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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 8 / 2012 (573)

Political macroeconomics

„Macroeconomics contaminates its principles in subordination to the societal contingent, in a way, creating states of coerced generality by contextualising the truth and circumstantiating the solutions through the adjustment of hypotheses.”

A few elements blur the epistemic perception of Economics: the hegemonic position of Macroeconomics in interpreting phenomena, the substitution of Microeconomics with company management, the methodological principle of financiarisation, the prevalence of the short-term analytical perspective, the compartmentalisation of the explanation for the human behaviour into transactional medium and other parts. The consequences of the conceptual positioning on these elements are found in the manner in which Economics explains the mechanisms which satisfy the expectations on the finality of the function of economic action.

Of all the characteristic elements of the epistemic state of Economics, the most visible are the ones of the extended explicative model of Macroeconomics. The political vicinity of the theses of Macroeconomics generates streams of information - bearing the substance of interests - unfiltered by the principle of rationality, which imbues the assertions with the fluid load of the assumptions.

Methodologically speaking, Macroeconomics contaminates its principles in subordination to the societal contingent, in a way, creating states of coerced generality by contextualising the truth and circumstantiating the solutions through the adjustment of hypotheses. The cause is represented by the particularity of the theoretical intercession of Macroeconomics, its structuring on two planes: an eminently scientific one, of rationalizing the solutions, and another of political consistency, of applying the solutions.

The fault line between thought and action is unavoidable, given the specific targets of each plane: of rationality in the case of Macroeconomics and of emotion in the case of politics. In a troubling manner, the values centred on economic efficiency are split by the fault line from those centred on political efficiency. On one side, that of economic theory, matters the argument ruled by the rational calculus, while on the other side, that of politics, the pressure of representation demands estimations of opportunity on obtaining the power of decision.

The goals are not only materially different, but also in tension on their principles, to the point of having reciprocal exclusion behaviours. With no path for conciliation either in form or in essence, Macroeconomics and Politics still coexist on a plane where they betray their own functions in a manner germinated by the will for power. As a science, Macroeconomics obeys the Baconian aim of being a potential power. This very perspective confers politics with the manipulative support for connecting the scientific potentiality to the intrinsic mechanisms of the administration of power. And this is happening with no obtaining and administrating power.

There is no doubt that the usual similarities of language are deceiving. For instance, in the case of Macroeconomics we have pure costs of transaction, in the sense of obtaining property, while in the case of politics we have transfer costs for symbols, as a process for delegating the function of managing liberties. The transfer costs displace the rationality of the transaction costs per se, or in other words the goal of the political plane obscures the goal of the economical plane, even perverting it to a state of disposable appendix. More precisely, the transfer cost of managing freedoms sets the rule for the inter-individual arrangements and assumes the gains entirely.

The inversion of rationality at a macroeconomic level is a phenomenon turned commonplace when the actional complex is judged by the performance parameters sought by the transfer costs of the right to decide. The cyclicity in the performance of the inter-individual transfer of power is not a consequence of economic behaviour. The duration of the cycle is aleatory and independent of economic reason.

The theme of the political cycle has an area of economic resonance only in the field of regulating the governance of the economy. Otherwise, the exercise of power reduces the position of economic thought to the production of alternative solutions. With an experience sharpened by history, Economics contributes a third to the total of economic reality: identifying the solutions. The other thirds - the implementation and the reaping of results -being the attribute of Politics.

The constitutive dichotomy between Macroeconomics and Politics seems overcome across historical practice not because independence is epistemically inconsistent, but because the intellectual exercise was proven withdrawn, even obedient in the face of the political exercise. The servitude of Macroeconomics has become commonplace, complicating its objective functions especially at critical times, as it has been demonstrated from 2007 since.

Macroeconomics per se remains a valid epistemic scheme, except that it does not play its role on any real stage. What we see is the travesty of politics into a prolonged macroeconomic monologue. The two plains of the theoretical intercession of Macroeconomics are, in the end, the formula for obscuring its captivity in the black hole of Politics.


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Political macroeconomics
Marin Dinu

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The Economicity. The Epistemic Landscape, Marin Dinu, 2016

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