- Hirschman, Albert O. (1991). The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy
- Myrdal, Gunnar (1953). The Political Element in the Development of Economic Thought (Translated by Paul Streeten), Routledge and Kegan Paul
- Popper, Karl R. (1945). The Open Society and Its Enemies (Two volumes), George Routledge & Sons
Myrdal writes a history of economics. He thinks one cannot correctly derive concrete policy proposals from abstract norms, such as "the greatest good for the greatest number". Nevertheless, political economists have often claimed to do exactly that. Myrdal critiques their argument.
Hirschman also writes a history. He explores how those on the right have argued against progressive policies. He identifies three main arguments rightists tend to pull out always:
- Perversity: attempts to improve matters will frustate themselves and only make matters worse. (Think of the incorrect neoclassical economics textbook argument about minimum wages.)
- Futility: the matters that we want to change are so deep seated that they cannot be reached, despite all our efforts.
- Jeopardy: We may be able to effect positive change, but we nevertheless put at risk other desirable features of society.