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Additional resources for A Future of Capitalism: The Economic Vision of Robert Heilbroner
Lowe asks if it is possible for motivational patterns to cause disorder even in a macroenvironment which is devoid of exogenous disruptions? This also includes individuals who always operate in their own self-interest and apply rational maximizing behaviour- consistent with their action directives. The answer Lowe offers is yes. Lowe points to the role of expectations as a possible source of conflict. 3 He believes it is possible for individuals to operate in a maximizing manner (completely consistent with neoclassical assumptions) and still generate disorder in the macrosystem if expectations of the future differ from expected.
N phrase Worldly Philosophy. It is remarkable that the title of his flrst book should remain the most lucid description of his 'economics' for over forty years. He has refined the content of his thought over the years but he has never questioned the broad scope of his initial inquiry. He simply paints on a much larger canvas than most economists. Heilbroner works in what has become known as the classical 'grand tradition' (Nelll993b, 1). His scope is more inclusive than most modem economists. Market allocation is not the focus of his work although he admits that markets are inextricably linked to the capitalist social matrix.
This argument is best presented in his entry in Philip Arestis and Malcolm Sawyer's A Biographical DiCtionary of Dissenting Economists. Heilbroner writes: I have come to doubt that the historic course of contemporary capitalism can be depicted in terms of a self-regulating socioeconomic drama. For reasons of institutional size and complexity, changes in social attitudes and ever-more-urgent political imperatives, all capitalist economies are today subject to political direction of one sort or another, including the very important political decision as to the areas in which, and the extent to which, market processes will be allowed to work their way unhindered.