An Inquiry into a Dark Mystery in the History of the Monetary Theory of Production: What Went Wrong with the Early Contribution of Joan Robinson
In their introduction to the book in honour of Augusto Graziani, Arena and Salvadori (2004) emphasise his paramount contribution to the rehabilitation of history of economic thought. For too many years since the advent of so-called ‘mainstream-orthodox economics’, studying great economists of the past (before the advent) has been jeopardised by two interwined commitments. On one hand, it is scorned by mainstreamers because it is a waste of time to be interested in pre-scientific writers. They could only be saved if it could be proven that there are some neoclassical roots helping their reinterpretation within the framework of some standard model. On the other hand, it has been progressively turned into a pure historical field of research without any impact on the building of a positive alternate scientific programme that is to be substituted for the mainstream economics. History of economic thought has become the ‘refuge’ for dissenters who disagree with orthodoxy but, for whatever reason, believe that conceiving a true general theory, free from the methodological and ideological somewhat hidden postulates of mainstreamers, is beyond the possibility of the human mind. From both those perspectives, the search for a genuine precursor of contemporary Monetary Theory of Production (MTP) would be a vain or academic exercise. Both are denied by Graziani’s (2003) specific interpretation of the history of economic thought.
KeywordsIncome Arena Vinced
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