Modern thinking

A turning point is offered by Thomas More (1480-1535) who, in his Utopia (1516),[1] formulates ideas that generate a new vision about society built on principles of a utopian communism. Anticipating the theories that promote the role of state, Morus shows that "the main concern - perhaps unique - of the judges elected by the people is to ensure that no one remains without occupation, that each has to exercise conscientiously a job, but without getting tired like a burden cow, working hard."[2]

Morus brings the issue of wealth and money. Considering that gold and silver should be considered as having no value, Morus offers a critique of what was first known as "mercantilism." Thus, utopians are "surprised that gold, a metal so less useful by its nature, now gained a so great worldwide value, that man himself who attributes this to his own profit, himself appreciated less than this metal." By criticizing the socio-political organization of his day, Morus predicts a series of economic problems that will become debating issues objects, such as productive and unproductive labor, individual freedom as the basis for work etc.

Passing over a number of contributions, we get to Thomas Hobbes (1588-1670) who, in his Leviathan (1650), formulates the natural foundation of human behavior (individual and social). "We find, therefore, in human nature three main causes of discordance: first, competition, second, distrust, the third, glory. The first pushes people to attack each other to ensure the earnings, the second to be safe and the third to create a reputation (... ) it is clear that as long as people live without a common power,* that would make all fear, they are in so-called state of war."[3]

Hobbes is the one that brings political issues to the forefront, explaining social cohesion based on considerations of state power. "Everything is related to the state of war, in which everyone is the enemy of everyone* is therefore equally related to the time when man was without other security than that purchased by his own strength and cleverness."[4] He also notices that "where there is no common power there is no law," only dominating force and deception, justice and injustice relates only to people living in society.

Hobbes still speaks of the natural laws of man: first law: man looking for peace and keep it natural and right to defend yourself by all means, the second law: each must consent when others consent, to whatever is necessary for peace and own defense, to give up the right to all freedoms and to be content to have the same freedom to others is granted to others to himself. State appears - in Hobbes's view -as a prerequisite and guarantee of justice is that justice and property coercive power may, "on the one hand, to compel men equally to fulfill parties (...) and, on the other hand, the compensation of the universal right to leave people to confirm that they acquire property by mutual agreement. Such a power does not exist before the establishment of a state."[5] Through this, Hobbes marks the transition from nature vision, as the standard of social life, to the political one (state). The contract idea was articulated by Hugo Grotius (1625),[6] after which people are endowed by nature with a form of sociability that motivate them to enter into an agreement to form a society that is committed to the rights of others and comply with state -society.

Hobbes leaves its natural state thesis, giving it a human background (deliberate appearance, thanks to rationality and human experience).[7] Knowing English revolution experience in 1648 and beheading of King Charles I (1649), Hobbes bases his political thinking on "civil laws" and "moral philosophy."[8]

Hobbes's thesis is continued by John Locke (1632-1704) who lived the second English revolution (1688) marking the establishment of parliamentary monarchy. In his Two Treatises of Government (1689), Locke makes a strong critique of absolutism, preparing the "spirit of time" to promote social and political concepts of freedom. Supporter of social contract theory, Locke develops idea of separating the legislative and the executive. If the executive force is trying to break the legislative power, the "people" have the right to intervene to re-order. Hobbes's theories of social contract have generated a large concern in the political sphere.

After Gianbattista Vico (1688-1744) - in the work The Principles of a New Science referring on the common nature of nations (1725) - everything is explained by the "secular theology of divine providence." The same, Bossuet (1623-1704), in his Discours sur l'Histoire Universelle (1881), argued that the world order is the product of God. Charles de Montesquieu (1689-1755) in his L'Esprit des Lois (1748) brings to the forefront the role of physical and moral conditions in explaining "social life." The "divinity has its laws, the material world has its laws, higher spiritual substances have their laws of man, animals have their laws, man has his laws."[9]

The transition from social contract to "people's sovereignty" is realized by J. J. Rouseau (1712-1778). In his works, especially in Du contrat social (1782), Jean Jacques Rousseau shows that by the contract realized by the individuals "instead of the particular person of each contractor, this act of association creates a moral and collective body composed of as many members as many votes are in assembly, the body that gets through this very act, a unit, a group I, a life and will of his own. This public person (...) bears the name of the city once, and today is called republic or public body."[10] This was the political platform of legitimacy for the revolution, because if "a part" (sovereign) violates the contract, he must be removed by "the other side" (the people). Thus, political theory ascribes the social contract, the possibility of (consistency) of a company given that "naturally" or "through education" leading people in their mutual relations based on personal interests.

The rupture of this vision gave birth to the economy by replacing the intervention of a political (social contract between) with an economic - market. Francois Quesnay (1694-1774) in Tableau économique (1758) stated the economic principle of free competition ("laissez faire, laissez passer"), but in the name of "natural law" of divine origin. The man who introduced the market as a link between the natural law theory, and classical political economy was Mandeviile Bernard (1670-1733) who, in his La Fable des Abeilles (1723), highlights the process by which the Individual leads spontaneously interests to the interests of the collective through market mediation.

Mercantilism and physiocrats

The term economics appears in the year 1615 of the Bateville Montchretien (15701631) through the work Traite d'économie politique. The name "political economy" not only marks the origin of the political economy, but also inherits the political nature of the economic domain Montchretien was mercantilist. The mercantilism introduced the first current of thinking and practice made under it. History of mercantilism begins in the 16th century. Thomas Mun (1571 -1691) had shown that "all men agree that a lot of money in the kingdom make more expensive all domestic goods (...) As the more expensive products cost more money, their use and consumption continuously reduce."[11] Colbert Jean-Baptist (1619-1683) developed the doctrine of industrial mercantilism (but neglecting agriculture) while William Petty (1628-1687) in his work Political Arithmetic (1682) focuses on production of precious metals. The Physiocrat theories put agriculture to the forefront, The painting of Fr. Quesnay (1694-1741) is still speaking (1766) about the "rule of nature" and its laws, being the only branch of production and agricultural land the only source of wealth.

  • [1] The exact title is "De optime rei publicae statu," about the new island Utopia
  • [2] Morus, Thomas (1951), "Utopia." In Bacon, Morus, Hobbes, Locke. Bucharest: State Publishing House for Scientific and Didactic Literature, 74.
  • [3] Ibid., 76
  • [4] Hobbes Thomas, the same volume, p. 111 (*-is about state organization)
  • [5] Ibid., 112 (x - homo homini lupus). 7776 Ibid., 115
  • [6] Grotius, About the Right of War and of Power (see Lallement Michael, op. cit., 32)
  • [7] Sperania Eugeniu, op. cit., 33.
  • [8] Hobbes, Thomas, vol. Bacon, Morus, Hobbes, Locke, 116.
  • [9] Lallement, Michael, op.cit, 37.
  • [10] Rousseau Jean Jacques, Du contrat sociale. To see Lallement Michael, op. cit., 46.
  • [11] Mun Thomas, see Blangs Manz, op. cit., 51.
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >