By Gunnar Myrdal
Opposed to The flow: severe Essays On Economics, by way of Myrdal, Gunnar
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Additional resources for Against the Stream: Critical Essays on Economics
When the closely interrelated4 secular philosophies of natural law and utilitarianism established themselves throughout the Western world in the seventeenth and eigh- Place of Values in Social Policy • § 2 35 teenth centuries, they followed the same line. This became the more important as all the social sciences and, in particular, economics branched off from these Enlightenment philosophies. They came to include and, in fact, elaborated the doctrine of equality and actually afforded theoretical "proofs" of it.
All social speculation in the Western world from that time on has had ultra-radical policy premises at its very roots. But the whole development of economic theory from the classics until today must largely be explained as determined by the need felt to isolate and render innocuous these radical policy premises at the basis of economic theory. 5 In England the so-called "radical school" from Bentham on was radical in all fields except the economic one. This was, of course, an adjustment to the political power situation in England in that period and the opportunistically biased way of thinking in a society so dominated.
7. The Importance of Motivation It is my thesis that when, in recent years, willingness to aid has faltered both in the United States and in most other developed countries and, therefore, globally, the explanation is that the arguments focused on the self-interest of the developed nations are not believed by, and, even more important, do not appeal to, the common people who make up the bulk of the electorate in all these countries. It is only natural that the disastrous course of United States foreign and military policies toward underdeveloped countries, particularly in Asia and Latin America, to which most American aid has been directed, has made the reduction of aid steep in that country.
Against the Stream: Critical Essays on Economics by Gunnar Myrdal