J.H. Boeke is a Dutch economist who studied Indonesian Economy and presented his theory of social dualism. He maintains that there are three characteristics of a society in the economic sense. They are as: (1) Social spirit(2) Organisational form (3) The techniques dominating them.
Their inter—relationship and interdependence is called the social system or social style. A society is homogeneous if there is only one social system in the society. But the society which has two or more social systems is known as dual or plural society. Dr. Boeke says that the dual society is a society which has two full grown social styles which represent pre—capitalism and post—capitalism. Such a dual society is furnished with the existence of an advanced imported western system on the one side and endogeneous precapitalistic agricultural system on the other side. The former is under the western influence which uses the advance techniques and where standard of living is high. The later is native and it is furnished with the outdated techniques and low social and economic life. This is called social or sociological dualism and these two systems are clashing. The imported social system is highly capitalistic and it may be socialistic as well as communistic system.
CHARACTERISTICS OF DUALISTIC SOCIETY
On economic basis the dualistic society is classified as by giving the names: 1. Eastern sector, (2) Western sector.
There are certain characteristics of eastern sector of a dualistic economy which distinguishes it from western sector. They are as:
(1) The needs of eastern sector are limited. People pass a contented life.
(2) People work for social needs rather for economic needs. For example, if a three acres are enough to supply the needs of a household he will not cultivate six acres.
(3) Goods are cultivated according to their prestige value rather on their use value
(4) As a result of all above, the eastern economies are characterised with backward bending supply curves of effort and the risk taking.
(5) The native industries have neither organization nor capital and they are ignorant of modern technology and market conditions.
(6) People are indulged in speculative activities rather in business enterprises.
(7) They do not take risk by making productive investment.
(8) They lack the initiative and organizational skill which is a feature of western sector of dual economy.
(9) Labor is unorganized, passive and unskilled. They are reluctant to leave their village and community. They are fatalist.
(10) The urban development takes place at the cost of rural life.
(11) Exportation is the main objective of foreign trade in the eastern sector while the western sector believes in imports.
Due to these features of eastern society the western economic theory is not applicable as far as UDCs are concerned. The western economic theory is meant to explain capitalistic society whereas eastern sector is precapitalistic. The western sector or society is based upon unlimited wants and money economy etc. Moreover. The MP theory cannot be applied in UDCs for resource allocation and distribution of income because of immobility of resources. Thus Boeke says, “We should not try to transplant the delicate houseplant of western theory to tropical soils where an early death awaits for it. “If the pre—capitalistic agricultural sector of eastern sector is attempted to develop along western lines it will create retrogression. The modern agricultural techniques can not be applied how—long the mental attitudes of the farmers are not changed, otherwise the increase in wealth following modern technology will result in further growth of population. Moreover, in case of failure of modern technology, the indebtedness of the country will increase. Therefore it is better that these existing agricultural systems should not be disturbed.
As far as industrial field is concerned the eastern producers cannot follow the western technology on the basis of economic and social reasons. He says that the adoption of western technology to industrialize Indonesian economy has moved the goal of self sufficiency , farther and ruined its small industry.
Boeke refers to five kinds of unemployment in UDCs:
(1) Seasonal, (2) Casual, (3) Unemployment of regular woikers,
(4) Unemployment of white collard class, (5) Unemployment of Eurosians.
According to Boeke the govt. is unable to remove such unemployment because of the reason that it will require the funds which the govt. cannot avail. Boeke says that limited wants and limited purchasing power in eastern sector hamper economic development. If the food supply is increased or industrial goods are increased, it will bring a glut of commodities in the market. The prices will fall and economy will face depression.
But this does not mean that Boeke is against industrialization, and agricultural improvement. Rather he is in favour of slow process of industrialization and agricultural development on small scale which could have an adaptability with the dualistic structure of eastern society. The urge for development should come from the people themselves. New leaders must emerge who should work for the goal of development with faith, charity and patience.
ProfessoCeBengmin Higgins” has criticised the social dualistic theory on the following grounds.
1. The Wants Are Not Limited
If we analyse “Indonesia’s life” we do not find that the desires of the people are limited because here the values of MPC and MPM are higher. This is the reason that the govt. has to impose import restrictions. Moreover, whenever the harvest is good the farmers become prosperous and the demand for luxurious goods rises.
2. Casual Labor Are Not Unorganized
Boeke presented the version that casual workers are unorganised and passive. But this may be true as far as agricultural sector is concerned but they are not unorganised in coffee, tea, rubber and plantation etc.
3. Eastern Labor Is Not Immobile
Boeke thought that eastern labor is immobile. It is not so because of attraction of modern facilities of life in the urban areas. Moreover the high income incentives force the labor to move from rural areas to urban areas.
4. Dualistic Theory Is Not Particular To UDCs Only
The eastern society, according to Boeke, only exists in UDCs. It is not true. It does exist in Canada, Italy and even in the United States.
5. Applicability To Western Society
According to Professor Higgins most of the characteristics of eastern society given by Boeke are present even in the western societies. For example, during hyper inflation, speculation is preferred to investment. This means, the people in the western countries also have a strong desire to keep their capital safe and in liquid form. The western society also believes in conspicuous consumption as discussed by veblin and snob effects. The backward bending supply curve of efforts has been experienced by Australia during post war period and by US in the fifties.
6. Not A Theory But A Description
It is objected that the Boeke’s dualistic theory is merely a description rather than a theory. His findings are based upon neo—classical theory which has the limited applicability in the western world.
7. Does Not Provide Solution To The Problem Of Unemployment
Boeke’s dualism centers more on socio—cultural aspects rather on economic. He only says that govt. is not in a position to remove unemployment. Moreover, he does not mention the situation of under employment. Therefore his theory is full of shortcomings. CONCLUSION
The main problem of dualistic economies is to provide employment opportunities and Boeke theory fails to do it. Therefore, Prof. Higgins has developed the theory of
i-technological dualism. • .
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