The Economic Development of the Middle East: An Outline of Planned Reconstruction after the War

The Economic Development of the Middle East: An Outline of Planned Reconstruction after the War

The Economic Development of the Middle East: An Outline of Planned Reconstruction after the War

The Economic Development of the Middle East: An Outline of Planned Reconstruction after the War

Excerpt

The Middle East is to an increasing degree becoming part of the international society of nations; and as such it is being integrated more and more within the framework of modern international economic, social and cultural relations. But it is not so long since the Oriental countries formed a block of their own, bearing the marks of a largely uniform régime and civilization that had a great many national, political and cultural features in common. This joint heritage is still observable to-day in many fields, although the basic political factors which in former times brought about this unity have meanwhile been seriously disturbed.

One of the factors -- probably eliminated for good by events since the last war -- was the dominant rôle of foreigners and foreign capital in the economic and political life of Middle Eastern countries. There were various reasons, on which there is no need to dwell here, for the growing importance of these foreign influences in recent generations. The problems involved in the transformation of Middle Eastern Society and Economics hitherto are comprehensively treated in my book entitled State and Economics in the Middle East, which will appear in the near future.

In recasting the economic life of these regions after the war, it will be impossible to ignore the factors which account for the peculiar development of economic life in the East, and for that distinctive outlook and attitude of the Orient towards economic affairs which has not yet disappeared despite the vast progress seen. It would be a serious mistake if the indiscriminate application of methods, views, measures and the like that have grown up in Western countries were to be recommended for the East as well.

But there is yet another difficulty. In the course of many decades Western countries, large powers as well as small states, have developed comprehensive institutions for the statistical and scientific exploration of almost all aspects and fields of economic and social life. Thus it has become possible to approach problems of planning in the West with measuring rods and instruments that are adapted to their purposes, and to gauge the possibilities and prospects of planned reconstruction with a high degree of . . .

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