Friday, March 27, 2015

History of thinking

Once commissioned a Saturday Night article from me
Prospect -- the leading magazine of ideas, it says -- has picked the world's top fifty thinkers. Thin on Canadians. though the only one, Naomi Klein, ranks number three. Pretty thin on historians too: Christopher Clark, recent historian of the First World War, and Linda Colley, historian of Britishness, scrape in near the bottom, and that is about it.

As Clark and Colley suggest, Prospect is British, and though the list is pretty global, there is a good sprinkling of "famous in London" types.  The fifty were chosen by a vote of readers, and they must be kinda lefty -- and a little unconventional. Russell Brand is number four? I loved Get Him to the Greek, but come on!

Number one is Thomas Piketty, go figure. Two is Yanis Varoufakis, the economist in the leather jacket from the new Greek government, and five is Paul Krugman.

Update,April 4: Tom Bergbusch writes:
It has to be noted that Varoufakis is notable, among many other achievements, for having utterly demolished Piketty’s theories, which deliberately conflate capital and wealth!   Other progressive economists, including Varoufakis’s frequent collaborator, James Galbraith, and Michael Hudson have seconded Varoufakis’s argument, which details neatly the history of economic thought.

In case you are interested, I attach Varoufakis’s article (one can skip the equations), and [...] Hudson’s piece..
Piketty is unfashionable already?  That was fast!

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