Merchants & Monopolies, Patents & Pyrates - Mercantilism Part I

  • March 17, 2013 · 5:00 PM
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"By such maxims as these, however, nations have been taught that their interest consisted in beggaring all their neighbours. Each nation has been made to look with an invidious eye upon the prosperity of all the nations with which it trades, and to consider their gain as its own loss. Commerce, which ought naturally to be, among nations, as among individuals, a bond of union and friendship, has become the most fertile source of discord and animosity. The capricious ambition of kings and ministers has not, during the present and the preceding century, been more fatal to the repose of Europe than the impertinent jealousy of merchants and manufacturers. The violence and injustice of the rulers of mankind is an ancient evil, for which, I am afraid, the nature of human affairs can scarce admit of a remedy. But the mean rapacity, the monopolizing spirit of merchants and manufacturers, who neither are, nor ought to be, the rulers of mankind, though it cannot perhaps be corrected may very easily be prevented from disturbing the tranquillity of anybody but themselves." - Adam Smith, The Wealth Of Nations

 

It is worthwhile I think to spend more than one week on Mercantilism, the prevailing economic system (with minor exceptions) of nation-states in the last 500 years. This is a bloody tale, full of thieves, greed, slavery, lies, backstabbing and endless conflict. Sound familiar? Stay with me, and in a few weeks you'll look at the world, our country, and our Constitution, a bit differently I'll wager.

 

Viewings:

Better Far To Live And Die, Under The Brave Black Flag I Fly - http://youtu.be/jQ7SVMVrick

Why Is The Rum Gone? - http://youtu.be/FTi40w0nLgo

 

Listenings:

Mercantilism In Spain - Rothbard - https://www.mises.org/media/4878/Mercantilism-in-Spain

Mercantilism: Serving the Absolute State - Rothbard - https://www.mises.org/media/4975/7-Mercantilism-Serving-the-Absolute-State

 

Readings:

Mercantilism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercantilism

The Wealth Of Nations - http://www.econlib.org/library/Smith/smWN.html (read as much as you can, particularly Book IV)

The Navigation Acts - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation_Acts

Mercantilism: A Lesson For Our Times? - https://mises.org/daily/4304

Mercantilism as the Economic Aspect of Absolutism - https://mises.org/daily/4300

Mercantilism Works!?! - Krugman - http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/how-much-of-the-world-is-in-a-liquidity-trap/

 

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