Are there any arguments to be made that self-sufficiency is desirable? What would be the arguments of those who contend that trade in cultural relics should be strictly state-regulated?

Essay by mimieyesUniversity, Master'sA, September 2006

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(Vinod K. Aggarwal)

Dependency theorists have argued that declining terms of trade particularly declining prices of primary commodities without corresponding drops in prices of manufactured goods-could permanently impair the ability of developing countries to compete in the global economy. More radical theorists argued for a break with the capitalist world, suggesting that trade with rich, advanced capitalist countries will always be detrimental to the less developed. Less radical analysts called for policies of temporarily restricting imports so that countries could develop a comparative advantage in higher value added products.

Adam Smith argued that it would be foolhardy to purchase higher priced domestically produced goods if such goods were available elsewhere at a lower price. Mutual gains from trade are due to division of labor (advocated by liberal economists). Self-sufficiency leads to an inefficient use of labor and stagnation. Open trade creates competition which fosters innovation and cheaper products.

Wealthy nations take the view that countries such as China should limit the supply, instead of having Britain, the US, or Japan limit demand.

Neoliberals say China should have a process of judicious selection that may result in the export of all but the most culturally significant items. (So countries can decide what they want to export). Funding would somehow thus be assured for preservation efforts. In one optimist projection, "scientists would replace thieves." If cultural relics were not strictly regulated by the state, then wealthy nations will simply plunder poor nations with art. Int'l distribution of Art objects=global inequality. Other side: Cultural internationalists argue, China and similar states need to expand, not restrict, the trade in cultural artifacts. There should be fewer restrictions, which are said to encourage theft and black markets.

One is legal ownership under straightforward and honorable sales. Second, concerns care and protection, protecting the art on behalf of all humanity (ex. China during the Cultural Revolution and the Red Guard violence). Third, who wants to see Chinese art only in China, Greek art only in Greece? If art was under strict regulation by the state, then they would manipulate art to increase nationalism or political advancement.