Economic Theory

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

By Douglas Dowd

This vintage publication is a perfect creation to financial notion and the dominance of capitalism, excellent for college students of financial thought 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 fiscal idea and capitalism from 1750 to the current, Douglas Dowd examines the dynamic interplay of 2 procedures: the historic realities of capitalism and the evolution of financial concept. He demonstrates that the research of economics celebrates capitalism in ways in which make it essential to classify fiscal technological know-how as natural ideology. A completely smooth heritage, this publication indicates how economics has turn into ideology. a thorough critic of capitalism, Dowd surveys its dangerous influence around the globe and all through heritage. The booklet contains biographical sketches and short analyses of the foremost 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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Now hear this: It is an evident truth that, whatever may be the rate of increase in the means of subsistence, the increase in population must be limited by it, at least after the food has once been divided into the smallest shares that will support life ... All the children born, beyond what would be required to keep up the population to this level, must necessarily perish, unless room be made for them by the deaths of grown persons ... To act consistently, therefore, we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavouring to impede, the operation of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the too frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other Printed by Pressworks.

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.

Weaving, having fallen behind in efficiency, then developed the power loom as the nineteenth century opened. Watt’s workable steam engine had been devised by 1776, and by 1815 that was combined with the mule and the power loom for cotton textiles to become the world’s first modern factory. The foregoing is an instance of capitalism’s fusion with industrialization; all along that way, colonialism and nationalism were also doing their part. Wool was “grown” in English acres; cotton came from British colonies – first from the slave plantations of the British West Indies, then from their counterparts in North America – as, surprisingly, did most of the markets.

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