Real-World Economics Review at 100

4 Jul, 2022 at 16:02 | Posted in Economics | 6 Comments

This journal began by accident. In the summer of 2000, I was ‘surfing the web’ when I clicked onto a site called Autisme-économie. It told how French students had launched a rebellion against the obsolescence of their economics curriculum … 

Economists And Their Assumptions – Whistling In The WindNow, after 22 years and with Jamie Morgan as my co-editor, it continues. But with an enormous difference. Fears that were in the background then are now in the foreground. Natural science and the daily news inform us that the continuation of free societies, civilization, and maybe the human species are all now at risk as tipping points are neared. The same sources tell us that the cause of these rapid movements towards ultimate disasters is THE ECONOMY. Not economies in general, but the global economy that has been created and maintained since World War Two under the guidance of the teachings of traditional economics, i. e. Economics 101 …

Just as Copernicus’s description of the universe was subversive of the traditional or then mainstream view of the universe, the 19 papers I have chosen from Real-World Economics Review archives for this 100th issue are subversive of the traditional view of the economy. The primary basis of their subversion is that they view the economy within a bi-directional causal context and, compared to traditional economics, an infinitely larger one. Most especially, they see a two-way interdependency running between the economy and the biosphere and between the economy and society.

Edward Fullbrook

Yours truly, of course, feels truly honoured to find his paper Deductivism — the fundamental flaw of mainstream economics to be among the nineteen papers chosen for this celebration issue.


  1. Isn’t Berkeley’s point that relevance is in the eye of the beholder?
    In other words, in the first few minutes of the Morgan Freeman video (which I am enjoying, thanks!), am I not hearing “might” a lot?
    Are we each not free to choose our own theories, or religions, inconsistently as we wish, because the relevance is to our individual experiences, not to some ergodic ideal “average” empirical measured experience?
    Specifically, at about 3:20 in the video, when Freeman says “every single galaxy moving away from each other, drifting farther and farther apart”, is that not prima facie in contradiction with other astronomers at other times telling us Andromeda is closing in on us? If they mean some galaxies can bump into each other, why not say it? Why the insistence on “every”?
    Wikipedia’s answer: 《In the “raisin bread model” one imagines a loaf of raisin bread expanding in the oven. The loaf (space) expands as a whole, but the raisins (gravitationally bound objects) do not expand; they merely grow farther away from each other.》But doesn’t the analogy fail because the raisins should be collapsing? (Also where is the heat coming from?)
    Could I easily continue picking apart the logical contradictions and paradoxes in the rest of the video (i’ll try to get my partner to watch and tell them to her!), so that I’m left thinking Berkeley’s criticisms of science are all too relevant? How can you convince me that science and religion do not equally rely on faith?
    Also, wikipedia says 《thought experiment approaches are suggested as a testing tool for [quantum gravity] theories》; so once again, how is this different from religion?

  2. @rsm
    Berkeley is irrelevant.
    He had no knowledge of quantum gravity during the Planck Epoch (< 10^-43 seconds following the Big Bang).
    You may enjoy: Through-the-wormhole: What-happened-before-the-beginning

  3. The problem of economics cannot be in mathematics, in models, or in logical-deductive processes.

    No discipline has any problem with that, and economics can’t be any different.

    The problem with economics is that economists are not scientists, because they do not follow the scientific method. What economists do is not science.

    ( )

    • 《No discipline has any problem with that》
      Isn’t it problematic that the math for black holes divides by zero?

      • No problem.
        In fact your case illustrates one of the ways maths HELPS science.
        Through maths scientists have come to realise that the standard laws of physics need qualification, extension or replacement in the extreme conditions of black holes and around the big bang.
        This has led to numerous radical new alternative hypotheses which have profound implications for our understanding of the universe (or multiverse).
        The problem is lack of data not maths.

      • Kingsley, how do you respond to Berkeley’s argument in “The Analyst” that math is based on faith just as much as religion? Some quotations:
        《SECT. I. Mathematicians presumed to be the great Masters of Reason. Hence an undue deference to their decisions where they have no right to decide.》
        《But with what appearance of Reason shall any Man presume to say, that Mysteries may not be Objects of Faith, at the same time that he himself admits such obscure Mysteries to be the Object of Science?》
        《VIII. It must indeed be acknowledged, the modern Mathematicians do not consider these Points as Mysteries, but as clearly conceived and mastered by their comprehensive Minds. They scruple not to say, that by the help of these new Analytics they can penetrate into Infinity it self: That they can even extend their Views beyond Infinity: that their Art comprehends not only Infinite, but Infinite of Infinite (as they express it) or an Infinity of Infinites. But, notwithstanding all these Assertions and Pretensions, it may be justly questioned whether, as other Men in other Inquiries are often deceived by Words or Terms, so they likewise are not wonderfully deceived and deluded by their own peculiar Signs, Symbols, or Species. Nothing is easier than to devise Expressions or Notations for Fluxions and Infinitesimals of the first, second, third, fourth and subsequent Orders, proceeding in the same regular form without end or limit […] &c. or dx. ddx. dddx. ddddx &c. These Expressions indeed are clear and distinct, and the Mind finds no difficulty in conceiving them to be continued beyond any assignable Bounds. ​But if we remove the Veil and look underneath, if laying aside the Expressions we set our selves attentively to consider the things themselves, which are supposed to be expressed or marked thereby, we shall discover much Emptiness, Darkness, and Confusion; nay, if I mistake not, direct Impossibilities and Contradictions. Whether this be the case or no, every thinking Reader is intreated to examine and judge for himself.》
        《Qu. 9. Whether Mathematicians do not engage themselves in Disputes and ​Paradoxes, concerning what they neither do nor can conceive?》
        《Qu. 64. Whether Mathematicians, who are so delicate in religious Points, are strictly scrupulous in their own Science? Whether they do not submit to Authority, take things upon Trust, believe Points inconceivable? Whether they have not their Mysteries, and what is more, their Repugnancies and Contradictions?》
        May we not rightly ask if physicists do not rely on faith as much as religions do, when explaining away how division by zero is okay sometimes?

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