Books on Moral
Moral Economy is the central
characteristic of economic activity in a tribal society. Rather than economic exchanges
being motivated by self-interest, greed or profit, exchanges are driven by moral
obligations created by kinship structure and
relations, gift giving, and rituals.
In a moral economy, like in a hunter gatherer society, a hunter or food gatherer
may by obliged to give much of the food to a network of relations, thus accounting for the distribution of food within the community.
It was the final collapse of
moral economy, economic exchange as moral obligation that Karl
Marx bemoaned when he described the cash nexus that has become the central
medium and motivator of exchange in capitalism and capitalist
The moral economy embodies norms regarding the responsibilities and rights of individuals and
institutions with respect to others and regarding the nature and qualities of goods,
services and environment. The story of capitalism and modernity is often told as one of
the replacement of moral economy by a political economy, in which the fate of actors comes
to depend on the outcomes of anonymous contending market forces, the positioning of people
as consumers turns moral judgements concerning the social good into matters of private
preference, and their fortunes become heavily dependent on luck, as even market advocates
such as Hayek, acknowledge.
The Moral Economy of the
Mexican Miner - Adrian Bantjes, University of Wyoming.
Paper seeks to explain the isolated, conservative political role played by mineworkers
during the radical presidency of Lazaro Cardenas (1934 1940), using the Sonoran miners as
a case study. The moral economy of the Mexican miner was not accepted by the State, which
imposed cooperativism, mass unionism, and deskilling on this
"labor aristocratic" sector of the workforce. The relative freedom and
independence of the Mexican miner would soon be a thing of the past.
The Moral Economy of the
Peasant - Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia - James C. Scott -
yalepress.yale.edu - Scott draws from the history of agrarian society in lower Burma and
Vietnam to show how the transformations of the colonial era systematically violated the
peasants moral economy and created a situation of potential rebellion
The Moral Economy - John P. Powelson is Professor of Economics Emeritus,
University of Colorado - press.umich.edu. The Moral Economy proposes a desirable world
that is historically possible, if certain trends of the past millennium are continued into
the next, and if world power becomes more diffuse. As we enter the twenty-first century,
it looks to the horizon to suggest what a distant future might bring. Shows how a moral
economy, a balance between interventionism and libertarianism, and economic prosperity are
Abstract of The Moral
Adam Smith's classic liberal economy works well only when economic and political power is
well distributed. The distribution of power in the twenty-first century depends on which
of three paths we take: interventionism, libertarianism,
or the middle path proposed in this book.
This path is called "the moral economy." It seeks balance of power among social
groupings, in which socially desirable behavior is imposed sidewise-by group acting upon
group-rather than downward, through government regulation. Environmental and other social
goals are sought by nongovernment agencies as much removed from politics as possible,
while social assistance is administered by private agencies financed in part by cash or
voucher grants supplied by government, or by a negative income tax.
The final chapter describes the moral economy, using the solutions to the problems cited
in Part One and the institutions proposed in Part Two. It also outlines the path by which
the moral economy might be approached.