The purpose of the paper is to analyse the weaknesses, both epistemological and applicative, of the contemporary orthodox economics and, based thereon, to indicate the necessary changes it needs to undergo. Two groups of weaknesses are distinguished here – the intrinsic ones and the acquired ones. The former ones result from diversity and variability of its object of study and from the teleological nature of the economy. The latter ones, related to the methodological principles of economics stem from errors or omissions committed by the founders of economics in the historical development. The author identifies and analyses three such weaknesses – superficiality of cognition, overformalisation and the delusion of universalisation.
The analysis shows that globalisation processes and other varied civilisational transformations we have been experiencing over the last 15–20 years have brought into light and highlighted the weaknesses of economics. The author comes to the conclusion that consequently the economics for the 21st century, to meet the challenges of the new times, should undergo three basic shifts: a/ from positive, descriptive science to including also the evaluative and axiological one; b/ from homogeneous, universal science to a considerably contextual one and c/from pure, formalised science to a deeply interdisciplinary one.
The paper presents an analysis of the shift in the ownership policy of the Polish government in office since 2015 towards a more active role of the state and a more reluctant attitude towards privatisation. This shift reflects a general change in the paradigm of the role of the state towards the concept of the state as a strong market player, which includes the strengthening of its ownership functions. Among others, it has led to stalling the privatisation process and concentrating only on its fiscal goals. Possible factors causing this statist shift are divided into two dichotomic groups: the government’s good faith vs. the impact of rent-seeking interest groups and endogenous vs. exogenous factors. Our main conclusion is that despite similarities with the trends observed in some other countries, endogenous factors such as increasing capture of the state by rent-seeking groups, and not the exogenous ones, including the global financial crisis, contributed most to the growing statist trends in the Polish state’s ownership policy.