Where political history anchors our expectations, and political philosophy sets the function by which we compare what we observe to those expectations, political economy creates hysteresis that prevents wild swings at the output of that function, providing the elites time to respond and avoid being deposed. In this sense, economics remain inherently political and remains rightly termed "political economy."
Human beings are really quite simple and easy to control. What makes each individual unique does not render him immune to the control mechanisms that have been tried-and-true for millennia. Everything modern elites knew was taught by Aristotle to Alexander.