World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Fictitious commodities

The concept of fictitious commodities originated in Karl Polanyi's 1944 book The Great Transformation (book) and refers to those things treated as market commodities which are not created for the market, specifically, land, labor, and money.[1] For Polanyi, the effort by classical liberals to make society subject to the free market was a utopian project and, as Polanyi scholars Fred Block and Margaret Somers say, "When these public goods and social necessities (what Polanyi calls “fictitious commodities”) are treated as if they are commodities produced for sale on the market, rather than protected rights, our social world is endangered and major crises will ensue."[2]


  1. ^ Polanyi, K. (2001). The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time, 2nd ed. Foreword by Joseph E. Stiglitz; introduction by Fred Block. Boston: Beacon Press. ISBN 9780807056431
  2. ^ The free market is an impossible utopia (2014-07-18), The Washington Post. A conversation with Fred Block and Margaret Somers on their book, The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique (Harvard University Press, 2014).

Further reading

  • "Why Karl Polanyi Still Matters." On The Commons. Accessed 9/5/2015. URL =

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.