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Critique of Political Economy Includes Anthropology about Morality within Culture(s)
The desirable futures of humanity should not be determined solely or even mainly by what is often called “the market”. What follows immediately is a statement of the first component of this paper. (1) What exactly is meant by global markets is notably unclear, or if clarified, unacceptable. “The market” is flawed if used as the main guide for social practices insofar as they are aimed at creating a desirable future for humanity. Recent social science has sometimes recognized the need for integrated interpretation and change of real-world politics and the economy. As part of this, the phrase “political economy” has been invoked in ways old and new. What follows immediately is a statement of the second component of this paper. (2) This paper argues that anthropologically sophisticated work, such as Arjun Appadurai’s work on “the future as cultural fact”, can and should combine political economy with culturally focused research and interventions in creating the future. What follows immediately is a statement of the third component of this paper. (3) In the process of combining political economy and culturally focused work, a central feature must be the critique and construction of a morality adequate to deal with the challenges of globalization, including problems about global markets. Anthropology can and must have a central role in integrating the interdisciplinary empirical and normative work necessary for meeting the current and future needs of humanity.