Economic Systems; Economic History; Developmental State;
Societies progress by the influence of two forces: innovativeness and cooperativeness. A capacity for enabling these forces constitutes a society’s transformative capacity. The article proposes a vocabulary for certain universal requirements for use in comparing the various societal trajectories aiming towards shared prosperity.Progress to date has in consequence normally seen the growth of empowerment and of more benevolent forms of domination over time. Economic action fosters the sharing of prosperity when systems encourage competition to cooperate. Studies that stress the heritage of ecological context in shaping relevant responses in the present-day social psychology are considered.The specific field of innovativeness is considered by an analysis of Silicon Valley. From this, and from other studies, seven features are identified for an ideal type of societal system high on innovativeness.These are capacity to scale up, worker creativity, individual autonomy, property rights and incentive, open society, stable institutional order and rationality. China is assessed against these criteria, and found to have certain inadequacies that are currently the subject of policy attention.