Scanning Amazon as I do when I'm not on a forum I saw another undercover economist book has been published, I've always been interested by the undercover economist, I tend to find that his writing boils down to the simple assertion that individuals are always rational, always logical and always maximising their individual self-interest some how, if it doesnt appear so then you got to examine things further and you'll find its the case.
I know people who really lap up those books and really find it all so amazing, they interest me but I've got to say that at the very least I'm skeptical, I actually prefered a sidelined book called The Undercover Philosopher, even if it seriously rocked a lot of my certainty in spirituality, philosophy and ideology, because it had a much more questioning orientation.
Anyway, it made me think, I know that for most libertarians the idea is a done deal, economics is more than science, its uber science, no doubts will be brooked and where they exist its all the lies and scheming of the detested poor or maniacal, conceited socialists. What about everyone else?
The romantics detested political economy at its inception as "the dismal science", they thought it was reductive and simplistic, while early conservatives, the sort that attacked "the machine age" not the present day aberrations, thought it was simply the ideology of industrialists and shopkeepers, while Marx called it the "economic shit" (sometimes translated as "filth" but one of his best biographers Francis Wheen has said it was literally shit, he hated economics, shared the conservative critiques of it and prefered journalism, correspondence and the literary assaults of novelists like Balzac on illusions about social class to anything else) and JS Mill had an early life crisis when he realised the limits of markets and the other institutions he fought so hard to defend.
What's your view? Does economics have a big impact on your world view or reckoning? Is it something you accept or are skeptical about? Is it art or science? Does it play second fiddle to politics either on the grandscale or micro-social-personal? For instance would you contribute to an office whip round when really you cant afford it because you feel group politik demands you do?
If you hate economics altogether what's your alternative?