The basic purpose of the hypothesis of supersymmetry is to resolve deep mathematical problems and inconsistencies that result from the attempt to unify quantum mechanics and general relativity. It does this by basically picturing a shadow world of forces behind the world that is explained by the Standard Model, the deepest understanding humans have of the reality we find ourselves in and having, surely by accident, the brains to think about.
For example, we know there are quarks, and to make sense of how they behave, the hypothesis expects there are forces called squarks (I did not pick quark at random; the origin of this particle's name is found in James Joyce's unreadable Finnegans Wake—"Three quarks for Muster Mark!"). Supersymmetry, which has been around since the rise of neoclassical economics (the mid 70s—or more precisely, the year, 1976, Milton Friedman won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences) is now in trouble because the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Switzerland has failed to find any evidence of its existence.
But what's really at stake here, and why this hypothesis will not go away any time soon, is "the lifework of many eminent physicists, both theoretical and experimental." Supersymmtry will only die when these physicists die. The same is true for neoclassical economics, which until recently was simply called economics, but is now more and more distinguished as orthodox economics (this is the intellectual component of policies and practices called neoliberalism).
So far, not a trace of supersymmetry has graced the amazing detectors at CERN. Or the dozens of other experiments spread around the globe hunting for supersymmetric particles raining down from the heavens, something that should happen if they are, indeed, dark matter. Things are not looking good for SUSY.
The LHC has a new run planned for 2015 with substantially higher energy. As the energy of the collisions increase, heavier particles can be "made," out of the conversion of motion energy into matter, as described by the E=mc2 formula. If no supersymmetric particle is found then, physicists will have to make a very difficult decision, not unlike letting go of something you have loved deeply and committed to for a long time but that now is causing more harm than good.
Anyone who studied neoclassical economics had to make a huge personal investment to comprehend its complex mathematical formulations. They were told the meaning of economics (the management of a nation's wealth) were only to be found in these dense formulas/models and nowhere else—especially in history. This way of thinking collapsed after the formulas/models failed to predict the enormous and plainly obvious crash of 2008. But neoclassical economics, which is now facing a serious challenge from neglected heterodox economists and the powerful return of historical thinking (Thomas Piketty's Capital in the 21 Century is one such example, but also are books by Ha Joon Chang and Mariana Mazzucato), will not die until those who spent their whole lives mastering it die. This includes Paul Krugman:
Now, to be fair, there is a civil war within academic macroeconomics, and what I’m calling “mainstream” is the saltwater side of that civil war. But the critics want much more than to boost saltwater macro at the expense of the new classical guys — they want to drive people like me out of the temple, too.They will not succeed in driving you tenured and established types out of the temple. They will have to wait for your generation to enter the silence of the grave.