The formation of the market system and its social essence - Economic Sociology

The formation of the market system and its social essence

History is not known to society - except primitive - wherever there is no market exchange. However, before the emergence of capitalist society, it occupies a different place among the forms of social integration of the economy and has a different meaning than now. Specificity consists, according to K. Polanyi, in the following.

First , in its structural position, i.e. the market in pre-capitalist, traditional societies is neither an independent nor, moreover, a determining form, it is secondary to reciprocity and redistribution.

Secondly, exchange relations, however intense they may be, in traditional societies do not change their social order, as here they buy and sell finished goods, the transition of which from one owner to another does not change the essence of social relations.

Thirdly, the relationship of exchange is immersed in the system of interpersonal relations, as Polanyi emphasizes, "until our era, the markets have never represented anything more than a simple addition to economic life. As a rule, the economic system was "absorbed" in the social system, and whatever principle of behavior dominated the economy, the market model proved to be completely compatible with it. "

Fourth, as Polanyi notes, "regulation and markets grew in parallel." The self-regulatory market remained unknown. " In the economic systems of developing capitalism, for example in mercantilist, the market developed intensively and fruitfully, but at the same time it was regulated by the state. At the same time, the political and social institutions of a traditional society almost always protected social ties from destruction, inevitably following the intervention of the market beyond certain limits. Polanyi, on the example of the history of the development of capitalism in England, shows the forms of the restrictive policy of the state and counteracting the expansion of the market, in particular, a number of laws that protect against encirclement and complete impoverishment of the people. Polanyi sees the role of the city, this primordial center of trade development, crafts and all sales-oriented industries, not only contributing to the development of the market, but also preventing the spread of the market in rural areas, thus protecting traditional interpersonal relations in the village from its devastating impact.

At the beginning of the XIX century. yet there is a system of self-regulating markets, "controlled, regulated and managed solely by markets; the order in the production and distribution of goods must be wholly ensured by this self-regulating mechanism. Such an economy is based on the assumption that people always behave in such a way as to obtain the maximum monetary benefit ... Self-regulation means that everything is produced for sale on the market and that the source of any income is similar sales acts. " Polanyi notes that the transformation of the former (traditional - Ya. Z.) economy into this system (market - Ya. Z.) is so complete and absolute that it resembles a caterpillar metamorphosis rather than any changes that could be described in terms of gradual growth and development. "

Such radical changes are explained by the fact that the "subordination of the economic system to the market" takes place, which "has colossal consequences for social organization: nothing more than the transformation of society into an appendage of the market." Now it is not the economy that "integrates" into the system of social relations, but social ties into the economic system ".

The mechanism of transforming the traditional economy into a marketable Polanyi represents both the emergence of three fictitious goods - land, labor and money. They are called fictitious because, even if they are included in the free market turnover, they do not correspond to the notions of the commodity, i.e. are not made specifically for sale. Earth is a natural prerequisite for the existence of man, the natural environment of his life. Labor is inseparable from the very process of human life activity, from the person of the worker, and money is a symbol of value, an abstraction of exchange, not intended for sale. In order to include them in the market, it was necessary to destroy all the social and political restrictions that the old system had erected to protect society from the expansion of the market. In order to establish universal market relations, it is necessary first to destroy the traditional foundations of life, to deprive the person of the right to dispose of the land, for which various predatory practices have been used - from the fences already mentioned in England, the forced dispersal of peasants from their plots, the destruction of houses, to the gradual abolition of legislative acts protecting rights of estates. The satan mill & quot ;, which releases people from traditional solidarity and rootedness in interpersonal relations, destroying traditional communities, traditional way of life, depriving the person of habitual and organic ways of earning, other than selling labor.

Thus, the transformation of labor, land and money into commodities, their free circulation in markets, fundamentally change the nature of social relations. However, Polanyi stresses that "no society, even for the shortest time, could have withstood the consequences of such a system of frank fictions if its human natural basis, as well as its economic system, were not shielded from the destructive effect of this" satanic mill " & quot ;. The history of the XIX and the first half of the XX century. just represent numerous and not always successful attempts to create such a system of social institutions and cultural norms that would protect the society from the destructive consequences of the development of the market system, but do not lead to a complete restriction of market freedom. Polanyi's main idea is that the market is a socio-economic system, the condition of development of which is regulation by the state and society. The origins of many crises of the 20th century, both economic and political and social, Polanyi saw in action an unregulated market that turned into a destructive force for society. This explains that in modern "market" societies practically everywhere there are some or other mechanisms that introduce more or less significant social adjustments into market self-regulation - from elements of planning and control of economic activity to various forms of social policy and support of the population. The existence of the institutes of education, health, science, culture, also in the vast majority of societies in various volumes is supported by non-market methods. The volume of market regulation depends on historical, cultural specifics, traditions, ideology and dominant political force. In the US, it is traditionally lower than in Western Europe (especially in the Scandinavian countries, Austria, Germany). And in the countries of Asia, in particular in Japan, both the state and the big business together seek to soften as much as possible by means of regulatory measures the uncertainty introduced by the market into economic development and the life of society as a whole.

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