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Exploring alternatives. 

SE's mission: to analyse the economic system (capitalism) and explore fair, egalitarian, democratic and green alternatives (indeed, some kind of socialism).


The "free enterprise system" is the only way forward, the US-economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006) once said. "There is no alternative way so far discovered of improving the lot of the ordinary people."

Over the course of capitalism's relatively brief history, many people - workers, intellectuals, politicians, artists, children, Hollywood actors - have refused to believe that. A fair, egalitarian, democratic and green alternative to capitalism is possible, they say. The communist Karl Marx, the anarchist Emma Goldman, the socialist Albert Einstein, the actor Charlie Chaplin and the marxist Dalai Lama. They desire a world in which economic wealth and political power is shared much, much more equally among all people of the world. And though this seems like a Sisyphean mission, and no one has the ultimate blueprint, that hasn't stopped them from speaking out, experimenting - sometimes succeeding, sometimes failing - and trying again.

What about economists? Established economists often claim to be politically neutral. They're like "plumbers", some say, who are here to help policy makers. To guide and advise them on how to reach their political goals in economically efficient ways. On the other side, it has been said that economics can never be politically neutral, as economic theories themselves - the tools of the plumber - are not free from politics.

SE doesn't know. SE is exploring, like most of us. But one thing is certain: Whatever the answer to this question of economists' political neutrality or lack thereof, economic thinkers have a role to play in the debate about capitalism itself, and fundamental alternatives to it.

Are economists like plumbers? As there are many signs - from global opinion polls, social movements, pop culture and human history - that many people around the world don't really like capitalism and want something else, there's a job for the "neutral" economists or economic thinkers. They can bring in the numbers, map the current state of the economy, share economic lessons from history, explore how a fundamentally different economic system could actually function on a day-to-day basis, etcetera. Their analyses can then serve as background material, to be discussed in the (hopefully, democratic) political arena.

Are economists - their theories and analyses - never free from political biases? If so, they are political actors themselves. Again, they have a role to play in the debate about capitalism and possible "socialist" alternatives. Their job is to not just interpret it, but to try to change it, as Marx said (and, one might add, their job it to be honest about the change they wish to see).

What about Socialist Economist (SE)? Is SE "socialist"? Anti-capitalist? Marxist? Leninist? Communist? Anarchist? Reformist? Piketty-ist? Social-democrat? Liberal? The name of this project surely suggests that SE is "socialist" (but one can be sure that with any other name it would have been labelled like that). Be careful. Don't judge a website by its title.

SE is not anything, except convinced of the need for a fundamental, global, open debate about capitalism and possible fair, egalitarian, democratic and greener alternatives to it, from an economic perspective. SE intends to be a platform for this debate, not an action committee, by allowing a diversity of voices from all over the world.

Let us know if you believe one is missing.


Contact SE (questions, suggestions, submissions):
☞ join@socialisteconomist.com

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Submissions

SE welcomes your submissions. Your analyses of past or present economic issues, your visions for a better economic future.



Any article (or other type of content) in line with SE's mission is welcome, which is to:
  1. Analyse the economic system (capitalism)
  2. Explore fair, egalitarian, democratic and green alternatives (indeed, some kind of socialism).
Note that SE is non-funded and voluntary-run and does not pay its contributors. Also note that SE would not claim any exclusive copyright and you would be free to publish your article elsewhere too (and SE also accepts content previously published elsewhere).

Guidelines:
  • Length: anything under 3000 words. Longer articles may be published in separate parts.
  • Subject: related to economic issues. Of course, you text may cover other fields (politics, culture, etcetera) as well, but SE tries to maintain a focus on economic issues.
  • Language: try to avoid jargon. Non-academics and non-economists should be able to understand (most of) your article as well.
Send your draft, including a short bio and picture of yourself, to: join@socialisteconomist.com




Comments

  1. Michael Hudson's recently posted article on $4.3 trillion bailout of the banks by the Fed is actually a low end estimate. If one includes the Fed's resale of new bonds as the prior bonds matured, during the period 2008-16, then the Fed provided QE in the amount of somewhere between $5-$6 trillion in bailout. And don't forget the $300 billion in underwriting of Citigroup and Bank of America in 2008-09, which were technically bankrupt at the time. Or the special auctions to bail mutual funds and other shadow banks. Or the $200 billion or so of TARP money for mid-sized banks, or the $180b for AIG, and another $90b for finance arms of GM and GE. Or the Fed's $29b to Chase to scoop up Bear Stearns, or the FDIC cost to cover deposits at WaMu, or the Treasury's $300b bailout of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, etc. etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this comment. You're invited to add your comment below Hudson's article as well: http://www.socialisteconomist.com/2018/09/the-lehman-10th-anniversary-spin-as.html

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Exploring alternatives.

Is SE "socialist"? SE is not anything, except
convinced of the need for a fundamental, global,
open debate about capitalism and possible fair,
egalitarian, democratic and greener alternatives,
from an economic perspective.

Read more about SE here.





Contributors




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Ghosh
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Milanovic
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Henwood
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Patnaik
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Hahnel
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Shaikh
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Hudson
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Kliman
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Ruccio
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Samary
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Patnaik
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Huber
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Zaman
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Rasmus
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Bockman
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Norfield







SE welcomes your submissions.

Your analyses of past or present economic issues.

Your visions for a better economic future.

See how to submit here.








SE is a platform, open to a diversity of views from thinkers from across the globe.
Views expressed in articles on SE do not necessarily reflect the views of SE's editors.