• Ukandi G. Damachi
  • Guy Routh
  • Abdel-Rahman E. Ali Taha


‘The progressive state’, said Adam Smith, ‘is in reality the cheerful and the hearty state to all the different orders of society. The stationary is dull; the declining melancholy.’1 But how was this most favourable state to be achieved? Here, his prescription was somewhat obscure, even self-contradictory. In part, it was a matter of leaving it to the ‘invisible hand’ — that is, to every man to mind his own business. Authority to control such affairs could not safely be entrusted to any government, and ‘would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to excercise it.’2 Smith cited China as an example of a country that had achieved the stationary state and acquired the full complement of riches consistent with the nature of its laws and institutions, where ‘the oppression of the poor must establish the monopoly of the rich, who, by engrossing the whole trade to themselves, will be able to make very large profits.’ But in the ultimate stage of opulence, from which a country could advance no further, both the wages of labour and the profits of stock would probably be very low.3


Development Path Underdeveloped Country Progressive State Invisible Hand Development Thinking 
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  1. 4.
    Gunnar Myrdal, Asian Drama, an Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations (New York: Pantheon Books, 1968) p. 8.Google Scholar
  2. 5.
    The economic literature on growth is reviewed by F. H. Hahn and R. C. O. Matthews in American Economic Association and Royal Economic Society, Surveys of Economic Theory, vol. II, Growth and Development (London: Macmillan; New York: St Martin’s Press, 1965). Other surveys are in Walter Elkan, Development Economics (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973) chs 4 and 5;Google Scholar
  3. H. Myint, The Economics of Developing Countries, 3rd ed. (London: Hutchinson, 1967);Google Scholar
  4. S. K. Nath, ‘Balanced Growth’ in I. Livingstone, Economic Policy for Development (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971).Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Colin Leys and Peter Marris, ‘Planning and Development’, in Dudley Seers and Leonard Joy, Development in a Divided World (Harmonds worth: Penguin, 1971) p. 273.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Pearson, Lester, Partners in Development: Report of the Commission on International Development (London: Pall Mall Press, 1969) p. 358.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Institute for Labour Studies 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ukandi G. Damachi
  • Guy Routh
  • Abdel-Rahman E. Ali Taha

There are no affiliations available

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