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December 11, 2006



I can see that many feel that the term 'autistic' is viewed negatively, however a neuro-diverse approach to the world has maybe given us the economists we have in the first place. Without them, there would be no theories to debate.


I am with McEwen. What's wrong with some of economics being autistic? I find it pretty enjoyable. I also think than the "post-autistic" alternatives suffer from too much talk and too little substance.

And now for something completely different...

I am not the openest person in the world and I have sometimes been jokingly called autistic; I have never felt offended by it. Also, a few years ago it happened to me that a driver inside his parked truck in my town's port (La Coruña, Spain) gesticulated at me that he wanted to talk. It was raining heavily, and I hesitated. When I finally approached him he started talking to me in Italian. He spoke very fast and I, trying to make sense of what he was saying, didn't manage to say anything at first. He then asked me, "Sei autista?" Autista in Spanish means autistic and, in the context, the question was hardly surprising to me. I emphatically answered "No."

I later found that autista in Italian means driver.

John Konop


This is an editorial on the web site economy in crisis. Do you think Americans should be concerned with our kid’s future due to poorly negotiated trade and immigration policy?


EC-In 1994, more than 1 in 8 jobs in America was in manufacturing. In 2014, if US government (Bureau of Labor Statistics) projections are to be believed, that figure will have slipped to less than 1 in 12.

The government is actually telling us in black and white that the policies that they are enacting will decrease absolute and relative manufacturing employment to levels below that of the 1950’s – over 2 million jobs below. In the 1950’s, 30% of US employees were in manufacturing – almost one in three jobs! This country was a relative manufacturing superpower.

In less than 20 years since America put in place some of its most self-devastating policy decisions (NAFTA, WTO, CAFTA, etc.), this country will have almost completely converted from a self-sufficient sovereign state, capable of manufacturing what it needs to sustain and protect itself, to a country of servants – serfs, working at the behest of foreign employers or engaged in the sales, marketing, and distribution of foreign-made goods – working at their discretion, for wages they determine, and forced to pay their prices for needed goods. This is the definition of a servant.

Victor Aguilar

Ludwig von Mises writes:

"Economics in the second German Reich, as represented by the government-appointed university professors, degenerated into an unsystematic, poorly assorted collection of various scraps of knowledge borrowed from history, geography, technology, jurisprudence, and party politics, larded with deprecatory remarks about the errors in the 'abstractions' of the Classical School.

"After 1866, the men who came into the academic career had only contempt for 'bloodless abstractions.' They published historical studies, preferably such as dealt with labor conditions of the recent past. Many of them were firmly convinced that the foremost task of economists was to aid the 'people' in the war of liberation they were waging against the 'exploiters.'

"This was the position Gustav Schmoller embraced with regard to economics. Again and again he blamed the economists for having prematurely made inferences from quantitatively insufficient material. What, in his opinion, was needed in order to substitute a realistic science of economics for the hasty generalizations of the British 'armchair' economists was more statistics, more history, and more collection of "material." Out of the results of such research the economists of the future, he maintained, would one day develop new insights by 'induction.'"

Does Gustav Schmoller remind you of anyone alive today?

James Devine writes:

"The original statements by the rebellious French economics students define autistic economics in terms of its one-sided and exclusionary interest in 'imaginary worlds,' 'uncontrolled use of mathematics' and the absence of pluralism of approaches in economics. The hard-core autistic walling off from the societal environment can be seen most strongly in the specific, highly abstract, axiomatic school that the students protested against."

If this comparison seems unimportant, recall what the German Historical School led to. Ludwig von Mises writes:

"The political significance of the work of the Historical School consisted in the fact that it rendered Germany safe for the ideas, the acceptance of which made popular with the German people all those disastrous policies that resulted in the great catastrophes. The aggressive imperialism that twice ended in war and defeat, the limitless inflation of the early 1920s, the Zwangswirtschaft and all the horrors of the Nazi regime were achievements of politicians who acted as they had been taught by the champions of the Historical School."

At this early stage of the Post-Autistic Movement, the most obvious point of comparison with the Nazis is their campaign to ban academic papers. http://www.economicpopulist.org/?q=content/what-appropriate-what-not-economic-populist

Just because it is not the government, in the sense of actual federal agents, who are burning books does not mean that it is any less wrong or any different than Nazi book burning. That was not done by the government either. It was the German Student Association.

The German Student Association (Deutsche Studentenschaft) proclaimed a nationwide "Action against the Un-German Spirit," to climax in a literary purge or "cleansing" ("Säuberung") by fire.

Placards publicized the theses, which attacked "Jewish intellectualism," asserted the need to "purify" German language and literature.

On May 10, 1933 the students burned upwards of 25,000 volumes of "un-German" books, presaging an era of state censorship and control of culture. On the night of May 10, in most university towns, nationalist students marched in torchlight parades "against the un-German spirit."

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