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An Introduction to Modern Social and Political Thought by Andrew Gamble

By Andrew Gamble

This ebook is a concise advisor to the most doctrines and developments in Western social and political suggestion because the French Revolution. sincerely and easily written, the booklet comprises short biographical information of significant person thinkers in addition to an annotated bibliography which provides assistance to additional analyzing.

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Making capital, land, and labour alienable, meant freeing them from any monopoly control, and from any conflicting legal claims as to their disposal. It meant setting individual producers free as individuals to sell whatever property they possessed or could acquire with a minimum of legal restrictions. A free market in land meant, for example, that estates were not entailed, that is, did not legally have to pass to the family heir, but could be sold by the existing owner; a free market in capital meant that prohibitions on the extension of credit and the earning of interest on loans were removed; whilst a free market in labour meant that a labour force emerged whose members were free in a double sense - free to sell their labour power to the highest bidder in the market, and free from any ownership of means of production, whether land or capital.

The world still lives in the era of the French Revolution and is dominated by the movements, ideologies, and concepts - liberalism and socialism, radicalism and reaction, Left and Right - that have developed out of it. In the French Revolution the issues of modem politics were first clearly defined, and the Western ideology in the various forms in which it has come to dominate the world first took shape. So although no other national revolution followed precisely the French pattern, its universal significance remains.

44 MODERN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL THOUGHT The results of the new civil societies were most spectacular in the economic sphere. The simple notion lying behind exchange was that everyone should treat others they encountered in the market not as ends in themselves but as means to an end. As Adam Smith expressed it: It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.

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