Political thought and history essays on theory and method

Political Thought and History:

Political thought and history essays on theory and method

Arthashastrathe earliest known treatise on economic principles and guidelines for a progressive economy, or Xenophon 's c. Oeconomicus, and continue through the religious -based ideas of Jewish thought, the Scholasticsand medieval Islamic scholars.

In early Political thought and history essays on theory and method, and until the industrial revolutioneconomics was not a separate discipline but part of philosophy.

Religious tenets and a concern for morality and ethics played a significant role in the views of early theorists. As a result, early economic thinking generally took into account the welfare of the common man, the worker, rather than seeking ways to benefit a few elite individuals.

Saint Thomas Aquinas c. How to make agricultural production more efficient; and how to make markets, taxation policies, and other monetary instruments transparent and free from corruption, usury, and other practices that would otherwise destroy the well-being of ordinary law-abiding people, the foundation of the state.

Thus, for example, the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle examined household spending, market exchanges, and motivations for human action from the point of view of a slave -owning city-state with a limited form of democracy.

With the collapse of the Ancient world and the end of Roman civilization, economic discussion in Europe flagged as societies were cast under the shadow of the Dark Ages.

The Middle Ages were intensely religious, under feudal order.

Political thought and history essays on theory and method

In this period the Scholastic theologians, notably Thomas Aquinastook on the role of guiding society, and their writings included economic aspects of life. Four themes the Scholastics were particularly concerned with were property, justice in economic exchange, money, and usury.

In this area they built on Greek thought as revived by medieval Muslim scholars, of whom perhaps the most well known was Ibn Khaldun of Tunisia.

Mercantilism and nationalism Main article: Mercantilism A painting of a French seaport fromat the height of mercantilism.

Mercantilism developed at a time when the European economy was in transition. Isolated feudal estates were being replaced by centralized nation-states as the focus of power. After the localism of the Middle Agesthe period — was one of religious and commercial warfare, and large revenues were needed to maintain armies and pay the growing costs of civil government.

New opportunities for trade with the New World and Asia were opening, and monarchies wanted a powerful state in order to boost their status. The "mercantile system" was based on the premise that national wealth and power were best served by increasing exports and collecting precious metals in return.

Tariffs could be used to encourage exports bringing more money into the country and discourage imports which send wealth abroad. In other words, the goal was to maintain a positive balance of trade, with a surplus of exports.

Mercantilism was not just an economic theory but also a political movement, advocating the use of the state's military power to ensure local markets and supply sources were protected.

On the Resistance to Theory

Advocates of mercantilism include English businessman Thomas Munwhose book England's Treasure by Foreign Trade represents early mercantile policy. He prohibited the export of money, levied high tariffs on foreign manufactures, gave liberal bounties to encourage French shipping, and set up national guilds to regulate major industries such as silkwine, and other French specialties.

The term "mercantilism" was not, however, coined until late by Victor de Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau and popularized by Adam Smith in In fact, Adam Smith was the first person to organize formally most of the contributions of mercantilists in his book The Wealth of Nations, although he vigorously opposed its ideas.

Mercantilist ideas did not finally decline until the coming of the Industrial Revolution. Belief in mercantilism, however, began to fade in the late eighteenth century, as the arguments of Adam Smith and the other classical economists won favor in the British Empire and the Physiocrats advocated the laissez-faire approach in France.

The Physiocrats Main article: In his book la Physiocratie du Pont advocated low tariffs and free trade. Disenchanted with the regulations imposed by mercantilistsan early French " physiocrat ," Vincent de Gournayis reputed to have asked why it was so hard to laissez faire, laissez passer.

Contrary to the Mercantilists, the Physiocrats believed that the wealth of a nation lies not in its stocks of gold and silverbut rather in the size of its net product. They held that agriculture was the source of wealth.

At the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries advances in natural science and anatomy were being made, including the discovery of blood circulation through the human body. This concept was mirrored in the physiocrats' economic theory in the notion of a circular flow of income throughout the economy.

Quesnay argued that agricultural surpluses, by flowing through the economy in the form of rent, wages, and purchases were the real economic movers.

Incomes flowed from sector to sector, and thus class to class. Based on Quesnay's analysis, the physiocrats identified three classes in the economy: They argued that a "natural state" of the economy emerged when these income flows were in a state of "balance," that is, where no sector expanded and none contracted.

Once the "natural state" was achieved, the economy would just continue, reproducing itself indefinitely Mirabeau The Physiocrats were the beginning of the anti-mercantilist movement.

They argued that government interference—through taxes, regulations, price controls—hinders the activities of merchants and so prevents the natural laws of economics from operating. The Physiocrats argued that government should leave the economy alone and allow individuals to do as they please and that this would naturally result in economic growth; this doctrine they called laissez faire, or "let them do.Theses on Theory and History by Ethan Kleinberg, Joan Wallach Scott, Gary Wilder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives International License.

Political thought and history essays on theory and method

The Machiavellian Moment is a classic study of the consequences for modern historical and social consciousness of the ideal of the classical republic revived by Machiavelli and other thinkers of Renaissance Italy.

J.G.A. Pocock suggests that Machiavelli's prime emphasis was on the moment in which the republic confronts the problem of its own instability in time, and which he calls the.

History of economic thought - New World Encyclopedia

The libertarian idea of society without a state appeals to many people, but, however enticing the idea, it is often dismissed as utopian. How could an anarchist society defend itself against large, centralized states?

Gary Foley's personal Koori History page, with monthly special features on aspects of the Aboriginal struggle, photos, essays, and action.

Pocock, J. G. A. , Political thought and history: essays on theory and method / J.G.A.

On the Limits of Disciplinary History

Pocock Cambridge University Press Cambridge, UK ; New York Wikipedia Citation Please see Wikipedia's template documentation for further citation fields that may be required. Virtue, Commerce, and History: Essays on Political Thought and History, Chiefly in the Eighteenth Century (Ideas in Context) [J.

G. A. Pocock] on ashio-midori.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This book collects essays by Professor Pocock concerned principally with the history of British political thought in the eighteenth century. Several of the essays have been previously published.

Political science - Wikipedia