Who Is Hereticus Economicus?

In deciding what to call our blog, we thought about not only what we want to achieve by writing it and by the writings of our guest authors, but what it is we are challenging and why we wish to make the challenge.

One obvious, and to our minds evil, construct is the straw man homo economicus (HE), erected by orthodox economists to represent humanity. HE is a particularly nasty, selfish, greedy, exploitative, self-interested, rapacious and parasitic individual. Furthermore, since the advent and maturity of the Neoliberal version of HE since the 1940s into an even nastier, cruel and unrelentingly vicious representative of the bankster-rentier-monopolist class it can only be a figure to fear, despise and at every opportunity to deny entry into what we hold to be a far more naturally benign society. We have an entirely heretical view of homo economicus.

So we say welcome to hereticus economicus. Now, so far as we are aware, there is no such word as hereticus other than as part of the title of a work of fiction. So we have invented it as a word in its own right, to have a meaning which reflects our heteredox approach to economic phenomena. It understands humanity to encompass expressions which include such words as community, belonging, caring, sharing. The person is intended to describe ourselves as people, the people who write the articles in this blog and run the site, the intentions of those of our readers who follow our philosophy to nurture humanity, nature, the environment and to protect, hopefully to reclaim at least part of, the commons.

These objectives have already been well described in Raworth’s “Doughnut”1 diagrams and YouTube presentations and in various video presentations now available on YouTube by Monbiot2.

In these pages you will be able to read about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), which is about how money, central banks and the commercial banking system all work in today’s society. We shall develop a number of policy options which we see as viable, made possible in a way orthodox economics fails to examine, they being stuck rather in a past era of possibilities restricted by gold standard parameters.

Whilst our economic perspectives do not specifically address all of those essential questions raised by Raworth, Monbiot and many other important commentators, we firmly believe that this approach to economics offers society, through its policy makers, the best, if not the only, opportunities to do so.

We believe in promoting a multitude of different points of view, including dissenting ones – so long as the tone is civil and the premise based on stock-flow consistent accounting.

Footnotes

  1. “Doughnut Economics – Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist” Kate Raworth, 2017, Random House Books.
    2. “George Monbiot on The Politics of Belonging” 21/07/2017, available at YouTube is one place to start.