About

Hey all you students out there, you are entering university at a critical juncture. Capitalism is in crisis and the crisis is growing ever deeper. The inability of economists to incorporate externalities into their models and to account for phenomena such as species extinction, resource depletion and climate change – not to mention the 2008 financial meltdown that blindsided them all – has turned the profession into a target for derision and ridicule. And it’s not just some academic joke – today even ordinary people look down their noses at the ineptitude of economics.

And yet as you delve into your textbooks, listen to the sensible, ordered tone of lectures and come to associate your professors with the accolades that hang on their walls, you may get the sense that economics is a science: a rigorous discipline with its own immutable laws, proven theories and crop of Nobel laureates. Far from it. You may be temporarily fooled by this façade, but you need only look beneath the surface to discover that economics is a highly contested field… a profession whose axioms and credibility are being questioned like never before. The prevailing neoclassical paradigm is crumbling and a new, more chaotic, more biologically and behaviorally based paradigm is struggling to emerge.

But your department, like most others around the world, is still marching in lockstep with the old guard. That’s because generations of tenured professors have marginalized dissenters and eliminated competition. Your economics department operates very much like a police state… not a free marketplace of ideas in which innovation is acknowledged and rewarded. But outside your department, a vigorous heterodox economics thrives… there are social economists, feminist economists, interdisciplinary economists, behavioral economists, ecological economists and hundreds of intellectuals and maverick professors who are openly critical of the neoclassical regime and fighting to overthrow it.

So there are really two ways for you to approach your studies over the next few years: you can ignore all of the screaming inconsistencies and accept the status quo. You can cross your fingers and hope the old paradigm has a generation or two left in it, enough for you to carve out a career. Or you can align yourself from the get-go with the mavericks. You can be an agitator, a provocateur, a meme warrior, an occupier, one of the students on campus who posts dissenting messages up on notice boards and openly challenges professors in class. You can bet your future on a paradigm shift.

All of us here at Adbusters hope this book fires up your imagination and inspires you to take the riskier, more exciting path.

Kalle Lasn, Meme Wars: The Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economics

* * * * * *

Reviews

"Adbusters magazine and its editor Kalle Lasn have been at the
forefront of the global resistance to capitalism exemplified by the
Occupy movement. Their new book, Meme Wars: the Creative Destruction of Neoclassical Economies, uses startling images to back up its hard-hitting points. ”  
- The Guardian

“Thought-provoking and creative”
-
Julie Nelson, author of Beyond Economic Man: Feminist Theory and Economics

“The essays in Meme Wars are engrossing, exciting even. This book
compels us to rethink our approaches to economics by offering critique
after critique of the way the subject is written about and taught,
indeed of the very conceptual categories we use when we debate about
how goods are produced and distributed, services provided and
resources extracted. By turns wonky and visionary, Meme Wars
brings together a group of accomplished writers, most of them
academics, who approach the world’s economic, environmental and social problems in ways one seldom finds in mainstream journalism or
economics departments.”
- Literary Review of Canada

"Meme Wars is a kind of anti-textbook, which uses words and images to
explore the dark spaces that surround conventional economic theory.”
-
David Orrell

“Meme Wars should be required reading for anyone wants to challenge
their ideas about the modern economy and the people who champion it.”
Meme Wars is a textbook for a new way of thinking, Straight.com

“Meme Wars should be required reading for anyone wants to challenge
their ideas about the modern economy and the people who champion it.”
- Miranda Nelson, the Georgia Straight