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Political implications of cultural evolution

Horst Feldmann (Department of Economics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 1 November 2004



In the course of cultural evolution, certain institutions have emerged and become dominant in the Western world that have led to an unprecedented rise in prosperity and population. This paper first explains the characteristics and significance of cultural evolution. Subsequently, it explains the fundamental role of politics and the scope for political action in cultural evolution, clearing up some fairly widespread misconceptions about this question. Finally, it derives three specific guidelines from the characteristics of cultural evolution that should be followed in politics. First, the principle of individual freedom should be realized as far as possible. Second, the rule of law should be secured. Third, the scope of action of the state should be closely limited and the state should be decentrally organized. The more consistently these guidelines are followed, the better the prospects of the respective society to survive and prosper in the competitive process of cultural evolution.



Feldmann, H. (2004), "Political implications of cultural evolution", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 31 No. 11/12, pp. 1089-1108.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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