Monday, June 28, 2010

On orthodoxy (amv)

Great statement by Harry G. Johnson, in The Keynesian Revolution and the Monetarist Counter-Revolution, The American Economic Review, Vol. 61, No. 2, Papers and Proceedings of the Eighty-Third Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (May, 1971), pp. 1-14:
Orthodoxy is, of course, always vulnerable to radical challenge: the essence of an orthodoxy of any kind is to reduce the subtle and sophisticated thoughts of great men to a set of simple principles and straightforward slogans that more mediocre brains can think they understand well enough to live by- but for that very reason orthodoxy is most vulnerable to challenge when its principles and slogans are demonstrably in conflict with the facts of everyday experience.