I'm posting this against my better judgement... every time I touch on anything out of Papola the discussion seems to degenerate at a faster than average rate into pointlessness. But this introduces somewhat new material, so what the hell.
The issue at hand is a 1998 review by Brad DeLong of a book by James Scott about the problems with central planning particularly as they relate to the importance of local knowledge, which Papola mentions in this post. The local knowledge point is one that lots of people have made but of course one very famous person who made this point was Hayek, and DeLong recognizes this. Indeed in the review DeLong takes Scott to task for not mentioning Hayek more in the book. If you want a treatment of the role of very local information in social decision making and allocation, the best place to start is certainly Hayek. Papola follows this link with the statement "I think he [DeLong] was less Keynesian then than now."
I don't understand what makes people like Papola tick. I don't understand this tendency where people imagine that there has to be stark battle lines drawn in intellectual life. DeLong is Hayekian in this 1998 review so he clearly can't be Keynesian, according to Papola. What exactly does Papola think we all think? Does he think that Keynesians are generally opposed to a Hayekian outlook on the economy? I suppose he might actually think that, and I just don't understand it. Do I (and does DeLong) disagree with Hayek? Sure, on certain things. Certainly a few policy areas. Probably some methodological points. A world where there is no disagreement with Hayek is as bizarre as Papola's world where there is no agreement. And in order to generate a stark contrast between "Hayekian" ideas and "Keynesian" ideas Papola has to erect this version of Keynes that is purged of the price mechanism, purged of market efficiency, purged of free market orientation, purged of liberalism, and purged of any disaggregated conception of economics.
In other words, to get "Keynesian" and "Hayekian" to be concepts that repel in his mind, Papola reinvents Keynesianism.
I don't know - maybe life really is this stark and oppositional. I sure hope not. I don't think so. I'd like to keep my Hayek and my Keynes. The first video was pretty good (weak in expositing the point of Keynesianism, but good) because it focused on a very real point where saying you're both Hayekian and Keynesian is a lot harder: the macroeconomics of the business cycle and macroeconomic policy. The broader scope of the second video is precisely what revealed the true paucity of Papola's vision of this "fight" (what an utterly bizarre word to describe the relationship of the thought of these two tremendous thinkers). As I've said elsewhere - I'm positively disposed towards Hayek and positively disposed towards Keynes, but when you present a narrative where I'm turned off by the "Keynes" voice and find myself in agreement with the "Hayek" voice, something is very wrong.
Kumbaya, "can't we all just get along", yadda yadda yadda. I don't mean to be too pie in the sky, but I don't want to invent reasons to fight either.
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