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a historical survey of a particular economic theory/ topic/ debate
Pages 12 (3012 words)
Misinterpretation of James Mill [Name] [University] Misinterpretation of James Mill The Politics of Early Nineteenth Century Economics James Mill (1773-1836) is a thinker whose importance to the history of political economy has long been acknowledged by scholars (Robinson & Groves, 2003).
Mill was a frequent critic of mercantilist measures such as monopoly and price controls that restrained the free market. Because commercial advancement leads to greater material production and opportunity for individuals to share in its benefits, utilitarianism leads us to conclude that it is a universal good. Along with similar interpretations of Adam Smith and Ricardo, the "economist" James Mill is believed to endorse material progress over all other social and political goods (Robinson & Groves, 2003). The traditional interpretation of James Mill as a theorist who argued that the economic progress was an unconditional social good is in need of revision. It fails to recognize adequately the contextual reference of his theories (Robinson & Groves, 2003). This paper argues that Mill viewed the commercialization of society as a means of politically and socially liberalizing the remnants of feudal society. Though he believed that individual happiness was tied to material comfort to some extent, he also saw the advancement of the market as important because it eroded ascribed status for the purpose of allowing more equality and freedom. A large part of his advocacy of the market was motivated by the social transformations that would result from the progress of commerce. ...
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