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Nevanlinna, Tuomas

Helsingin Sanomat

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Helsingin Sanomat - Finland | 26/08/2010

Tuomas Nevanlinna on how the economy works

Philosopher Tuomas Nevanlinna reflects on the workings of the economy in the daily Helsingin Sanomat: "Ultimately speaking, what is the growth of wealth based on? How is it measured? And aren't all measuring instruments relative? ... Marx's Das Kapital is practically the only book ... that even deals with these questions. Yet it seems no one is interested any more in the metaphysics of value that it expounds. ... In self-assured models of economic policy it is assumed that the economy is a machine that can be operated either correctly or incorrectly. But the economy is not merely an instrument. It is a sensitive entity based on expectations, confidence and an unpredictable international web of interaction. ... It is true that the economy is not a process regulated by natural forces, and that it is steered by the soldiers of the major powers, the lobbyists and lawyers of the big companies. Nevertheless the economy is not merely governed by volition, and financial management can also be loused up. In addition market forces have the power to reduce radical reforms to nought. Of course that happens as a result of political action. And yet it happens. I get the feeling people should start reading Das Kapital again."

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