Think of the entire economy as analogous to the cell. It contains
irreducibly complex sub-systems. Some components are part of IC
sub-systems, some are not. Some components are vital to survival of the
whole, some are not.
Although changes in our economy are driven by intelligent agents, such a
system can be modelled by an algorythm with "autonomous agents" each
employing strategies to maximize some function of input variables. Could
such a model start from "simple" initial conditions and evolve into a
system with IC sub-systems? I haven't seen such work published, but my
guess is it could probably be done.