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The Purpose Of Economics Is To Camouflage Imperialism

Summary:
Mainstream bourgeois economics which is what occupies a hegemonic position in the academic world today is often criticized for being “unreal”, for proceeding on the basis of assumptions that obviously do not correspond to reality. This criticism however, though valid, does not capture its real intent, which is to serve as a means of camouflaging imperialism. The theoretical content of mainstream bourgeois economics is to advance a set of propositions about the functioning of capitalism which deny any need for, and hence any role of, imperialism in capitalist development. Since imperialism has in fact been a crucial element in the functioning of capitalism, these propositions, needless to say, are “unreal”; but simply underscoring their “unreal” character is not enough. This “unreal”

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Mainstream bourgeois economics which is what occupies a hegemonic position in the academic world today is often criticized for being “unreal”, for proceeding on the basis of assumptions that obviously do not correspond to reality. This criticism however, though valid, does not capture its real intent, which is to serve as a means of camouflaging imperialism. The theoretical content of mainstream bourgeois economics is to advance a set of propositions about the functioning of capitalism which deny any need for, and hence any role of, imperialism in capitalist development. Since imperialism has in fact been a crucial element in the functioning of capitalism, these propositions, needless to say, are “unreal”; but simply underscoring their “unreal” character is not enough. This “unreal” character serves a purpose; and this fact must not be missed.

Prabhat Patnaik, Economics And Imperialism

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