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Oxford Studies in History of Economics

The Political Economy of Progress

John Stuart Mill and Modern Radicalism

Joseph Persky

The Political Economy of Progress

Oxford Studies in History of Economics

The Political Economy of Progress

John Stuart Mill and Modern Radicalism

Oxford Studies in History of Economics: The Political Economy of Progress

 

John Stuart Mill constructed the first serious radical economics. Mill saw laissez-faire capitalism as a transitional system from which the working classes might emerge with decent wages, control of their workplaces, and a chance at meaningful individual development.


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Beschrijving Oxford Studies in History of Economics: The Political Economy of Progress

While there had been much radical thought before John Stuart Mill, Joseph Persky argues it was Mill, as he moved to the left, who provided the radical wing of liberalism with its first serious analytical foundation, a political economy of progress that still echoes today. A rereading of Mill's mature work suggests his theoretical understanding of accumulation led him to see laissez-faire capitalism as a transitional system. Deeply committed to the egalitarian
precepts of the Enlightenment, Mill advocated gradualism and rejected revolutionary expropriation on utilitarian grounds: gradualism, not expropriation, promised meaningful long-term gains for the working classes. He endorsed laissez-faire capitalism because his theory of accumulation saw that system
approaching a stationary state characterized by a great reduction in inequality and an expansion of cooperative production. These tendencies, in combination with an aggressive reform agenda made possible by the extension of the franchise, promised to provide a material base for social progress and individual development.

The Political Economy of Progress goes on to claim that Mill's radical political economy anticipated more than a little of Marx's analysis of capitalism and laid a foundation for the work of Fabians and other gradualist radicals in the 20th century. More recently, modern philosophic radicals, such as Rawls, have deep links to this Millean political economy. These links are still worthy of development. In particular, a politically meaningful acceptance of Rawls's radical liberalism
waits on a movement capable of re-engineering the workplace in a manner consistent with Mill's endorsement of worker management.


ISBN
9780190460631
Pagina's
272
Verschenen
Serie
Oxford Studies in History of Economics
NUR
730
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP USA

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