RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Reporter Michael Janda rightly noted, ”Geoff Harcourt was one of Australia’s greatest economists and a link back to Keynes’s circle!” IT WAS MY HONOR TO GET TO CORRESPOND WITH THIS GREAT SCHOLAR AND GENTLEMAN!

Interview of Geoff Harcourt May 2007, part 1

Remembering Geoff Harcourt 1931-2021

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

______________

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

____________________________

In  the third video below in the 116th clip in this series are his words and  I have included a remembrance of Dr. Harcourt’s life. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

_________________________________

Obituary: Geoffrey Colin Harcourt

11 Apr 2022

I have seen full many economists since I first commenced to roam, But nowhere yet such an economist have I seen.

Modified from Banjo Patterson, an Australian poet Geoff greatly admired.

Geoff and his twin brother John were born in Melbourne on the 27th of June 1931. Geoff attended the University of Melbourne where he flourished while studying accounting and economics, achieving first class honours, and subsequently a M. Com. While at the University of Melbourne, he was exposed to the economics of Keynes and the Cambridge School, which exerted a profound influence on all his subsequent work. During this time, he met and married Joan Bartrop, the love of his life, with whom he had four children: Wendy, Robert, Tim, and Rebecca, whom Geoff referred to as his “balanced growth path.”

Geoff was awarded a PhD scholarship to study at Cambridge, where he was supervised by Nicholas Kaldor and Ronald Henderson. He absorbed the atmosphere and the intellectual stimulation of being among the great Cambridge economists. Joan Robinson, in particular, was an important influence. Geoff attended her lectures, and closely studied her 1956 magnum opus The Accumulation of Capital, which had a deep effect on his subsequent development; Geoff, with Prue Kerr, would edit and write the introduction for the third edition of the book. He was awarded a PhD in 1957 for his thesis, “a study of the implications of the use of historical-cost accounting procedures to set prices and dividends, and levy taxes in a period of inflation”.

Cambridge became Geoff’s centre of gravitation. He returned often, before moving there permanently in 1982 to take up a University Lectureship. In 1990 he become a Reader in the History of Economic Theory, until retiring in 1998, when he was made an Emeritus Reader. He was a Fellow at Jesus College during that time, and its President from 1988-89 and 1990-92. In between, he was appointed to a lectureship at the University of Adelaide in 1958, and then to a personal Chair in 1967, and Professor Emeritus in 1988. After his retirement from Cambridge, he became a visiting Professorial Fellow and then an Honorary Professor at the School of Economics at the University of New South Wales, where he spent his last decades. In the light of this, it is not surprising that Geoff regarded himself as “an Australian Patriot and a Cambridge Economist” (Harcourt 1995).

Geoff received many significant awards during his life, and in 2018 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for his “eminent service to higher education as an academic economist and author, particularly in the fields of Post-Keynesian economics, capital theory and economic thought.”

Geoff was driven by a strong commitment to social justice, which also informed his academic and policy work. He had a life-long commitment to equity and equality, working towards alleviating poverty and against social and racial discrimination. He also had a great love of sports, both as player and spectator, particularly Australian football and cricket. In honour of his passion for Australian football, many of his papers are written in four quarters.

Geoff had a gift of putting people at ease, talking to anyone, from the Crown Prince to awestruck students, while displaying his mischievous sense of humour. He was genuinely interested in everyone he met. Geoff loved jokes and didn’t really mind their origins. I fondly remember Geoff and I driving from Cambridge to Canterbury for a conference. On the way down I told Geoff a joke, on the way back he told it to me. Needless to say, his telling was a substantial improvement.

Geoff’s contribution to economics, both theory and policy, was outstanding. In over 30 books and 400 articles, numerous lectures, seminars, and interviews he had a significant impact on the discipline. Geoff made economics more humane, and humanised the “dismal” science. His contributions to economics covered a broad range of areas from esoteric pure theory to applied policy, always with the aim of trying to make the world a better place. He provided original insights, and was able to explain difficult and complex ideas in an accessible form, while often showing his sense of humour.

In his important article and subsequent book on the Cambridge capital controversies, Geoff provided a masterful guide to one of the most technical debates in economics; Cambridge University Press is publishing a 50th anniversary edition of the book later this year, with a new preface by Geoff, and afterwords by Avi Cohen and Tiago Mata.

T he capital theory controversies were a series of debates in the 1950s-1970s on high theory, between economists mainly based in Cambridge, England (Joan Robinson, Piero Sraffa, Luigi Pasinetti) and at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Paul Samuelson, Robert Solow). Although the debates were ostensibly about the problem of measuring capital, they were ultimately about the nature and meaning of capital, and the question of the most appropriate way to analyse a contemporary capitalist economy. Geoff unravelled the debates so that they became intelligible, with both clear style and humour, evident particularly in the chapter and section titles, such as the section pointing to an error by Kaldor titled ‘Excuse me, Professor Kaldor, but your slip is showing’.

Geoff was a founder and major contributor to post-Keynesian economics throughout his intellectual life – culminating in his books, The Structure of Post-Keynesian Economics and the two volume The Oxford Handbook of Post-Keynesian Economics. He enriched economics by making it more accessible through his clear, and often humorous, writing style and in his many biographical essays. These went behind the masks of economists to reveal not only their economic insights, but also the people that developed those insights. This is especially apparent in his definitive biography of Joan Robinson, co-written with Prue Kerr.

Underlying his theoretical contributions lay the importance of policy, on which Geoff not only wrote copiously, but also acted by advising governments and commenting on contemporary issues. He believed that academics in general, and economists in particular, have a duty to advocate policies which would lead to a better world. Associated with writing and advocacy was a belief in a “need for direct action if other more orthodox means proved ineffective” (Harcourt 2011, p.124) – which Geoff displayed with his important role in Australia’s anti-Vietnam War movement.

Everyone who knew Geoff values the wonderful human being he was, as well as being a world-class economist. He enriched the lives of everyone around him. On a personal note, Geoff was my teacher, colleague, collaborator, mentor, and most importantly a very warm and dear friend. Geoff welcomed me into his academic and family life, and I share the immense sense of loss at the passing of such an inspiring human being. Geoff will be greatly missed. He was a true scholar and gentleman, and the world is so much a better place because of him.

Peter Kriesler, University of New South Wales

References and further readings

Harcourt, G.C. (1969): “Some Cambridge controversies in the theory of capital”, Journal of Economic Literature, 7, 369 – 405.

Harcourt, G.C. (1972): Some Cambridge Controversies in the Theory of Capital, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Harcourt, G. C. 1995, “Recollections and reflections of an Australian patriot and a Cambridge economist” Banca Nazionale del Lavoro Quarterly Review, 48, 225-254

Harcourt, G.C. (2006): The Structure of Post-Keynesian Economics: The Core Contributions of the Pioneers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Harcourt, G.C., Kerr, P. (2009): Joan Robinson, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Harcourt, G. C. 2011 “Post-Keynesian theory, direct action and political involvement” Intervention 8 (1) 117 – 128

Harcourt, G. C. and Kriesler, P. 2013 ( eds) The Oxford Handbook of Post-Keynesian Economics. Volume 1: Theory and Origins, and Volume 2: Critiques and Methodology. New York, Oxford University Press

Robinson, Joan (2013) The Accumulation of Capital 3rd Edition, in the Palgrave Classics in Economics Series, Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK

BELOW IS A LETTER I WROTE TO DR HARCOURT AND BELOW THAT IS HIS RESPONSE:

December 25, 2014

Dr. Geoff Harcourt, c/o Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, GPO Box 1956, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia,

Dear Dr. Harcourt,

I saw that you were a longtime professor at Cambridge but I couldn’t get a good address for you there so I sent this letter to Australia.

I wonder if you got to meet my hero in the field of Economics and that is Milton Friedman. If you get a chance you need to check out his film series FREE TO CHOOSE and it has a lot to say about England.

I spent a whole summer in England in 1979 and it was a very interesting experience for several reasons. I was part of the organization OPERATION MOBILIZATION and we were an Christian Evangelical group that in that summer went to the homes of Muslims and Hindus and shared the gospel with them in the Manchester area. I also spent some time in  London and got to attend All Souls Church, Langham Place, and hear the famous John Stott preach and I got to meet Michael Baughen who was the pastor (or Rector as you would say in England) at the time.  Three noteworthy events during that time and one was attending a MANCHESTER UNITED soccer game. Secondly, I met several people who had recently visited with Cat Stevens and they told me he had recently converted to Islam and changed with name to Yusuf Islam. Cat Stevens had performed the song “Morning Has Broken” a few years earlier and it was one of my favorite songs. Thirdly, I got depressed in August because the sun only came out about 4 or 5 times that whole summer in England.

SINCE YOU ARE INTO SOCCER (BRITISH FOOTBALL LIKE ALL BRITS ARE) THEN YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH “EVERTON GOAL KEEPER TIM HOWARD?” He lives in Collierville, Tennessee in his off season time and my niece often sees him at the fitness club where they both belong. We are big fans of the sport. YOU NEED TO GET OUT AND SEE THAT MOVIE about Stephen Hawking called THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING because it was really good!!!

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto  who I have been corresponding with and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I saw that you were featured in this film series. I have been responding to some of the statementsconcerning God and I plan on responding to what you have said on this issue too.

Today I am writing you for two reasons. First, I wanted to appeal to your Jewish Heritage and ask you to take a closer look at some Old Testament scriptures dealing with the land of Israel. Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist.  Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

Robert Lewis noted that many orthodox Jews believed through the centuries that God would honor the ancient prophecies that predicted that the Jews would be restored to the land of Israel, but then I notice the latest film series on the Jews done by an orthodox Jew seemed to ignore many of these scriptures. Recently I watched the 5 part PBS series Simon Schama’s THE STORY OF THE JEWS, and in the last episode Schama calls Israel “a miracle” but he is hoping that Israel can get along with the non-Jews in the area. Schama noted, “I’ve always thought that Israel is the consummation of some of the highest ethical values of Jewish traditional history, but creating a place of safety and defending it has sometimes challenged those same ethics and values”. There is an ancient book that sheds light on Israel’s plight today, and it is very clear about the struggles between the Jews and their cousins that surround them. It all comes down to what the Book of Genesis had to say concerning Abraham’s son by Hagar.  

Genesis 16:11-12  (NIV)

11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:

“You are now pregnant
    and you will give birth to a son.
You shall name him Ishmael,
    for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man;
    his hand will be against everyone
    and everyone’s hand against him,
and he will live in hostility
    toward all his brothers.”

The first 90 seconds of episode 5 opened though by allowing us all to experience the sirens and silence of that day in Spring, each year, when Israel halts to mark the Holocaust and I actually wept while I thought of those who had died. Schama noted, “”Today around half the Jews in the world live here in Israel. 6 million people. 6 million defeats for the Nazi program of total extermination.”
After World War II Schama tells about the events leading up to the re-birth of Israel.  Here again Schama although a practicing Jewish believer did not bring in scripture to shed light on the issue. David O. Dykes who is pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas has done just that:
The nation of Israel was destroyed in 70 A.D…Beginning in the early 20th century Jews started trickling back into Palestine at the risk of their lives. Then after World War II, the British government was given authority over Palestine and in 1948, Israel became a nation again through the action of the United Nations…This should not have come as a surprise to any Bible scholar, because this regathering of Israel is predicted many times in scripture. The prophet Amos wrote in Chapter 9:

14 And I will bring back the exiles of My people Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them.

15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be torn up out of their land which I gave them, says the Lord your God.

Some people think the Amos prophecy was referring to the return of Israel after their Babylonian captitvity in 586 B.C. But the nation was uprooted in 70 A.D. And notice God said they would “NEVER AGAIN TO BE UPROOTED.”

Even the preservation of their language is a miracle. For centuries, Hebrew was a dead language spoken nowhere in the world. But within the last century, this dead language has been resurrected and now millions of Israelis speak Hebrew...Have you noticed how often Israel is in the news? They are only a small nation about the size of New Jersey.

I have checked out some of the details that David O. Dykes has provided and they check out. Philip Lieberman is a cognitive scientist at Brown University, and in a letter dated in 1995 he told me that only a few other languages besides Hebrew have ever been revived including some American Indian ones along with Celtic.

Also Zechariah 12:3 also verifies the newsworthiness of Israel now:  And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all peoples; all who lift it or burden themselves with it shall be sorely wounded. And all the nations of the earth shall come and gather together against it.

I do think that Isaiah also predicted the Jews would come from all over the earth back to their homeland Israel. Isaiah 11:11-12 states, “And in that day the Lord shall again lift up His hand a second time to recover (acquire and deliver) the remnant of His people which is left, from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam [in Persia], from Shinar [Babylonia], from Hamath [in Upper Syria], and from the countries ordering on the [Mediterranean] Sea.  And He will raise up a signal for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Amplified Bible)

 I was reading  THE BOOK OF DANIEL COMMENTARY (Cambridge University Press, 1900) by the Bible critic  Samuel Rolles Driver, and on page 100 Dr. Driver commented that the country of Israel is obviously a thing of the past and has no place in prophecy in the future and the prophet Daniel was definitely wrong about that.  I wonder what Dr. Driver would say if he lived to see the newspapers today?

In fact, my former pastor Robert Lewis at Fellowship Bible Church in his sermon “Let the Prophets Speak” on 1-31-99 noted that even the great Princeton Theologian Charles Hodge erred in 1871 when he stated:

The argument from the ancient prophecies is proved to be invalid because it would prove too much. If those prophecies foretell a literal restoration, they foretell that the temple is to be rebuilt, the priesthood restored, sacrifices again offered, and that the whole Mosaic ritual is to be observed in all its details, (Systematic Theology. [New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1871; reprint Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdman’s Publishing Co., 1949], 3:807).__

Robert Lewis went on to point out that the prophet Amos 2700 years ago predicted the destruction of Aram, Philistia, Tyre, Edom, Ammon, Moab and Israel, but at the end of the Book he said Israel would one day be returned to their land and never removed. We saw from Isaiah 11:11-12 that the Lord “will assemble the outcasts of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” And that certainly did happen after World War II.  I corresponded with some secular Jewish Scholars on this back in the 1990’s such as Irving Kristol and Daniel Bell but they dismissed these type of Old Testament prophecies. In his letter of September 23, 1995, Daniel Bell wrote, “As to the survival of the Jewish people, I think of the remark of Samuel Johnson that there is nothing stronger than the knowledge that one may be hanged the next day to concentrate the mind–or the will.”

After looking at the accuracy of Old Testament, I want to turn my attention to the accuracy of the New Testament. Recently I was reading the book GOD’S NOT DEAD by Rick Broocks and in it he quotes Sir William Ramsay who was a scholar who originally went to Palestine to disprove the Book of Luke. Below is some background info on Ramsay followed by his story.

From Wikipedia:

Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (15 March 1851, Glasgow –20 April 1939) was a Scottish archaeologist and New Testament scholar. By his death in 1939 he had become the foremost authority of his day on the history of Asia Minor and a leading scholar in the study of the New Testament. From the post of Professor of Classical Art and Architecture at Oxford, he was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity (the Latin Professorship) at Aberdeen. Knighted in 1906 to mark his distinguished service to the world of scholarship, Ramsay also gained three honorary fellowships from Oxford colleges, nine honorary doctorates from British, Continental and North American universities and became an honorary member of almost every association devoted to archaeology and historical research. He was one of the original members of the British Academy, was awarded the Gold Medal of Pope Leo XIII in 1893 and the Victorian Medal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1906.

Sir William Ramsay

William Mitchell Ramsay was born on March 15, 1851 in Glasgow, Scotland. His father was a lawyer, but died when William was just six. Through the hard work of other family members, William attended the University of Aberdeen, achieving honors. Through means of a scholarship, he was then able to go to Oxford University and attend the college there named for St. John. His family resource also allowed him to study abroad, notably in Germany. It was under one of his professors that his love of history began. After receiving a new scholarship from another college at Oxford, he traveled to Asia Minor.

William, however, is most noted for beliefs pertaining to the Bible, not his early life. Originally, he labeled it as a ‘Book of Fables,’ having only third-hand knowledge. He neither read nor studied it, skeptically believing it to be of fiction and not historical fact. His interest in history would lead him on a search that would radically redefine his thoughts on that Ancient Book…

Some argue that Ramsay was originally just a product of his time. For example, the general consensus on the Acts of the Apostles (and its alleged writer Luke) was almost humouress:

“… [A]bout 1880 to 1890 the book of the Acts was regarded as the weakest part of the New Testament. No one that had any regard for his reputation as a scholar cared to say a word in its defence. The most conservative of theological scholars, as a rule, thought the wisest plan of defence for the New Testament as a whole was to say as little as possible about the Acts.”[1]

It was his dislike for Acts that launched him into a Mid-East adventure. With Bible-in-hand, he made a trip to the Holy Land. What William found, however, was not what he expected…

As it turns out, ‘ole Willy’ changed his mind. After his extensive study he concluded that Luke was one of the world’s greatest historians:

The more I have studied the narrative of the Acts, and the more I have learned year after year about Graeco-Roman society and thoughts and fashions, and organization in those provinces, the more I admire and the better I understand. I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it here [in the Book of Acts—KB]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s, and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment, provided always that the critic knows the subject and does not go beyond the limits of science and of justice.[2]

Skeptics were strikingly shocked. In ‘Evidence that Demands a Verdict’ Josh Mcdowell writes,

“The book caused a furor of dismay among the skeptics of the world. Its attitude was utterly unexpected because it was contrary to the announced intention of the author years before…. for twenty years more, book after book from the same author came from the press, each filled with additional evidence of the exact, minute truthfulness of the whole New Testament as tested by the spade on the spot. The evidence was so overwhelming that many infidels announced their repudiation of their former unbelief and accepted Christianity. And these books have stood the test of time, not one having been refuted, nor have I found even any attempt to refute them.”[3]

The Bible has always stood the test of time. Renowned archaeologist Nelson Glueck put it like this:

“It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which conform in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”[4]

1) The Bearing of Recent Discovery on the Trustworthiness of the New Testament (1915)
2) Ibid
3) See page 366
4) See page 31 of: Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev (1959)

 Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

____________________

Dancing at the Wailing Wall in 1967:

Picture of Wailing Wall from 1863


Source: Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee, p. 147.

President Carter with Adrian and Joyce Rogers in 1979 at the White House:
____

Adrian Rogers in the White House pictured with President Ronald Reagan below:

________

Adrian and Joyce Rogers with President Bush at Union University in Jackson, TN:

________________________________________________

________

2-11-15

gch@unsw.edu.au

Dear Mr. Hatcher,

Your letter and CD-R have reached me. Before we go any further, I must ask you to correct your impression that I’m an atheist, and that I am an Englishman. You are wrong on both scores. May I refer you to my volume of selected essays on Skidelsky’s Keynes and Other Essays published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012, especially my autobiographical essay which originally appeared in the American Economist in 1998, which sets out my economic, political and religious views….Of course, I know the work of Milton Friedman, though we never met and he never answered the only letter I ever sent him asking for a short account of the influences on him when he was an undergraduate or graduate student. I asked him this information for a paper I published in the History of Political Economy on all the Nobel prize-winners in economics up to Debreu.

All good wishes,

Geoff Harcourt

Professor Emeritus G C Harcourt

School of Economics, UNSW Business School

 

UNSW AUSTRALIA

UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA

T: +61 (2) 9385 3329

E: gch@unsw.edu.au

W: unsw.edu.au

CRICOS Provider Code. 00098G

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