Raghuram Rajan ‘reviews’ Thomas Piketty’s new book, ‘Capital and Ideology’ in The Financial Times. Old Socialist comments

Who better than Raghuram Rajan, formerly of the  Reserve Bank of India, and The University of Chicago Booth School to ‘review’ Piketty’s latest book.  Rajan a contemporary iteration of a ‘Chicago Boy’? The record of Chicago Boys and Bankers is/are well established! Not to speak of record of The Financial Times.

In the world view of the defenders of ‘Capital’ , any critique of that, what to call it?, the inexorable frame of the whole of human existence on Earth? is in need of an antidote to even the slightest expression of critical apostasy.

Compare the short review of Piketty’s Capital in 2014 in The Economist:

Headline: Thomas Piketty’s “Capital”, summarised in four paragraphs

Sub-headline: A very brief summary of “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”

It is the economics book that took the world by storm. Capital in the Twenty-First Century, written by the French economist Thomas Piketty, was published in French in 2013 and in English in March 2014. The English version quickly became an unlikely bestseller, and it prompted a broad and energetic debate on the book’s subject: the outlook for global inequality. Some reckon it heralds or may itself cause a pronounced shift in the focus of economic policy, toward distributional questions. The Economist hailed Professor Piketty as “the modern Marx” (Karl, that is). But what is his book all about?


In the ‘Book Club’ section of The Economist, R.A., in London, provided a chapter by chapter ‘Reading’ of ‘Capital’:








I printed a copy of each of the parts of The Economist’s ‘Reading’ of ‘Capital’, and still have it next to my computer, as I write. What would drive the editors of this publication to write an ideologically freighted ‘review’ summery in four paragraphs, call this an utterly reductive caricature, even polemic, and then publish an extensive ‘Reading’ subsequent to that, which consisted in a chapter by chapter presentation on Capital?

The reader is assured by  Mr. Rajan that Piketty’s new book, in its English translation, is over 1,000 pages long. It appears, that that thousand pages has been granted approximately 1,787 words of reply, from Mr. Rajan. The Economist in its ‘Reading’ at the least treated Piketty, as if he were worthy of a substantive evaluation/critique. Even after their insulting four paragraph polemic, calculated to appeal to their reactionary readership!

Should the Neo-Liberals, who were the authors of the 2008 Market Collapse, and its issue ‘The Gig Economy’- the Chicago Boys coterie, who exported that Economic/Political poison to Chile, remain unquestioned for their catastrophic ideological toxicity. Mr. Rajan, in this review, acts as a surrogate of those misbegotten ‘technocrats’.

Old Socialist





About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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