The new physiocrats

In: Uncategorized

9 Nov 2009

An interesting aside by Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent, at the Battle of Ideas session on post-recession ideologies. He argued that the physiocrats provide the closest historical precedent to the 21st century idea of limits.

For those not familiar with the finer points of the history of economic thought the physiocrats were an eighteenth century school of French political economy. Their core belief was that only agriculture yielded a surplus. Manufacturing, they argued, created no net product.

According to Furedi the contemporary left is particularly into such ideas. That they should take up such a backward set of concepts is a symptom of a deep intellectual malaise.

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