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‘Commerce and manufactures gradually introduced order and good government,’ wrote Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations, ‘and with them, the liberty and security of individuals.’ However, Philipp Rössner shows how, when looked at in the face of history, it has usually been the other way around.
This book follows the development of capitalism from the Middle Ages through the industrial revolution to modern day, casting new light on the areas where pre-modern political economies of growth and development made a difference. It shows how order and governance provided the foundation for prosperity, growth and the wealth of nations.
Written for scholars and students of economic history, this is a pioneering new study that debunks the neoliberal origin myth of how capitalism came into the world.
We return to policy and empirical or archival-based histories zooming in on a now all but forgotten type of business venture once characteristic of the preindustrial oeconomic landscape as a case in point: the very same large centralized workshop or manufactory (Manufaktur) that Smith had used in the opening chapters of the Wealth of Nations to illustrate his point about division of labour, stopping short of a full explanation of how the origin of the wealth of nations through the virtuous forces of manufacturing really came about (the difference between Smithian and cameralist development; just a nuance, but of world-historical dimensions). Since the 16th century it was consensual among European writers to see manufacturing or the crafting of things as a main source of national prosperity. Manufacturing embodied skills, value-added, curiosity, learning and creativity so much more so than other economic activities such as farming, finance or trade. Studying the history of industrial policy with a focus on Manufakturen or manufactories in the Germanies, Scotland, Sweden, Austria and France, the chapter surveys how discourses examined in Chapter 7 reflected back upon and interacted with medieval and early modern economic practices, providing the foundations for capitalism, industrialization and the wealth of nations.
This chapter studies money as a fundamental tool in the market process. Money was an agent of social power, but also a tool empowering economic life. Beginning with medieval models of money’s political, social and economic functions, dating back to Oresme’s De Moneta: texts that represent the ‘origins of political economy’, the chapter studies policies and writings on monetary management in the preindustrial world. From the Middle Ages until the 1870s, monetary theories shared common features only given up when the concept of money’s purchasing power was decoupled from its metallic value (since this happened fairly late, during the 20th century, it won’t concern us much). Currency stability and inflation management were known to preindustrial authors and rulers as tools promoting economic development.
This chapter contrasts policies with ideas offered for managing the wealth of nations. It revisits capitalism’s rise through a fresh look at the contribution made by medieval and early modern states. What states were and what they did obviously changed over time. But the available menu of strategies governing capitalism was more comprehensive than acknowledged in the modern literature, particularly for the medieval and early modern period. And states grew better at it over time. Measures promoting welfare and happiness included: an ample supply of good coin; sound monetary regulation; ordinances regulating trade and exchange on urban markets; stabilizing food supply; a fair layout of market stalls; clean air; safety on roads; and good sermons in Church. The ultimate goal was a good-spirited common weal. Invariably this included the promotion of manufacturing, creativity and originality in crafting, designing and shaping things – all tools that significantly contributed to the making of our modern ‘culture of growth’.
The article emphasises the challenges in the implementation of gender equality-focused policies in military missions and demonstrates the backlash these policies can create in everyday social interaction in military missions. A qualitative method of thematic analysis was used to study 17 in-depth interviews with former civilian and military personnel in the International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. The discursive exploratory analysis displayed that normative masculine constructions foster an environment in which women are perceived as: a threat to the unit they are part of; disruptive to male bonding in the unit; an objectified body; and an essential part of the successful mission in Afghanistan. Gender equality-focused policies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization face resistance in implementation because they threaten resources perceived greatly important in the organisation: normative masculine constructions. The military fails in attempts to manage diversity, and the military culture further values and reinforces sameness.
This epilogue offers some afterthoughts, implications and reflections upon the wider remit of the book and its case within the Grand Scheme of Things. It situates industrial policy and a European culture of manufacturing growth within bigger millennial – and occasionally biblical – origin stories of Homo faber and the making of economic growth as a fall from grace, when Cain slew his brother only to become the forefather of industry. Stories of economic statecraft and state capacity are situated within a fresh look at the transnational histories of early modern political economy. What we commonly take as the vanguard or mainstream elements of modern political economy (often emanating from the French physiocrats and Scottish Enlightenment) represent rather an exceptional offshoot from a larger common ground of political economy, known by its misnomers such as ‘mercantilism’ or, less frequently, ‘cameralism’. These are unhappy labels in any case, but probably too useful to be easily got rid of.
This chapter zooms in on money and its circulation, extending the argument in Chapter 5 by taking a dynamic perspective on materiality, velocity and coins. It provides an intellectual archaeology of an economic variable that to the present day is either enigmatic, or somewhat taken as a residual: velocity. I suggest that in historical times velocity was conceptualized more dynamically, as an independent variable with lots of economic agency. Combining archaeological and numismatic evidence with conceptual framings of velocity from Martin Luther and the humanists in the 16th to John Locke and cameralists and economists of the so-called ‘Historical School’ of the later 19th century, the chapter extends our view on the functionality of early modern markets through the lens of money. Since the end of the Middle Ages states developed an increasingly sophisticated toolkit of using the dynamics of monetary circulation in the economic process, preventing people from being parsimonious and overly thrifty. ‘Money makes the world go round’ thus attains a completely new meaning through a new methodological approach to coins and capitalism.
The neo-liberalisation of social work has been heavily criticised, with value conflicts and different interpretations of the purpose of social work being key aspects of this. However, little research has considered the impact of the neo-liberalisation of social work on an individual level, understanding how this ideology impacts day-to-day practice. This article uses the imposter phenomenon as a proxy issue to understand the impact of neo-liberalism on social workers. Factors that contribute to, and diminish experiences of, the imposter phenomenon are identified, and links are made between these and the key aspects of neo-liberalism. Through establishing the impact of the imposter phenomenon on individuals, strategies to overcome this are suggested. However, it is argued that without structural and ideological development, the tensions within social work will remain.
The nature of political hacking represents a clear challenge to the legitimate use of political violence. It acts outside the traditional state infrastructures and mechanisms, and often against the state itself, which for many means that regardless of what good it brings it should be ethically discounted as an illegitimate actor threatening the social stability. Concerns over the ability of hackers to cause significant damage or harm to people’s lives and the critical infrastructure of the political community do have some merit. They are a highly closeted, elite and unknown quantity; their branding is menacing and for those on the outside there does not seem to be any means of controlling what they do. Indeed, the state has a long-held dominance as the only legitimate actor to use violence for good reason, including protecting people from harm, arbitrating disagreements and facilitating that the correct quantum of impact is being delivered to the correct people. However, this is becoming increasingly challenged, not least because the state and its representatives have shown themselves to be a direct threat to people’s vital interests. As such there can be an ethical space for political hacking when it acts to protect people from harm. In order to make this determination, however, there is a need for an explicit and systematic ethical framework that can recognize the ethical value of political hacking. One which helps guide the hacker community with clearer fundamental ethical principles, as well as how these principles can then be manifested in various mechanisms for guiding ethical behaviour, highlighting to the rest of the political community when to leave the hackers alone, and how this might work through real-world illustrative examples.