Politics as a Peculiar Business

Politics as a Peculiar Business

Insights from a Theory of Entangled Political Economy

New Thinking in Political Economy series

Richard E. Wagner

Economists typically treat government as something outside the business realm, a sort of “Lord of the Manor”. Richard Wagner argues that this is the wrong approach and can ultimately be destructive to capitalism and to society.

Chapter 4: The logic of economizing action: Universal form and particular practice

Richard E. Wagner

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, public choice theory


This chapter explains that economizing action provides a universal form for pursuing social theorizing in a substantive manner. That people seek to replace options they value less highly with options they value more highly is a universal quality of human action. In only a subset of those actions, however, is there a direct connection between the action and the experienced outcome. The remaining actions are what Vilfredo Pareto described as non-logical actions, as illustrated by ideological sentiments of various sorts. Such non-logical action, however, has regularity about it and is subject to scientific examination.

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