By Homa Katouzian (auth.)
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4 3 In other words, if reality is in conflict with your ideas, do not adjust your views because reality must be at fault! Marx- the greatest single target of attack by men like von Mises - has been quite unfairly claimed to have held such views as the above. For Marx was certainly not an 'a priorist'. But even certain schools of Marxism which have interpreted Marx's method in terms resembling the above statement would be ashamed to express themselves with such dogmatic and perfect disregard for empirical reality.
The consumption function was no more than a generalisation of the classical view that capitalists saved and workers subsisted. The determination of the rate of interest by the interaction of the supply and demand for money had its roots in Mercantilist thought and the Wealth of Nations. The marginal efficiency of capital, although somewhat different in interpretation, was akin to Fisher's internal rate of return. Intervention in trade also had its origin in the Mercantilists and the socialist critics of orthodox economics.
Teaches that the most reckless and treacherous of all theorists is he who professes to let facts and figures speak for themselves, who keeps in the background the part he has played, perhaps unconsciously, in selecting and grouping them, and in suggesting the argument post hoc ergo propter hoc. 39 Notice the emphasis in this statement on the role of personal values and preferences in the selection of facts and figures - something which, among others, may help modify an uncritical attitude to the application of statistical and econometric methods in the contemporary era.
Ideology and Method in Economics by Homa Katouzian (auth.)