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Evolution of economic systems

Summary:
From Asad Zaman Economic systems evolve, sometimes under external dynamic and sometimes under internal dynamics. As they evolve, economic theories co-evolve, however their can be (often are) lags in understanding – so theories relevant to one system are applied to another, with disastrous results. Human beings started out with tribal societies, and spent the longest period of history in this form. They societes were egalitarian and communal. They were not market oriented. Production and  distribution was done by consensus of the community. Communities were self-sufficient, producing or acquiring basic needs for all members, without any markets or trade. For more details, see “Hunter-Gatherer Societies”.  An essential point to understand is that the economic system shaped the nature of

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from Asad Zaman

Economic systems evolve, sometimes under external dynamic and sometimes under internal dynamics. As they evolve, economic theories co-evolve, however their can be (often are) lags in understanding – so theories relevant to one system are applied to another, with disastrous results.

Human beings started out with tribal societies, and spent the longest period of history in this form. They societes were egalitarian and communal. They were not market oriented. Production and  distribution was done by consensus of the community. Communities were self-sufficient, producing or acquiring basic needs for all members, without any markets or trade. For more details, see “Hunter-Gatherer Societies”.  An essential point to understand is that the economic system shaped the nature of the society – the need for cooperation to survive in a harsh environment shaped social norms. This is again in contrast with the story told by economists that evolution has shaped us to be greedy and competitive, as this is necessary for survival. For the opposite point of view, see “Does Altruism Exist?” by D. S. Wilson, which uses latest findings of evolutionary biology to show that the opposite is true. Evolution has shaped human beings to be cooperative and generous.

In light of these understandings, it is very important for us to study the great transformation in European societies during which traditional societies based on cooperation, social responsibility, and community, were replaced by market societies with competition, individualism, and hedonism. This is because our own identities have been shaped by living in market societies.  read more

Asad Zaman
Physician executive. All opinions are my personal. It is okay for me to be confused as I’m learning every day. Judge me and be confused as well.

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