Beyond the ‘Republican’ Economy: Hayek and Pettit on Private Property

Republican political theorists have spilled a lot of ink in the attempt to present ‘republicanism’ as a distinctive alternative to liberalism. The landmark book is, of course, Philip Pettit’s Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government, published in 1997. I have written about some of the problems of republicanism on this blog (here, here and … More Beyond the ‘Republican’ Economy: Hayek and Pettit on Private Property

Rethinking the Industrial Revolution

Five Centuries of Transition from Agrarian to Industrial Capitalism in England Michael Andrew Žmolek, University of Iowa In Rethinking the Industrial Revolution: Five Centuries of Transition from Agrarian to Industrial Capitalism in England, Michael Andrew Žmolek offers the first in-depth study of the evolution of English manufacturing from the feudal and early modern periods within … More Rethinking the Industrial Revolution

The Uses and Abuses of the Household Analogy

One of the most common ideological tropes employed by ‘austerians’ to rationalize the unprecedented defunding of the public sector in order to socialize the recent failures of finance capital has been to equate the state to a household. Like any common household, the argument goes, the state must live within its means. No household can … More The Uses and Abuses of the Household Analogy

Capitalism, Contextualization and The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism

Last year was the fiftieth anniversary of C. B. Macpherson’s classic study of seventeenth century English political theory, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism. Macpherson’s book signalled an important shift in the history of political thought; it sought to situate English political thought within the social context of a ‘possessive market society’. Despite its innovations, … More Capitalism, Contextualization and The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism

State, class and property

There is something refreshingly honest about classical political thought that much contemporary political theory – particularly liberalism – tends to obscure. In particular, classical political theorists tended to be much more straightforward in their assessments of the relationship between class, property and the state. Here are some interesting quotes from some of the heavy hitters … More State, class and property