“This essay is written in the classical tradition, making the classical assumption, and asking the classical question. The classics from Smith to Marx, all assumed, or argued, that an unlimited supply of labour was available at subsistence wages. They then enquired how production grows through time.” (Lewis, 1954)
There are several themes on which classical political economy could enhance our approach to development.[i] The general thread is the relationship between the needs and desires of human beings and the economic mechanisms which either favour or hinder their achievements. It is a relationship between the use value dimension of goods and services and the conditions which regulate their exchange value.
[i] Perhaps it is not by chance that some of the most careful development economists, most notably Hirschman and Sen, go back to the thinkers of Enlightenment in their works. Hirschman The Passions and the Interests, Political Arguments for Capitalism before its Triumph, 1977 Sen from On Ethics and Economics of 1987 till 2009 The Idea of Justice.