[PeDAGoG] CORE (Curriculum Open-access Resources in Economics)

Christine Dann christine at horomaka.org
Sat Jun 25 22:37:52 CEST 2022

Kia ora tatou

I wonder if it is possible for /any/ economics curriculum to be 
satisfactory. In Bruno Latour's view (see the quotes from/After Lockdown 
Metamorphosis/, 2021, below) 'economics'  is an invention which has been 
and is still imposed with force. It obscures reality at best, and 
destroys it at worst.

It was interesting to see in the philanthropy article which Christian 
provided the link to that 'philanthropy' now includes creating 
pro-capitalist propaganda. This reinforces Latour's point that a lot of 
work has gone and continues to go into creating the pseudo-reality of 
'economics' and the Economy. It can be 'soft' work, like the creation of 
'philanthropic' propaganda; or 'hard' work, like the murder of 
indigenous people and their supporters trying to prevent further 
'economic' extraction of the life of their lands, and the minerals 
beneath them.

It is still heretical these days to say that the Economy is not real, 
and we should focus on what is, and stop aiming to grow the Economy 
until it has devoured the Earth and all on it. It has been heretical for 
50 years now, since the /Limits to Growth/ report was published in 1972, 
and a very small new party in a very small new-ish state (the New 
Zealand Values Party) put out an election manifesto with two key 
policies - Zero Economic Growth and Zero Population Growth. I don't know 
of any political party which has been so bold since - and you probably 
all know the connections between economic and population growth and how 
problematic both are these days. Also the connections with fossil fuel 
extraction and use.

If I were a teenager today and had a choice between studying economics 
in a classroom or learning gardening in a community garden, I know what 
the smart choice would be.


p 59 “This time round, it’s not just a matter of improving, changing, 
greening or revolutionising the ‘economic’ system, but of /completely 
doing without the Economy./”

p 60 “/Homo oeconomicus /has nothing native, natural or autochthonous 
about him, as we’ve long known. Strictly speaking, he comes from on high 
… /from the top down/, and not at all from ordinary practical 
experience, /from the ground up/, from the relationships that lifeforms 
maintain with other lifeforms.”

p 60 “For the Economy to expand … as the bedrock of all possible life on 
earth, an enormous amount of infrastructure building is required to 
impose it as an obvious fact against the dogged resistance put up by the 
most common experience in reaction to such violent colonisation.”

p 61 [Without this infrastructure] “no one would ever have invented 
‘individuals’ capable of a selfishness drastic enough, constant enough, 
consistent enough to not ‘owe anyone anything’ and to see all others as 
‘aliens’ and all life forms as ‘resources’. Beneath the evidence of a 
native, primal Economy lie three centuries of economisation….” [this 
preliminary embedding requires extreme violence]

p 62 [In order not to stay in the economisation trap, the way out 
proposed by Duzan Kazik] “… consists in /never agreeing/ to say of any 
subject whatever that ‘it has an economic dimension’! Bowing to that 
dimension … always boils down to suggesting that, on the one hand, there 
is a profound, essential, vital reality – the economic situation – but 
that on the other hand, we could nonetheless, if we had the time, take 
‘other dimensions’ into account – social, moral, political dimensions 
and even, why not, if there’s anything left over, an ‘ecological 
dimension’… Well, reasoning accordingly means giving the Economy a 
material reality it doesn’t have, and lending a hand to a power that 
trickles down from on high.”

pp 74 - 75 “As soon as you describe a territory the right way round, you 
feel in your bones why the Economy could not be realistic or 
materialistic …. Embracing the Economy means interrupting the resumption 
of interactions by inventing beings who won’t have to account for 
themselves on the pretext that they’re autonomous individuals whose 
limits are protected by an exclusive right of ownership.”

On 25/06/22 06:21, Steven J. Klees wrote:
> Dear Christian,
> The CORE curriculum is an improvement over standard approaches in 
> economics departments but it is fundamentally neoclassical.  It moves 
> away from neoliberalism but is firmly ensconced in a liberal view of 
> markets and capitalism.  Putting lipstick on a pig is, to me, an 
> appropriate characterization.  Check out the attached New Yorker article.
> Best,
> Steve
> On Fri, Jun 24, 2022 at 12:58 PM Christian Stalberg 
> <cstalberg at mymail.ciis.edu> wrote:
>     Sharing this resource. Would love to hear reactions. My kneejerk
>     response was that this is simply putting lipstick on a pig (the
>     pig being the systemic structural violence of capitalism).
>     https://www.core-econ.org/
>     …oh and if you would like to know where this initiative got its
>     start, read this
>     https://www.philanthropy.com/article/thinking-anew-about-capitalism
>     <https://www.philanthropy.com/article/thinking-anew-about-capitalism>
>     Thank you in advance for your interest and attention!
>     __
>     Christian Stalberg
>     Doctoral Student
>     Anthropology & Social Change
>     CIIS, San Francisco, CA
>     /"I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am
>     changing the things I cannot accept." - Angela Davis/
>     /“What is it that we can do that addresses whatever the problem
>     is, rather than what it is that we’re trying to get somebody else
>     to do.” – Alice Lynd/
>     /“//It’s better to die for an idea that is going to live than to
>     live for an idea that is going to die.” – Steve Biko///
>     /“We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but so did
>     the divine right of kings.” - Ursula K. Le Guin/
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