Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Economy, polity, society

I recently finished a very interesting little book by Blair Adams, published by Colloquium Press. The title is "Severing the Roots of Unsustainability." It is called "A Basic Primer", for it is derived from other much more extensive works. It looks at how culture includes three aspects, economy, polity, and society. What determines the nature of the culture is which of those three is dominant. If economy is dominant then the other two; the public, civil life and inter-personal relationships serve only towards the goal of economic growth. What I would call raw capitalism. If polity is dominant, then the other two are subservient to the expansion of the public/civil life, an authoritarian type of system. In the type of culture where society, meaning personal relationships, is dominant then the basis of relationships is voluntary association with shared principles and values. Thus the civil government springs from the internal self-government of the people. The economy is based on meeting the needs of the individuals and the community, not focused on greater profit.

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