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John Locke

Notes on Economic History (4)

Before the Physiocrats

Sir William Petty (1623-1687)

Marx, in Volume 1 of Capital, says: "Once for all, I may add that by classical political economy I understand that economy which since the time of W. Petty has investigated the real relations of production in bourgeois society, in contradiction to vulgar economy, which deals with appearances only".

This is a tribute to the genius and originality of Sir William Petty, the founder of modern political economy. It is in his Treatise of Taxes and Contribution, London 1662, that we find the first idea of surplus value.

Mixed Media: 'The Mill' & 'The Pet Shop Boys - Love is a Bourgeois Construct'

The Mill

The Channel Four drama The Mill set at the time of the 1833 Factory Act in the Quarry Bank cotton mill owned by the Greg family near Manchester is reminiscent of chapter ten The Working Day in Marx's Capital: 'there followed on the birth of machinism and modern industry a violent encroachment like that of an avalanche in its intensity and extent. All bounds of morals and nature, age and sex, day and night, were broken down'.

Idealism and Materialism in the Conception of History

By Paul Lafarge (1895)

The following extract is taken from a lecture delivered by Paul Lafargue, under the auspices of the Group of Collectivist Students of Paris, this lecture being a reply to one given by Jean Jaurès on the above-named subject. The terms Idealism and Materialism are used here to designate the “two opposite views regarding the nature of human thought, that it is to say, concerning the ultimate sources of intellectual cognition, concerning the origin of ideas”, the former designating “the doctrine of innate ideas, of ideas a priori”, and the latter “the doctrine of cognition through experience, through the senses, the doctrine of ideas a posteriori” (Heine).

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