Brown, Africa and “big ideas” – a dangerous combination

Gordon Brown and Ed Balls became famous as a pair for their infamous gobbledygook speech in which “post-neo-classical endogenous growth theory” was unveiled to an unsuspecting electorate. To some, these theories smack of “scientism” – an over-scientific approach to economic matters whereby reductionist ideas are applied in the hope that it is possible (contrary to Adam Smith’s view) to control all economic actors as if they were pieces on a chessboard that have no motion of their own.

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