The academic economics profession ought to have been most intimately involved in analyzing and debating a broken capitalist system whose deep crisis had confounded all its confident expectations. It has done nothing of the sort. Instead it proceeds as if—and indeed mostly still insists that—nothing has happened to disturb its fifty-year celebration of capitalism’s efficiency and growth. A few professors of economics (e.g., Paul Krugman) and business (e.g., Nouriel Roubini) have commented on the absurdity of that insistence. But most of them could get no further than to recycle Keynes’ 1930s critiques of a depressed capitalism and his recommendations for deficit spending and monetary stimuli by the government. And, of course, the few right-wing economists who have taken the crisis seriously, utilized it to push yet again for less government economic intervention as the panacea.
Questioning the system and debating basic system change has remained—for government, mainstream media and most professors—something beyond the pale. They see no need to end their 50-year repression or marginalization of such questions and debates. For them, the basic organizations of production and distribution of commodities, like the property and power structures that sustain them, do not deserve criticism. [more]