There are certain novels that can shape a teenage boy's life. For some, it's Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged; for others it's Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. As a widely quoted internet meme says, the unrealistic fantasy world portrayed in one of those books can warp a young man's character forever; the other book is about orcs.Ok, that's a little bit funny, but in reality Atlas Shrugged, one of the most popular and highly acclaimed books in human history, is a tale of a struggle to be free. Yes, those people who are struggling have made alot of money for themselves, but nonetheless, 16 year-olds the world over are able to see the heroism inherent in a free mind in spite of the class warfare they have been marinated in since kindergarten. An economist who cannot say a kind word about this novel should raise a few red flags. Interestingly he links to another guardian page with a single review of the book. Surprise, surprise, they didn't like it.
The Foundation itself seems to recapitulate a fair bit of American history, passing through Boss Tweed politics and Robber Baron-style plutocracyThe emphasis here is mine. What serious economist uses the term "Robber Baron"?
Yet if the Foundation books are a tale of prophecy fulfilled, it's a very bourgeois version of prophecy.And "bourgeois"? Seriously, it appeared twice.
economics is, after all, largely about greed, while other social sciences have to deal with more complex emotions.And here we come to the essence of the man who has been very influential in guiding the policies - enforced at gunpoint - which are intended to scientifically and magnanimously guide us to the promised land of wealth, health and prosperity for all. He sees your quest to maximize your subjective self interest as nothing more honorable or complex than greed, and he doesn't even know you. What you choose to buy, eat, wear, drive, watch and read - and at what price - are simple matters for the economic scientist of tomorrow.
Admittedly, I have made nothing here but ad hominem attacks, but in the realm of economics, a field far from the certainty and consensus of the physical sciences, it pays to understand the ideology of the shaman offering you the cure.