigenous americans anything for using their innovation).

It makes sense that J Galbraith, of a well known hereditary dynasty or 'guild', blurbs this. He has a new redundant book on the 'new normal' or something.
(I do agree with alot of his views on Piketty ---who ignored his stuff from U Tx.--theil index,etc)

(His esteemed father of course also wrote a book in the tradition of Vance Packard, plus James Burnham (trotskyite turned reactionary---just as I am beginning to switch from my roots and thinking of advocating a really long work day for everyone just to keep them busy---i can see alot of hamsters spinning in wheels for renewable energy, and they are replaceable).

(this reminds me of how if you go in a 'radical bookstore' and look at the products, its like every single one has a blurb by Chomsky---some write blurbs, while i do autographs (though of course, for a price).

James Galbraith was on right wing AM radio recently promoting his book (same station with Michael savage, gold investments, etc.). His book is also redundant.

Save the trees. dont write it down

Sandwichman said...

Thanks, media. As what you write becomes more comprehensible it becomes less coherent. Is that a paradox in your pocket or are you just glad to see me?

rosserjb@jmu.edu said...

I have not read this new book, but I would bet that Orlean cites Bourdieu, and if he does not do so, I know he iw aware of his work and takes it seriously.

Orlean is part of a French school of economics that has almost nobody in the English-speaking economics community part of it: the "Conventions" school. This school has some connections and overlap with the also-mostly-French language Regulation School, more or less led by Robert Boyer, although the Conventinos School tends to take a more strongly normative and values-laden as in morality approach to things. It draws on earlier philosophical traditions regarding "conventions" drawing on both French and non-French sources, such as D. Lewis, H. Simon, and H. Poincare.

But, I have not read this book, so do not know what is in it.

Sandwichman said...

Don't bet on it, Barkley! Bourdieu is not in the index or the references. Orlean's analysis builds on Rene Girard's mimetic theory. There are clear affinities between Girard's work and Bourdieu and probably borrowings and important differences. At any rate it is Girard's theory that provides the basis for Orlean's theory of value.

I take media's point to be that citing Bourdieu would be further evidence of "eloquent bs" that could be put down "succinctly in three pages of math." Always hard to tell with media's glib chatter whether he satirizing the sociology or the math fetish (or both).

media said...

u can always look at azimuth blog (john baez at uc irvine i think; had a job in singapore too to collect some beaucoup money when i knew someone going to school there) ; there's a bit of math there. (FOM-list is also interesting at times). (i met a math physicist on a hike in shenandoah park recently, he works for Homelands security now; had a view about barabasi and netowkrs---we did see a baby bear).


you can see me build a fire (like jack london, and i lived for awhile on the yukon river), and up on reddish knob too---my side of the mountain . probably more like sad attire peace out (the day after never i'll be there)