By Larry Patriquin
This e-book examines the evolution of public counsel for the terrible in England shape the past due medieval period to the commercial Revolution. putting negative reduction within the context of the original classification relations of agrarian capitalism, it considers how and why aid in England within the early sleek interval was once detailed, with comparisons made to Scotland, eire, France and Germany. hard and provocative, the writer argues for a class-based reinterpretation of the origins of the welfare nation.
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Extra info for Agrarian Capitalism and Poor Relief in England, 1500-1860: Rethinking the Origins of the Welfare State
They are the kinds of reforms that come ‘at the least possible cost to the existing structure of power and privilege’ (Miliband, 1969, p. 168). Capitalists also do not want to see more than the absolute minimum necessary spent on welfare and unemployment insurance programmes, because the more people can earn this way, the more bargaining power they have in refusing private employment that is low-paying and unappealing. Finally, capitalists are usually opposed to the government running certain sectors of the economy, such as health care, because this removes from their realm a significant portion of ‘exploitable’ workers who are paid by the state instead.
Karl Marx Many of the writers discussed above have drawn heavily on Karl Marx’s theory of the transition from feudalism to capitalism. Unfortunately, the analysis elaborated in the works of the early Marx and Engels, most notably the German Ideology and the Communist Manifesto, is extremely similar to the bourgeois paradigm. Their account of history in these texts is surprisingly ‘unmarxist’ (as opposed to their later writings, especially Marx’s Capital). The writings of the 1840s, especially the historical sections of the German Ideology, explained the transition to capitalism as a result of the division of labour that appeared alongside the separation of town and country.
In doing so, however, Polanyi conflated capitalism with the Industrial Revolution, contrasting this to ‘mercantilism’, where the ‘economic system was submerged in general social relations’. From at least the sixteenth century, under the mercantile system, markets were heavily regulated; they were ‘a main concern of government’. Speaking of England and France, he noted that ‘not before the last decade of the eighteenth century was, in either country, the establishment of a free labour market even discussed; and the idea of the self-regulation of economic life was utterly beyond the horizon of the age’.
Agrarian Capitalism and Poor Relief in England, 1500-1860: Rethinking the Origins of the Welfare State by Larry Patriquin