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Thread: Anwar Shaikh

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Anwar Shaikh

    This guy is all the rage of late and is making the rounds as one of the - if not the - most prominent hererodox economist.

    His most recent work, Capitalism examines the eponymous system of relations and exhaustively analyzeses - and ultimately rejects - mainstream, Neoclassical economic theory, which he seeks to replace in the book with an alternative framework largely based on the classical economics of Smith, Ricardo and Marx.

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...nKoxftZCcqA1go this is a Youtube lecutre series of him outlining the main points of the book in 30 lectures, held at either the New School or the Henry George School in New York.


    my copy of his book

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    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Thirty lectures makes the book an appealing alternative.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Streeck's stuff is better imo.

    Moving away from the archaic "Keynesian vs. others" debates seems more fruitful to me; embrace insights of (new) institutional economics and start thinking about varieties of capitalism models of political economy, because the notion of a uniform "capitalism" is absurd.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Where are consumers of new-model economics to be found?
    The majority of economists seem to work for governments, and the majority of the remainder probably work for companies, or hope to.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...n-and-facebook
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    A lot of them seem to work for governments, giving policy advice. The more creative ones are, as usual, in the academy.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    Streeck's stuff is better imo.

    Moving away from the archaic "Keynesian vs. others" debates seems more fruitful to me; embrace insights of (new) institutional economics and start thinking about varieties of capitalism models of political economy, because the notion of a uniform "capitalism" is absurd.
    As Helge Peukert says, "Wolfgang Streek has an excellent analysis of social forces at work in society, but has absolutely no understanding of economics whatsoever".

    And I think you don't have an understanding of Shaikh.

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    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    If "Wolfgang Streek has an excellent analysis of social forces at work in society," what is his analysis of economics as a social force?
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

  8. #8
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by Nim Chimpsky View Post
    As Helge Peukert says, "Wolfgang Streek has an excellent analysis of social forces at work in society, but has absolutely no understanding of economics whatsoever".
    Well, if some random guy says that about Streeck, it must be true.
    Let me find some random person to say the same about him so that Streeck's reputation as an economist is saved, because apparently writing several acclaimed books and lots of peer reviewed scholarly articles in the field isn't enough.

    And no, I don't have "an understanding" of Shaikh (if by that you mean I actually studied his 1000+ page book), and have little interest in obtaining one, because he's doing what I consider to be boring, irrelevant crap. Anyone who today writes a book vying to be the new Das Kapital is, quite frankly, an idiot.

    Also, I doubt you have an understanding of Streeck, but that's in the category of a random person claiming X.

    EDIT: Just to clarify, I have a personal allergy to any kind of economics that's obsessed with trying to resurrect the ghost of Marxist economics, and in fact consider such projects to be antithetical to the original 'spirit' of Marxism. That's where my dislike of projects like Shaikh's comes from, and why I prefer the work of people who have moved on from the ghost, like that of Streeck, Acemoglu/Robinson, Piketty, and Bowles/Gintis, alongside many others who are better classified as economic historians than economists (folks like Pomeranz).

    That's not to say that others can't derive value from the work of people like Shaikh, and that is has no merit as way of understanding economics, alongside the many others that are around. I was just merely expressing my own preference.
    Last edited by Nim Chimpsky; 06-15-2017 at 12:59 PM. Reason: I am sorry Amoeba, but I erased most of your post here. I meant to hit respond, but I hit "Edit post" instead. I fixed it
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by CornetJoyce View Post
    If "Wolfgang Streek has an excellent analysis of social forces at work in society," what is his analysis of economics as a social force?
    You can find a sample of his writing here: How will Capitalism End?

    Don't worry, you won't find any religious-like deference to Marx and Das Kapital there, and certainly no attempt to save or update it by throwing around some numbers and formulas like some hapless monk enthralled by a mystical insight he derived from the Bible.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by CornetJoyce View Post
    If "Wolfgang Streek has an excellent analysis of social forces at work in society," what is his analysis of economics as a social force?
    I had written an extended response to this question but it was erased and I got frustrated and left it for a few weeks. In any case, I was going to refer to the book Amoeba posted. In the fifth chapter, I think, you would find his response, at least as far as capitalism is concerned. The chapter consists of an extended anaylsis of Carl Schmitt and the notion of the "total state". Capitalism and democracy are mutually exclusive is the ultimate analysis.

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    Well, if some random guy says that about Streeck, it must be true.
    .
    Peukert isn't "some random guy", he's a professor of mine, and one of the most famous "sociologists of finance" in Germany. I personally interact with the guy at least twice a week. A nice guy.

    And your personal "allergy" leads to a bias and a premature judgmentalism when it comes to anyone who just mentions the name Marx or asserts his relevance for contemporary debates. That being said, such an "allergy" is not useful for meaningful debate and I find it quite boring. If you're going to attack Shaikh, at least do it after familiarizing yourself with his ideas. Otherwise shut up. [As an aside, I should note that Shaikh is equally strongly influenced in this work by Adam Smith, David Ricardo and Keynes. His book is exhaustively empirically founded and stands up quite well on its own. I'm not sure where the comparisons to Das Kapital are coming from, as no one is arguing the book is like that one. In fact, Shaikh specifically points out that that was not his intent with this book. The most legitimate comparison I have seen was Jamie Galbraith's oblique comment that "a book like this appears only every 150 years" in the blurb.]

    I think you'll find Shaikh quite convincing. He's already converted significant sectors of the heterodox economics community. Jaimie Galbraith comes to mind, at first blush.


    If you want a decent assessment, read this: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/ind...cal-economics/

    I have not read this one, but it seems decent at first glance: http://isj.org.uk/real-capitalism-turbulent/

  12. #12
    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    The review is certainly interesting. I had no idea about Kondratieff's personal history.
    ====

    Mr. Davis says:

    "All two-penny economists swear to the existence of this yeti. The wealth of data accumulated by Shaik says that businessmen, company executives and real world capitalists have no use for this fairy-tale... the NCE archetype, is an unknown creature in the world of actually existing business."

    Of course that's true. Keynes was said to be the only economist who could understand a company balance sheet. Mainstream- i.e: approved- economics- under various "neo" guises is plutocracy justifying itself to itself and mystifying the rubes.

    But this is why I asked about "economics" as a social force. Beyond the universities where well-behaved departments are funded by the owning class, economists are most likely to be government functionaries. A handful that includes Shaikh, and Galbraith's illustrious ancestor, are able to get attention as authors. To some extent, their position is comparable to Marx's, but Marx addressed the workers' movement.

    Shaikh has written his book. Now what? What politics flow from it?
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    I suppose it depends on what - if any - social movements take up his - very damning - assessment of capitalism and attempt to push the neo-liberal / neoclassical apologia over the cliff.

    We're trying to set up a group here locally that does that. Others have and are forming.

  14. #14
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Make sure to tell people to shut up about the Bible unless they've carefully studied it.

    The fact is that someone like Stiglitz or Piketty have already done a million times more to combat neoliberalism than all the esoteric, archaic and boring Marxist revivalists combined--mainly because no one cares about them, even within academia (a major cause of their ressentiment directed toward the likes of Piketty and Streeck).

    But maybe I'm wrong and we're on the cusp of Shaikh-ist economic theory leading us to communism. As the author writing in the SWP rag hilariously notes, he's sure to be read more than Piketty.

    Anyway, these are pointless squabbles. The number of people who care about the intricacies of Marxist economic theory are infinitesimal, so talking about it being attached to any kind of serious social and political movement is absurd, as is the notion that this situation is likely to change with the publication of Shaikh's book. As I noted above, these are perfectly legitimate ways of carving up and analyzing the economy, and if one has a personal affinity with it, fine. I, and most other people on this planet (which includes academia), don't. And no, it's not because I have an "allergy" to anyone who brings up Marx; I have an allergy to anyone who brings him up in what I consider to be archaic, dogmatic and boring ways, which I feel goes against the spirit of Marxism.

    I'll go back to shutting up now because I haven't read the book, and, like the vast majority of all the people who will ever live, never will.
    Last edited by Amoeba; 06-15-2017 at 9:17 PM.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    Make sure to tell people to shut up about the Bible unless they've carefully studied it.

    The fact is that someone like Stiglitz or Piketty have already done a million times more to combat neoliberalism than all the esoteric, archaic and boring Marxist revivalists combined--mainly because no one cares about them, even within academia (a major cause of their ressentiment directed toward the likes of Piketty and Streeck).

    But maybe I'm wrong and we're on the cusp of Shaikh-ist economic theory leading us to communism. As the author writing in the SWP rag hilariously notes, he's sure to be read more than Piketty.

    Anyway, these are pointless squabbles. The number of people who care about the intricacies of Marxist economic theory are infinitesimal, so talking about it being attached to any kind of serious social and political movement is absurd, as is the notion that this situation is likely to change with the publication of Shaikh's book. As I noted above, these are perfectly legitimate ways of carving up and analyzing the economy, and if one has a personal affinity with it, fine. I, and most other people on this planet (which includes academia), don't. And no, it's not because I have an "allergy" to anyone who brings up Marx; I have an allergy to anyone who brings him up in what I consider to be archaic, dogmatic and boring ways, which I feel goes against the spirit of Marxism.

    I'll go back to shutting up now because I haven't read the book, and, like the vast majority of all the people who will ever live, never will.
    What the fuck? Am I supposed to respond to this? You are just babbling.

  16. #16
    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    No, don't bother; I know I have sinned.

    Good luck with the Shaikh-ist revolution, led by people who bother to carefully study some obscure, archaic and incredibly boring book cover to cover -- and possess the requisite "education" to understand and appreciate the convoluted, niche jargon it is written in (after all, "if you haven't carefully studied the Bible, shut up about it!").
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

  17. #17
    Administrator RevForum Administrator CornetJoyce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Shaikh looks respectable to me.
    http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/faculty/Anwar-Shaikh/
    but I have no idea how dogmatic he is. I regard dogmatism as the spirit of Marxism, but the age of Marxist great powers and Marxist nukes is gone. For those who need a little dogma in their lives, Marxism may brighten their days.

    Dogma aside, we have seen many very damning assessments of capitalism over the years. It does not seem likely that this or any other book alone will suffice to push mainstream economics apologia over the cliff, but it's a likely candidate for the next World Forum, hopefully in concert with related books.
    Einstein on marxology:
    "In the realm of the seekers after truth there is no human authority.
    Whoever attempts to play the magistrate there founders on the laughter of the Gods."

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by Amoeba View Post
    No, don't bother; I know I have sinned.

    Good luck with the Shaikh-ist revolution, led by people who bother to carefully study some obscure, archaic and incredibly boring book cover to cover -- and possess the requisite "education" to understand and appreciate the convoluted, niche jargon it is written in (after all, "if you haven't carefully studied the Bible, shut up about it!").
    I actually have a degree in religious studies, so I certainly can talk about the Bible. As for Shaikh, yes, do shut up about him, because you obviously have absolutely no idea what you'are talking about, have set up a strawman, and are proceeding to berate that strawman. Have fun with that.

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    Rightwing left liberalism/Careerism RevForum Administrator Nim Chimpsky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by CornetJoyce View Post
    Shaikh looks respectable to me.
    http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/faculty/Anwar-Shaikh/
    but I have no idea how dogmatic he is. I regard dogmatism as the spirit of Marxism, but the age of Marxist great powers and Marxist nukes is gone. For those who need a little dogma in their lives, Marxism may brighten their days.

    Dogma aside, we have seen many very damning assessments of capitalism over the years. It does not seem likely that this or any other book alone will suffice to push mainstream economics apologia over the cliff, but it's a likely candidate for the next World Forum, hopefully in concert with related books.
    Shakh is not at all dogmatic. This is a "scientific" book, in that is mainly seeks to dislodge neoclassical economics and replace it with a more realistic framework for assessing economic behavior and outcomes. As you stated above, neoclassical economics is neither scientific nor very useful for anything but apologia.

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    Paperback Writer RevForum Administrator Amoeba's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anwar Shaikh

    Quote Originally Posted by Nim Chimpsky View Post
    I actually have a degree in religious studies, so I certainly can talk about the Bible. As for Shaikh, yes, do shut up about him, because you obviously have absolutely no idea what you'are talking about, have set up a strawman, and are proceeding to berate that strawman. Have fun with that.
    The notion that one is only allowed to speak on a certain subject if they have a degree in it is emblematic of the scholastic delusion that simply receiving a formal education imbues one with special powers and insights that others are incapable of accessing. Most people, uncorrupted by academia, know better.. Another notable element of the scholastic delusion is that marginal academics deified as Saints (Professors), writing Holy ("scientific") books, must be revered by all; if they are not, the lay person must shut up about them for they are causing deep personal offense (like cursing in a Church).

    It should be obvious how I feel about academic ideology and the scholastic delusions it fosters in its adherents.

    Since you consider my comments to be irrelevant and akin to blasphemy, I'd suggest you take your own advice and shut up, and stop replying to me.
    To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them.

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