Of all conclusions, none is less ambiguous than the one that the developing countries must ‘go their own way’. The conditions contemporary Asian developing countries face differ in essential aspects from those of the Western countries at a comparable period of their development. Specifically, the population dynamics constitute much more of a threat to subsistence and a sustained development process than was the case in the Western countries. The absolute scarcities in the non-renewable-resource availability, the arable-land/man ratio, and the carrying capacity of the ecosystem are felt in terms both of decreasing marginal net welfare as we move up on the scale of average development indicators, and of ultimate constraints to the further expansion of total productive and consumptive activities. Theoretically, the phenomena become self-evident only within a framework which treats time in its historical properties—not as a formal ahistorical concept. This cognitive-epistemological premise brought into perspective the specific historical ‘epoch’ of contemporary Asia. It leads to the proposition of ‘relative macro-determinacy’ of any development process: the specific historicity of the M a -variables which constitute the ‘objective-historical’ confines to which the socio-economic processes have to adapt and the ‘finality’ of human action finds its constraints.


Choice Problem Consumptive Activity Comparable Period Specific Historicity Major Choice 
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© K. Dopfer 1979

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  • K. Dopfer

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