chapter  19
8 Pages

On staying for the canoe building, or why ideology is not enough

Hamilton excels at both instructing and entertaining the reader. In this article he uses three different allegories to teach an important institutionalist truth. He talks about flying airplanes, building canoes, and observing human behavior. However, the truth he teaches is a simple one: much of what we have been taught about the modern industrial economy is of the same scientific standing as superstition. We have been taught to believe in the efficacy and beneficence of the market, in spite of what our own eyes and ears tell us about the realities of the life process. Hamilton’s allegories urge us not to disregard our own matter-of-fact knowledge and accept, as a matter of faith, what we are taught. Instead, we should disregard the ceremonial teaching and have a look around for ourselves.