"The success of mathematical physics led the social scientist to be jealous of its power without quite understanding the intellectual attitudes that had contributed to this power. The use of mathematical formulae had accompanied the development of the natural sciences and become the mode in the social sciences. Just as primitive peoples adopt the Western modes of denationalized clothing and of parliamentatism out of a vague feeling that these magic rites and vestments will at once put them abreast of modern culture and technique, so the economists have developed the habit of dressing up their rather imprecise ideas in the language of the infinitesimal calculus." -- Norbert Wiener (quoted by Joan Robinson in Freedom and Necessity)Looking at the last chapter in his Cybernetics: or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (John Wiley & Sons, 1948) provides some insight into Wiener's attitude. That chapter is titled "Information, Language, and Society". He looks at society as an organization, the elements of which are themselves small organizations. He looks at communication between these elements as being an application of cybernetic theory, now days more commonly known as C3I. And Wiener makes such observations as:
"In connection with the effective amount of communal information, one of the most surprising acts about the body politic is its extreme lack of efficient homeostatic processes. There is a belief, current in many countries, which has been elevated to the rank of an official article of faith in the United States, that free competition is itself a homeostatic process: that in a free market, the individual selfishnesses of the bargainers, each seeking to sell as high and buy as low as possible, will result in the end in a stable dynamics of prices, and with rebound to the greatest common good. This is associated with the very comforting view that the individual entrepreneur, in seeking to forward his own interest, is in some manner a public benefactor, and has thus earned the great rewards with which society has showered him. Unfortunately, the evidence, such as it is, is against this simple-minded theory." -- p. 185Wiener also comments on those those who
"consider the main task of the immediate future is to extend to the fields of anthropology, of sociology, of economics, the methods of the natural sciences..."He thinks they "show an excessive optimism, and a misunderstanding of the nature of all scientific achievement." He thinks the social sciences do not have the requisite "degree of isolation of the phenomenon from the observer."
So it seems the prodigious Norbert Wiener considered cybernetics to encompass an alternative to neoclassical economics and was concerned about the proper methodology of applying his theories to society.