Myths

I am currently listening to Mark Scouzen's excellent book The Big Three In Economics from Audible. In it he covers the history and philosophies off Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. It is a great primer on the basics of economic thinking over the last few hundred years and, certainly for me, clarifies a lot of ideas that underlie our modern view of the world.

What becomes apparent is that any prevailing economic view is a currently useful, working hypothesis rather than an absolute truth. However, in common with the other sciences and religion, there are those who would have you believe that what is being presented is the absolute truth. Not only is it the absolute truth but, unlike you, they understand it.

The trouble starts when those absolute truths start to fall apart, as they are in the world of economics at the moment. The perception that experts can be right all the time, be basing their comments on an absolute truth, and be deserving of our complete trust, is beginning to look more difficult to sustain by the day.

And yet we feel the need or ways of making sense of things. We feel the need of myths on which to hang our judgements. Maybe this will always be the case but maybe we should all resolve to admit that they are myths and not take them too seriously?