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Individual Subsistence: On a Principle of Economy and Society

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  • Thieme, Sebastian

Abstract

With this paper the author tries to clarify the terms of “public“ and “private“ with reference to the ideas of Thomas Hobbes and Johann Heinrich von Thünen. Both scientists showed that the individual's subsistence is very fundamental for a society and – therefore – the base of “public“. Additionally with reference to Polanyi's “Great Transformation“, it will be shown that the mainstream economic idea of “modern“ market economies acts strictly against the individual's subsistence. In contrast to his explanations, the protection of individual subsistence is an important part of solidarity. From that the question of shifting boundaries between “private“ and “public“ is reformulated against the background of the individual's subsistence! This paper gives reasons to think about the individual's subsistence as a neglected economic principle. Hereby it will also provide another and self-critical view from alternative economic perspective to the real question behind the shifting boundaries: Is a change in economic thinking to be expected? The insights into these problems will be especially useful in the prepartory work to discuss political activities in the light of the current economic crisis worldwide.

Suggested Citation

  • Thieme, Sebastian, 2010. "Individual Subsistence: On a Principle of Economy and Society," MPRA Paper 23405, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 21 Jun 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:23405
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/23405/2/MPRA_paper_23405.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Thieme, Sebastian, 2011. "Economic thinking and ethics: an ethical approach for economical issues," MPRA Paper 34313, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    History of Economic Thoughts; Thomas Hobbes; Johann Heinrich von Thünen; Karl Polanyi; Subsistence; Viablity; Right of Subsistence;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • B59 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Other
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • B00 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - General - - - History of Economic Thought, Methodology, and Heterodox Approaches

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