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Trump is more dangerous than a mere liar because he found a way to exploit the economic doppelganger of science.

Have you wondered how two Nobel laureate economists, sometimes sharing the same year’s prize, can consider each other charlatans? This would never happen among Nobel laureate physicists or biologists. 

This is why neither empirical success nor failure causes an economic theory ever to be dismissed. Like conspiracy theorists and theologians, economists of different schools – Keynesians, monetarists, and Marxists, for example – can explain every possible observation within the confines of their particular paradigm. 

Herein lies Trump’s opening. For decades before his election, countless disempowered people had been listening to economic experts tell them that the policies wrecking their lives survived the scientific falsification process. It was a monstrous lie that allowed Trump to weaponize their despair against the “establishment” 

The new administration brims with the same experts who promoted the false prophecies that reinforced the unequal, exploitative, irrational social and economic order that begat Trumpism.

Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate 26 January 2021


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