Not only is economics as currently taught not a science, it isn’t social either. Margaret Thatcher famously claimed that “there is no such thing as society” and mainstream economics works from exactly the same assumption – for mainstream economists society is simply the aggregation, the adding together, of millions of individual economic actors and actions. All of these actors are assumed to be “rational” – a word which economists also use in a way that reflects their own prejudices – a purely calculating and narrowly self interested mentality focused on short and long run material gratification, whose relationship to other economic actors is intrinsically competitive. Thus ‘rational economic man’ has no emotion, is part of no social psychological processes involving mutual influence, common hopes, beliefs and fears, no mutual support, no group or common class interests. Instead ‘rational economic man’ is a calculating machine, focused on maximising his satisfactions or “utility”.As a model of what human beings are generally like this is crazy – it is more than a simplification, it is a distortion. It is a view that is blind to the different layers of our psyche, to our complexity and to the oft conflicted way in which we behave. Indeed it rules out the very sides of human behaviour that are pro-social and co-operative.
Read the whole post at The Energy Bulletin, Economics is not a social science by Brian Davey
This is a well-reasoned argument and devastating critique of economics based on narrow methodological individualism. Good reasons, too, why economics will never be "scientific."