Economics is clearly junk, like other religions. The problem is how to get free of it. Argument obviously fails, as it does across the religious spectrum and there is an Inquisition to combat. Meanwhile, most people live in poverty, with more of it (austerity) being the ‘answer’ to provide planet-burning groaf through libidinal mobile phone consumption of lucid-trash no one not under mind-control could want. 25 million people have died in war in more than half a century of peace.
One idea is that academics could somehow produced the killing factual argument on what is going on. My view is this is part of the problem. We don’t have the question marks in deep enough on argument and reasonable expectations of it. Sure, jaw-jaw is better than war-war – but this itself is not much of an argument. There is complex ‘argument on argument’ in the academy. Sextus Empiricus knew many equally powerful arguments can be made about the same issue. Dan Sperber has a current theory involving how we avoid the best arguments for those with easy evidence, and we now have defeasible logic that allows what is axiomatic to be under-cut and reformed by facts. Scientists know approximation takes place early in theory formation, concerning maths and measurement chosen (Ludwig, Sneed) and even physics is structuring reality. We should all know terms like ‘paradigm’, ‘root metaphor’, ‘postmodern moment’ and ‘revolutionary rather than puzzle-solving science’ if education really worked.
I’d love to have time and finance to do a defeasible analysis of economics. I doubt the subject would survive if it was really up for argumentative defeat. I don’t believe it is open to fair argument at all. This may seem very insulting to economists. Yet how would they fare when asked to describe what fair argument is? I contend they don’t know and that can be demonstrated. I’m also sure they know little on the nature of insult and who is doing what to whom and how.