Utopias and Markets: Introduction
Utopias, as calls for continuity or change, constitute a universal and ubiquitous mode of human thought. Humans, however, possess different notions of what constitutes “progress,” a “better future,” or a “golden age”. In economic thought, the discourse on utopias naturally leads to a discussion of marketsmarkets, their history and nature. The history of economic thought can be described as having oscillated between two competing visions of economic utopias, with one characterized by the ubiquity of markets and the other by their complete absence. Part 5 begins with a brief study of utopias, followed by an examination of the position of markets in the broader intellectual discourse on “progress” and social change. We then introduce an Islamic perspective to this discourse, by examining the Islamic view on what constitutes an ideal market.
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