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Published Date: Jan 24, 2013

SDPI Press Release (January 24,2013)

ISLAMABAD:Giving a special lecture on rural community values in process
of modernization, Professor Adam Webb has said that both free market capitalism
and communism have destroyed the traditional community values in process of
economic development.

Professor
Dr Adam Webb, of Johns Hopkins University, China was delivering a special
lecture on “Rural Communities, Modernity, and Space for an Economy of Values: A
Global Perspective” organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI) here on Thursday. Dr Syed Nazre Hyder, Senior Advisor, SDPI chaired the
proceedings.

In
his lecture, Dr. Webb proposed an alternative model of sustainable development
on the basis of traditional rural values without alienating the side-effects of
economic rationalism. He introduced “Economy of Values” that builds upon
communities existing strengths, values and cooperative structure that could
bring a decent prosperity to countryside of global South. The specific features
of his program included a strategy for enhancement of economic capabilities of
communities and strengthening their cultural practices that come together in
“networks of political power”.

Dr.
Webb exemplified his argument by narrating the story of Pomatambo, a village in
one of the poorest parts of Peru’s highlands.  The people of Pomatambo-
despite a bloody Maoist insurgency, economic turbulence, and poverty- have
managed to sustain their economic, ecological, and cultural integrity.

He
said that if a community-centered economy can work in places like Pomatambo, it
can work elsewhere too. He also explained that how these communities could form
their own network across borders, so they can strengthen one another and gain
ground.

“Economic
growth of the right kind will give their values political weight in the long
run. That is where the idea of a ‘Traditionalist International’ comes in. A
flourishing community-centered economy would help remake the political
landscape in many countries,” he added

He
commented that there is a natural political base for movements with a
commitment to traditional values and social justice. If they linked up across
borders, the whole really would be greater than the sum of its parts, he
concluded.