Leftists Thrive on Myths Perpetrated By Samuelson About Adam Smith
Roland Boer at: “On the international division of labour and the invisible hand (-shake of corruption)” Satlin's MoustacheBlogHERE http://stalinsmoustache.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/on-the-international-division-of-labour-and-the-invisible-hand-shake-of-corruption/
“Alain Lipietz again:
Ricardo and the supporters of the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson theorem seem, for instance, to believe that the international division of labour is the result of some world conference at which brilliant economists explained to an admiring gallery of politicians that – given relative levels of productivity, collective preferences and the initial endowment of factors – the free play of market forces would ensure the optimal division of production, and that each participant then went home convinced not only of the virtues of free trade but that the law of comparative costs ensured that the lot that had fallen to his or her country was quite justified, and that they could therefore force it to adopt the requisite specialization.
The problem with all of this is of course – now with a turn to Adam Smith – that the ‘invisible hand of the market’ is actually ‘the invisible handshake of corruption or the eminently audible boots of the military’.
Lipietz, Miracles and Mirages, pp. 16-17.”
I smiled weakly at Alain Lipietz’s sarcasm in the opening paragraph, because many Leftist commentators actually believe in physical conspiracies by cabal of capitalist bloated exploiters meeting as a secret government.
But my weak smile turned to head-shaking despair at Alain’s unfunny Leftist nonsense about the IH metaphor morphing into “the eminently audible boots of the military”.
That’s what happens when “Ricardo and the supporters of the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson theorem” are taken as the first and last word in economic analysis from a wholly imaginary world yth pronounced as fit for the real one.
Those who concede territorial understanding to the elegance of an argument and its ‘proofs’ to body of knowledge that is certainly examinable, but is much less certainly representative of the real world, allow Leftists to dominate a generation or more of opinion formers in public discourse that could help decide what might be done to help solve real problems affecting all of us.
Choosing between “Ricardo and the supporters of the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson theorem” and those Leftists who have bought into the attribution to Adam Smith of “the ‘invisible hand of the market’ myth” (another invention of Paul Samuelson’s) there is not much to choose from. Both are equally myopic.