Moral supervision and autonomous social order: wages and consumption in 18th-century economic thought

Firth, Ann (2002) Moral supervision and autonomous social order: wages and consumption in 18th-century economic thought. History of the Human Sciences, 15 (1). pp. 39-57. ISSN 0952-6951

Abstract

[Abstract]: Political economy in the 18th century operated in the absence of the conception of an autonomous social order articulated in the later concepts of `the economy' and `society'. Without a self-sustaining mechanism oriented to stability and endogenous economic growth, national prosperity and social order were assumed to depend upon the detailed interventions in economic life that are characteristic of mercantilism and the police of the poor. Smith's theory that autonomous economic growth underpinned a stable order of social interdependencies based upon the division of labour allowed him to move beyond or modify these assumptions. It freed him from the ideas that constant interference in the relationship between agriculture and manufacturing was necessary in order to guarantee food security and that social order and national prosperity depended upon enforcing constraints upon the interests of wage earners.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version unavailable.
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Economics and Resource Management
Date Deposited: 07 Aug 2009 00:15
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: consumption; wages; wealth creation
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 14 Economics > 1402 Applied Economics > 140203 Economic History
Identification Number or DOI: doi: 10.1177/0952695102015001072
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/5540

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