Poverty and Progress An Ecological Model of Economic Development
Originally published in 1973 and now reissued with a new Preface, this striking book challenges the whole structure of our thinking on how societies develop – why some are primitive and others advanced. It demonstrates that the pursuit of progress is not the real driving force behind change. Economic development, it argues, is simply the escape route of societies caught in the ecological pincers of population growth and scarce resources. The author explains the processes by which industrialization is forced upon societies by the progressive scarcity of all land-based resources. The things we think of as the fruits of man's search for progress including increasingly sophisticated technology, labour-saving machinery and the rest - are in fact part of the struggle to keep up with the growing productive task created by ecological pressures. ln this light primitive societies appear less poor than we imagine, and advanced ones less rich.
1. Introduction 2. Cultural Evolution 3. Ecological Equilibrium 4. Disequilibrium and the Stimulus to Development 5. The Structure of Development 6. The English Industrial Revolution 7. Innovation and Technical Consistency 8. American Economic Development 9. Industrial Societies: Production and Consumption.
‘The work is rich in new perceptions and marked by a capacity for seeing things in their organic interrelations. It is also refreshingly free of jargon…’ The Times Educational Supplement
‘…a highly original thesis on economic development…I do not hesitate to call this book brilliant.’ Journal of Agricultural Economics