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“Do not adjust your theory – reality is at fault.” This could be the slogan of much of mainstream economics since the Second World War. The slogan fits because since the rise of neoclassical theory at the end of the nineteenth century, mainstream economics has regarded the determination of equilibrium conditions as the Holy Grail of theoretical discovery. But in order to demonstrate the existence of equilibria within models, economists have typically had to assume diminishing returns and negative feedback. Once we enter a real world with increasing returns and positive feedback – a world where deviations can be amplified rather than suppressed – then the conventional demonstrations of equilibria are no longer viable.