Samoan Communal Economics


[Honolulu]: [self-published by the author] 1964. Mimeographed sheets stapled in upper left corner; 17 pp. Later published by the East-West Center as a 13-page pamphlet of the same title attributed to Vaiao J. Ala’ilima and Fay C Ala’ilima and published in the East-West Center Review Vol 1, Nr. 3 February 1965. Very good; very minor discoloring and rubbing to 1st page. Dr. Fay C. Ala’ilima (1921–2010) led an interesting life. She was an American, born in New York to a puritan Quaker family, who fell in love with a Samoan Chief, and thereafter dedicated her life to Samoan history and culture. Her Phd. is in political science from the University of Chicago. In 1984 she moved with her family to Samoa so that her husband could resume his role of village chief. In April 1988 he was elected to parliament — and Dr. Ala’ilima would write the parliamentary proposals for her husband (as she recounted in later memoirs). Interestingly, the item on offer lists only Dr. Ala’ilima as author. When it was later published, both she and her husband are listed as co-authors. Her husband became prominent in Samoan politics and upon his passing in 2016 he held four high chief titles: Le’iataualesa Fuimaono Amituanai Vaiao Ala’ilima. In this article Dr. Ala’ilima provides an overview of Samoan communal culture and explains, for a western audience, how it is incompatible with western capitalism. She searches for an economic solution that will allow Samoan values to thrive, while also allowing for goods and services from outside to be brought to the islands. Economists frequently write Robinson Crusoe” exercises attempting to simplify large economic systems to an small island. Dr. Ala’ilima argues in this paper that if Robinson Crusoe had landed on Samoa, he likely would have adopted Samoan communal values as the best economic system — probably not what most economists would conclude. Of course, one of those economists (Dr. Ala’ilima) had actual experience living on a remote island and all (or virtually all) other economists do not. This draft differs (primarily in the conclusion) from the version printed in the February 1965 East-West Center Review and is likely one-of-a-kind.


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Stock Code: 1307A20 Collection: Catalogue:


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