MMT: East & West

The previous post (Realizing your career is a sham!) provides an intro and a link to the first hour of my interview/podcast with Jeff Epstein for his Activist MMT blog. This first hour was mostly biographical. The second hour of the podcast was concerned with conventional economics, MMT, and Islamic economics. Jeff provides a brief abstract of the talk as follows:

Today, Professor Zaman first talks about what Islamic Economics is, how it compares to MMT, and how mainstream economics makes Islamic Economics impossible. He then describes why money is not neutral – and what the concept of neutrality means. We end by discussing the nature of the necessary revolution in economics, as difficult as it: will be especially in the United States. We fight not because we will win but because, if we are to have a chance at remaining an organized species and society, then there is no other choice.

I would like to clarify some ambiguities in the above abstract. “mainstream economics makes Islamic economics impossible”. What I meant to say was that mainstream economics (as well as heterodoxy) is based on the secular modern mindset, according to which life is about pursuit of pleasure, power, and profits. Islam teaches us that every human being is infinitely precious, and has unlimited capabilities of excellence. The job of an economic system is not to maximize wealth or pleasure, but to enable all human beings to strive for excellence by developing the capabilities they have been given. An Islamic economic system is founded on cooperation, generosity, and social responsibility, in contrast to the cut-throat competition, greed, and individualist hedonism that are at the heart of the survival-of-the-fittest jungle which economics imagines society to be. However Islam differs from other Utopian visions in stressing process over outcomes — that is, we concerned with the struggle for achieving these ideals, and not whether or not they are actually realized. For more details, see What is Islamic Economics?

With this much as intro, here is the link to the second hour of the podcast: Win or Lose: MMT is on the side of the Angels.

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