What I liked best about the piece is his conclusion that in a period of crisis and transformation, which I agree is certainly underway, we must not try to look for or latch on to any one or one set of possible solutions. Rather we should allow for maximum diversity and experimentation of as many social innovations as possible, in order to select out those that work under a variety of localized conditions.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
Quilley: A New Great Transformation
Stephen Quilley, using primarily the work of Karl Polanyi's The Great Transformation, makes a case for a new Great Transformation in the context of economic degrowth. He explains Polanyi's thesis of the 'disembedding' of the free market economy from non-economic social relations and how that led to two conflicting policies: an unregulated and predatory free market and a nationalized attempt to redistribute some private wealth as public benefits in the form of welfare states. Quilley's thesis is that conditions of degrowth might mean a return to re-embedding of a more localized economy within localized social relations that influence the market with non-economic social values, such as a concern for local skilled production and ecological impacts. Quilley's article, though dense, is a nice work of classical sociological argument. He references the work of the Social Innovation Generation at the University of Waterloo, a good source of research in this ares. [Check out "Pathways to System Change" as an example of their excellent work.] Following Polanyi, Quilley proposes that: