Development and Underdevelopment in the History of Economic Thought

What can be learned from archaic economies while reflecting on the role of solidarity economies in development?

Öztürk Sedef, MA Student at department of Economics, Yeditepe University (Turkey)

Current needs for development show that it is necessary to go beyond the traditional thinking of development as a set of tools that the public sector should implement. It is possible to consider development in the most general sense as the total elimination of inequalities within and between societies, not only applications that suggest temporary solutions to economic and humanitarian crises by collaborating with international organizations and local governments. In this sense, solidarity economies can be considered as one of the effective experiments for development. Solidarity economies aim to cultivate the seeds of a post-capitalist world by radically changing our perception of daily and economic life. The activity of offering local solutions to local problems with non-hierarchical arrangements as the primary goal while organizing the activities. Because solidarity economies set out with the argument that the economic system we are in is not “the ultimate economy” and does not have unique and ideal functioning, while experimenting with an alternative economic process, it is not surprising to encounter the archaic examples of economy and rethink alternative mechanisms such as barter and potlatch. Inspired by archaic economy examples, solidarity economies invite new perspectives on development by transforming these with creative solutions suitable for today's needs. It is not surprising that mainstream approaches in economics and development, which is based on conveying the economic doctrine of capitalism, does not find it worthwhile to examine the different and stimulating economic lives in human history. Our knowledge of archaic examples therefore comes from anthropologists and heterodox economists.The studies of Bronislaw Malinowski introduced these examples to the academic scene, critiques of Marcel Mauss and economic perspective of Karl Polanyi enriched the topic.


Keywords: development, solidarity economies, archaic economies

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