Circulating in the attention economy of the internets is this Austrian appropriation of the hiphop vernacular.

Moralist tone of the Hayekian critique of excessive borrowing aside, I find it quite interesting how the liberatory tinge of Hayek’s “I want to free the markets!” is made to contrast with Keynes’ “I want to steer the market”. In a sense, hiphop (an element of erstwhile element of alternative youth culture) and discourses of freedom are mobilized to support a particular economic ideology (and I am not using ideology in a merely pejorative sense). No doubt, underlying this freedom versus planning dichotomy is the ultimate normative bedrock of neoliberal creed: freedom of choice. Nevertheless in this particular context, it seems that our choices are truncated; they are limited to either steering the economy or freeing the economy. As if these two are our only choices. What about embedding the economy, or socialising the economy, or ecologising the economy? The implicit common denominator that brings Keynes and Hayek together is that both place their bets on economic growth as the ultimate aim of social evolution and that they are both blind to the systemic nature of class and ecological injustices of these creatively destructive but also destructively creative cycles of boom and bust.


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Keynes vs. Hayek

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