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Ask the Patriarch 110
Agnostic Economics

from Matthew C

To open a discussion on this article, please use the contact page to provide your comments.


I recently found your website and like your stance on political issues.

I'm currently a college student at N_____ University, enrolled in a course about Global Economics. My professor M. S_____ A___ (if you google him, he will come up on jihadwatch.org and various other sites) is making us read his book which we undoubtably will need to cite on our final exam.

Could you recommend any books on the global economy with an agnostic/apathetic point of view? Something similar to the article about the cartoons from Denmark would be excellent. Thank you in advance for your time, and I will continue to browse your site.

The Patriarch replies:


For publication I have disguised your details somewhat. It may not help your marks if your professor were to become aware that you question what he is teaching.

There are two types of economics - real world economics where conclusions are reached from analysis and evaluation of all the facts - and pretend economics in which the facts are selected to fit one's beliefs, and non-confirming facts ignored. The left is guiltier of pretend economics than the right; but the right is not incapable of playing the game. Given that the author of the text you cite describes himself as a crusader against 'Eurocentrist' explanations of underdevelopment, then in my view you are dealing with pretend economics - the viewpoint is established before the data is examined.

I don't think religion is necessarily the basis if your professor's bias, it is more that element of the left wing that is anti-capitalist, anti-colonialist, and anti-West.

You asked for global economic textbooks from an agnostic point of view. To my knowledge there are no economics texts with a specifically agnostic view. From another viewpoint, all good economic texts are agnostic in that they do not assign a role in Economics to any deity.

As a specific text which would be a counter to the one you have been assigned, I would suggest David Landes' The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. New York: W.W. Norton. 1998.

Best wishes