The Research Protocols of Economics, the Ironies That Result from Them, and Other Preliminaries
By the end of the twentieth century, if not earlier, economics could be seen as science, as political and moral philosophy, as ideological self-projection by the people of the Euro-American nations and their way of earning a living, as both derived from and generally reinforcing the existing structure of power, privilege, and so on. The terms “science,” “political and moral philosophy,” and “ideological self-projection” each has a wide array of meanings. Language is a political phenomenon. Certainly such is the case with the term “the invisible hand.” Each effort at definition is, in one way or another, an attempt to influence, for purposes of policy making, the definition of reality – the social belief system – by which we understand and, often unwittingly, socially reconstruct the economic world. The essays comprising this book are an attempt to make sense of a concept – the invisible hand – widely used in the corresponding plethora of assertion, argument, and controversy. A great deal is involved in this literature, much of which is rarely understood to constitute social control.
In light of this, it is fair to say that the nature, meaning, and significance of the concept of the invisible hand arise within the social construction, practice, and enforcement by strategically positioned economists. Certain research protocols are enforced that control (1) the scope of economics, (2) the way in which the economy is dealt with, and (3) how economic research is undertaken. Several ironies that have arisen in this situation must also be understood. As matters turned out, very little of all this derives from actual economies. Much more important is what strategically placed economists opine and enforce in regards to how economics is to be organized and controlled.