THE LOGICAL CRUX OF ALL SCIENCE
W HEN the facts of international economic inequalities and their tendency to increase are confronted with the public conscience in the richer nations and with the economic theory which has developed in the cultural setting of those countries, both moral and intellectual discords are brought into the open.
The moral discord is undoubtedly more fundamental. On the one hand, these nations adhere on the general plane of valuations to the ideal, deep-rooted in Western civilization, of the rights of all individuals to equality of opportunity, irrespective of race and colour, religion and creed, social status and nationality. On the other hand, the citizens of these nations are not in fact prepared to accept in their daily lives the full implications of this great moral principle.
Economic theory is only a segment of the total culture. It partly serves the needs of opportunistic rationalization. In order to live comfortably with the moral discord these nations need an economic theory that diverts attention from this discord.
This need enhances the strength of those old predilections of economic theory which serve as antidotes to that theory's basic doctrine of equality. It also prolongs the life of theoretical devices that 'prove' those predilections, such as stable equilibrium models and the abstraction from 'non-economic' factors. Equilibrium analysis, with the positive value connotations attached to equilibrium, tends to confirm a bias for laissezfaire in policy. The separation of 'economic factors', together____________________