Current Scholarship
Economics and Dishonesty

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Author: Prabhat Patnaik

Economics is a subject where the ruling classes are forever trying to promote ideologically-motivated explanations in lieu of scientific ones. These explanations of course can be, and have been, fitted into an integrated totality of an alternative non-scientific theoretical structure that Marx had called “vulgar economy” as distinct from classical political economy. But even vulgar economy tries to cope systematically with observed phenomena in its own “vulgar” manner; what is infinitely worse is when observed phenomena are sought to be explained in an ideologically-motivated manner, but even this is done not consistently but opportunistically. That is when economics descends from being merely “vulgar” to being “dishonest”; and such descent is the specific hall-mark of the economics of the neoliberal period. I shall confine myself here to giving just three examples.

Prabhat Patnaik, “Economics and Dishonesty,” Peoples Democracy, November 13, 2022,