Private vice to public virtue? Re-examine the basic economic dictum

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back… soon or late, it is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.”

John Maynard Keynes

This often quoted Keynes’ insight is a constant reminder to us on the power of economists’ ideology in the modern production system. The impact of this ideology, more than anything else, is well manifested in the current economic and environmental crisis.