Jean-Paul Fitoussi’s “Newspeak and Economic Theory: How We Are Being Talked To”: A Comment

6 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2023

See all articles by Richard Robb

Richard Robb

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA); Christofferson, Robb and Company

Date Written: June 26, 2023

Abstract

In the previous issue of this journal, Jean-Paul Fitoussi (JPF) argues that the impoverishment of language impoverishes thought and, in turn, democratic debate (Fitoussi 2022). He describes how a new vocabulary has canceled Keynesianism and left only neoclassical economic theory in its place. This comment makes two brief points in support of JPF’s thesis: First, a hundred years ago, many worried about modes of thought that were slipping away, as abstractions like rational choice overtook the kind of knowledge that resists quantification. That debate has receded into the past. Second, although behavioral economics and positive psychology appear to offer an alternative to rational choice as the singular way to understand our actions, they actually tighten its grip.

Keywords: Keynesianism, behavioral economics, rational choice, agency, the single thought

JEL Classification: E12, E7, B2

Suggested Citation

Robb, Richard, Jean-Paul Fitoussi’s “Newspeak and Economic Theory: How We Are Being Talked To”: A Comment (June 26, 2023). Capitalism & Society, Volume 17, Issue 1 (2023), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4489610

Richard Robb (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
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Christofferson, Robb and Company

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