"This is one way that ideology works: The assumptions of the theory are not true, so you set out to change the world so that the assumptions become true. It also shows how deluded limited-government conservatives are. Once economics becomes the queen of the sciences, given initial conditions, we get the technocratic management of utilities that oversees free-market exchanges to ensure that they are Pareto-optimal, which they must be if what economic theory predicts as true is in fact true. And because “comprehensive doctrines” are proscribed, there’s no leverage in public life to point us toward a different outcome. This is not theoretical. It describes with relative accuracy some of the crucial features of American public life in 2018. Economics as a discipline did not create these present conditions. It would be an absurd determinism to imagine that to be so. But the discipline of economics, as practiced for the last one or two generations, makes today’s impoverished public debates and our end-of-history entanglement with the technocratic administrative state seem normal, natural, even inevitable."