“For Polanyi the definition of a commodity is something that has been produced for sale on a market. By this definition land, labour, and money are fictitious commodities because they were not originally produced to be sold on a market. Labour is simply the activity of human beings, land is subdivided nature, and the supply of money and credit in modern societies is necessarily shaped by governmental policies. Modern economics starts by pretending that these fictitious commodities will behave in the same way as real commodities, but Polanyi insists that this sleight of hand has fatal consequences. It means that economic theorizing is based on a lie, and this lie places human society at risk.”
|The economist Karl Polanyi|
“Labour is only another name for a human activity which goes with life itself, which in its turn is not produced for sale but for entirely different reasons, nor can that activity be detached from the rest of life, be stored or mobilized; land is only another name for nature, which is not produced by man.”
The importance of these perspectives for our immigration debate is firstly that land and labour (people) are limited and have a value of their own that’s separate from the calculating, maximising ways of our dominant economic modes of thinking.
But through mass immigration the economic forces which drive our world are finding ingenious ways to get around these constraints.