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Nomics Paradigm- Metaphysical Presuppositions of The Neo Classical Economics

Author(s): Zahid Siddiqui

Journal: Market Forces
ISSN 1816-8434

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Classsical Economics | Paradigm | Value and Scarcity | Value and Sovereignty

The extent to which neoclassical economics reflects a set of subjective values of Enlightenment thinkers, instead of objective facts, and the context in which it operates are usually neglected. We argue that neoclassical economics, has a two-fold agenda: (i) to provide a technology in order to legitimize capitalist social orderaccording to liberal values and thereby, (ii) justify the liberal ideals of political philosophy. Thus, we strongly reject the claims of its value-neutrality. Liberal society (as legitimized by neoclassical economists) is represented by a model in which eachindividual exists in an isolated cell of self-interest maximization connected to the rest of society only through voluntary relationships based on exchange of goods and services. Self-interested individuation and social harmony are seen as mutually reinforcing and, hence, harmonious. The body is seen as the primary instrument dedicated to the only legitimate objective of accumulation for its own sake. On the basis of such a model, perfect competition finds justification as a system that most nearly meets the desire for accumulation. The formation of government to organize society is undertaken by an infallible general-will of the citizens of a society. The government is supposed to provide a neutral framework within which people can pursue their own preferences based on their own conceptions of the good. The questions of ‘right preferences’ and ‘origin of production technology’ are deliberatelyavoided to obscure the fact that the preference for preference itself (i.e the preference for accumulation) must be prioritized within capitalist order. Policies are advocated to move the actual world to the ideal world of perfect competition.
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