Cover: Political Economy and the Environmental Imperative

Political Economy and the Environmental Imperative

Published 1986

by Horst Mendershausen


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This paper compares the opportunities for creating, understanding, and correcting environmental damage offered by an open society, with a private-enterprise-based market economy and democratic politics on the one hand, and socialism, with a centrally planned economy and dictatorial politics on the other. The author cites the ideological incentives to distort cost accounting, the artificial pricing, and the muting of the adversary relationship between economic management and law enforcement in the Soviet planned economy. He concludes that the open society, with its mixed economy based on private enterprise, offers good facilities for adapting to environmental needs, while the socialist planned economy in its political setting offers greater facilities for resisting and circumventing environmental demands.

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