Posted To Billy Mitchell’s Blog 11/23/2017

You’re absolutely right, politicians and economists wallow in any number of unconscious and obsessively contentious dualisms that contain particles of truth and untruth, instead of integrating the truths in opposites to the point of greater unity and oneness. Integration of truths is the very process of Wisdom. Unconscious and obsessive contention is stupidity. The motto must be:

When in doubt integrate….and keep on integrating.


MPs and pols from every major country won’t pay any more attention to MMT, or only slightly more….unless you show their constituencies a better way that they are able to understand because it is elegantly simple. You have to engage large constituency’s self interests like students, the common man and the small to medium sized business community with a policy or policies that will obviously benefit them….directly and unambiguously. I’ve been telling Steve Keen for years that he’s preaching to the choir. His recent Patreon campaign is a step in the right direction, but his message is still way too complex and therefore won’t adequately communicate. MMT is right about money mechanics, but its message is also way above the heads of most people. You need a single concept and a set of policies that will show the above constituencies what’s in it for them, and/or if they’re open to it, what it can do for others, the system and the nation. Then you create and focus a mass social movement out of that concept and policies that is able to herd the entirety of the political apparatus toward their implementation. It worked for Ghandi, it worked for MLK, Jr. ….it can work for the money and economic systems.

dnm:  You need different packages for different audiences, one very simple set of ideas for the general public, one tailored to journalists, one for politicians, one for business leaders, and so on.

larry:  dnm, Bill doesn’t see marketing and the like as one of his strengths, possibly necessary to build a mass movement. He is an academic. His role as he has characterized it is to develop and put forward ideas and analyses and for others to engage in the other activities that may be necessary for general acceptance. Mosler has been trying as well as Kelton to change the minds of legislators. As receptive as Sanders has been to Kelton’s views, it is unclear whether he has taken her views completely on board. Mosler has said that his successes have been uneven, and he is something of a politician. So, it seems to me to be a tad unfair to expect Bill to be able to do everything. Building a mass movement is a quite specialized skill. What Bill has is his integrity. To me, this counts for a great deal.

Me:  @dnm and larry

You’re both right of course, and my comments are not to be considered a critique of Bill or anyone else. The fact remains however that a mass social movement is the correct vehicle for the political success of the various heterodox theories, and that would best be accomplished by an integration of the truths in each of them expressed in specific direct policies that every agent could easily perceive was in their self interest and was also attended by a resonantly humane and valid philosophical/psychological concept that they could easily go into agreement with.

dnm:  I broadly agree with your latest comment. One worry is that self-defined MMT groups end up spending >95% of their time preaching to the converted, in a best case scenario. In the worst case, the attempt to find a “valid philosophical/psychological concept” that all can agree on consumes all available resources. Ideological purity is the enemy of practical results.

Me:  @dnm

“In the worst case, the attempt to find a “valid philosophical/psychological concept” that all can agree on consumes all available resources.”

Well yes, but looking at the expressed goals and policy suggestions of the various heterodox movements of MMT, Keen’s Minsky Instability/Disequilibrium theory, Michael Hudson’s Financial Parasitism, Ellen Brown’s Public Banking and the handful of monetary reform movements….an underlying conceptual thread can be discerned. And along with other policy extensions and innovations, I’ve spent the last several years doing an exegesis of that common thread concept. So for the most part that effort has already been done.


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