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

CB Macpherson in India: the revival of possessive individualism

A few years ago I was thinking of C.B. Macpherson’s book, The Political theory of Possessive Individualism. ┬áThe fiftieth year anniversary was coming up in 2012, and I was thinking of the possibility of putting on a commemorative conference dealing with the legacy of the book. As it turns out, a number of post-graduates associated … More CB Macpherson in India: the revival of possessive individualism

Domination and Dependence: Republicanism and the Market

In a previous post, I discussed republicanism’s problematic obfuscation of class. The point I tried to make was that republicanism’s core concept – that liberty is a form of non-domination or independence from the will’s of others – attains its coherence only at a level of abstraction that obscures the class realities that comprise any … More Domination and Dependence: Republicanism and the Market