The General Theorem of Continuity and Equilibrium [Brief Item #82]

[5/20/20] Bernard Lonergan:  The analysis has revealed that the economic system is a pattern of aggregate dynamic relationships arranged in different kinds of velocity and accelerator rhythms. … the general theorem of continuity is that this complex machine has a nature that must be respected.   The general theorem of continuity is the abstract and formal aspect of such limitations in the economic order.  … there has to be an internal coherence … , and to violate this coherence is to rout economic organization.  Just as the movements of the controls of an airplane must be coordinated and all coordinations are not possible at all instants, so also the economic machine has its controls, which can be moved only in concert and only in a limited number of ways at any given time.  … Such is the general theorem of continuity.  In the abstract and in a general way, it affirms that the economic process can proceed only within the limits of equilibrium of the various phases.  To step outside them is to bring about a general breakdown. (CWL 21, 73) [#82] (Click here for previous “Single Paragraphs” or “Brief Items”)

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