I The Foundation 0/ the Official Ideology We are concerned here with the construction of economic man. Economic men, as we have concluded, have always existed but the construction of economic man as a concept was new. The concept and its survivalexplains why the boundaries of our own perception and the values which underlie our own society are almost entirely set in economic terms, why even the most radical critics and the most conservative advocates of capitalism have, for the most part, no difficulty in understanding each other because they share an economic vocabulary and economic values. Communists and capitalists merely disagree about control of the machine and the distribution of its product. The transcendence of economic man required an enormous shift in attitudes and beliefs. It required the almost total dismantling of the mediaeval and classical system of thinking, their concepts, understanding, and perceptions. In order to change the world it was necessary to change men's understanding of it .