Ludwig Lachmann: “Mechanistic theories are bound to produce results which look automatic”

“The path of economic progress is strewn with the wreckage of failures. Every business man knows this, but few economists seem to have taken note of it. In most of the theories currently in fashion economic progress is apparently regarded as the more or less automatic outcome of capital investment, “autonomous” or otherwise.
Perhaps we should not be surprised at this fact: mechanistic theories are bound to produce results which look automatic.”
(Ludwig Lachmann, Capital and Its Structure, 1953, p. 36-37)

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