A static building can be blueprinted and, when built, photographed and admired. An electricity flow or a fluid flow in some type of delivery system does not get photographed; its performance gets metered, monitored, and compared against its desired systematic standard. A screen display would indicate whether the flow was aberrational requiring controlled adjustment, or not. Similarly, a set of interdependent economic flows of products and payments should be metered, monitored, and compared to their normative, functional, dynamic interrelationships, and, if necessary, adjusted into the proper dynamic equilibrium.
The norm would be that provided by a dynamical, explanatory, normative theory of functional interrelations. Criticism Requires an Normative Theory, else the criticism can only be haphazard.
A systematic explanation, then, requires a normative theoretical framework. The basic terms and relations of such a framework would specify the distinctions and correlations that articulate the causes, which are not necessarily visible, of events that are apparent to all. The framework would thus stand to the ordinary apprehension of the booms and slumps of the trade cycle in much the same way that the explanatory grasp of acceleration as the second derivative of a continuous function of distance and time stands to the ordinary, commonsense grasp of what it is to be going faster. (CWL 15, Editors’ Introduction, lv)
It is not just the absence of functional distinctions, … It is the entire mentality, the fixity of the descriptive and modeling mentality as opposed to the explanatory and normative perspective at which we aim. [McShane, 2017, 62]