The Revolution that Never Was

How the Textbooks Might Have Been: A brief introduction to Chapters 9 through 12 of The Utopia Thieves

Chris Harris, PhD
1 min readMay 28, 2021

IN the abstract to his ‘Credo’, Paul Samuelson recorded that “At war’s end, introductory economics textbooks were overdue for a revolutionary advance.” And yet, many of the old pre-New Deal and pre-World War II economic verities, including an atomistic vision of the economy, would ultimately be restored.

In the next four chapters, Chapters Nine through Twelve, I am going to talk about what the British economic commentator Will Hutton dubbed ‘The Revolution that Never Was’. In other words, how the introduction to economics could have been re-created on new foundations, but ultimately wasn’t.

In those chapters, I will be addressing the following themes:

  • How to Pay for Progress: Public Finance and Modern Monetary Theory
  • The Big Push Revisited: Lessons of Industrial Transformation
  • The Social Contract: Embedding the Economic Individual
  • The End of Absolutism: Toward an Economic Constitution

Click here for Chapter 9, ‘How to Pay for Progress’

Jump back to the start of Chapter One



Chris Harris, PhD

I am an urban historian from Aotearoa New Zealand. With an engineering background, I also have a PhD in planning and economics.