The End of Economics

The End of Economics

The End of Economics

The End of Economics


Most economic theory assumes a pure capitalism of perfect competition, even when it is recognised that this does not exist. This book goes beyond the rhetoric to explore how the market has always been subjected to numerous constraints.


Let me begin with a frank confession. I am an economist. At least, a major institution has conferred a degree on me that certifies me as an economist.

Despite my credentials, I am a lapsed economist. Yes, I still teach in an economics department, but I can no longer accept the validity of prevailing economic orthodoxy.

I do not claim to be unique in my fall from grace. a small minority of economists always does depart from the orthodox doctrine. a select few of these, as we shall see, sometimes even win the accolades of the economics profession.

Some of those who stray from the path of economic orthodoxy do so for ethical or aesthetic reasons. Others reject key articles of faith because they find technical defects in analytical machinery of conventional economics. I count myself among this group.

I am by no means the first economist to a discover a defect in orthodox economic theory. in the late nineteenth century, economists who were then considered among the premier practitioners of the discipline in their respective nations, developed a penetrating critique of economic theory. They realized that a modern economy that followed the recommendations of conventional economic theory would court disaster.

These economists did not come by their discovery while hermetically sealed in ivory towers. Instead, they were the sort of economists who worked closely with government and business leaders. Although they were very conservative, they saw market forces tearing industry apart. in order to prevent the economy from disintegrating, they recommended that the great industries of the day be permitted to form trusts, cartels and monopolies.

Although the vast majority of contemporary economists are unaware of the work of these economists, their ideas still have significant relevance. My intention is to draw attention to and to rehabilitate this largely forgotten economic tradition, in part to call attention to a major defect in conventional economic theory.

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