… is from page x of my colleague Richard Wagner’s insightful 2016 book, Politics as a Peculiar Business (link added):
While economists typically denote an economy as a system, they also typically describe that system as comprising equilibrium among participants. Doing this renders the system mechanical, which leads almost inexorably to a focus on a political economy of control. In contrast, and harkening back to Ludwig Bertalanffy’s (1968) distinction between robotic and creative systems, I treat human population systems as non-equilibrium systems of creative interaction among participants…. [T]he energy that drives societies forward entails the universal form of people acting to replace situations they desire less with situations they desire more. This universal form, however, can generate a wide variety of specific types of action due to differences in the institutional settings within which people interact.
Yes – and, as Deirdre McCloskey would likely add, also due to differences in the values that people convey and reinforce through their talk.