It's possible that AE, and most interesting academic thinking in general is looked down upon for some simple reason:
They usually go out of their way to be useless and academic - and by their nature show the dangers of Academic thininking trying to be "useful". In other words,It is the useless of an acadmic subject that makes it worth reading.
The minute an intellectual wants to "do something" / be active via "intellectualism": he is no longer an intellectual and neither are his ideas, he is a tradesman just like a carpenter, electrician, doctor, or whatever
"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann
"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence" - GLS Shackle
I'm sorry but I'm not quite sure what you mean here. Can you please explain further?
The keyboard is mightier than the gun.
Non parit potestas ipsius auctoritatem.
Care to provide any support or (even examples) of this claim?
Looked down upon by whom?
Looked down upon by whom?
By what could lossely be called "mainstream" intellectual thinking and academia
Seems rather vague.
Mainstream economists or mainstreem street hooligans?
And why are they mainstream? Probably because they have money backing them from people who are more interested in influencing economics than understanding it. Economics hasn't exactly been popular - ever.
Economists of competing theories are just protecting their turf. Their economic mathematical models just don't fit in with praxeology.
I can't think of one person I know who looks UP to the media. Hard to see how media can look down on anyone.
AE is more closely affiliated with philosophy. Hard science is the cutting edge, and is regarded as cool (as far as it can be considered 'cool'). Philosophers tend to be those odd-balls who mutter to themselves. Maybe if AE had a bunch of hot spokesmodels the image would be different.
I see what you're saying, that may play a small role in why AE is "looked down" on, although that could just fall into the category of "unscientific". AE is looked down on mostly for two reasons, the first is it's methodology (A prior deductive reasoning), the second is that people just don't like the conclusions.
First you would have to prove that it is looked down upon. I've never met a single person off the internet and outside of explicitly libertarian events that has heard of it. You basically have a few narrow specialists that know anything at all about it and criticise it. For that matter, most of the people that criticise it don't know anything about it.
On the other hand, it certainly is true that there is useless bloat in academia... on all topics. I've lost count of how many useless, terrible studies I've read about it. There's always some hack coming up with some lousy new "theory" about something. There's always grasping for more prestigious/lucrative positions and grants. Everyone wants to be a Thomas Edison or at least pretend to be. A hefty supply of salt grains is needed to navigate this world.
I'm sure this is only going to add fuel to the fire - but what the hell
This was just an informal quasi-aphorism. I honestly wasn't expecting to be disected, analyzed, or whatever. It's an informal conversation piece like "how about them Dodgers?" I wasn't expecting some kind of Spanish Inquisition or anything.
There you go:
If you want to keep this thread going, you can burn me at the stake, disect, define, show me where I contradicted, etc now. You win, I am illogical - I have no proof or definitions. This thread is now a pinata - take your bats and bash away, have fun.
vive la insurrection:You win, I am illogical - I have no proof or definitions. This thread is now a pinata - take your bats and bash away, have fun.
Why do you concede defeat so easily Vive?
I actually think Vive has a point. There is an inherent conflict-of-interest in opining on social norms. This is why everybody is almost always guilty of special-pleading in any discussion of politics or society. Republicans really are for lower taxes because they're rich bastards or at least friends with rich bastards and so it's "cool" to be Republican. Democrats really are for higher taxes because they're lazy bums who want other people to pay their way. And so on.
Yet, as soon as we descend out of the clouds of ivory-tower philosophizing, we're all of a sudden talking about policies that would affect us personally and, thus, we become enmired in the very same conflict-of-interest. Unless we posit the existence of angelic libertarians who really, really, really are altruistic. Who do we think we're kidding? So, we're faced with a dichotomy: either our policy recommendations are so academic as to be detached from any practical effect or our policy recommendations are no longer above suspicion for conflict-of-interest and special-pleading... just like everybody else's.
Good thread, Vive.
OK I'll try to rephrase
I was honestly thinking unreflectively in an epigram / aphoristic style. I was hoping to use what I said as some syllogism / axiom and go from there and not explain much into it.
I guess here are the points I was trying to make:
1) Intellectualism is, by it's nature passive and academic
2) It can not cross over directly into practice. If it does it becomes something like applied science - think Doctors or Engineers or whatever, who are just pragmatically using what is convienent to them in an established system
3) Economics can not give policy perscriptions, it can only describe and affirm real action. When something is disguised as "economics" giving policy persctriptions it is nothing but a conservative (that is something trying to conserve the general apparatus in place) market managing ploy
4) Austrian econ probably works best in "the real world" when it acts as a referee calling foul as science crosses over into scientism
5) The minute you enter into "practice" you can no longer use the "practice" as an intellectual argument (Marxists and fringe leftists may try to do this?)
Now that I think of it, I think these thoughts may be somewhat Wittgenstinian
Interesting enough I was just reading this GLS Shackel quote, which kind of fits in to the uselssness as economics as perscription:
At the Policy Studies Institute, where I am now working, we do a lot of things to fi nd
out what policy issues are most on the minds of decision-makers in Government and
elsewhere, so that we can make our research programme as relevant as we can. Naturally
enough, ‘ policies to check the relative economic decline of the UK’ are more often mentioned
than anything else: and we have become aware that the economics profession is not
regarded as saying anything very helpful about the issues. The NIESR takes a fairly oldfashionedKeynesian
line, but has little idea of howit might nowwork; the monetarists tend
to be impossibly simple-minded or remote; the new Cambridge school of protectionists is
not entirely convincing. Behind this confusion lies the fact that there is no clear analysis
of how the economic system is now functioning: the various models do not keep close
enough to the actual reactions of human beings (including their structure of expectations).
We have it in mind, therefore, to attempt a review of the functioning of the British
economy which will reassess what factors are now important, and how they interact. This
sounds impossibly ambitious, requiring a new Keynes: and so it is, but (in the absence
of great men) little ones must do the best they can. I have a shadowy list in my mind
of the sorts of issues which should be given prominence, and I hope I may be allowed
to submit some thoughts to you for your criticism. But, before I do so, would you feel
able to suggest a list of your own? How does the Slump of 1981 differ in its nature, and
therefore in its required remedies, from the Slump of 1931? What are to be regarded as
the key factors in relative economic decline?
I hope I can provoke you!5
lol... I mistyped extra words on the end of one sentence and it made it seem like I was saying something completely different than what I intended.