A9/p9 Bourgeois Deeds


A problem with my overall argument



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A problem with my overall argument: If pro-innovation ideas of the elite caused the Industrial Revolution, and if the elite turned against innovation after 1848, why didn’t the turn cause the Industrial Revolution to stop?

One reply is that a split developed between the elite and public opinion. Artists and at length professors moved to the left, and developed a socialist rhetoric, but lawyers and at length educated businesspeople held to market values. The Eisenhower administration in the United States is an emblem of the split. Elite opinion sneered at Ike and his economic policies, but the policies stayed. In economic scholarship itself another emblem is the treatment of Friedrich Hayek, the great libertarian economist from Austria, a naturalist Briton. Mention of Hayek can to this day evoke ignorant sneers on the left and center of economics. While he was still at the London School of Economics he wrote, in DDDD, an attack on the then immensely fashionable socialism, The Road to Serfdom. In Europe no one much minded a popular book from an internationally famous economic scientist, the equal at the time of J. M. Keynes. But when the book appeared in the United States it caused a furor, partly because a long précis of it appeared in the heavily right-slanting Reader’s Digest. In DDDD Hayek was denied an appointment in Economics at the University of Chicago in DDDD, because of the furor over The Road, and spent his NNNN years at Chicago in the Committee on Social Thought.

A deeper reply is that the turn to the left did in fact cause the Industrial Revolution to stop, at any rate in the places where anti-capitalism was well and truly tried. True, in 1945 it looked like market societies were exhausted, and that giving socialism and the welfare state a serious trial was in the cards. The best economists, such as Joseph Schumpeter, Alvin Hansen, John Maynard Keynes, Oskar Lange, or Abba Lerner, all believed at the time, with greater or lesser enthusiasm, that the world was moving from capitalism to socialism, whether or not the embattled democracies survived. Among students of the Soviet experience, only a few, such as G. Warren Nutter and Alexander Gerschenkron, stood in the 1950s and 1960s against the prevailing elite opinion that socialism in Eastern Europe had forced fast growth.722 Others, like Alec Nove and Abram [Burk] Bergson [Harvard; sure of this last?] and Gertrude Schroeder Greenslade (CIA), had been over into the future and believed that it worked—that central planning allowed Russia in the 1930s and 1950s, and its colonies after 194DD, and its imitators such as China and Cuba in the 1960s and 1970s to grow economically much faster than a market economy would have. When the USSR fell and Soviet statistics were at length opened, or indeed in anticipations in the “crop failures” in the USSR in the early 1960s, Nutter and Gerschenkron were proven correct.

And in fairness it needs to be noted that turns to the right could stop Industrial Revolutions, too. Nationalist central planning can be just as distorting as socialist central planning.

But the still deeper reply is that once the Liberty cat was out of the bag it was hard to stuff back in. It was not impossible locally, in Argentina or in Poland, for a while, but the cat was on the prowl. We can kill the cat, with war and tyranny and anti-innovation. But fortunately it will be difficult.
Chinese literature of women arose c. 1300, among well-to-do—check out, as possible counterexample of a free society implying modern economic growth.
Rawls never understood that static allocation is not the key to the success of market societies. Efficiency is not the point. Innovation is. Empirically, private property results in more innovation. It could be, conceptually, that the nature of man under socialism would result in such a public spirit that innovation would flourish. Since no private property would stand in the way of the use of the Caspian Sea for irrigation, all would be well. The Public Good would be served. But the evidence is in, and it speaks unambiguously. In 1917 one could reasonably believe that a society without private property would in fact innovate more than one with property. In 1989, or 2009, it would be unreasonable. “Communist” China innovates precisely in its capitalist, private property portions, only.
Rawls in the 1980s began to make the point that one must somehow explain the desire to be good.
“People are moral beings, not just preference orderings.” Slovak kid at George Mason conference. Moral beings are speaking beings. Morality is constructed through language, as in family life or education or ethical arguments.
Verstaan vs. begrijp, and identical distinction in German. “I hear you” in English means “I hear and begrijp you, grasp your situation.
Paul Ricoeur’s critique of Rawls is good.
Simple vs. rule utilitarianism
The question whether human life, if it is a game, is more like poker or yoga. Is it rivalrous or is it cooperative. Now clearly human life is both. And either game can be bad, and a bad representation of how people behave, if the people are rotten. If the people who show up for the poker game are bad people, then the game will be like the poker game or the racing game in The Sting. And indeed if the yoga session takes place under an evil guru, the cooperation can be bad. And in both cases the good or bad participants can yield bad and good outcomes.
General reading assignment for Vol. 3 [make these readings in a course]:

All of Hume

Hobbes, Leviathan

Tocqueville

Montesquieu
Federalist Papers
Sombart, the Bourgeois

Anti-urban poetics: William Cowper, The Task, Book. IV:

The town has tinged the country; and the stain

Appears a spot upon a vestal’s robe,

The worse for what it soils. 

The trouble lies with the bourgeoisie in the mass, says Cowper, The Task, Book IV:

Hence charter’d burghs are such public plagues;

And burghers, men immaculate perhaps

In all their private functions, once combined,

Become a loathsome body, only fit

For dissolution, hurtful to the main.

Hence merchants, unimpeachable of sin

Against the charities of domestic life,

Incorporated, seem at once to lose

Their nature; and, disclaiming all regard

For mercy and the common rights of man,

Build factories with blood, conducting trade

At the sword’s point, and dyeing the white robe

Of innocent commercial Justice red.

On Imperialism: Cowper, The Task, Book I:

. . . thieves at home must hang; but he, that puts

Into his over-gorged and bloated purse

The wealth of Indian provinces, escapes.

Cowper, The Task, Book IV On power riches:

The course of human things from good to ill,

From ill to worse, is fatal, never fails.

Increase of power begets increase of wealth;

Wealth luxury, and luxury excess;

NNNN Ellis correctly identifies the anti-trade argument of the age that “a merchant did not rely on his independent [landed] wealth, like a gentleman, but on his credit.”723 The independency of £1500 a year from land was nicer in Jane’s world, and was given political weight in the wider world.

But the reasons did not have to be entirely material. And indeed one is liable in retrospect to exaggerate material forces. Ludwig von Mises pointed to the obvious truth that “the ideas that change the intellectual climate of a given environment are those unheard of before. For these new ideas there is no other explanation than that there was a man from whose mind they originated.. . . Looking backward upon the history of ideas. . . [tends] to belittle the contributions of the genius—the hero of intellectual history—and to ascribe his work to the juncture of events.” Mises was of course an atheist and an anti-Marxist, and so he adds that attributing ideas to the climate of opinion “makes sense only in the frame of a philosophy of history that pretends to know the hidden plan that God or a superhuman power (such as the material productive forces in the system of Marx) wants to accomplish by directing the actions of all men.”724
Rhetorical causes are hard to make persuasive if you are trying to persuade someone with a materialist prejudice. When a Londoner in England’s last widespread killing famine, in 1596, offered 6 ½ pence per four-pound loaf of bread (two times the usual price in the 1590s) there was no gap between her words and her actions. We say that she put her money where her mouth was. Her offer of pence for bread as she physically handed the coins to the baker and he handed her the loaf was a “material cause” of the deal in a straightforward sense. To express the act in fancier language, her talk to the baker (“Yes, I want to buy that damned shrunken loaf, you bloody thief!”) was performative, a “speech act”: in saying something she did something in the world, evoking the movement of the bread. If you want to know what she meant, merely look at the price she paid. So if you want to know that the profits from foreign trade did not cause the Industrial Revolution you have a very good start on a persuasive argument if you know the prices of tobacco and slaves and sugar, and the physical movements the offer of the prices evoked. You note that the values were small relative to all economic activity, and can set them aside as main causes.

The historian Matthew Kadane explains the shift towards bourgeois virtues ; “the slow cool-down in religious temperature (which helps to permit the mere possibility of the demoralization of wealth) starting after the end of the civil wars and running through 1688-89; the commercialization of London, where there is so much more to be a spectator of, and so on.”



1 Pew Research Center 2008, p. 10. The authors, for reasons they do not state, want to define people who call themselves “upper middle” (19 percent) as “upper” and people who call themselves “lower middle” (another 19 percent) as “lower,” which is how they arrive at the assertion that only 53 percent identify as middle class (these being people who replied to the phone survey “middle” with no adjectives). But taking people at their self-defining word, all but the 2 percent pure “upper” and the 6 percent pure “lower” (and 1 percent not replying at all), use the middling word.

2 National Centre for Social Research 2007, p. 2.

3 Crenner 2004, p. 4

4 Macfarlane 2000, p. 207.

5 Mill 1843, p. 464.

6 Smith 1759 (1790), I. i. 7, p. 11.

7 Bohm 1996 (2004), p. 23.

8 Quoted in Brinton 1964, p. 36. Cf. McCloskey 2006b.

9 Sellers in Stokes and Conway 1996, p. ***FIND

10 Sellers 1991, p. 6.

11 McCloskey 2008d.

12 My friend Anthony Waterman notes in a personal; communication of 2008 that “all words that end in –ism are bad,” and the last sentence here contains four of them He is of course right, but I can’t do without them. Marx apparently agreed with Waterman, for in Das Kapital, Vol. 1, though he used Kapital and kapitalische on every page, he does not ever use “Kapitalismus.” The word became more common later.

13 See John Kirby’s illuminating essay on the matter, Kirby 1990.

14 Taylor 2005, p. 115.

15 Hayek 1960, pp. 25, 27.

16 Mill 1848, Book IV, Chapter VI, para. 1.

17 You may find persuasion on persuasion in the books of McCloskey 1984 (1998), 1990, 1994. If you are really eager you can adjourn to deirdremccloskey.org and call up numerous articles arguing in much more detail for the views on rhetoric sketched here.

18 Booth 1974, pp. xiii, xiv, 59.

19 Manin 1985 (1987), p. 363. Booth and Manin both acknowledged the influence of the Belgian law professor and rhetorician Chaim Perelman (1912-1984), and Booth that of the American literary critic Kenneth Burke (1897-1993) and the American professor of philosophy Richard McKeon (1900-1985).

20 Taylor 1989, pp. 20, 13 and throughout; McCloskey 2006, Chps. 10-13, esp. p. 151.

21 Taylor 1989, p. 23.

22 December 15, 1799, referring to the Constitution of December thirteenthhttp://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/ Constitution_du_13_décembre_1799 #Proclamation_des_Consuls_de_la_R.C3.A9publique.

23 May 4, 1802, in the Council of State (quoted in Furet 1988 [1992], p. 220). I owe my knowledge of the quotation to Clifford Deaton.

24 Burke 1790, p. 87.

25 Lal 1998; summarized in Lal 2006, pp. 5, 155.

26 Taylor 1989, p. 23.

27 Morrill 2001, p. 380. The source is Bishop Gilbert Burnet, who knew King Charles, in the form “God would not damn a man for a little irregular pleasure” (Burnet, A History of His Own Times. Ed. of 1850, p. 236).

28 Waterman 2004, Chp. 3; and Waterman 2008.

29 Book of Common Prayer 1662 (1999), p. 539.

30 Hall and ***NNNN, DDDD, p. DO THEM FOR LAST CHAPTER ON FRIDAY AND THEN FILL THIS IN

31 Dror Wahrman DDDD, p. ***

32 See the books of the economics historian of Spain, Regina Grafe, forthcoming, which argue that Spain’s problem was regional power, not the sort of centralism that France has practiced from the 16th century to the present.

33 Almond and Verba 1963, p. 8.

34 Cite Jacob ***. This is not to say, as Jacob would not either, that the Industrial Revolution much depended on applications of the more advanced scientific findings. It did not until late in the nineteenth century, and in large measure not until late in the twentieth.

35 Rubin 2008, p. 7.

36 Quoted in Porter 2000, p. 3. The “affairs of Europe” he mentions, though, concerned war (of the Spanish Succession), not the economy. By the way, with the editors of the Oxford Shakespeare (for example), in quoting earlier English here and elsewhere I modernize spelling and punctuation. The past is a foreign country, but the foreignness should be exhibited in its strange behavior and strange ideas, not in its spelling conventions.

37 Mokyr, Gifts of Athena 2002.

38 Porter 2000, p. 22.

39 Porter 2000, p. 15.

40 Quoted in Campbell 1999, p. 99.

41 ***cite through Hirschman #74, or my copy of Johnson

42 Taylor 1989, p. 11.

43 As Maine said at the end of Chapter V of Ancient Law (1861 [1917], p. 100. My usage is anachronistic, because Maine was arguing about the transition from patriarchal law, such as Roman law, to English law c. 1861, in which more people than the pater familias (though not yet married women) were able to make “free agreements of individuals.”

44 Johnson DDDD, p. ***

45 Le Roy Ladurie 1978 (1980), p. 337.

46 Winter’s Tale 4.4.702. For quotations from Shakespeare I use throughout The Norton Shakespeare, Based on the Oxford Edition (1997).

47 Troilus and Cressida 2.1.352-353.

48 The report of the governor-general of the East Indies to the Dutch Indian Company, quoted in Feinstein 2005, p. 50. Feinstein gave the English translation, that of the van Riebeeck Society, 1918, the original Dutch of which I have not consulted, so I am not sure that meneer was the word used.

49 ***Insert citations to this effect from Hermann’s book.

50 Earle 1989, p. 5.

51 Crystal and Crystal 2002, p. xx.

52 Smiles 1858, p. 368 in the Briggs ed. 

53 Du Plessis 2008.

54 Quoted in Wrightson 2000, p. 191.

55 Landes 1969 and 1965. This is a good place to acknowledge that I spent the first half of my historical career disagreeing with Landes on the role of the entrepreneur. I seem to be doomed to spend the second half agreeing with him. One minus one equals zero?

56 Stigler 1982, pp. 10, 60.

57 Gramsci 1932, in Forgacs, ed., p. 301.

58 ***Cite Smith; italics supplied.

59 ***Cite Smith.

60 Berman 2006, p. 11, referring to Mark Blyth, James Kloppenberg, Judith Goldstein, G. John Inenberry, Robert Keohane, and William Sewell, Jr.

61 I owe the image to the David Haddock.

62 Macaulay, “Mill on Government,” 1829, Vol. II, pp. 41-42.

63 ***Cite Gerschenkron

64 ***Cite Gary Wills on Gettysburg.

65 Davidoff and Hall 1987, p. 162: “an expanding literate public seeking not only diversion but instruction.”

66 Sewell 1994, p. 198.

67 Tocqueville 1856 (1858; trans. 1955), p. 146-147. I owe this citation to Clifford Deaton.

68 Virgil Storr 1962 makes this point in the context of the economy of Barbados.

69 Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927).

70 McCloskey 2001, “Women’s Work in the Market.”

71 ***Landes cite 1998 or 1999?

72 Baumol, Litan, and Schramm 2007, p. 122.

73 Manin 1985(1987).

74 Manin 1085 (1987), p. 364

75 Jones and Harris 1967.

76 ***Cite Arjo.

77 ***Cite Arjo

78 Chaudhuri 1959, p. 178; see also his Chapter V, “Money and the Englishman.” Chaudhuri was a professor English literature who made his first trip to England after the War.

79 Quoted in Lal 2006, p. 166.

80 Maddison 2007, pp. 174, 382 comes to a similar conclusion for predicted income in 2030.

81 ***Insert cite to Oxford Economics report on India

82 888Cite Langford

83 Delacroix 1995, p. 126.

84 ***On the School of Salamanca, advocates of free trade in the sixteenth century, see Schumpeter DDDD, pp. ; and Marjorie Grice-Hutchinson 1978, 1993.



85 Coetzee 2001 (2002), p. 226.

86 Maddison 2007, p. 164.

87 Castiglione 1528, Book I, section 40, p. 54 of English edition; I.43, p. 57; II.65, p. 138.

88 Elias 1939 (1968, 2000), p. ***.

89 Le Roy Ladurie 1978 (1980), p. 340.

90 Hirschman 1991, p. x, italics supplied.

91 Keynes 1936, p. 383.

92 Das Kapital 1867, German edition, Band 23, 1962, p. 168. The usual English translation is mistaken in important details.

93 Or so I argue at length in McCloskey 2006.

94 Theil 2008, from which subsequent quotations are also drawn.

95 World Bank, Doing Business (2006).

96 As Marc Plattner noted in 1999, p. 6.

97 Roberts 2006.

98 Plantinga 2000, p. xiv.

99 ***Taylor DDDD, p. NNN

100 ***For the international comparisons Maddison 1991, 2001; for Britain itself Feinstein 1978, 1988 and Crafts 1985a. For an engaging summary and interpretation, Brad de Long NNNN.

101 Marglin 2007.

102 Maddison 2001, p. 264, Table B-21.

103 888Buchanan in Public Choice lately, obit on Rawls.

104 Macfarlane 2000, p. 5.

105 ***Cite Mughal book

106 Nordhaus 1997.

107 Gordon 1995, for example, reckons it is 1.7 percent per year. See also the summary table in Moulton 1996. Gordon 2006 revises the figures up for one effect, down for another, leaving a 1.0 percent bias in the consumer price index. See also the summary table in Moulton 1996.

108 Temple 1986 (2006), p. 89.

109 Maddison 2007, p. 320. Some would say it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I would not.

110 Bresnahan and Gordon 1997, p. 19.

111 *** Boswell DDDD correct site , 1763, Aetat. 54, p. 273.

112 ***Maddison DDDD, p.

113 Schumpeter 1954, p. 571. I say “in the 1940s” because he died in 1950; the book was published posthumously.

114 ***Thus Richard Bronk argues, p. 61 of MS., “There is no evidence” just before para. “Mill believed”

115 Persky 1990; Levy 2001; Levy and Peart 2001.

116 personal correspondence, quoted in Cameron.

117 *** Moore DDDD, e.g. p. NNN.

118 *** Hayek on information

119 Letter to Thomas Bentley, quoted in Mokyr 2008, p. 89 [***or thereabouts]

120 quoted in Mokyr 2008, p. 89 [***or thereabouts]

121 Macaulay 1830: I, ii, p. 185.

122 Schumpeter 1954, p. 572n5.

123 Schumpeter 1954, p. 572.

124 Lindert and Williamson 1983a.

125 ***Kuznets 1971: 41 2.

126 ***Carus-Wilson 1941 :41.

127 Jones 1981, 1988; Mokyr 1990a.

128 Pomerantz 2001.

129 Crafts 1985a and Harley 1982

130 McCloskey 1991.

131 ***Mokyr, cite

132 Berg 1985; Hudson 1986, 1989

133 Musson 1978, pp. 8, 61, 167 8. By the way, the usual identification of Blake’s image with cotton mills, which I use here, is doubtful. He probably meant “mills” in the sense of the monotonous and utilitarian grinding of grain.

134 Mokyr 2008, p. 93 *** or so.

135 Macaulay 1830, p. 185.

136 Compare Chapman and Butt 1988.

137 Schumpeter 1939, Vo. I, p. 223. The next quotation is from p. 224.

138 Schumpeter 1954, p. 78.

139 Tusser 1580, p. 13.

140 Introduction by A. L. Basham, p. 120, to in Embree, ed., Sources of Indian Tradition, Vol. I. The passage below is Dīgha Nikāya 3.182ff., reprinted p. 123.

141 Walter late thirteenth century, in Oschinsky 1971, p. 309.

142 Senechaucy, late thirteenth century, in Oschinsky 1971, p. 269.

143 Tusser 1580, p. 18.

144 Dickens, David Copperfield, 1849-50, Chapter 12.

145 McCloskey and Nash 1984. Cf. Cipolla 1993, p. 89.

146 Fogel, Escape from Hunger, 2004.

147 Innes, "Introduction," 1988, TITLE, p. 5.

148 Quoted in Capital, Vol. I, p. 171n2.

149 Weber 1923, p. 355.

150 Weber, Protestant Ethic, 1904-05, p. 17.

151 Boswell's Life, April 14, 1778, quoted in Mathias, p. 302.

152 Marx, Capital, 1867, Chp. 24, Sec. 3, p. 651.

153 E.g. Marx, Capital, 1867, Chp. 24, Sec. 1, p. 641; and Chp. 26, p. 784.

154 Hobsbawm 1964, “Introduction” to Marx, Pre-Capitalist Economic Formations, cited by Pipes 1999, p. 52n.

155 Santhi Hejeebu and I have laid out the case against Polanyi's economic history in "The Reproving of Karl Polanyi," 2000.

156 Marx, Capital, 1867, Chp. 24, p. 652.

157 Heilbroner, Worldly Philosophers, DATE, p. 201. Compare p. 156, "an owner-entrepreneur engaged in an endless race," and so forth.

158 Weber, Protestant Ethic, 1904-05, p. 53.

159 Baumgarten Benjamin Franklin: Der Lehrmeister der amerikanischen Revolution 1936, quoted in Roth 1987, p. 19. Lujo Brentano, the German economist, whose English was much better than Weber’s (Roth explains), made the same point.

160 Thus Lawrence, Studies, 1924.

161 Lepore 2008, p. 78.

162 Lepore 2008, pp. 82, 81.

163 Lepore 2008, p. 82.

164 Weber, Protestant Ethic, 1904-05, p. 51, italics supplied.

165 See the section “Retirement,” pp.126-128 in Isaacson 2003, Benjamin Franklin.

166 Tronto, Moral Boundaries, 1993, p. 29.

167 Haskell's remark is quoted in Innis 1988, p. 39n61.

168 Macfarlane, Culture of Capitalism, 1987, p. 226.

169 Smith, Theory of Moral Sentiments, 1759 1790,(1790), III.6.6, p. 173.

170 Marx and Engels, Communist Manifesto, 1848, p. 59.

171 ***Mathias 1973, “Capital, Credit and Enterprise in the Industrial Revolution,"


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