I have resumed the process of converting my doctoral dissertation into a book. I looked at the original document in 2015 and stripped it of some of the more impenetrable philosophical language and the pretentious knowledge-parading that make us sound clever. Alas, the need to keep home fires burning caused me to stop working on the book. In the notes I made while preparing the original dissertation, I recall a conversation I had with a journalist in Washington, DC — let’s call him The Fellow From The Hill. At the time I was doing research on the role of intellectuals in establishing orthodoxy. I explained that neoclassical economics became orthodoxy over the 20th century not because of some mythical process, but because functional intellectuals (clever people who work hard at reproducing and legitimating the values of particular societies) shored up this orthodoxy. The Fellow smirked. He sensed (correctly) that I was one of those critical theorists who sought to undermine complacent...

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