My letter to the Societies for the History of Economics [the SHOE list]

Now sent. Here is the background.

I’ve had another look at the problem raised by the Committee where they discussed their concern and acknowledged our “special responsibility, as historians of economics, to educate ourselves and others about the roles played by racism, colonialism and other forms of bias in shaping the concepts, practices, agendas and professional institutions of economists and social scientists throughout history.” I am even beginning to warm to this notion myself in the fixation among historians of economics with dead white European males [defined here:,ingrained%20into%20Western%20education

On further reflection, there may be a very important upside to this re-examination of our area of study. Let me look in particular at this fellow Karl Marx. There’s a dead white European male if ever there was one. Why aren’t he and all of his writings now being completely excised from our classrooms, our textbooks and from our scholarly journals? How should economists, and social theorists generally, deal with such an individual along with his close associate Fredrich Engels? Take this article, and there are many others like it:

“Marx and Engels’s theory of history: making sense of the race factor” [ ]. Here’s the abstract:

This article argues that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels’s theory of history contained racist components. In Marx and Engels’s understanding, racial disparities emerged under the influence of shared natural and social conditions hardening into heredity and of the mixing of blood. They racialized skin-colour groups, ethnicities, nations and social classes, while endowing them with innate superior and inferior character traits. They regarded race as part of humanity’s natural conditions, upon which the production system rested. ‘Races’ endowed with superior qualities would boost economic development and productivity, while the less endowed ones would hold humanity back. Marxist race thinking reflected common Lamarckian and Romantic-Nationalist assumptions of the era.

Surely Karl Marx and his associate Fredrich Engels must now be immediately and completely removed from the study of economics and the history of economics.

2 thoughts on “My letter to the Societies for the History of Economics [the SHOE list]

  1. Pingback: My letter to the Societies for the History of Economics [the SHOE list] - The Rabbit Hole

  2. When SHOE puts their ideas on the other shoe, then they’ll realise how stupid political correctness is.
    Jesus is not politically correct yet He is still without sin… what does that tell you about the validity of PC?!?

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