evolution of the market economy

Soclab2 (A.Rousso@uea.ac.uk)
Thu, 14 Jan 1999 18:55:09 GMT

Date: Thu, 14 Jan 1999 18:55:09 GMT
From: Soclab2 <A.Rousso@uea.ac.uk>
Subject: evolution of the market economy
To: memetics@mmu.ac.uk

A friend of mine who is an archaeologist recently asked me whether I knew anything about the memetic evolution (and
origin) of the concept of the market economy.
He said that perhaps the earliest known example is from 830 AD in a place called Hamwick, which is now modern day
Southampton. Here was the first transition from a Class B emporium to a Market Town (whatever). It sounds rather like
someone deliberately set up something like a modern day stock exchange. This apparently in turn meant that people
came from far and wide to sell their wares (a bit like commodities) and certain "channels" (I suppose like incipient trade
routes) sprang up joining places as far afield as Copenhagen and even further into Northern Germany.
He thought this was where a memeticist would come in handy, to study how the phenomenon spread. My initial answer
was that, regrettably, memetics probably hadn't come far enough yet to actually start historical analysis. I did point him
in the direction of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, but I don't know how much that will help. Does anyone
have any answers?

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