more on BoswelI & Co. INSTITUTIONS with apologies

Tue, 4 Mar 1997 10:03:59 -0500 (EST)
A. Gunder Frank (

In responding to Bill Thompson on innovations/technology, I neglected
Terry Boswell's challenge on INSTITITUTIONAL innnovation, if only beause
Rene Barendse already took up that gauntlet and answered that India also
had institutions that managed finances. But now I will add my own 2 cents
worth on

"organizational change responds to fundamental economic change" [127].
"institutional arrangements, which merely respeonded to facilitate and
rationalize what amounted to a fundamental economic change in modern
society" Graeme Snooks THE DYNAMIC SOCIETY Routledge 1993.

Alas, Terry gets it wrong again because he is asking the wrong question
again [this time about the Amst stock exchange as an "institutional innovation
of C..." Alas, he is in good= bad company from Weber to all sociologists
who "think" that institutions are fundametally determinant instead of
rea;lizing that they are mereley derivative/responsive/facilitating as
Snooks rightly says.

I neglected to mention in my response to Bill that my chapter 4, also has
a long section on INSTITUTIONAL comparisons AND RELATIONS, which argues
not only that Asians had all sorts of instituions that worked [for which
there is a prima facie case already in the obsaervation that their
economies worked - and more / better than the European ones! - so their
"institutions' must also have "worked" to facilitate that.
However, that chapter also brings multiple illustrations of HOW they
worked AND INNOVATED - ie institutional innovation too, Bill! -
AND how all this innovation around the world was RELATED
"in institutional arrangments, which merlely responded ... to
[common!] fundamental economic change" - as Snooks points out.

BOTTOM LINE [how's THAT for a "Criterion" Bill?]:
Rates of interest for rasing credit money were comparable in Europe,
South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia [see my chapter 3 money and 4 on
institutions] AND Europeans borrowed on Asian financial markets and raised
credit there for their own operations all the time - so the Italian and
Dutch "innovations" that Arrighi touts so much could not hav been sooo
"innovative" after all!

virtually/ respectfully/comeradly/friendly/cheerfully submitted!
[to your consideration?]
gunder frank