The New Economic Society was formed in 1973 to promote the aims of the School of Economic Synthesis. Economic synthesis, since its early formation in the 1930s, has sought to integrate historical economics with social and neo‐classical economics. As the academic movement toward economic synthesis broadened, a more formal organisation became necessary. The New Economic Society (International School of Economic Synthesis) is an interdisciplinary association open to economists and others who are interested in developing a more social and humanistic economics, and a more realistic and scientific understanding of modern developed and less developed societies. The membership includes persons from numerous academic disciplines in many countries; formal chapters of the Society exist in the United Kingdom, Germany, India and Israel. At present, the membership is developing on an informal basis and no dues are requested. Membership information may be obtained from the following persons.
Since the late 1970s there have been a number of articles devotedto re‐evaluating the issues and arguments involved in the debateconcerning comparative economic systems…
Since the late 1970s there have been a number of articles devoted to re‐evaluating the issues and arguments involved in the debate concerning comparative economic systems. The present state of this continuing debate is evaluated with regard to modern theories of planning, bureaucracy, motivation and property rights. It appears that the debate has not been settled yet.
That these two passages can appear in the same work, separated by only two paragraphs, confirms a tension latent in Marxian thought. After offering an appealing vision of…
That these two passages can appear in the same work, separated by only two paragraphs, confirms a tension latent in Marxian thought. After offering an appealing vision of a society in which the individual and community have been reconciled, Marx almost immediately denies any reliance on ethical ideals. Yet, as I shall argue, the very vision of the future society as transcending the conflict between individual will and systemic functioning is grounded in an ethic of human fulfillment as derived from the development and exercise of capacities within a community of equals. In the Marxian approach to understanding society, the ethical element is not excluded, but rather co‐exists uneasily with a theory of historical evolution.
To defend the thesis that critical theory has become unable to call into question and challenge the main impulses of modern capitalist societies. The reason for this is…
To defend the thesis that critical theory has become unable to call into question and challenge the main impulses of modern capitalist societies. The reason for this is that the capacities of language on the one hand and the hermeneutic processes that underlie the process of “recognition” are insufficient to counter the power of socialization to shape subjectivity and the cognitive and evaluative capacities of subjects.
I provide a critical reading of the methodology of linguistic and recognitive theories of intersubjectivity by means of a theory of domination derived from Rousseau which shapes the cognitive and epistemic powers of subjects thereby weakening their capacity to be socialized via the media of language and social recognition.
By divorcing our cognitive ideas about the social world from the social-ontological processes that shape and deform it under capitalism, this brand of critical theory succeeds in sealing off the mechanisms of social domination and power relations that were at the heart of the enterprise from its inception.
Critical theory must move toward a more comprehensive theory of the social totality in order for it to retain its critical character.
The paper questions the main ideas held by the mainstream of critical theory such as its reliance on hermeneutic and linguistic forms of consciousness and social praxis as well as a theoretical reliance on pragmatic theories of mind and Mead’s conception of socialization.
This article tries to introduce product innovation into Marxist theory of capital accumulation. Although in Grundrisse Marx has already foreseen the importance of product…
This article tries to introduce product innovation into Marxist theory of capital accumulation. Although in Grundrisse Marx has already foreseen the importance of product innovation in overcoming the limits to capital originated from the production of relative surplus value, mainstream Marxist theories of capital accumulation have up till now made few endeavours to envisage this problem. It is argued in this chapter that to introduce product innovation into Marxist theory of accumulation depends on a reconstruction of the fundamental contradictions in capital accumulation, that is the contradiction between production of surplus value and realisation of surplus value, combined with the contradiction between exchange value and use value as the driving force in its development. The production of relative surplus value based on process innovation and consequent productivity enhancement, given any specific use value, will lead to overproduction, that is the intensification of those fundamental contradictions in accumulation, which nevertheless could be mitigated by introducing product innovation. In evaluating critically the contribution by Mandel in his long waves theory, we further argue, following the lead of neo-Schumpeterians, that there is a possibility for radical product innovations to be at least semi-endogenously induced in capital accumulation, and thus paving the way for a long boom of capitalism.
Peter Boettke and I had taken Don Lavoie's graduate Comparative Economic Systems course during the Fall of 1985. Lavoie had just published Rivalry and Central Planning …
Peter Boettke and I had taken Don Lavoie's graduate Comparative Economic Systems course during the Fall of 1985. Lavoie had just published Rivalry and Central Planning (Lavoie, 1985b) and National Economic Planning: What is left? (Lavoie, 1985a), and was at the cusp of establishing himself as a major player in the comparative systems and contemporary critique of socialist planning literature.1
To defend the thesis that the base-superstructure hypothesis central to Marxist theory is also central paradigm of the tradition of Critical Theory. This is in opposition…
To defend the thesis that the base-superstructure hypothesis central to Marxist theory is also central paradigm of the tradition of Critical Theory. This is in opposition to those who see this hypothesis as determinist and eliminating the possibilities for the autonomy of social action. In doing so, it is able to retard and atrophy the critical capacities of subjects.
Emphasis on the return to a structural-functionalist understanding of social processes that places this version of Critical Theory against the more domesticated forms that consider “discourse ethics” and an “ethic of recognition” as the normative research program for Critical Theory. Also, an analysis of the purpose and logic of functional arguments and their relation to Marx’s concept of “determination” is undertaken.
The essence of Critical Theory hinges upon the ways that social structures are able to deform and shape structures of consciousness of modern subjects to predispose them to forms of domination and to view the prevailing hierarchical structures of extractive domination as legitimate in some basic sense.
The foundations of Critical Theory need to be rooted in a renewed understanding of the relation between social structure and forms of consciousness. This means a move beyond theories of social practices into the realm of social epistemology as well as the mechanisms of consciousness and their relation to ideology.
Few analyses of the relation between the base and the superstructure or material organization of society and the social-epistemological layer of consciousness delineate the mechanisms involved in shaping consciousness. I undertake an analysis that utilizes insights from the philosophy of mind such as the theory of intentionality as well as the sociological approach to values through Parsons.
The emergence and maturation of the social sciences is an important component of the expansion of institutions of higher learning in the 20th century. The discipline of Political Economy, increasingly institutionalized in various Canadian universities in the early decades of the century, secured a Chair at the University of Manitoba in 1909. After 1914, its title became “Political Economy and Political Science” and the department subsequently served “as the great mother department to which were attached newer social science disciplines until it was deemed appropriate to let them launch out on their own” (Pentland, 1977, p. 3). Political Science became independent in 1948, Geography in 1951, and Sociology and Anthropology in 1962 (p. 4). Agricultural Economics, which was taught in the Manitoba Agricultural College, became its own department when the college joined the university in 1924. In the 1930s, Agricultural Economics was absorbed into Department of Political Economy. However, according to Pentland (pp. 4–5) it was not until the late 1940s that agricultural economics became a significant “sub-department.” It subsequently separated itself from Political Economy and, in 1954, became an independent department in the Faculty of Agriculture (p. 5). The result of these disciplinary developments was that the faculty of the Department of Political Economy had, from time to time, members whose expertise lay outside the increasingly well-defined terrain of economics. Despite this, however, they did not seem to have any long-lasting direct impact on shaping and defining the curricula in Economics. Since these other disciplines left and became independent when they had reached a certain size or degree of influence, Economics was left to define and pursue its own agenda unencumbered by the needs of these former associates.
In an effort to explain the growth stagnation that hampered the United States in the period from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, mainstream economists unwittingly and…
In an effort to explain the growth stagnation that hampered the United States in the period from the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, mainstream economists unwittingly and incompletely reinvented the concept of unproductive labor that is rooted in classical and Marxian economics. The price to pay for having ignored this concept had been unexplained economic events, inappropriate policy, and relative national economic decline. The mainstream economists' attempt to adopt this concept came at a cost to their theoretical core. The abandonment of the concept came at a cost to the real economy represented by the financial crisis of 2008.