The People's Science
The Popular Political Economy of Exploitation and Crisis 1816-34
By (author) Noel W. Thompson
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People's Science by Noel W. Thompson
Book DescriptionThe work details the emergence, in the post-Napoleonic War period, of a growing popular interest in the critical potentialities of political economy. It considers why this occurred and discusses how the conceptual and analytical tools of political economy were utilised to formulate a critique of early industrial capitalism. The book examines the theories of labour exploitation and capitalist crisis which represented the essence of that critique both as they were elaborated by early-nineteenth-century British anti-capitalist and socialist writers and as they were popularised by writers in the working-class press of the period 1816-34. The book argues that by 1834 in consequence of the efforts of writers such as Hodgskin, Thompson, Gray, Owen and their popularisers the foundations of a distinctively anti-capitalist and socialist political economy had been established and widely disseminated. But these foundations were theoretically flawed. They were flawed by an overconcentration on the sphere of exchange which derived from a particular conception of the determination of exchange value under capitalism; an overconcentration which led on to the suggestion of remedies for the problem of working-class poverty and distress which were necessarily doomed to failure.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780521893428
(228mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 2-May-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
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