Cornel West to Economists: 'Wake Up From Your Mechanistic, Cartesian Dream!'
Continued from previous page
Rob Johnson described economics as “the secular religion of mankind” and noted that many of its structures are “mirages” that lead to suffering and demoralization. He pointed out several ways in which the field of economics had been corrupted, including the tendency of economists to serve as the PR department for the powerful. Amen to that!
There was one thing everyone in the room agreed upon: We need better stories to communicate progressive economic ideas, and economists themselves are unlikely to provide them. I thought of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and how the author's critique of exploitation contained not a single mathematical equation. And yet it moved the public enough to create changes in labor laws that alleviated the suffering of millions. More discussions that blend the voices of economists with historians, poets, linguists and theologians are a promising step toward getting to such powerful narratives for our own times. Only connect!