In building their profession around carefully selected interpretations of the work of Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall and others, mainstream economists have embraced such concepts as “the invisible hand”, “equilibrium”, “consumer rationality”, “the marginal productivity theory”, “the inevitability of diminishing returns”, and the fiction of “pure competition”. In contrast, “the evolutionary economics” of Thorstein Veblen and Clarence Ayres challenges all of these concepts as unproven and capable of telling us little or nothing about the actual operation of the economy.
Using the evolutionary framework, Human Progress Amid Resistance to Change argues that all cultures since prehistory have faced two opposing forces: technology, including human knowledge, and institutions rooted in ceremonialism. The former is dynamic, forward looking, accepting of change, cumulative (one discovery builds on another), and the major cause of human progress. The latter is static and consists of all customs, traditions, superstitions, rituals, ceremonies, taboos, and past binding religious beliefs that resist change. The book illustrates in detail how these competing forces have interacted throughout the history of the human race and how mainstream economics fails to grasp the significance of their combined effects.
|Author||Joseph E. Pluta|