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This chapter explains how economic activities become associated with moral understandings such as the ‘right’ way to provision food. It shows how such moral economies developed in Western Europe under the headings “liberalism” and “socialism” and gives examples of ways each is actualised in the production, exchange and consumption of food. Historical and present-day ideas about “the right way” to provision food have real-life effects, illustrated by the way fruit is traded globally. The chapter concludes with a detailed example of the socialist moral economy of food in Cuba, showing how socialist ideas about how food “should be” provisioned affect people in everyday life.
This has recently changed to: ‘From each according to his capacity, to each according to his work’, as I explain in chapter 4 of my book (Wilson 2014).
Like the ideal socialist moral economy (of food), neoliberalism is an ideal rather than a reality since places like the EU continue to implement mercantilist policies including subsidies on key commodities such as sugar.
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- Moral Economies of Food in the Socialist/Post-socialist World