Search This Blog

Friday, March 1, 2019

Less John Maynard Keynes ! Russia bans text as it lacks patriotism !!

How good were you in studies and did you study Economic in college with interest ! ~ do you like working long hours in Office, idling time, enjoying your time socializing or spending more time with our loved ones than in making money, - what are our priorities and who set them  ?  Back in 1930, John Maynard Key predicted that the working week would be drastically cut, to perhaps 15 hours a week, with people choosing to have far more leisure as their material needs were satisfied. The world was then gripped by a dreadful slump but in the long run Keynes was sure mankind was solving its economic problems.  More than a hundred years have passed by, and the younger generation works, sleeps and lives in Office !!

In the colonial ear, there was ‘India Office’,  a British government department established in London in 1858 to oversee the administration, through a Viceroy and other officials, of the Provinces of British India. Upon the partition of British India in 1947 into the two new independent dominions of India and Pakistan, the India Office was closed down.  In October 1906, Keynes's Civil Service career began as a clerk in the India Office.  He enjoyed his work at first, but by 1908 had become bored and resigned his position to return to Cambridge and work on probability theory, at first privately funded only by two dons at the university – his father and the economist Arthur Pigou.

The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money of 1936 is the last and most important book by the English economist John Maynard Keynes. It created a profound shift in economic thought, giving macroeconomics a central place in economic theory and contributing much of its terminology– the "Keynesian Revolution". It had equally powerful consequences in economic policy, being interpreted as providing theoretical support for government spending in general, and for budgetary deficits, monetary intervention and counter-cyclical policies in particular. It is pervaded with an air of mistrust for the rationality of free-market decision making.   Keynes denied that an economy would automatically adapt to provide full employment even in equilibrium, and believed that the volatile and ungovernable psychology of markets would lead to periodic booms and crises.

John Maynard Keynes, 1st Baron Keynes,  CB FBA [1883 – 1946] was a British economist whose ideas fundamentally changed the theory and practice of macroeconomics and the economic policies of governments. He built on and greatly refined earlier work on the causes of business cycles, and was one of the most influential economists of the 20th century. Widely considered the founder of modern macroeconomics, his ideas are the basis for the school of thought known as Keynesian economics, and its various offshoots.  During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Keynes spearheaded a revolution in economic thinking, challenging the ideas of neoclassical economics that held that free markets would, in the short to medium term, automatically provide full employment, as long as workers were flexible in their wage demands. He argued that aggregate demand (total spending in the economy) determined the overall level of economic activity, and that inadequate aggregate demand could lead to prolonged periods of high unemployment. Keynes advocated the use of fiscal and monetary policies to mitigate the adverse effects of economic recessions and depressions. In the mid to late-1930s, leading Western economies adopted Keynes's policy recommendations. Almost all capitalist governments had done so by the end of the two decades following Keynes's death in 1946.

The early stage of the Keynesian Revolution took place in the years following the publication of Keynes' General Theory in 1936. It saw the neoclassical understanding of employment replaced with Keynes' view that demand, and not supply, is the driving factor determining levels of employment. With that lengthy background, read this news item titled -   ‘Less Keynes, More Love: Russian Economics Textbook Pulled For Not Praising The Motherland’ !!

A textbook on economics has been banned from use in Russian schools after an expert review deemed it lacking in patriotism, its author told RFE/RL.  Igor Lipsits, a professor at the Faculty of Business and Management at Moscow's Higher School of Economics, said that he received an e-mail from his publisher Vita-Press with instructions to edit the book in line with an expert review ordered by the Russian Education Academy, a government body focused on pedagogy. The high-school text had been removed from the Education Ministry's list of approved textbooks, Lipsits was told, meaning Russian schools can no longer purchase and use the title in classes.  The expert review, a copy of which was provided to RFE/RL by Lipsits, notes that "the examples cited [in the book] do not promote love for the Motherland."

In its e-mail dated February 1, which Lipsits forwarded to RFE/RL, Vita-Press recommended that the author add details about unspecified "plans for the next economic breakthrough" and discuss the influence of the government's import substitution -- a campaign launched after Russia embargoed certain food imports in response to Western sanctions - - on people's "sense of pride in the country." Vita-Press head Lyudmila Antonova confirmed in an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant that the recommendations included in the letter came at least in part from the expert review. What exactly "facilitating love for the Motherland" involved, or when the next economic breakthrough was expected, was not made clear.

Lipsits said that the textbook had previously passed expert reviews by two government bodies, but the subsequent review ordered by the Education Ministry reached a negative verdict and demanded that revisions are made. The Russian Education Academy told Kommersant that the Education Ministry was responsible for the expert analysis. The ministry, for its part, denied involvement in the final review. Lipsits said he has no intention of adding "gleeful words about an economic boom and patriotic fervor in favor of import substitution.""I've become unused to writing such things in the 25 years" since the Soviet Union ended, he told Kommersant, "and I'm not keen to revive my skills at windbaggery."

"My conception of patriotism was formed way back in my youth," he later wrote on Facebook. "  Since 2012, the Russian Education Ministry has overseen a campaign to censor high-school textbooks and introduce stricter controls over their content. Enlightenment, a publisher with ties to Putin's inner circle, emerged with a near-monopoly over the textbook market that it continues to enjoy today.  In May 2018, Russian Textbook, a nonprofit representing textbook publishers, sent an open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin signed by several dozen authors. The association lists around 30 publishers as its members, but does not include Enlightenment. In the letter, the authors criticized the government's expert review process, pointing out that the federal textbook list has not been renewed for over four years and most titles on the list have not been updated since 2012.

Concluding its e-mail to Lipsits, the publisher Vita-Press predicted that the Education Ministry's demands from textbook authors would only get stricter in the future.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
11th Feb 2019.
Pic credit : financial express
Article credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment