Political Economy became primarily a theory of production. In particular, there is the danger of confusing too readily certain enduring truths which were the essential contribution of classical Political Economy, properly so-called, with the shapes into which these notions were subsequently fashioned in more scholastic or apologetic hands. To contemporaries the reign of law that Political Economy postulated was hard to credit. Political Economy had created the concept of economic society as an autonomous system, ruled by laws of its own. True, classical Political Economy contained no final demonstration that laissez-faire produced the optimum result in human welfare. As a critique levelled simultaneously against the authoritarianism of an autocratic state and against the privileges and influence of the landed aristocracy Political Economy at its inception played a revolutionary role. Regulation by the State, previously held to be essential if order was to emerge from chaos, was seen to be unnecessary.