A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert by Michael C. Carroll (auth.)

By Michael C. Carroll (auth.)

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However, nothing we have examined so far exemplifies the true depth of his critique. Up to this point we see that Heilbroner's dissension stems from his disagreements with the conscious methodological decisions made by neoclassical theorists. But this is only half the picture. To fully appreciate this, we must move on to his discussion of the role 'vision' and 'ideology' plays in economic analysis. ECONOMICS AS A VEIL As we have seen, economic scientists strive to model and predict the 'behaviour' with the same detachment and stringent methods as their natural science brethren.

Today economic technicians narrowly write for their colleagues. In fact, it is only other economists who have the sufficient training to understand the majority of the arguments. Gone are the days when laymen could extract useful guidance from the profession's top journals. Today economics is written in very precise code. Articles are focused on very minute problems or provide extensions to previous models. The journals are nothing more than very exclusive clubs. Admission is limited to those who possess the required expertise and have invested the necessary time in the history of the particular journal.

In other words, the scope of their vision. The worldly philosophers specifically incorporated sociopolitical variables into their economics. Smith, for example, blended social laws with his economic laws of human behaviour. He fused the politicalliberalism of Locke with his own economic liberalism to provide the genesis of his analysis of early capitalism. He coupled market analysis with a much larger social analysis to form his economics. This same breadth of vision can be seen in the work of all the worldly philosophers.

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