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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1985

Tomas Riha

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and…

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Abstract

Nobody concerned with political economy can neglect the history of economic doctrines. Structural changes in the economy and society influence economic thinking and, conversely, innovative thought structures and attitudes have almost always forced economic institutions and modes of behaviour to adjust. We learn from the history of economic doctrines how a particular theory emerged and whether, and in which environment, it could take root. We can see how a school evolves out of a common methodological perception and similar techniques of analysis, and how it has to establish itself. The interaction between unresolved problems on the one hand, and the search for better solutions or explanations on the other, leads to a change in paradigma and to the formation of new lines of reasoning. As long as the real world is subject to progress and change scientific search for explanation must out of necessity continue.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 12 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1992

Tomas J.F. Riha

Political changes in the countries of Central and Eastern Europehave created both the preconditions as well as the need for thetransition from the old to a new economic…

Abstract

Political changes in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have created both the preconditions as well as the need for the transition from the old to a new economic order. In the absence of any ready substitute, the institutional vacuum which arose plunged the majority of these countries into economic chaos and anarchy. A way of arresting this continuing drift towards chaos and political discontent is not to be found by striving for the reintroduction of laissez‐faire. A new stable economic order can be established only on the precepts of a just society. Suggests two alternatives delegating decision making in the sphere of economics to groups and formations outside parliament, or establishing a socially reponsible free market economy. The transition process probably would go through the phases: from plan to anarchy to group control to legally constrained market control.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 7/8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1990

Tomas J.F. Riha

Economics, as one of the cultural and historical sciences, isresponsible for the investigation of the meaningful relation between thewhole and the parts, based on organic…

Abstract

Economics, as one of the cultural and historical sciences, is responsible for the investigation of the meaningful relation between the whole and the parts, based on organic linking and not on the mechanical‐causal relationship. The relevant contributions of the leading holistic school of thought – universalism – is thus described, focusing on the fundamental concepts and methods of understanding and on their possible application in economics. The article aims to aid present methodologists of economics and other social sciences, disenchanted with the individualistic and disjointed approaches of their respective disciplines, in building up a body of integrated theory and in suggesting new areas of research.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 17 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1998

Tomas J. F. Riha

Attempts to trace the evolution of the major ideas of the natural law and in this way shed some light on the ethical contents of economics. Asks the reader to ponder some…

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Abstract

Attempts to trace the evolution of the major ideas of the natural law and in this way shed some light on the ethical contents of economics. Asks the reader to ponder some of the perennial questions such as: What is primary, ego or social association? Is man a social animal by nature? Is man a political animal? Is the justification for human existence to be found in the individual alone or in the social whole? Is society a synthesis of individuals, or does it contain something more than the simple totality of individuals?

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 25 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Tomas J.F. Riha

Identifies certain commonalities in the bases of the moral philosophies of Rand (individualist/capitalist/egoist) and Marx (collectivist/socialist/altruist), such as a…

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Abstract

Identifies certain commonalities in the bases of the moral philosophies of Rand (individualist/capitalist/egoist) and Marx (collectivist/socialist/altruist), such as a man’s natural rights and materialism. Examines their philosophies from an ethical viewpoint, looking at the origins and content of morality, moral laws, the principles of ethics and realistically reflects the nature of man, as man can be neither wholly altruistic nor wholly individualistic but is rather a combination of both, with man’s self‐development depending on interaction with other haman beings. Concludes that neither doctrine presents a viable model of social organization.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 21 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Clem Tisdell

Globalization has been accompanied by disintegration of local communities and loss of sense of community. These changes have entailed considerable socio‐economic cost…

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1327

Abstract

Globalization has been accompanied by disintegration of local communities and loss of sense of community. These changes have entailed considerable socio‐economic cost. Kant’s moral imperative raises questions about communal values. Points out that due to dynamic changes, governance and institutions sometimes have to change if local communities are to survive. Unfortunately, co‐evolution often is so difficult or so slow that the sustainability of communities is endangered. Gives examples. There is significant conflict between Kantian social philosophy and that of the Libertarians and the Utilitarians. Explores aspects of this conflict.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 24 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Tomas J.F. Riha

Property is considered paramount to one’s existence, as a natural, absolute and inalienable right. Occupancy is required for man to secure what his thoughts have already…

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Property is considered paramount to one’s existence, as a natural, absolute and inalienable right. Occupancy is required for man to secure what his thoughts have already made his. Property is realized in use but the right of occupancy and the status of res nullius are not established by the absence of use only, but in addition there must be also the absence of will of original owners. Arguing that appropriation precedes production dismisses the assertion that property is the fruit of labour. In contrast to the followers of the “state of nature” point of view, it is argued that common property is not natural and as such it is only transitory. Private property is at the root of man’s universality because it is common to all and individuals recognize each other only as owners. To base the origin of property in a social contract is erroneous because any contract must be based on the mutual recognition of parties involved who are already property owners. It is necessary that everybody have property not only in his or her persons but also to provide for subsistence. This would be regarded by natural law as just. Justice does not require the equality of property. Perpetual inequalities in property rights are not natural but the result of man‐made institutions which would not in themselves be right and would not have the obligatory power in virtue of their rightness. As such they would not be morally binding. Society that systematically consigns whole classes to conditions of poverty undermines the rationality of the ethical order and as such heads towards self‐destruction. Today, people are generally convinced that a person’s happiness depends on the satisfaction of that person’s actual desires. Property in things and enjoyment of one’s possessions, is often perceived as prerequisites for happiness. Individual happiness as an outcome derived from the distribution of property rights should be demoted from its status as the final good in preference to freedom.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 27 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1994

Tomas J.F. Riha

Claims that the process of transition of former socialist countries hasbeen misguided. The reform of the economic system is but part of theoverall process of social…

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675

Abstract

Claims that the process of transition of former socialist countries has been misguided. The reform of the economic system is but part of the overall process of social transformation, and it is argued that at the root of the disappointing results has been the fact that instead of focusing on moral redemption, the moral decay of these societies has even been enhanced by the infusion of economic egoism. The present transition can be seen as a process of transformation from primitive socialism to primitive capitalism. Without the sanctity of law and order rooted in the value system of the cultural heritage of Judeo‐Christian ethics, the privatization of state industries and public utilities including the commercialization of education, health, the arts and sciences has been creating conditions for a place far removed from an environment conducive to social peace, political stability and economic growth.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 21 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1994

Tomas J.F. Riha

The law of value performs its regulatory function in the capitalistsystem where the private ownership of means of production and commodityproduction prevail. Under the…

Abstract

The law of value performs its regulatory function in the capitalist system where the private ownership of means of production and commodity production prevail. Under the centrally directed system of socialism, the economic process must be determined by plans and valuations of the central authority to maintain the consistency of the system′s internal co‐ordinating mechanism. In theory, the process of building socialism is a process of the withering away of the operation of the law of value. Recognition of the law of value as a permanent feature of the socialist economic system means conceding either a lack of understanding of the fundamental differences between capitalism and socialism, or the failure of the Marxist‐Leninist dogma. It also acknowledges that the Soviet system of socialism was exposed to increasing contamination by elements incompatible with socialism and was gradually transformed into its opposite – a form of centrally regulated exchange economy where a new ruling class, grown from the Party, was (and temporarily still is) in control of public ownership of means of production, as well as of all markets. The evolution of Soviet socialism from the October Revolution to its disintegration can be characterized by its passage through distinct “official” attitudes towards the role of the law of value. Its denial under the totally centralized economy of War Communism was followed by its temporary reintroduction under the New Economic Policy, then the recognition of its restricted functioning during the transitory phase from socialism to communism, then its recognition as a permanent feature of socialism, and finally its abandonment together with the rest of the Marxist‐Leninist dogma following both the doctrinal and economic crises in the 1990s.

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 21 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1987

John C. O'Brien

Most contemporary economists feel ill at ease with respect to big topics — national economic organisation, interpretation of economic history, relations of economic and…

Abstract

Most contemporary economists feel ill at ease with respect to big topics — national economic organisation, interpretation of economic history, relations of economic and political power, origins and functions of economic institutions. The terrain is unsuitable for our tools. We find it hard to frame meaningful questions, much less to answer them. (James Tobin, Nobel Laureate)

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International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 14 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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