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 8: Moral imagination and constitutional arrangement

Richard E. Wagner

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


This chapter ventures modestly into hortatory territory, in contrast to the explanatory focus of the preceding chapters. It treats political economy as a form of societal agriculture that lies between science and moral philosophy. As science it recognizes that societies exhibit law-like qualities that are open to discovery and articulation, but are not open to repeal. As moral philosophy, it seeks to bring that science to bear on uncovering the various terms of the Faustian bargain that the use of political power injects into societies.

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