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

Ashish Kothari ashishkothari at riseup.net
Sun Jun 26 12:35:57 CEST 2022

This is interesting, friends. Though, does it not depend on what 
definition of 'economics' we are accepting as legitimate? Its original 
meaning (from 'oikos' ... and therefore also linked to ecology) is 
'management of the home' ... so if ecology is put at the base 
('understanding the home') and we relate to the Earth our home in ways 
that reflect a deep understanding, is that not something humans have 
been doing forever?

So, do we accept the modernist westernised version of 'economics', or 
the much broader, deeper meaning of it ... do we discard it totally 
because it is badly corrupted/co-opted, or do we rescue it? This relates 
to one of my favourite pre-occupations, of understanding original 
meanings of words, and seeing if there is subversive/revolutionary 
potential in rescuing them, or are they so inextricably embedded in the 
system we are fighting against, that its best to abandon them and find 
alternatives? An eminently 'pedagogical' quest, I suppose.

And in that spirit, note that the term 'pedagogy', at least according to 
my laptop's inbuilt dictionary, comes from a v. dubious origin: 
"lateMiddle English: viaLatinfromGreekpaidagōgos, denoting a 
slavewhoaccompanieda child to school 
(frompais,paid-‘boy’+agōgos‘guide’)." I found this out to my utter 
chagrin /after /having suggested PeDAGoG (Post-Development 
Academic-Activist Global Group) as the acronym for this network!  So in 
this case, its not about rescuing the original meaning, but giving it a 
new, v. different, one! But sorry, let this observation not distract 
from the main topic of conversation here ... whether economics should or 
should not be in curricula, and it is should, waht should be its 
contours/substance (and /not /going further here into whether formal 
curricula should exist in the first place :):)


 Ashish Kothari

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On 26/06/22 2:08 pm, Aram Ziai wrote:
> Dear all,
> I agree and wanted to point out that Escobar has described already in 
> 95 economics as a cultural discourse imagining itself to be a 
> science... but also that the 'problem' of population growth is usually 
> focusing on poor people in the South (who use far far less resources 
> and emit far far less CO2 than the global middle class) and of course 
> on women (whose right to control their body is compromised) thus has 
> racist and sexist elements.
> Best
> Aram
> On 25.06.22 22:37, Christine Dann wrote:
>> 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.
>> Christine
>> 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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> -- 
> Prof. Dr. Aram Ziai
> Chair of Development and Postcolonial Studies
> Executive Director Global Partnership Network
> Faculty of Social Sciences
> University of Kassel
> Nora-Platiel-Str. 1
> 34109 Kassel
> Germany
> ++49 561 804-3023
> ziai at uni-kassel.de
> https://www.uni-kassel.de/fb05/en/fachgruppen/politikwissenschaft/department-for-development-and-postcolonial-studies.html
> https://www.uni-kassel.de/forschung/global-partnership-network/home/
> New video: Post-Development - Questioning the whole paradigm.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xsrK-XuSZZQ
> Open access article: Neocolonialism in the global economy of the 21st century: an overview, in: Momentum Quarterly 9 (3), 128-140. Open access:https://www.momentum-quarterly.org/ojs2/index.php/momentum/article/view/3478
> New edited volume: Beyond the master's tools? Decolonizing knowledge orders, research methods and teaching. London: Rowman & Littlefield (with Franziska Müller and Daniel Bendix)
> https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781786613592/Beyond-the-Master's-Tools-Decolonizing-Knowledge-Orders-Research-Methods-and-Teaching
> New edited volume:  The Development Dictionary @25: Post-Development and its consequences. London: Routledge.
> https://www.routledge.com/The-Development-Dictionary-25-Post-Development-and-its-consequences/Ziai/p/book/9781138323476
> Open access book: Development Discourse and Global History. From Colonialism to the Sustainable Development Goals. London: Routledge.
> https://www.routledge.com/Development-Discourse-and-Global-History-From-colonialism-to-the-sustainable/Ziai/p/book/9781138735132
> Open access article: Post-Development: Premature Burials and Haunting Ghosts. In: Development and Change 46 (4), 833-854.
> open access:http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dech.12177/full
> Open access article:  Post-development 25 years after The Development Dictionary, Third World Quarterly, 38:12, 2547-2558,https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2017.1383853
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