Until the start of the portal Heterodoxe Gazet Sam de Wolff the Netherlands did not dispose of a place on the web, where information about the heterodox economy is offered. Of course lots of things worth knowing can be found on the websites of the various economic institutions, but they are a fragmented and inaccessible source. The Netherlands is simply too small to accommodate its own professional heterodox institute. The webpages of the Heterodoxe Gazet intend to offer at least some knowledge about the progress in the economic science, as far as it develops outside the beaten tracks. For the time being the portal is simply the weblog of Emil Bakkum, the initiator of the project. In addition to his regular columns the portal contains a database of reviews of books about the economy. All texts must be viewed as personal notes, without any refereeing, and thus with a chance of sloppyness and mistakes. As far as this hurts the readers, it remains their own responsibility.
Until 21 april 2014 this portal was named Heterodox Gezelschap Sam de Wolff. This expressed the long-term purpose, namely the union of all those in the Netherlands, who study the heterodox economy as a hobby. As was feared from the onset, this purpose can not be realized. Therefore it has been deemed more appropriate to replace the ambitious term gezelschap (association) bij the more modest gazette.
Although some of the columns concentrate on the history of Dutch economics, the editor believes that many columns are of interest to an international public. Therefore since april 2016 translated versions are offered on this American website. It is hoped that the use of an American server will make the material better accessible to search engines. The reader is kindly requested to shut his or her eyes to the clumsy use of this beautiful language. Due to the extremely low budget the translations can not be read over by a professional interpreter. However, a sincere effort is made to produce at least an understandable text.
On this portal heterodox economy designates all theoretical developments, that can not be classified as neoclassical theory. Since the end of the nineteenth century the neoclassical theory of the economy has established more or less a monopoly. The dominance of the neoclassical current has become so pronounced, that it suffocates other views and thoughts. This is especially oppressive because of the fact, that the neoclassical view of the economy is highly contestable. Its dominance can not be justified by its actual qualities. Many theories from the heterodox camp are at least as likely, and offer a beter insight into the economic phenomena, such as they present themselves to us.
The economic science is a social science, and therefore it is related to subjects like sociology, politics, and psychology. Everything that occurs in the global economy is a result of human actions. The efforts of economic scientists to transform their subject into a natural science is bound to fail in advance. Incidentally, this does not reduce the value of their attempts, because the reflection and meditiation on the economic events sharpen the intuitive insight and furthers, that policy mistakes once made will not be repeated.
The social sciences suffer from the shortcoming, that their theories can not be verified by experiments. It is impossible to perform experiments in the laboratory, in which systematically a single parameter can be varied. Events are always caused by a complex coincidence of circumstances, where intangible social factors exert a large influence. In other words, history never repeats itself. The lack of objective standards implies, that the power formation of expert groups within a specialization determines, which doctrine or theory is accepted as right.
The preponderance of the neoclassical economists can be explained by several factors:
For the moment the heterodox economy shows a large variety of currents. She contains at least the ideas and models, that have been developed on the basis of the theory of M. Kalecki and J.M. Keynes. Another influential contribution is due to P. Sraffa, who at the same time discovered some major errors of thought in the neoclassical theory. Also new models continue to be developed on the basis of the classical theory of the economy, that was first introduced by D. Ricardo and K.H. Marx. In addition much research is done on dynamical models, which are capable of simulating the economic developments in time. Recently the behavioural economics and the happiness economics have become popular.
The portal is named after the Dutch scientist Sam de Wolff (1878-1960), because he is one of the greatest heterodox economists that our country has known. His pioneering work remains an inspiration for anybody, who outside the beaten tracks searches for ways to describe the economic actions. The banner, that decorates the head of the start page, is composed of pictures from the front frieze of the Haus des Lehrers in Berlin, made by Walter Womacka.
The initiator and editor of the Heterodoxe Gazet Sam de Wolff is Emil Bakkum. He is professionally active in the Sociaal Consultatiekantoor, where he holds the position of solicitor and blogger. The publication of essays about the political economy, also on a scientific level, as part of his mission.
The domain is hosted bij CW3 Hosting.