Immaterial Economics - Traditional

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Unlike modern economics, traditional, religiously-inspired economic doctrines were not based on the accumulation of material assets, but on immaterial 'spiritual' assets. This may make these premodern traditions particularly relevant for our age.

Comments by Michel Bauwens: "Granted that we can learn from tribal gift economies that were based on reciprocity. But can we also learn from feudal economics? My perspective on this changed through a talk with Apichai Puntasen, a Thai social reformer and scholar who lectures about `Buddhist Economics'. Traditional religiously inspired economics, and I believe this would apply not only to Buddhist, but also to Islamic and why not Christian-inspired approaches, are in fact centered around the immaterial `spiritual' growth of the person, outlawing interest-based approaches based on greed. In any case, the above link is an essay showing that such tradition-inspired economics are far from dead, in fact, they are growing and forming a `new traditional economy'."

To read:

"This paper argues that a new economic system is emerging in the world economy, that of the new traditional economy. Such an economic system simultaneously seeks to have economic decision making embedded within a traditional socio-cultural framework, most frequently one associated with a traditional religion, while at the same time seeking to use modern technology and to be integrated into the modern world economy to some degree. The efforts to achieve such a system are reviewed in various parts of the world, with greater analysis of the Islamic and neo-Confucian economic systems.

Although the new traditional economy may not exist as a fully developed system in the full Polanyian sense, it exists as a perspective in the form of an ideal model which has become an ideological movement of significance around the world in many societies. Where it has come the closest to actually existing has been in societies where its adoption has been carried out gradually and only partly consciously, with the resulting synthesis thus most fully respecting and reflecting the genuine traditions of the society in question. It is this successful synthesis of the modern and the traditional which lies at the heart of the new traditional economy perspective and its appeal for many economies seeking a path in a transforming world economy."