I participated in the annual Anton Lubowski memorial lecture hosted by Stellenbosch University at the weekend. This year’s theme was on social justice. In my contribution I raised two issues, one of which I want to flesh out here, and both of which have to do with the orthodoxy of liberal and “neoclassical” economics.

On a point of clarity, since Thorstein Veblen added “neoclassical” to “economics”, the new blend is often thrown about willfully, and sometimes pejoratively — not without some justification. I guess I am urging caution, even while I use the term as a reference to physics envy among mainstream economics...

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