In contrast to Marxism, based on the idea of evolution, the market economy is characterised by quite different factors. It received its early impetus from Adam Smith, a son of the Enlightenment and thus estranged from the idea of evolution. He emphasised self-regulation of the market, and it is therefore no coincidence that illustrations from the mechanical world as well as the concept of equilibrium are employed even today. These categories, however, are so far removed from evolution that there is no chance even to begin to construct an evolutionary concept. Thus it is not surprising that evolution has been approached from an entirely different side, namely from that of history. This development, as we all know, was so pronounced in the German language area, that in the nineteenth century national economics was for a while dominated by history.1 Undoubtedly, history is concerned with developments, but also with the opposite, with regression. Both elements are part of man’s history in general and thus also of economic and social history.
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