Alternatives to Conventional Economic Development: And the Philosophy of Not Realising our Potential


Reblogged because we need this debate. We are mining our legacies to make the numbers look good. “Real economic development requires first a rethink of these underlying conceptual metaphors they frame our debates.  We need a deeper discussion about the real nature of people and place, and of the key role of human values and the nature of powerful and destructive interests, and their failing ideas.”

Chris Perley's Blog

More than 20 years ago a deep thinker, Richard Norgaard, wrote a book called Development Betrayed.  What he wrote wasn’t particularly new.  Other beautiful minds from Leopold Kohr, E. F. Schumacher to the still living treasure, Wendell Berry, made similar points.  Manfred Max-Neef, the barefoot economist, walked around in the communities he was trying to help, learning about the real nature of people and place that conventional economics did not teach.

Chaplin critique of modernity

They wrote about how the dominant ideas in economic development thought are severely distorted by what economists don’t consider – obsessed as they are with quantitative models divorced from a largely qualitative and ever-changing reality.  They simplify how life, society and even our complex and beautiful planet behave, to mechanical ‘resources’, quantities and price.

In other words, ‘Modernity’; the idea that the world (including humanity) is some great machine whose future will be…

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