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Political Economy Theories - Assignment Example

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Political economy can be defined as a social science that deals with how institutions develop in different social and economic systems such as capitalism, socialism and communism. …
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Political Economy Theories
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Blog assignment: Political economy theories Political economy can be defined as a social science that deals withhow institutions develop in different social and economic systems such as capitalism, socialism and communism. It is the science of wealth, which deals with efforts made by man to supply wants and satisfy desires. This piece will focus on two key theories put across by various economists and demonstrate how they have been used to explain the impact of political ideologies on economic relations such as buying and selling od goods, flow of investment, wealth or poverty of regions and ways in which economic power influences political relationships among states. The theories used in this analysis will be the Marxist and Neoliberalism.
Marxism is a system of economic, social, and political philosophy based on ideas that view social change in terms of economic factors. This theory asserts that for human beings to survive they must produce and reproduce the materials necessary for life. As a result, the societies are therefore governed by forces of production. Karl Marx believed that although capitalism develops the productive powers of human societies to historically unprecedented heights, it does so in ways, which are also disabling, exploitative, and undemocratic. In order to change this unjust order in the society Marx advocated for a revolution which would see the distribution of wealth from the few owners of production to all members of the society.
“Neo” refers to a new kind of liberalization carved out by an elite group of capitalists from the old liberal school of economics that belonged to famous economists such as Adam Smith. Neoliberalism is in the first instance a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade. The political economy under neoliberalism is as a result of the following key points. Firstly, there is the liberation of any enterprise imposed by the government regardless of the social damage done to the people. Secondly, neoliberalism calls for the cutting of public expenditure for social services such as healthcare and education. This removes the safety net of the poor leaving them at the mercy of the private enterprises. Thirdly, there is the reduction of government regulation on anything that may diminish business profits. Fourthly, there is the privatization of state owned enterprises under the pretext of improving efficiency. This only serves to concentrate wealth among the few rich and ensure that the people pay more for previously affordable services. Finally, there is the replacement of “public good” with “individual responsibility” where every man is charged with the responsibility of providing their own needs and if they fail, they are to blame for not being as aggressive as the few successful members are. In this type of economy, the rich are rich because they work hard and eliminate competition while the poor are poor due to their laziness and inability to keep up with the competition.
Works Cited
Boucher, D. Political Theories of international Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Eatwell, Milgate, Newman. Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, 1987.
Gills, B. K. Historical Materialism and International Relations Theory, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, Vol.16, No 2. 1987, pp. 265-272.
Harvey, David. A Brief History of Neoliberalism. Oxford University Press, 2005. Read More
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