The crisis of modern economic education
Dissatisfaction with modern economic education over the years has been deafeningly ripening at universities around the world. Finally, this discontent broke out. The media reported on an unprecedented event: at the University of Harvard (USA), the world citadel of training economists, financiers and managers, a strike of several hundred students was held in late November 2011 in the form of demonstrative withdrawal from the lecture. The lecture was delivered by Professor Gregory Mankyu as part of the Economics 10 course. The purpose of the strike is to protest against the bias of the course, its isolation from real life, the inability to form a critical and at the same time constructive attitude of the student towards economic realities.
The main ideas of the protesters were expressed in an open letter to Professor Mankyu. In addition, the letter outlines the social and moral position of students: they protest against economic theory, which openly deals with the apologetics of social inequality, protects the existing financial and banking system, substantiates the commercialization of higher education, camouflages the true causes of the economic and financial crisis. Protesters have clearly demonstrated their solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement.
In fairness, it should be said that in a number of countries separate protests of this kind have taken place before. But, firstly, they were not so massive. Secondly, they occurred in peripheral universities and institutes that could not compete in fame with Harvard. Here is just one example. In 2003, students graduated from the Tel Aviv University School of Economics. Hagai Kot, a student who graduated with honors from the School, spoke to the audience with words that shocked professors and teachers. In particular, he noted: “We are taught science from a spoon and expected that we will implement it on an exam without criticizing it and its fundamentals. However, this system has much more serious consequences. It does not call the student for critical analysis and independent thinking. Acquainted with one single economic approach, a student may think that there simply is no other and that he is studying the ultimate truth. Without critical analysis and independent thinking, the student will not be able in the future to develop tools for solving problems not studied at the School, or new problems that the theory has not yet encountered. ” Some Israeli media have called Hagai Kot’s speech a denunciation of the economic education system as a camouflaged “police of thought” (see The Real Economy Blog, Israel).
Unfortunately, I cannot cite such examples of public protests by students studying economics in Russian universities. At the university where I personally teach (MGIMO), some students in private conversations with me express dissatisfaction and dissatisfaction with the way some economic disciplines are taught. However, this is only “deaf discontent.”
Throughout the twentieth century, the world financial oligarchy has given special importance to economic education as a way to preserve and strengthen its power. Economic education was divided into two unequal parts. The first part is the “piece-by-piece” preparation of the financial elite, which was dedicated to the secrets of finance and business, and “esoteric” knowledge. This is the so-called “host economy.” The second part is the mass preparation of everyone else, the plebs. This is the so-called “economics of clerks.” This “economy of clerks” suggested (and assumes) the study of applied disciplines such as accounting, and 90% consists of various kinds of “ideological disciplines” aimed at “brainwashing”. In my book “On Percentage: Loan, Jurisdiction, Reckless” (M., 2011), I argue that such an “economic education” actually forms a new type of religious consciousness. And the economics textbooks themselves are various “catechisms” of the global “religion of money” – a religion that has a pronounced destructive and anti-Christian character.
One of the main ideological (religious) disciplines is the economics course, against which Harvard students rebelled. The system needs biorobots, not creative and thinking individuals. I constantly say: the most valuable resource of the so-called “market economy” (the code name for capitalism) is fools (in “economics” they are code-named homo economicus). Since the number of fools (mentally retarded) of the total number of births is a fraction of a percent, the world financial oligarchy in the twentieth century put their production on a massive, conveyor basis. The main enterprises producing this product are universities, especially economic departments and various economic schools at universities.