The Innovation Industry

  • Philip Morrison
Keywords: Political Economy


Economists, both orthodox and Marxian, have traditionally viewed the rise of novelty in the forces of production as one social consequence of the economic nature of society, to be regarded as a diffuse but general condition of economic life, and not as the deliberate product of a particular industry. It is hard to doubt that this causal relationship still holds. Perhaps in Veblen, with his concern for the "state of the industrial arts," one can find the beginnings of a new trend. In any case, there is nowadays quite a different emphasis abroad. In the New York Times or in Fortune, you can easily read a new text: the driving force of the economy today is the directed, profitable, institutionalized search for novelty.