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Subreption, Radical Institutionalism, and Economic Evolution

John Hall Author-Email: and Joe Mitchell-Nelson ()
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John Hall Author-Email: Economics and International Studies at Portland State University, Oregon, USA Author-Name: Alexander Dunlap Author-Email:
Joe Mitchell-Nelson: PhD Candidate in the Department of Economics, University of Oregon, USA

Panoeconomicus, 2016, vol. 63, issue 4, 475-492

Abstract: This inquiry seeks to establish the importance of subreption as an approach to economic and social evolution that also proves integral to the tradition of radical institutionalism. We relate subreption’s etymology and appearances in Roman, Canon and Scots Law, as well as in Philosophy, to its applications found in writings advanced by Thorstein Veblen and carried on later as William Dugger details the rise of corporate hegemony. Understood as an approach derivable from selected philosophical writings of Immanuel Kant, in social science subreption is suggested to occur through the introduction of an outside value that sets off a form of institutional evolution that we characterize as an évolution noire. Considering subreption and the rise of big business, we can mark a movement away from a past governed by comparatively noble values and towards a deteriorated, debased and degraded economic and social reality overtly influenced by comparatively ignoble, pecuniary values.

Keywords: Evolutionary economics; Immanuel Kant; Radical institutionalism; Subreption; Thorstein Veblen; William Dugger (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B15 B25 B31 B41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:voj:journl:v:63:y:2016:i:4:p:475-492