Capitalism and Its Economics: A Critical History (2004) by Douglas Dowd

By Douglas Dowd

This vintage publication is a perfect creation to financial concept and the dominance of capitalism, perfect for college students of monetary conception and heritage. Now completely revised and up to date, this new version features a new preface and an extra bankruptcy through the writer. Analysing the connection among financial inspiration and capitalism from 1750 to the current, Douglas Dowd examines the dynamic interplay of 2 procedures: the ancient realities of capitalism and the evolution of monetary conception. He demonstrates that the research of economics celebrates capitalism in ways in which make it essential to classify financial technology as natural ideology. A completely sleek historical past, this ebook exhibits how economics has turn into ideology. a thorough critic of capitalism, Dowd surveys its damaging effect around the globe and all through historical past. The publication contains biographical sketches and short analyses of the key proponents and critics of capitalism all through heritage, together with Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, Rosa Luxemburg, John Maynard Keynes, Paul Samuelson, Milton Friedman, and Eric Hobsbawm.

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As with Smith, Ricardo’s ideas had their predecessors. Principally, in his case, those of Grotius, in – and for – seventeenth-century Holland (from where Ricardo’s parents had emigrated). ” As we now examine that issue and Ricardo’s theory, both the reasons for his theory and its triumph will emerge. Considerably more important (and difficult) to comprehend is why a theory enunciated so long ago would remain virtually intact today, both in form and content, in a world so utterly different. Just as Smith was able to discern the possibilities of modern industrialization in its embryonic beginnings of his own time, so too was Ricardo prescient in seeing that Britain was on the verge of becoming an industrial economy (as distinct from an economy with some industry in it) and that, as such, it would have to import ever-increasing volumes of always more diverse commodities, and would need rising exports to help pay for those imports.

Nor, in this connection, is it unimportant to remember that Ricardo, in the very first paragraph of his Principles, gave primary importance to understanding the “laws” of income and wealth distribution – as between the three classes of the population: The produce of the earth – all that is derived from its surface by the united application of labour, machinery, and capital, is divided among three classes of the community, namely, the proprietor of the land, the owner of the stock or capital necessary for its cultivation, and the labourers by whose industry it is cultivated.

Indeed, that necessity grows always stronger in the modern world: as democracy has grown, so has the need – and the ability – for those in power to develop and to use direct and indirect modes of disinformation and misinformation, and to suppress plain information regarding those links of power. The generic term for all this has become “spin,” with the media its stage, TV its star performer. Of that, much more in Part II. As we now return to Britain’s industrial revolution, and the disruption and horrors thus entailed for the largest part of the population, we may note in passing that the absence of democracy in that period very much simplified the tasks of the State at home.

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