Toward Edinburgh post Adam Smith.
Adam smith was both a humanist who wanted a fair and wealthy society and interested in commerce and the rising feeling for a better future through the nations (note plural in “wealth of nations”).
These two paths are actually quite similar, but different in the ways rules are applied.
The commercial side came to dominate. (actually a blend of state and corporations) The penetration of state/corporations/media into everything, reduces family, relationships, the pleasure of sociability – community and cooperation – leaving us with too many isolated individuals reacting to ambition, fear, consumerism, inequality and competition (which guarantees there are losers)…
The economists played a role in creating this culture, important as seen from their own self congratulations, but maybe not so important when looked at as a causal factor in the emergence of the technical/financial as an instrument of power.
It is hard to see historically because of enlightenment individualism and Renaissance sense of power and state.
There is little doubt that the current nexus of increased population, increasing climate temperature; increasing vulnerability of infrastructure, the weakness of governance institutions, and the rise of inequality are the outcome of the choices made.