01 - Understanding our Political Economy - rise of economics - part 1

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Lesson 1 - The Rise of Economics (Part 1)

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Understanding our Political Economy LESSON ONE The Rise of Economics – Part 1

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“Economics is fundamentally different from every other discipline in the academic world, including the other social sciences. No other academic field, unless influenced by economics, teaches and promotes self-interest. All other fields essentially teach knowledge and truth. There is an underlying assumption in our society that if one enters into the temple of intellect, the acquisition of its wares will be of benefit to the individual and ot society as a whole.”

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Lionel Robbins

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Lionel Robbins. An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science , 1962, p.147 “Economics is neutral as between ends. Economics cannot pronounce on the validity of ultimate judgments of value.”

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“Our subject had myriads of challenging open problems – problems that mathematical techniques could throw light on, and also close out. …Never did I reach a limit to usefulness of more elaborate mathematics. My economic problems dictated where my math preoccupations should go – not vice versa. …”

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“A lively science thrives on challenges, and that is why I transfer a good deal of my time and energy from micro to macro research. …My notion of a fruitful economic science would be that it can help us explain and understand the course of actual economic history.”

“The problem of values arises only when men try to fit together their need to be social animals with their need to be free men.”:

“The problem of values arises only when men try to fit together their need to be social animals with their need to be free men.” Jacob Bronowski. Science and Human Values , 1965. p.55

“Liberty is freedom exercised under the restraints of justice so that its exercise results in injury to no one.”:

“Liberty is freedom exercised under the restraints of justice so that its exercise results in injury to no one.” Mortimer J. Adler. The Common Sense of Politics , 1971, p. 125

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John Locke

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“To UNDERSTAND political power right, and derive it from its original, we must consider what state all men are naturally in, and that is a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man.” …

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“But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence; …”

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“The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property; and the end why they choose and authorize a legislative is that there may be laws made and rules set as guards and fences to the properties of all the members of the society, to limit the power and moderate the dominion of every part and member of the society;”

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Congress of German Economists

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William Stanley Jevons

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General Equilibrium

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Butter Guns The Production Possibilities Curve

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Richard Ely

“In the first stage of man’s economic development, nature is the great factor in production. There is little labor and less capital. …It follows … that there was little ownership of land in the sense in which we now regard ownership. … The notion of land ownership develops only when the land itself becomes more useful, and when the fruits of its fertility can be more directly appropriated than could happen when land was used for pasturing.”:

“In the first stage of man’s economic development, nature is the great factor in production. There is little labor and less capital. …It follows … that there was little ownership of land in the sense in which we now regard ownership. … The notion of land ownership develops only when the land itself becomes more useful, and when the fruits of its fertility can be more directly appropriated than could happen when land was used for pasturing.”

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“Man does not create these natural treasures nor give direction to nature in their formation. Some nations have deemed it unfair that they should become the property of individuals, and have therefore treated them as a common heritage, exacting a rent or royalty for the opportunity to exploit them. ...”

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“ This is perhaps generally the case to-day on the continent of Europe; but English law, with its inclination to the exaggeration of private rights, has long established the principle that he who owns the surface owns downward to the centre of the earth and upward to the sky.”

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Vilfredo Pareto

“The man in whose power it might be to find out the means of alleviating the sufferings of the poor would have done a far greater deed than the one who contents himself solely with knowing the exact numbers of poor and wealthy people in society.”:

“The man in whose power it might be to find out the means of alleviating the sufferings of the poor would have done a far greater deed than the one who contents himself solely with knowing the exact numbers of poor and wealthy people in society.” Vilfredo Pareto. “The New Theories of Economics, Journal of Political Economy, volume 5, 1897

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Scott Nearing

“The liberal and radical forces of American life – the men and women who had sacrificed, suffered, labored and struggled to make America safe for democracy, were brushed aside by the triumphant Patriotic plutocracy; Morgan, Rockefeller, Guggenheim … were the great patriots. All who opposed them were traitors. The plutocracy had always stood and still stands for special privilege in its most vicious form.”:

“The liberal and radical forces of American life – the men and women who had sacrificed, suffered, labored and struggled to make America safe for democracy, were brushed aside by the triumphant Patriotic plutocracy; Morgan, Rockefeller, Guggenheim … were the great patriots. All who opposed them were traitors. The plutocracy had always stood and still stands for special privilege in its most vicious form.” Scott Nearing, The Great Madness: A Victory for the American Plutocracy , 1917

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John Kenneth Galbraith

“Things may be less than good, less than fair, even less than tolerable; that is not the business of the economist as an economist. …The economist’s task is to stand apart, analyze, describe and where possible reduce to mathematical formulae, but not to pass moral judgment or be otherwise involved.”:

“Things may be less than good, less than fair, even less than tolerable; that is not the business of the economist as an economist. …The economist’s task is to stand apart, analyze, describe and where possible reduce to mathematical formulae, but not to pass moral judgment or be otherwise involved.” John Kenneth Galbraith. Economics in Perspective , 1987, p.124

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END OF LESSON ONE

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