Lonergan on Economic Cycles and the Communal Promise

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According to Matthew McNatt, who posted this lecture series to the P2P Research Clusters Facebook group: “Lonergan's economics offers an explanation for and ‘reasoned way to modulate Kondratiev wave cycles, so this Fordham Lecture Series is also of potential interest to anyone who studies historical cycles.’”

Fordham Lecture Series

1. “This Is Worth a Life

McShane begins by quoting Stephen McKenna, who, when he discovered Plotinus and pondered the possibility of translating the Greek into English, said “This is worth a life.” He then introduces the challenge of identifying the basic variables of economics as an empirical science, providing examples from the emergence of the elementary sciences.

2. Reading the Basic Diagram

McShane lectures on the basic variables and basic diagram of Lonergan’s Economics at Fordham University, January 2000.

3. Identifying Exchange Functions

McShane lectures on identifying exchange functions in a static economy at Fordham University, January 2000

4. Distinguishing Levels and Flows in a Static Economy

McShane lectures on distinguishing levels and flows in a static economy at Fordham University, January 2000.

5. What is Economic Control?

McShane lectures on economic control at Fordham University, January 2000.

6. The Relationship Between CWL 15 and CWL 21

McShane discusses the relationship between Lonergan’s writing efforts in the early 1940s and his later teaching and writing efforts in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

7. The Redistributive Function

McShane lectures on the distributive function and exchanges that are not immediately productive, e.g. mergers, buying/selling houses, buying and selling

8. Seeing Manhattan, Systems, and Systematics

McShane lectures on the challenge of reading the “baseball diagram” into Manhattan and discusses the possibility of a systematics economics.

9. Investments, Savings, and Credit

McShane lectures on the fundamental meaning of credit and examines the claim that savings are equal to investments.

10. Microeconomic Autonomy

McShane proposes that in good time there will be local economic advisors and democratic control of local economies. He contrasts this with “unenlightened” government creation of jobs.

11. Money, Credit, and Communal Promise

McShane speaks about the non orthodox meanings of money as a dummy and credit as a communal promise.

12. Education in the Axial Period {Unlisted}

McShane speaks about rewriting grade school textbooks, efficient metaphysics, linguistics, musicology, and dance in the transition to a “third stage of meaning.”

13. Reading For a New Political Economy (CWL 21)

McShane elaborates on the challenge of reading classic texts and then contrasts the struggle to understand For a New Political Economy (CWL 21) with simple-minded nominalism. He mentions his own eager efforts at a young age to reach up to Chopin’s meaning and notes that a similar effort with another classic, be it a concerto by Mozart, a painting by Cezanne, or the economics analysis of Lonergan, invites reverence and humility.