David M. Hart
Date: 16 Sept., 2020
Revised: 16 Sept., 2020
This monograph is a continuation of a project I have been working on for many years. Some earlier products of this activity include:
The approach I have taken is to show, firstly the persistence of thinking about class by proto-liberals, classical liberals (CL), radical individualists, and modern day libertarians over several centuries. I believe such thinking is a core component of the broader CL tradition which has for too long been downplayed or outright ignored. Secondly, to let these thinkers speak in their own words I have quoted the original language alongside my own translation in most cases. This is also to demonstrate the considerable diversity of terms used to describe the class of the exploited and the exploited and what the former does to the latter. Thus I precede each section on a particular thinker with a list of the terms and language they used in their theory of class. This diversity of language is both a plus and a minus for the CL tradition - a plus because it shows the creativity of these thinkers in coming up with often hard-hitting and amusing epithets (often referring to some predatory animal!); and a minus because it meant that to a large degree these CLs did not speak with a common voice in making their case against the exploitation of one class of people by another.
I have left some sections unfinished as the monograph was already getting quite long at 50K words. There are place markers showing what I plan in order to fill in the gaps. In addition, many of the quotes (some bilingual parallel text) were removed for reasons of space as the original version of this paper was written for another purpose. I plan to restore them later.
(M)en placed in society … are divided into two classes, Ceux qui pillent,—et Ceux qui sont pillés (those who pillage and those who are pillaged); and we must consider with some care what this division, the correctness of which has not been disputed, implies.
The first class, Ceux qui pillent, are the small number. They are the ruling Few. The second class, Ceux qui sont pillés, are the great number. They are the subject Many.
[James Mill, "The State of the Nation," The London Review, (1835).]
The classical liberal tradition (CLT) has a long history of thinking about class analysis (CA) which goes back at least to the English proto-liberals known as the Levellers in the 1640s, but this tradition is either not well known or has been dismissed because people have associated CA with the left, in particular with Marxism.
This older CL tradition of thinking about class predates Karl Marx (1818–1883) and Marxism and in fact partially inspired him in his own thinking about it during the 1840s and 1850s. He acknowledged his intellectual debt in a letter to Weydemeyer in 1852:
Now as for myself, I do not claim to have discovered either the existence of classes in modern society or the struggle between them. Long before me, bourgeois historians had described the historical development of this struggle between the classes, as had bourgeois economists their economic anatomy. My own contribution was 1. to show that the existence of classesis merely bound up with certain historical phases in the development of production; 2. that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat; 3. that this dictatorship itself constitutes no more than a transition to the abolition of all classesand to a classless society.
What Marx did was to take the "bourgeois" CL historians' and economists' idea of class, which was based upon the idea that access to and use of political power was the defining characteristic of classes, and replaced it with the idea that it was the payment of wages (in particular the withholding by the "capitalist class" of the "surplus value" created by the "working class" but which they did not receive in their wages and which the capitalists retained as "profit") which was the determining factor. Thus, in Marx's view the exploitation which lay at the heart of his theory of class was essentially economic in nature and was inherent in the free market system in which there was wage labour and profits. On the other hand, the CL view of exploitation which lay at the centre of their theory of class was essentially political in nature, where those who had access to the coercive power of the state exploited those who did not by means of taxation, regulation of the economy, and the granting of monopolies and other privileges to certain favored groups.
It should be noted that Marx probably recognized the dead end his notion of class led to as he was unable to finish the chapter on class he had planned for Das Kapital. On the concluding page of Das Kapital, volume 3, posthumously edited and published by Engels in 1894, Marx is grappling with his problematic theory of class and breaks off in mid-section. He begins by talking about "die drei grossen gesellschaftlichen Klassen" (the three great classes of modern society", namely "(die) Lohnarbeiter, Kapitalisten, Grundeigenthümer" (wage earners, the capitalists, and the landowners) and then asks himself the key question "what constitutes a class?" When he realizes that two other important groups who are part of the system and who provide services ("Aerzte und Beamte" (doctors and office workers (or civil servants)) cannot be fitted into his theory of class he breaks off at this point. Apparently he was unable to reconcile the contradictions of his "economic theory of class" with his growing realization that providers of "services" were productive but did not involve the exploitation by wages paid for physical labour.
Marx's theory of class (and the socialists who followed him) stands or falls on his labour theory of value and his understanding of the nature of and the role played by the payment of wages and the making of profit in a free market system. Since his thinking on both these matters is deeply flawed and incorrect his theory of class must also be rejected. However, Marx was not always consistent in his use of class to analyse history and current events. When he wrote as a journalist, such as in The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (1852), he reverted to a more CLCA "political" approach in his discussion of the power struggles which brought Louis Napoléon to power, but when he wrote as an economist in Das Capital (1859) and elsewhere he abandoned CLCA and used a more "Marxist" Ricardian economic approach with all the theoretical problems this entailed. I would argue that many historians working today from a Marxist perspective also make the same mistake as Marx did when it comes to applying class analysis to particular societies - they sometimes revert to the CL political notion of class when they explore who has power and how its is wielded (which makes their work often useful to CLs), and abandon to some degree the cruder and problematical Marxist notions about wage labour and profits.
The intellectual errors which Marx introduced into his version of class theory would be further exposed during the 20th century when Marxist and socialist states were established following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the emergence of welfare states in the West following the Second World War. The emergence of a new exploiting ruling class of intellectuals, party bosses, factory managers, trade union officials, and military elites should have been impossible under socialism according to Marxist class theory, as after "the revolution" wage labour and profits would be abolished and thus society would become completely "classless" as a result.
On the other hand, according to CLCA it was inevitable that exploitation and classes would also exist in a socialist society (what in another context Bastiat called "the functionary class" and Tocqueville called "the place-seeking class" which would form the heart of a new kind of socialism known as "bureaucratic" or "state socialism"). This was in fact predicted by a number of CLs in the late 19th century, such as Yves Guyot (1843–1928), Gustave de Molinari (1819–1912), Paul Leroy Beaulieu (1843–1916), and Ludwig Bamberger (1823–1899) in France; Thomas Mackay (1849–1912), Herbert Spencer (1820–1903), and Auberon Herbert (1838–1906) in England; Eugen Richter (1838–1906) in Germany, and Charles Fairfield and J.W. Fortescue in Australia, who witnessed the growth of socialist movements and the interventionist policies they inspired before WW1. These CLs argued that so long as there is a state with the power to coerce and groups who wish to use that power to achieve their political and economic goals, there will inevitably emerge a class of rulers and administrators and groups of potential beneficiaries who will exploit the ordinary working and tax-paying public. By 1884 both Leroy-Beaulieu in France and Herbert Spencer in England were warning that a "new class" of government officials and intellectuals (Leroy-Beaulieu, Collectivism, pp. 316 ff.) would take advantage of the socialist state to pursue their own interests and who would run the "collectivist régime" and thereby create "the despotism of a graduated and centralized officialism" (Spencer, "The Coming Slavery," p. 64.) where the "small class" of "the regulators" would rule over the class of "those regulated" (Spencer, "From Freedom to Bondage," p. 23).
Classical liberal class theorists working in the 19th and early 20th centuries would not have been at all surprised by the appearance of new and even more brutal forms of class society in Russia, China, Cuba, or Venezuela. In fact, they would have expected it as Molinari did in his uncannily accurate predictions (made in 1901) about the growth of the state in the coming century, and the German politician Eugen Richter in his dystopian novel about a socialist future A Picture of the Social Democratic Future written in 1891.
The intellectual tradition we will discuss in this paper is not a rigid or monolithic one, but rather a loosely connected "family" of thinkers, activists, and politicians who were separated in time but who shared a number of liberal values (listed above) and a certain view of the state and how it functioned.
This family of thinkers includes traditional classical liberals like Adam Smith (1723–1790), Richard Cobden (1804–1865), and Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850); radical individualists like Thomas Paine (1737–1809),William Godwin (1756–1836), Lysander Spooner (1808–1887), and Benjamin Tucker (1854–1939); Classical and Austrian School economists like James Mill (1773–1836), Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923), and Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973); as well as other types of libertarians, both "Left" and "Right," who emerged in the 1970s like Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) and Leonard Liggio (1933–2014).
The heyday of classical liberal class analysis (CLCA) not surprisingly coincided with the heyday of CL thinking and political activity during the 150 years between 1750 and 1900 (the Anglo/Scottish and French Enlightenment, the American and French Revolutions, the liberal reforms of the 19th century including the 1848 Revolutions) and petered out as the CLT itself petered out in the decades leading up to the First World War. It will be argued below that during this period of "classical" liberalism we can identify five different groups of CLs (or proto-CLs) who developed theories of class which had a strong common element which they shared, namely that some people/groups used the power of the state in an organised manner / systematic manner for their own benefit at the expense of ordinary consumers and taxpayers.
Later, both CL and CLCA went into a deep sleep during the first half of the 20th century before enjoying a renaissance in the post-Second World War period when a new, sixth, and re-invigorated group of thinkers emerged under the aegis of Murray Rothbard (1926–1995) and his Circle Bastiat in NYC which built upon what had gone before but incorporated a number of new insights drawn from the Austrian school of economics, inter-war American individualist thinking (such as Albert J. Nock), late 20th century libertarian political thought (including the work of Ayn Rand (1905–1982)), and aspects of New Left historiography (Gabriel Kolko and William Appleman Williams).
One can define " class" in any way one likes, such as the "class of red-haired people", or by gender, race, or social position ("the wealthy", "the 1%") or occupation (wage earners, factory owners). What makes one's definition of class more or less useful in social analysis is to pick some feature which is essential to explaining accurately how the economy or the political system works and to use this criterion to explain what one is observing.
What makes CLCA different from other approaches is the central role given to the exercise of force/coercion by the state in determining who belongs to what class. According to CLs there are two mutually exclusive ways in which wealth can be acquired, either by voluntary means such as trade, exchange, or gifting; or by means of force and coercion such as taxation, coerced labour (serfdom and slavery), monopoly, and other government granted privileges. This notion was given its classic formulation by the German sociologist Franz Oppenheimer (1864–1943) who distinguished between "the economic means" and "the political means" of acquiring wealth, with the state being defined as the "organization of the political means" of acquiring wealth.
According to the CL theory of CA the use (or threat) of violence / coercion is the determining feature of membership in a "class": there are those who use the power of the state and the coercion it controls to benefit themselves at the expense of those who are the victims or subject to the use of that force. As a consequence, it is not one's economic occupation, social position, or the amount of wealth one has per se which determines one's "class" in this conception, but how one acquired that occupation, position, and wealth, either by voluntary exchange and cooperation with others (the market) or by taking "other peoples' stuff" by the use of state power and coercion (taxation, regulations, privileges).
Sometimes this "taking" is done by individuals (such as thieves and robbers and pirates), what Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850) termed "extra-legal plunder" (plunder which is done outside and in opposition to the law) and sometimes by groups of individuals organised for that very purpose, or what Bastiat termed "legal plunder", that is the taking of other peoples' property under the aegis and protection of the state. CLs argued that when this legal and state-sanctioned "taking" becomes institutionalized / systematized over time the people who are involved in this activity become a "class" of exploiters who have their own interests, way of thinking, and patterns of behaviour. This persistence over time and its bureaucratic institutionalization turns what might in the short term be regarded as just "vested interests" seeking political rents (the Public Choice view) into what is better referred to as a more permanent institution or "class", perhaps even a "ruling class."
In spite of the diversity of individuals involved, the span of time they covered, and the range of terminology they used (see below), there are some common elements to CLCA. The common thread is that a small group of people, usually organized in some way in a state or a church (sometimes summarized as "throne" and "altar"), used force or threats of force to take "other people's stuff" without their permission, or to force them to do or not do certain things (like attend the church of their choice, or to engage in whatever trade they liked). This can be broken down into three main components.
Firstly, that societies can be divided into two antagonistic groups, which in its simplest form can be described as "the people" (the ruled) vs. their "rulers", with the defining feature being who has access to political (i.e. coercive) power within a given society. Furthermore, that one of these groups, "the ruling few," "exploits" or "plunders" the other by taking the latter's property without its consent or by passing laws which benefit the former at the expense of the latter, thus creating a "system" or "machine" of plunder and exploitation, or in other words "a state."
Secondly, that one of these groups, "the ruling few" is not "productive" (i.e. it is "unproductive" or "sterile") and "exploits" the other group (which is "productive") by taking the latter's property without their consent or by passing laws which benefit the former at the expense of the latter. This distinction between "productive" and "unproductive" activity changed over time as economic systems and technology changed and as theoretical notions of what "productive" meant changed. For example, in the late 18th century the French Physiocrats (like François Quesnay (1694–1774) and Turgot (1727–1781)) believed that only agriculture was a productive economic activity and that other economic activities merely moved around or changed the external form of what had already been produced on the land. They thus believed that taxes on agriculture and agricultural land was the basis for any exploitation or appropriation of wealth. This idea was changed later by economic thinkers like Adam Smith, who believed manufacturing was just as productive an activity as agriculture, then in the early 19th century by Jean-Baptiste Say (1767–1832) who argued that the entrepreneur also engaged in highly productive activities, and by Bastiat in the mid–19th century that all "services" were as well. As the definition of what was productive activity changed, so did the ways in which an exploiting class might take advantage of these activities with added taxes on industry and regulations on entrepreneurial activity, thereby gradually changing the structure and functions of the state.
And thirdly, although this was a view not shared by all CLs, that societies evolved over time as technology changed and trade and production increased, resulting in new kinds of class rule and exploitation. This evolution through distinct stages was usually optimistically seen as ultimately heading towards a society with greater political and economic freedom and the eventual abolition of class rule. The most elaborate and detailed works of this kind of historical sociology of the interplay between the rise of markets, the state, and class appeared independently of each other in the late 19th century by Gustave de Molinari in France and Herbert Spencer in England.
However, in spite of sharing these three ideas about class and class society CLs developed a bewildering array of terms to describe them which is a major reason I believe why CLCA has not received the recognition it deserves. Over the centuries CLs were not able to settle upon an agreed terminology with which to describe the nature of class relations and the exploitation which resulted from those relations, and so their ideas were thus not properly understood or recognized.
Unlike the Marxists and socialists who were able very early on to settle upon the central idea of wage labour as the mechanism by which the "capitalist class" (the bourgeoisie) exploited "the working class" (the proletariat) by not giving them the "full value" of their labour, the CLs, although they may have agreed on the central role played by the state in using the coercion/violence at its disposal to grant privileges to some at the expense of others, did not use a common terminology to describe these groups, preferring to use terms which were unique to their particular historical, political, and economic circumstances. Thus, CLs literally reinvented the language of CA every generation or so in order to describe the unique historical moment in which they lived.
We can see the diversity of language and terminology when we examine how the three common features of CLCA mentioned above were described at different times in different historical circumstances.
The latter group, "the rulers", has been variously termed:
The "unproductive" and the "productive" groups / classes have been variously termed:
These stages have been described variously as:
Like the Marxist theory of CA the CL theory has both a polemical (morally laden) and a "scientific" (or value-free) dimension. Thus the reader has to be aware of when a CL is using the language of class in a polemical and political way in the heat of the moment (as in the campaign to end tariffs in England and France in the 1840s) and when they are using it in a scientific and more value-free way in order to develop a better theoretical understanding of how societies operated.
The moral dimension comes from the fact that CLs consider that the use of violence to violate another person's right to life, liberty, and property is morally wrong and hence, any group or "class" of people who organise themselves in order to violate the rights of others by means such as taxation, forced labour, conscription, banning or restricting certain occupations, the imposition of tariffs, and so on, should be condemned and resisted. Throughout the history of the CLT there has been strong language used to criticize such groups and it has often been an effective weapon in the political struggle for liberal reforms, such as ending rule by absolute monarchs, opposing slavery, resisting the imposition of "taxation without representation," and opposing tariffs on imported food.
For example, CLs like Richard Cobden and Frédéric Bastiat both used the language of class polemically to describe their opponents in the campaigns for free trade against the land-owning class in Britain as the "oligarchy" and the "borough-mongers" and in France as "la classe électorale" (the voting class) and "la classe spoliatrice" (the plundering class) respectively. The politician Cobden did not attempt to incorporate this terminology and this manner of thinking into any broader social theory, but class theory was implicit in the way he thought about British society.
On the other hand, this should be contrasted with his contemporary and counterpart in France, Frédéric Bastiat, who used much the same class language (some of it inspired by Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League) but also incorporated it into a sophisticated and well-thought out theory of class and history as his plans to write A History of Plunder clearly indicate.
Other CLs who integrated their notions of class into a broader theoretical framework include Herbert Spencer and Gustave de Molinari later in the 19th century (mentioned above). Another important figure is the English Radical and journalist John Wade (1788–1875) who, although not a theorist, wrote the most detailed historical study of the class structure of English society in the 1820s and 1830s, Extraordinary Black Book (1820–23, 1832–35) which went through many editions and is a model of its type.
Some examples of the moral outrage felt by CLs to these perceived injustices of class rule include the following value-laden terms:
The "scientific" (or value-free) dimension of CLCA comes from the fact that the distinction CLs have made between the two different means of acquiring wealth is a useful mechanism for explaining how societies and economies work, why certain policies are pursued and not others, what the sources of conflict are in any given society, and what the outcome of these conflicts or "struggles" (to use a Marxist term) might be/ have been, without making any value judgement about the rightness or wrongness of acting in this way.
Some examples of the more value-free terminology used by CLs include the following:
In the early decades of the 19th century CLs like the Benthamites around James Mill and the Philosophic Radicals it was assumed, perhaps naively, that once the landed and financial elites which controlled Britain had been dispossessed of their political power by democratic reform (as in the First Reform Act of 1832) and replaced by "right thinking" Benthamite reformers, class rule would come to an end. This was a view shared by Marxists who thought that once the capitalists had been overthrown and replaced by the "dictatorship of the proletariat" class rule would automatically and inevitably come to an end. The same can be said today about supporters of the modern welfare state (social democrats) who would be shocked to be told that it too is a class-based state where a class of bureaucratic administrators and a dependent class of welfare recipients live off funds taken from the tax-payers.
Although the main CL theorists on the evolution of class society, Molinari and Spencer, probably started out believing that class rule could be drastically reduced or even eliminated as free markets and international free trade spread and as people became used to the benefits of the secure ownership of property, as the century wore on they came to have their doubts that this situation would arise in the near future, or perhaps ever. The temptations of what in the late 20th century would be called "rent-seeking" in democratic societies was too great for politicians to resist (whether socialist or CL) and it was likely that class rule would return even if it were reduced as they hoped it would be. Molinari was the more pessimistic of the two and believed (writing at the turn of the century) that the coming 20th century would see decades of war, socialism, and economic depression before a revival of CL ideas would take place after two or three generations in the wilderness.
The richness and diversity of CLCA can be simplified somewhat by examining a number of thematic threads which weave their way through the CL tradition. These threads approach the subject of class from a number of different perspectives:
Early in the emergence of CLCA there were two activities/institutions upon which CL theorists focussed and upon which they based their view of class, namely the institution of slavery and the payment of taxes. The institution of slavery and other forms of coerced labour (such as serfdom) created a clear separation between the slaves who did the labour under coercion and the slave-owners who benefited from this labour. This provided CLs with the archetypal or paradigmatic form of an organised system of class and class exploitation. The analysis of slavery as a system of class rule formed the basis of Charles Comte's (1782–1837) and Charles Dunoyer's (1786–1862) works in the 1810s to 1830s which became very influential among mid- and late–19th century French liberals (such as Bastiat and Molinari) and later among Rothbard's circle in the 1950s (Raico and Liggio).
For example, Comte devoted a large section of his major work Traité de législation (1827) to the economics of slave labour and the relationship between slave owners and slaves, in which he developed an extensive language of class which would become very influential in French CL circles. He talked specifically about "la classe des maîtres" (the class of masters or slave owners) and "la classe des esclaves" (the class of slaves) but also generalized this class relationship to include broader categories such as "une classe d'oppresseurs et une classe d'opprimés" (a class of oppressors and a class of the oppressed), "les classes privilégiées" and "les classes non privilégiées" (the privileged classes and the unprivileged classes), and most importantly "la classe industrieuse" (the industrious or wealth producing class) which lay at the heart of their understanding of class in modern society. (See below for details.) The key insight was the idea that all societies were divided into two antagonistic groups, those who worked and produced the wealth, and those who did not work or produce but who lived off those who did by enslaving them, enserfing them, or taxing them. Comte's and Dunoyer's work on slavery provided an historical case study and a theoretical model to describe the other systems of class exploitation which emerged later after slavery, such as serfdom, then what they called the "system of privilege" (in other words mercantilism), and the political system of "place-seeking" in which individuals competed to get a limited number of tax-payer funded jobs in the government bureaucracies.
Not only did they study the historical forms which organised slavery and its later variants took in ancient Rome, Europe, and the Americas, but "slavery" also became a metaphor for exploitation by the state in general even after formal slavery (and serfdom) had been abolished (usually as a result of agitation for reform by CLs). In their view, all forms of coerced labour were on the cusp of being replaced in the early 19th century with a new "industrious class" ("les industriels") which was beginning to emerge out of the ashes of the slave and serf systems and which consisted of all individuals who produced wealth (whether goods or services) for voluntary sale and exchange on the free market.
Some members of the Classical School of Economics also directed their attention to the economics of slave labour in order to show its economic inefficiency and to identify the classes which benefited from this. Jean-Baptiste Say was particularly important in his Treatise on Political Economy (1803, 1814, 1817) in which he made the standard criticism concerning the economic inefficiency of slave labour (the slaves lacked incentives to work harder and the slave owners lacked incentives to innovate with other methods of production), and the fact that without subsidies from the government for policing the slave system (keeping the slaves from rising up in rebellion) and tariffs on foreign sugar and guaranteed markets in the metropole, the class of slave owners were predicted to go bankrupt quite quickly.
Other economists who should be mentioned in this regard were the Russian economist Heinrich Friedrich von Storch (1766–1835) who wrote extensively on the economics and class system of serfdom in the Russian Empire in Cours d'économie politique (1st ed. 1815, 1823), the Swiss economist Simonde de Sismondi (1773–1842) in Études sur l'économie politique (1837), the Belgian-French economist Gustave de Molinari (1819–1912) in many works who developed Comte's and Dunoyer's theory of class in many important new directions, and the Irish economist John Elliott Cairnes (1823–1875) in The Slave Power: Its Character, Career, and Probable Designs (1861) who devoted an entire book to describe the class system which existed in the American south on the eve of the outbreak of the Civil War. Cairnes described the Southern slave owners as a "ruling class", "a compact oligarchy," "the ascendent class", and the system they created as the "despotism of the wealthy few."
In a more recent history of slavery and the American Civil War Jeffrey Hummel makes use of the insights of Comte and Dunoyer but his class analysis is more implied than explicit. One has to read his many short "Bibliographical Essays" to find this spelt out.
Whereas the Marxists had their "wage slavery" the CLs had their "tax slavery".
If chattel slavery was the quintessential form of exploitation of one class of people by another where the entire product of one's labour was forcibly taken, then by extension CLs thought, "slavery" also existed when part of one's labor was forcibly taken by another person, as in taxation by the state. Thus there developed in CL thought the idea that there was a group of people (a "class") who were forced to pay taxes to the state - the "tax-payers" - who were in an antagonistic relationship with another group of people (a "class") who were the beneficiaries of this tax money - the "tax-receivers/consumers." The antagonism manifested itself in the resistance of the tax payers to paying taxes for "services" which may or may not have been real or wanted, and the desire of the tax receivers/consumers to maintain or increase taxes for their own benefit or the benefit of their friends and allies. The French historian Augustin Thierry (1795–1856) explored another form this resistance to taxes took where the "Free Cities" of medieval Europe (like Magdeburg) sought and got agreements with their feudal lords for tax mitigation and considerable freedom in the form of Charters for their cities and an early form of self-rule in return for more fixed payments. Thierry explained this process as one of the first and most important successes of the rise of a new class in Europe, the "Third Estate" of non-noble and non-slave individuals. Gustave de Molinari also pursed this line of thought in his articles on "Cities and Towns," "The Nobility," and "Slavery" for the DEP (1852). The persistent tax revolts which have appeared throughout history testify to this ongoing antagonism between tax-payers and tax-consumers and one should make special note of the importance of the American Revolution as possibly the most significant of these in the history of CL thought and the emergence of liberal institutions.
One of the clearest expressions of the idea of the antagonism between "tax-payers" and "tax-consumers" was put forward by the American southern politician and ironically a defender of slavery, John C. Calhoun (1782–1850) in A Disquisition on Government (1849) where he believed there was a zero sum relationship between the two classes - the gain of one had to be at the detriment of the other.
The necessary result, then, of the unequal fiscal action of the government is, to divide the community into two great classes; one consisting of those who, in reality, pay the taxes, and, of course, bear exclusively the burthen of supporting the government; and the other, of those who are the recipients of their proceeds, through disbursements, and who are, in fact, supported by the government; or, in fewer words, to divide it into tax-payers and tax-consumers.
But the effect of this is to place them in antagonistic relations, in reference to the fiscal action of the government, and the entire course of policy therewith connected. For, the greater the taxes and disbursements, the greater the gain of the one and the loss of the other—and vice versa; and consequently, the more the policy of the government is calculated to increase taxes and disbursements, the more it will be favored by the one and opposed by the other.
Calhoun it should be noted had a considerable influence on Murray Rothbard who altered Calhoun's idea slightly by changing it to the idea of "net" tax-payers and "net" tax-consumers in order to take into account the more complex situation in modern economies where tax-payers might also receive some benefits from the state (such as services like roads and sewers, or social security benefits) which necessitated a calculation of whether some groups were in the end "net" payers or receivers. (See below.)
Calhoun did not apply his idea to any detailed historical analysis of who paid the taxes and who benefited from their "disbursement". This was true for most CLs who used the idea more in a polemical fashion, with the exception of the English radical journalist John Wade (1788–1875) in his popular and influential multi-volume Black Book of Abuses (1820) which appeared in several editions in the 1820s and 1830s as part of the Philosophic Radicals' and Benthamite's campaign for the reform of the British electoral system leading up to the Reform Act of 1832 which opened up the franchise to the middle class taxpayers for the first time. Wade's theory of class involved an oligarchy of special interests drawn from the established church, the military, senior judges and lawyers, privileged companies and corporations, and government bureaucrats and "functionaries" which controlled the government for their own benefit and enrichment. The Black Book of Abuses was a 500 page very detailed listing of all the tax monies extracted from "the many," "the middling and industrious orders," and spent on "the few," "the usurping, devouring clan, and plundering oligarchy" which made up what he termed "the System". There is nothing quite like it in the entire history of CLCA.
Although the French liberal aristocrat Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) did not use CA expressly in his Democracy in America (1830, 1835) he did have a great interest in the ordinary American as a citizen of a democratic state and how this democracy would work in a system without an established aristocracy and which was radically decentralized and imposed very low taxes. Whether or not this new system of government would produce a new form of tyranny and how it would deal with the problem of slavery were issues which troubled him greatly. He did however turn to an examination of the bureaucratic class which ran the ancien régime in his work The Revolution and the Ancien Régime (1856).
It should be noted here that in the 1880s the American sociologist William Graham Sumner (1840–1910) wrote a series of essays about what he called "The Forgotten Man" by which he meant the average person whose taxes paid for the all the waste, political corruption, and subsidies to the "plutocrats" who benefitted most from the American system of government and the system of "jobbery" where jobs in the government bureaucracies were handed out as political favors. (See below.)
In the early 19th century the term "industry" and "industrious" had the more general meaning of any activity or person engaged in that activity which produced things (later services) of value which other people wanted to buy. Later the term "industry" and "industrial" would be limited to the narrower meaning of a particular way of producing certain things in factories using machinery. Charles Comte, Charles Dunoyer, Augustin Thierry, and Benjamin Constant (1767–1830) in the late 1810s used the word in the former sense to argue that European society was entering a new stage of development where "les industriels" (the industrious classes) were on the verge of creating an entirely new form of society, "industrialism", where all forms of slavery, coerced labour, and political privilege would be done away with along with the unproductive, parasitical classes which benefitted from that, and replaced by social, political, and economic relationships which would be based upon the voluntary exchange of goods and services produced by "the industrious classes". Comte and Dunoyer were inspired by a revised edition of Say's Treatise (1815) to develop this theory of "industrialism" in a new magazine Le Censeur européen (1817–19).
Dunoyer in particular developed the theory of "industrialism" and the rise of the "industrial classes" in a series of books beginning with L'Industrie et la morale considérées dans leurs rapports avec la liberté (Industry and Morality considered in their Relationship with Liberty) (1825). The French Revolution, according to this theory, had been the first step on the path for the industrial class to overthrow the plundering classes which had ruled Europe until then and to begin building a new society where economic privilege and regulations were removed, free markets and competition introduced for all occupations and economic activities, and the size, power, and cost of government reduced to a bare minimum, or even to nothing . There are hints of this radical anti-statism, even anarchism, in some lectures J.B. Say gave in Paris in the late 1810s, and in Dunoyer's idea about eliminating the central, national state and replacing it with locally controlled municipal governments (what he called" the municipalisation of the world"). This is a theme Molinari would take up in 1849 in his idea of applying free competition to "the production of security" (i.e. police and national defense) and in his works of historical sociology written in the late 1870s and early 1880s in which he proposes that private communities created by real estate entrepreneurs might provide "public goods" to those who bought property in the community. In the latter Molinari expanded in considerable detail the historical analysis of class begun by Comte and Dunoyer and updated CLCA to explain the new circumstance and the new kinds of state which were emerging in the late 19th century.
Thierry on industrialism
Augustin Thierry worked for Comte and Dunoyer editing their journal, wrote his own works on the class theory of industrialism, and would later apply it to his own interpretation of French and European history in an important pair of books. The first was Histoire de la conquête de l'Angleterre par les Normands (1825) in which he argued that a common way by which one class came to dominate and plunder another was by means of conquest, and the classic example of this he thought was the Norman conquest of Saxon England in the 11th century. The second The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État (1853) was a broad ranging discussion of the rise of the "bourgeoisie" or "Tiers état" (Third Estate) after the collapse of slavery under the Roman Empire, its transformation into serfdom and peasant-based agriculture, and then the struggle of these ex-slaves and serfs to become "free citizens" of the emerging "free cities" of the medieval period, who were the original "bourgeoisie" (city dwellers).
It should also be noted that a "conquest theory" of the origin of class was also part of the thinking of the English Levellers in the 1640s. The Norman French conquerors constituted the monarchy and the aristocracy which had dominated English politics since the invasion and were the beneficiaries of the taxes and economic privileges imposed on the "Freeborn Englishmen and women" ever since. However, through a long process of struggle and resistance to the ruling class of Norman conquerors the English people had tried to preserve their liberties through the traditional Common Law and by limits imposed upon kingly power by means of Magna Carta.
art/posters/cartoons - John Bull, Atlas, the social pyramid
Mises on interventionism, the total state
Tullock on bureaucracy
John T. Flynn
The key period during which traditional CLCA emerged in a more coherent form was roughly the one hundred and fifty years between 1750–1900, a period which, not incidentally, coincided with the Enlightenment in Europe and North America and the liberal revolutions which accompanied this in America and France in the 18thC, and across much of Europe in 1848.
Chronologically speaking, there have been six historical periods during which different groups of thinkers contributed to the formation of CLCA. The terminology they adopted and the groups they identified as "the rulers" and "the exploiting class" varied considerably according to historical circumstances. Here I will deal with the first five which appeared before the post-WW2 modern libertarian movement.
The first period of thought makes up what might be termed "the Prehistory" of the tradition since we are not dealing with self-confessed "liberals" at this stage (this term would not appear until the early 19th century) but rather "proto-liberals". Included in this group are some early modern and early 18th-century thinkers who made the rather crude distinction between "the people" and "the King (or Prince) and his Courtiers." In this group we include the French magistrate and poet Étienne de La Boétie (1530–1563), several of the English Levellers such as Richard Overton (1631–1664) and William Walwyn (1600–1681), and the 18th Century Commonwealthmen John Trenchard (1662–1723) and Thomas Gordon (1692–1750).
The French magistrate and poet Étienne de La Boétie (1530–1563) in his Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (1549) thought the Renaissance French state under Henry II (1547–59) was like a pyramid with the tyrant at the top, underneath which were his courtiers and "petty chiefs," and below them was the mass of tax-paying citizens who paid for it all. A key question he posed was why the mass of tax-payers, since they outnumbered the small clique at the top, did not rise up and throw off their tyrants. Ideological submission and force of habit was his answer.
Some of the key terms he used to describe this situation were the following:
La Boétie thought that there were concentric circles of powerful people who surrounded the tyrant and benefited from the tax resources which flowed from the people to the centre. These sub-groups of greater or lesser tyrants and chiefs (les chefs) constituted the ruling class. The numbers he provides (the six, the six hundred, the six thousand) are figurative only but the point is still made:
On ne le croira pas du premier coup, mais certes il eſt vray: ce ſont touſqiours quatre ou cinq qui maintiennent le tiran, quatre ou cinq qui lui tiennent tout le païs en ſeruage. Touſiours il a eſté que cinq ou fix ont eu l'oreille du tiran, & ſ'y ſont approché d'eus meſmes, ou bien ont eſté appeles par lui, pour eſtre les complices de ſes cruautes, les compaignons de ſes plaiſirs, les macquereaus de ſes voluptes, & communs aus biens de ſes pilleries. Ces ſix addreſſent ſi bien leur chef, qu'il faut, pour la ſocieté, qu'il ſoit meſchant, non pas ſeulement de ſes meſchancetes, mais ancore des leurs. Ces ſix ont ſix cent qui proufitent ſous eus, &, font de leurs ſix cent ce que les ſix font au tiran. Ces ſix cent en tiennent ſous eus ſix mille, qu'ils ont eſleué en eſtat, auſquels ils font donner ou le gouuernement des prouinces, ou le maniement des deniers, afin qu'ils tiennent la main à leur auarice & cruauté & qu'ils l'executent quand il ſera temps, & facent tant de maus d'allieurs qu'ils ne puiſſent durer , que ſoubs leur ombre, ni ſ'exempter que par leur moien des loix & de la peine.
Grande eſt la ſuitte qui vient apres cela, & qui voudra ſ'amuſer à deuider ce filet, il verra que, non pas les ſix mille, mais les cent mille, mais les millions, par cette corde, ſe tiennent au tiran, ſ'aidant d'icelle comme, en Homere, Iuppiter qui fe vante, ſ'il tire la cheſne, d'emmener vers ſoi tous les dieus. De là venoit la creue du Senat ſous Iules, l'eſtabliſſement de nouueaus eſtats, erection d'oſſices; non pas certes, à le bien prendre, reformation de la iuſtice, mais nouueaus ſouſtiens de la tirannie. En ſomme que l'on en vient là, par les faueurs ou ſoufaueurs, les guains lou reguains qu'on a auec les tirans, qu'il ſe trouue en fin quaſi autant de gens auſquels la tirannie ſemble eſtre profitable, comme de ceus à qui la liberté ſeroit aggreable,. Tout ainſi que les medecins diſent qu'en noſtre corps, ſ'il y a quelque choſe de gaſté, deſlors qu'en autre endroit, il ſ'y bouge rien, il ſe vient auſſi toſt rendre vers ceſte partie vereuſe : pareillement, deſlors qu'vn roi ſ'eſt declaré tiran, tout le mauuais, toute la lie du roiaume, ie ne dis pas vn tas de larronneaus & eſſorilles, qui ne peuuent gueres en vne republicque faire mal ne bien, mais ceus qui ſont taſches d'vne ardente ambition & d'vne notable auarice, ſ'amaſſent autour de lui & le ſouſtiennent pour auoir part au butin, & eſtre, ſous le grand tiran, tiranneaus eus meſmes. (Bonnefon, pp. 45–47.)
This does not seem credible on first thought, but it is nevertheless true that there are only four or five who maintain the dictator, four or five who keep the country in bondage to him. Five or six have always had access to his ear, and have either gone to him of their own accord, or else have been summoned by him, to be accomplices in his cruelties, companions in his pleasures, panders to his lusts, and sharers in his plunders. These six manage their chief so successfully that he comes to be held accountable not only for his own misdeeds but even for theirs. The six have six hundred who profit under them, and with the six hundred they do what they have accomplished with their tyrant. The six hundred maintain under them six thousand, whom they promote in rank, upon whom they confer the government of provinces or the direction of finances, in order that they may serve as instruments of avarice and cruelty, executing orders at the proper time and working such havoc all around that they could not last except under the shadow of the six hundred, nor be exempt from law and punishment except through their influence.
The consequence of all this is fatal indeed. And whoever is pleased to unwind the skein will observe that not the six thousand but a hundred thousand, and even millions, cling to the tyrant by this cord to which they are tied. According to Homer, Jupiter boasts of being able to draw to himself all the gods when he pulls a chain. Such a scheme caused the increase in the senate under Julius, the formation of new ranks, the creation of offices; not really, if properly considered, to reform justice, but to provide new supporters of despotism. In short, when the point is reached, through big favors or little ones, that large profits or small are obtained under a tyrant, there are found almost as many people to whom tyranny seems advantageous as those to whom liberty would seem desirable. Doctors declare that if, when some part of the body has gangrene a disturbance arises in another spot, it immediately flows to the troubled part. Even so, whenever a ruler makes himself a dictator, all the wicked dregs of the nation—I do not mean the pack of petty thieves and earless ruffians who, in a republic, are unimportant in evil or good—but all those who are corrupted by burning ambition or extraordinary avarice, these gather around him and support him in order to have a share in the booty and to constitute themselves petty chiefs under the big tyrant. (Kurz trans., pp. 71–73.)
The English Levellers Richard Overton (1631–1664) and William Walwyn (1600–1681) took up a major theme of the radicals who opposed the absolutist reign of Charles I (1600–1649) which was the idea that tyranny had come to England with the Norman Conquest in 1066 and that the "freeborn men of England" had struggled ever since to place limits on kingly power by means of charters like Magna Carta (1215) or violent resistance if need be as the Civil Wars and Revolution (1642–51) demonstrated. The rulers and their powerful allies were seen as "conquerors" and parasitical "caterpillars" who ate the people's livelihood and reduced them to poverty. In many of the Levellers' pamphlets of the late 1640s other animal imagery was used to make the same point: the productive "mill horse" who turned the grind stone at the mill to make floor for bread vs. the unproductive "war horse" who took the soldiers into battle to kill and destroy the property of the people; or seeing the established and privileged church as so many wolves who attacked the defenseless flock of believers by imposing compulsory tithes to maintain their livelihoods.
By the early 18th century the analysis had become more sophisticated in the writings of the so-called "Commonwealthmen" like John Trenchard (1662–1723) and Thomas Gordon (1692–1750) who turned to Roman history to criticize the practices of the British state after the settlement of 1688 brought William of Orange to the throne. In their Cato's Letters (1721–23) the landed, financial, and military aristocracies which were the foundation stone of the expanding British Empire were likened to the tyrants of ancient Rome and their court of "hangers-on". The King's ministers were corrupt, "factions" and "parties" within the court contended for power (the "Ins" vs. the "Outs"), the court parasites plundered the people, and a standing army kept them and the colonies under control. It was the journalism of Trenchard and Gordon which brought the notion of class to the English colonists in North America who readily adopted it as part of their critique of the British Empire, seeing their struggle very much as a tax revolt by the tax-payers against the tax-consumers of the metropole.
The second period was the Enlightenments which took place in England, Scotland, and France in the mid and late 18th century. This included thinkers like Adam Smith (1723–1790), Adam Ferguson (1723–1797), Jacques Turgot (1727–1781) and John Millar (1735–1801) who were interested in the nature of productive and "unproductive" labour and who engaged in it, the notion of "rank" within societies, the corrupting influence of political power, the problem of "faction" and "system", and a four-stage theory of history through which societies moved as their ruling elites and the means by which wealth was created evolved over time. This stage theory of history would have a considerable on 19thC ideas about class in both the Classical Liberal as well as in the Marxist camps.
Adam Smith (1723–1790) was a Professor at the University of Edinburgh (1748–51) and the University of Glasgow (1751–64), a private tutor to the Duke of Buccleuch, and Commissioner of Customs in Scotland (1778-). His thinking about class was largely implicit in that he accepted the general Enlightened idea that history evolved through various economic stages (namely, the stages of hunting, pasturing, agriculture, and commerce) which he expressed in his Lectures on Jurisprudence (1763), that societies were structured according to one's rank and distinction which he discussed in Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), and that a complex "system of government" had emerged under mercantilism which granted legal and economic privileges to some manufacturers and agricultural producers at the expence of other consumers and producers, in The Wealth of Nations (1776). Yet, he did not develop any detailed discussion of either the historical evolution of classes or the nature of the class structure of his own day. The basic ideas were there and he referred to them in passing on many occasions but the pieces would not be put together in a more explicit way until later when several of his followers in the English and French Classical School would do just that (see below).
Some of Smith's ideas about class and class conflict include the following: that societies were divided into "ranks" and "orders" which had their own interests; that the government was a "great system" or a machine which had "wheels" which turned under the influence of "statesmen", "factions," "party men", and "the man of system"; that producers and merchants would often get together to talk about "a conspiracy against the public" in order to further their own private interests; that there were many "unproductive hands" who lived off the taxes produced by the labour of other men; and that opposition by the lower orders to the system of privilege was weak and unlikely to result in violent opposition given their natural deference to their "superiors". His most detailed discussion of these matters was in the Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759).
Ranks and Orders
Smith believed that societies were divided into "ranks" or "orders" each of which had its own "particular powers, privileges, and immunities" and that members of these different orders attempted to expand its own "powers, privileges and immunities" and to protect itself from "the encroachments" of every other order.
Every independent state is divided into many different orders and societies, each of which has its own particular powers, privileges, and immunities. Every individual is naturally more attached to his own particular order or society, than to any other. His own interest, his own vanity, the interest and vanity of many of his friends and companions, are commonly a good deal connected with it. He is ambitious to extend its privileges and immunities. He is zealous to defend them against the encroachments of every other order or society. 
However, he does not spell out in any detail what these different ranks and orders were (such as social, political, economic, religious), what their power and privileges consisted of, and how their political power was exercised, except in vague and general terms. When he does give specific examples these are taken from classical Roman history and not from his own day. There is also very little discussion of how those with rank got their wealth and position in the first place, whether it was earned legitimately or illegitimately. He suggests that some people regarded as "the great", did not acquire their position through "the purchase either of sweat or of blood" or "by knowledge, by industry, by patience, by self–denial, or by virtue of any kind," but by birth (TMS, I.iii.2.4, p. 53). Others, and here he cites ancient Roman examples such as Caesar and Cataline, in spite of "the great injustice of their enterprises" earn our esteem which is not "without utility" because it helps establish "the distinction of ranks" and it teaches us to submit to authority and to "that fortunate violence which we are no longer capable of resisting." (TMS, VI.iii.30, pp. 252–53.)
The Wheels of the Political Machine
Above the ranks and orders of society was "the great system of government" or the "political machine" which had "wheels" (TMS, IV.1.11, p. 185) which were turned by "statesmen", "factions," "party men" (TMS, III.3.43, p. 155), and "the man of system" (TMS, VI.ii.2.17. p. 233). At the pinnacle of political power are the leading "Statesmen" and Princes who sometimes behave like "political speculators" (TMS, VI.ii.2.18, p. 234) who have the "arrogance" to believe that they have all the knowledge required to run a country by themselves. They also sometimes believe that "the state (i)s made for themselves, not themselves for the state." (TMS, VI.ii.2.18, p. 234.) Smith hints in a general way that the self-interest of members of the government led them to structure "the constitution of the state" in order to promote "the interest of the government; sometimes the interest of particular orders of men who tyrannize the government," and thus "warp the positive laws of the country from what natural justice would prescribe". (TMS, VII.iv.36, p. 341.)
Smith spends some time talking about the "factions" which contend for power within the government and "the violence of faction" which this introduces into politics. He thinks these factions can be "civil" or "ecclesiastical" in composition, that there is great "animosity" between the "hostile factions," and that the resulting conflict creates "turbulence and disorder" in society. (TMS, VI.ii.2.15, p. 232.) He also talks about "party" and the "party-man" and the struggles of "the disconcerted party" to get back into power in similar terms. Smith makes a cryptic reference to there being "the laws of faction" which can be discovered by a study of how factions form and operate but unfortunately he does not go into any details. (TMS, III.3.43, p. 155.) Nevertheless, he concludes that faction in politics is the great "corrupter of moral sentiments": "Of all the corrupters of moral sentiments, therefore, faction and fanaticism have always been by far the greatest." (TMS, III.3.43, p. 156.)
Factions and party attract the attention of the politically "ambitious man" both from the lower ranks as well as from the superior ranks. Smith has some acute insights into the behavior and motivation of the "ambitious man" who makes himself a "candidate for fortune" in the system of government. (TMS, VI.iii.40, p. 257.) In order to get to the top they often act above the law and commit fraud, falsehood, and crimes like murder and rebellion to achieve their political goals. Such men hope that "the lustre of his future conduct will entirely cover, or efface, the foulness of the steps by which he arrived at that elevation".
In many governments the candidates for the highest stations are above the law; and, if they can attain the object of their ambition, they have no fear of being called to account for the means by which they acquired it. They often endeavour, therefore, not only by fraud and falsehood, the ordinary and vulgar arts of intrigue and cabal; but sometimes by the perpetration of the most enormous crimes, by murder and assassination, by rebellion and civil war, to supplant and destroy those who oppose or stand in the way of their greatness. (TMS, I.iii.3.8, p. 64.)
Political ambition is also held by men of "inferior rank" who have to adopt a different path if they wish to climb the political ladder. They typically have some "superior knowledge" in their given profession and demonstrate "superior industry in the exercise of it" in order to make the money they need to buy or "acquire dependents" or political clients who will support them on their way into office. They cynically will take advantage of a "foreign war, or civil dissension" in order to do this. (TMS, I.iii.2.5, p. 55.) Thus, these ambitious men of the middle and lower ranks come to fill the highest offices of government and manage "the whole detail of the administration." Yet, in spite of their political success, they harbour great resentment towards "those who were born their superiors" and thus had a much easier path into power. This resentment sets up a semi-permanent struggle between "the man of spirit and ambition" and "the man of rank and distinction."
"The man of system" in Smith's view was a special kind of politician who sought to control the machinery of government in order to implement some utopian scheme to completely reformulate or restructure the nature of politics. Smith thinks that these "men of system" often start out intending "nothing but their own aggrandisement" but end up becoming fanatical true believers in their cause ("this fanaticism") and "the dupes of their own sophistry". (TMS, VI.ii.2.16, p. 233.) He considered this to be a very dangerous form of government should such a man ever get into power, although how it would rank in comparison to what he considered to be "the worst of all governments for any country whatever", namely "the government of an exclusive company of merchants" in a colony, it is hard to say (WoN, vol. II, IV.vii.b.11, p. 570).
Conspiracies against the Public
In Wealth of Nations Smith famously argued that producers and merchants, as well as more geographically dispersed country gentlemen and farmers, would often get together to talk about "a conspiracy against the public" (WoN, vol. 1, I.x.c.27, p. 145) in order to restrict trade to their own advantage.
People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.
For some reason, he did not apply the same argument to gatherings or meetings of politicians, "statesmen," and government bureaucrats who might just as readily and willingly "conspire" together to increase taxes and the power of the state. In the case of a free market the self-interest of producers and merchants was channelled into serving the needs of consumers, by the "invisible hand" (WoN, vol. 1, IV.ii.9, p. 456), so long as the government did not grant privileges to some producers. However, there was no similar mechanism to direct the self-interest of politicians or statesmen into a safe direction, no "visible hand" (to paraphrase Smith) of "the great Conductor" of an army or an Empire like Marcus Aurelius to maintain the harmony of the political order (TMS, VI.ii.4, p. 236; VII.ii.1.37, p. 289). Perhaps this omission was because he seemed to give most politicians the benefit of the doubt and thought they could put aside their personal self-interest or class interest for the sake of the general public interest.
Unproductive Hands who Live off other men's labour
Smith believed that there were two different kinds of labour, "productive" and "unproductive," and that there were sizable groups of "unproductive hands" who lived off the productive public's taxes and sometimes engaged in "publick prodigality and misconduct" (WoN, vol I, II.iii.30, p. 342). These groups comprised "a numerous and splendid court, a great ecclesiastical establishment, great fleets and armies" whose expenses were itemized in the Civil List. Smith thought that "they themselves produce nothing, are all maintained by the produce of other men's labour" and that their ever growing cost was a "violent and forced encroachment" on society's accumulated capital. Yet he did not develop this insight into the conflict between "productive" and "unproductive" groups any further. The problem was further compounded by his inclusion in the "unproductive" group people like the "slothful landlord", "usurers", and "the monied man" who "lends out his stock at interest", groups which later political economists like Jean-Baptiste Say would include in the category of "productive" or "industrious" economic activity.
Opposition of the Lower Orders
In spite of the conflict which Smith saw in "the violence of faction" which lay at the heart of the "political machine" he did not see it causing sufficient resentment within the lower orders to expose the superior and privileged orders to any real threat from below. He thought that "esteem" and "obsequiousness to our superior" was so deeply ingrained in people's thinking that it seemed to be "the doctrine of Nature". "The doctrine of reason and philosophy" might tell us otherwise, "that we should oppose them, (but) we can hardly bring ourselves to do it" (TMS, I.iii.2.3, pp. 52–53). He cites the example of the restoration of the monarchy after the English revolution to show how quickly the people forgive and forget the "provocations" and even crimes of their leaders. It is not clear here whether Smith is being very cautious so as not to be seen as advocating any revolutionary class struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors or whether he in fact believes that submission to one's "superior" is natural, inevitable, and necessary for the good of society. He would lose this reticence in 1776 when he supported the independence of the North American colonies from Britain. (WoN, vol. II, IV.vii.c.66, pp. 616 ff. and WoN*, vol. II, IV.vii.c, p. 623).
The Scottish Librarian and Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh Adam Ferguson (1723–1797) in An Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767), written at a time when the British Empire was reasserting its authority over the North American colonies, explored the connections between despotism, political slavery, corruption, and the "subordination" of one group of people to another.
Conceptually, he thought there were two different types of government, one based upon the principles of democracy and the other on the principles of aristocracy. In the latter sovereignty is found in a particular "class or order of men" who hold their position for life and who enjoy "a station of permanent superiority" (HCS, p. 109) over others which entitles them to fill "all the offices of magistracy" and to sit in whatever political assembly exists to run the country. This "aristocratical government" thus divides the country into "two classes; of which one is destined to command, the other to obey" (HCS, p. 111); one is "the warrior" and the other is "the pacific inhabitant"; and the former group are always regarded as "that class of men who are destined to reign and to domineer in their country" (HCS, p. 252). Ferguson describes this as a condition of "subordination."
Subordination in his view began as "an order established by nature" where some people would respect others who had some talent or skill. He called this form "voluntary subordination" as it was based upon "the voluntary respect and attachment" (HCS, p. 203) some individuals felt towards a select few and could be withdrawn if those individuals were no longer worthy of respect. On the other hand, there was another kind of subordination which was modeled on that of "military subordination" (HCS, p. 219) which was permanent in nature and based upon coercion, where "every separate party had its post assigned" and there was "a class of the people destined to military service, another to labour, and to cultivate lands for the benefit of their masters" (HCS, p. 219). It was this kind of subordination which was the foundation for all aristocratic or despotic governments.
It should be noted here that one of Ferguson's most famous statements, quoted with great approval by Friedrich Hayek as it stimulated his own thinking about the nature of the "spontaneous order" of the market, that there are "establishments, which are indeed the result of human action, but not the execution of any human design" (HCS, p. 205), was made in the context of how "political establishments" and governments such as despotism, corrupt monarchies, and political slavery evolved over time without ever being the deliberate and intended design which was "copied from a plan" (HCS, p. 206). The jostling of different groups or classes who were "striving to remove inconveniencies, or to gain apparent and contiguous advantages" over each other was not intended to create an entrenched system of class conflict; those "ancient legislators and founders of states" who put forward a plan for a new constitution or code of laws did not expect to "find an opponent in every person who is disposed to scheme for himself"; and those who willingly chose to subordinate themselves to a leader "did not perceive, that he was setting the example of a permanent subordination, under the pretence of which, the rapacious were to seize his possessions, and the arrogant to lay claim to his service" (HCS, p. 205).
Unintended and unplanned as it turned out to be, within most states there had evolved a three way contest between the sovereign monarch, the class of powerful nobles, and the people. Over time "the rank of nobles" became "a powerful and permanent order of men" (HCS, p. 219), "the tyrants of every little district," who "held the people in servitude" and frequently "disputed the claims of their sovereign" to ultimate power by refusing to participate in the various consultative assemblies which were created to advise the monarch, or even "turned their arms against him" in open revolt and civil war. The people in turn resisted the encroachment on their liberties by both the nobles and the monarch (or despot) which, Ferguson sadly concluded, "g(a)ve rise between the sovereign and his subjects to a contest which force alone can decide" (HCS, p. 452). One example of that "force" in action was the American Revolution which broke out only a few years after Ferguson wrote these lines: "Liberty is a right which every individual must be ready to vindicate for himself … (with) that firm and resolute spirit, with which the liberal mind is always prepared to resist indignities" (HCS, p. 444).
Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (1727–1781) was a magistrate and senior government official who served as Intendant of the district of Limoges (1761–1774), and then Minister of Finance under King Louis XVI (1774–1776). On several occasions he tried to liberalise the French economy but was unsuccessful with ultimately dire consequences for the French state in 1789. Almost in his spare time he was also an economic theorist of considerable importance with many insights of an Austrian nature especially on the nature of value and money, the law of diminishing returns, and the theory of capital and interest. His theoretical observations were published in Réflexions sur la formation et le distribution des richesses (Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth) (1766).
Concerning his ideas on class there is an early work "On Universal History" (c. 1751) which deals with the political aspects of class, such as the origin of governments in war and conquest, the enslavement of conquered people and of women in the household, the conflict between "l'esprit militaire d'une noblesse" (the military spirit of the nobility) and "l'esprit de commerce" (the commercial spirit) of "les classes industrieuses" (the industrious classes), and the behaviour of autocratic princes and the nature of despotism. Turgot believed that in parallel with these political developments society had gradually evolved through four economic stages beginning with hunter-gatherers, pastoralists / herders, agriculturalist / farmers, and finally the stage of commerce.
He thought that class divisions first appeared when one group of people who were warriors conquered another group of people, usually farmers, and enslaved them. Thus, there emerged in the first states a ruling class of "les vainqueurs" or "les conquérants" (the conquerors) and "les vaincus" (the conquered). These early states evolved into monarchies ruled by a prince or a despot who were supported by a military nobility, local governors, and subordinates, and pestered for jobs and privileges by hangers-on and habitual flatterers who frequented the court. The central ruler fought with the local governors over the wealth which had been ruthlessly plundered from the hard working people who received very little benefit for their efforts:
Le prince oublia le peuple. Le meilleur gouverneur fut celui qui donna le plus d'argent, et qui sut le mieux gagner les domestiques et les flatteurs habitués du palais. Les gouverneurs avaient des subalternes qui agissaient de même. L'autorité despotique rendait les gouverneurs dangereux ; la cour les traita avec la plus grande rigueur : leur état dépendit du moindre caprice. On chercha des prétextes pour les dépouiller des trésors qu'ils avaient pillés; et on ne soulagea point les peuples, car l'avarice est encore une qualité naturelle des rois barbares.
On n'a point connu les impôts dans l'origine comme une subvention aux besoins de l'État ; mais le prince demandait de l'argent, et on était forcé d'en donner. On lui fait des présents par tout l'Orient : les rois n'y sont que des particuliers puissants et avides.
Tous les pouvoirs furent ainsi réunis dans une seule personne, qui n'eut pas même l'adresse d'en diviser la partie qu'elle ne pouvait exercer. Les princes, les gouverneurs, les subalternes furent autant de tyrans subordonnés, qui ne pesèrent les uns sur les autres que pour accabler le peuple avec toutes leurs forces réunies. ("L'Histoire universelle", Oeuvres, vol. 1, pp. 261–62.)
The prince forgot the people. The best governor was the one who gave him the most money and who knew best how to obtain the menials and flatterers who frequented the palace. The governors had underlings who acted in the same way. Despotic authority made the governors dangerous; the court treated them with the utmost severity, and their position depended upon its slightest caprice. Pretexts were sought to deprive them of the treasure they had plundered; and the people gained no relief at all, for greed is a natural characteristic of barbarian kings.
Originally taxes were never conceived as subventions to meet the needs of the state; but the prince demanded money, and people were forced to give it to him. Throughout the east presents are made to them; the kings there are simply individuals who are powerful and greedy.
All power was thus concentrated in a single person, who was not even shrewd enough to divide up that part of it which he was unable to exercise. Princes, governors, and underlings were alike subordinate tyrants who exerted pressure on one another only in order to crush the people with all their united strength. (The Turgot Collection, pp. 364–6.)
Only after centuries of resistance and sometimes "des révolutions sanglantes" (bloody revolutions) (Oeuvres, vol. 1, p. 257; The Turgot Collection, p. 357.) were the people able to tame the despotic princes and monarchs who had ruled over them with limits on their power defined in a written constitution.
In a later work "Reflections" (1766) he dealt with more purely economic matters such as the general distinction between "la classe productrice" (the productive class) such as farmers and "la classe stérile" (the sterile, barren, or unproductive class) which included everyone except farmers; and the more complex relationships which existed between the various sub-groups which comprised these two main groups, the most important of which were "la classe stipendiée" (the class which received some kind of payment (or "stipend") for their work from the wealth produced by the farmers) such as skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and manufacturers; and "la class disponible" (the class of property owners which had sufficient capital to be free or "available" to engage in other kinds of work and thus not be dependent upon direct payments from farmers) such as those in the military or who worked in the legal system. The issue was an important one because, depending upon which class was considered to be "productive", that would determine which class would ultimately have to bare the burden of paying the taxes upon which the state depended.
In its classic formulation Turgot believed that agriculture was the only source of wealth (and hence "productive") since everybody had to eat food grown in the soil in order to survive and to clothe themselves with material made from crops like cotton or wool from the sheep's back which ate the grass grown on the fields. All these products of the soil were "les richesses renaissantes" (reborn or regenerated wealth) as they could be regrown each year from the "bounty of nature". Hence only those who worked the land or tended the herds constituted in the end "la classe productive", namely "la classe cultivatrice" (the class of farmers or cultivators).
Turgot is sometimes a bit unclear about what groups actually constituted the "productive" class since he also talks quite favorably about other groups who are "industrieux" (industrious, e.g. "la classe industrieuse"), "laborieux" (hard-working, e.g. "les classes laborieuses"), or just "useful" in some way. For example, in a later section of "Reflections" (section XCII) he states that society was in fact divided into three classes, namely " la classe productrice ou des agriculteurs, la classe industrieuse ou commerçante, et la classe disponible ou des propriétaires" (the productive class or farmers, the industrious or commercial class, and the free or "available" class or the owners of property). Turgot was limited in his analysis by working with a soon to be outdated notion of "productive" which would be replaced by a more nuanced understanding provided by J.B. Say and Frédéric Bastiat with their work on the role of the entrepreneur and the nature of "services." (See below.)
However, in his role as an economic reformer Turgot was more clear and wanted to remove all the impediments which prevented the production of wealth, however it was generated, and which he identified as being the result of "les privilèges exclusifs" (special or exclusive privileges) granted by the state to a particular group. He believed that contemporary French society was divided into two groups, those who were "privilégiés ou non privilégiés" (those who are privileged /have privileges and those who are not / do not). These privileged groups included the nobility and the clergy who were exempt from paying some taxes like the "taille" (a direct tax imposed on land), or particular professions which had "le privilège exclusif d'acheter et de vendre" (the exclusive privilege to buy and to sell) a particular commodity or service, such as currency traders, bakers, grain merchants, and some trading companies. Many trades were formally organised into legally privileged guilds or "les Jurandes" which were able to regulate and thus limit the number of those who could practice a given trade. Thus "un petit nombre de maîtres réunis en communauté" (a small number of masters (were) united in a community) enjoyed an exclusive privilege to practice their trade, which had the effect of excluding "une nombreuse partie de nos sujets" (a numerous part / group of our subjects) from earning a living and thus imposed on them what Turgot called "l'asservissement à des privilèges exclusifs" (enslavement to / by exclusive privileges) ("Les Jurandes" (1776), Oeuvres, vol. 5, pp. 216–17.).
Since he thought that farmers constituted "la classe productive" (the productive class) of society he believed that all these exclusive privileges created "le système de monopole et d'exclusion" (a system of monopoly and exclusion) which harmed them doubly, in what Turgot called "cette guerre d'oppression réciproque" (this war of reciprocal or mutual oppression). First, the French farmer was oppressed by not being allowed to exercise his "natural right" to sell his produce to either foreigners or his fellow citizens who might want to buy it. Secondly, other monopolies also prevented him from buying the things he needed from foreign suppliers at the best possible price.
Cette perte est doublée encore, parce que, dans cette guerre d'oppression réciproque, où le Gouvernement prête sa force à tous contre tous, on n'a excepté que la seule branche du labourage, que toutes oppriment de concert par ces monopoles sur les nationaux, et qui, bien loin de pouvoir opprimer personne, ne peut même jouir du droit naturel de vendre sa denrée, ni aux étrangers, ni même à ceux de ses concitoyens qui voudraient l'acheter ; en sorte que, de toutes les classes de citoyens laborieux, il n'y a que le laboureur qui souffre du monopole comme acheteur, et qui en souffre en même temps comme vendeur. Il n'y a que lui qui ne puisse acheter librement des étrangers aucune des choses dont il a besoin ; il n'y a que lui qui ne puisse vendre aux étrangers librement la denrée qu'il produit, tandis que le marchand de drap ou tout autre achète tant qu'il veut le blé des étrangers, et vend autant qu'il veut son drap aux Étrangers. Quelques sophismes que puisse accumuler l'intérêt particulier de quelques commerçants, la vérité est que toutes les branches de commerce doivent être libres, également libres, entièrement libres ("La Marque des fers (Déc. 24, 1773)", Oeuvres, vol. 3, pp. 554–5.)
This loss is doubled again, because in this war of reciprocal oppression, in which the government lends its authority to all against all, the only sector of industry excepted, is that of the tilling of the soil, which is oppressed by everybody in concert through these national monopolies, and which, far from being able to oppress anyone, cannot even take advantage of the natural right to sell its commodity either to foreigners or to those of its fellow-citizens who would buy it, so that from all the classes of working citizens, only the small farmer suffers from monopoly as buyer, and at the same time as seller. He alone cannot freely buy from abroad any of the things he requires; he alone cannot freely sell abroad the commodity he produces, while the cloth merchant or any other, buys as much wheat as he wants from the foreigner and sells him as much as he can of his cloth. Whatever sophisms are collected by the self-interest of a few merchants, the truth is that all branches of commerce ought to be free, equally free, and entirely free; (The Turgot Collection, pp. 251–52.)
Thus Turgot concluded that the practice of awarding some classes legal privileges concerning the kind of economic activity one could undertake and the amount or kind of taxation which one had to pay violated the peoples' natural rights and was "l'injustice la plus marquée" (the most striking/marked injustice). He thought that governments had a choice about how they could go about imposing taxes on society, either they could behave like "un gouvernement fondé uniquement sur le droit de conquête" (a government founded solely on the right of conquest) and use the power of the state to oppress the weak for the benefit of the strong, or it could behave like "un gouvernement paternel, fondé sur une constitution national" (a paternal government founded upon a national constitution) and use its power to protect the property rights of all its citizens equally.
The Scottish jurist John Millar (1735–1801) touches on matters of class in his work on "rank", The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks (1771). He is not an explicit exponent of a CL theory of class but there is some overlap and his work influenced James Mill who was very much working within this tradition. By "rank" Millar meant a social and economic ordering of groups such as a sovereign and the people, a man and his wife and children, and a "master" and his servants, slaves, or villains, who owed their position and status to a combination of law (which granted them various "privileges") and social recognition by the community at large. He is not outraged by the existence of these legally privileged ranks, so the language he uses is quite moderate in tone and he matter of factly describes their existence. However, he does believe that they will be either ameliorated or more broadly spread among the people by the passage of time, increasing trade and wealth, and changes in moral thinking.
Millar believed that societies moved through various stages defined by how people created wealth, such as hunters, shepherds, agriculture, and commerce, each of which had their own kinds of rank. He does not include "slavery" as one of the economic stages, which several other theorists of CLCA did, but he does devote a sizable section of the book to exploring the nature of slavery and its political impact on his own society. In the chapter on "Political consequences of Slavery" he makes a scathing attack on the immorality of slavery for denying slaves "the common privileges of men" (ODR, p. 271), and exposes the economic weaknesses of slavery which lay in the fact that persons who enjoyed individual liberty were "more industrious" (ODR, p. 284).
The perennial struggle of men from the "lower orders" to gain the privileges of "free men" reached a turning point with the formation of the modern, centralized monarchy and the creation of a standing army which was designed to further the interests of the monarch. Standing armies, called by Millar "the great engine of tyranny and oppression" (ODR, p. 240), created the need for a new centralized tax raising system in order to fund it. The officers and men of the new standing armies formed "a separate order of men" who were indifferent to the needs of the people and were "often … employed to subvert and destroy the liberties of the people" (ODR, p. 225). This provoked resistance from below as the growing number of free men sought a "democratical government" to replace "the sovereign", thus beginning a long "contest" or "conflict … between these two opposite parties" (ODR, p. 240). It was Millar's great hope that more governments would eventually come to see "the many advantages which a country derives from the freedom of the labouring people" (ODR, p. 289).
These thinkers were influenced by the American and French Revolutions and were active in England, America, and France. They developed ideas about oligarchies (both aristocratic and mercantile), the growing importance of public debt and central banks, the role of an expanded military and its elites which controlled the empire, and the opposition of established political elites to the rising lower orders who wanted to participate in politics such as working class men and women.
Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, Vicesimus Knox, William Cobbett, Percey Shelley
radical individualists like Spencer and Auberon Herbert
Thomas Jefferson, John Taylor, John Calhoun, and William Leggett
late 19th Century: Spooner, Tucker
The Philosophic Radicals and the Benthamites in England make up the third group of thinkers. They were active in the early part of the 19th century when England and the other monarchical powers were fighting Napoleon across the entire continent of Europe. The main issues were the cost of the war in lives lost, increased taxes, massive war debt, disrupted trade (Napoleon's "Continental Blockade" of 1806 to keep all English goods out of Europe), censorship and repression of revolutionary ideas, and the growing power of the state especially the military. These events also had a significant impact on French CLs which is discussed below.
The radical journalist William Cobbett (1763–1835) was a critic of the monarchy and the aristocracy and the narrow electorate which supported it, and an advocate of "hard money" who was appalled by the issuing of paper money to fund the war effort. Between 1797 and 1819 the Bank of England suspended the payment of gold for bank notes in an attempt to allow a greater expansion of the money supply in order to fund the war effort. Napoleon in turn created the Back of France in 1803 in a similar effort. In response to these efforts Cobbett wrote a series of works including "Paper Aristocracy" (1804) and Paper against Gold and Glory against Prosperity (1810) in which he denounced the "paper money system", "the Fundholders", "the paper aristocracy", and "the tax-eaters" who benefited from lending money to the government to fight the war which had to paid back by the ordinary taxpayers of England.
Concerning the "tax-eaters", he thought that taxes created a class of "drones" "who devour the earnings of the laborious": "The tendency of taxation is, to create a class of persons, who do not labour: to take from those who do labour the produce of that labour, and to give it to those who do not labour." (Paper against Gold, vol. 1, p. 46)
In "The Royal Family of England" (1816) he criticized the monarchy as a corrupt institution which bestowed pensions and sinecures to its favourites, and which presided over a corrupt electoral system which disenfranchised the vast bulk of the people with a system of "rotten boroughs" which enabled only a handful of well-connected and wealthy men ("the Boroughmongers") to buy and sell seats in Parliament. Cobbett called this system "the grand machine" of corruption or "The Thing." He asked rhetorically:
What name to give such a government it is difficult to say. It is like nothing that ever was heard of before. It is neither a monarchy, an aristocracy, nor a democracy; it is a band of great nobles who, by sham elections, and by the means of all sorts of bribery and corruption, have obtained an absolute sway in the country … Such is the government of England; such is the thing, which has been able to bribe one half of Europe to oppress the other half… 
The "Thing" would only be removed / dismantled after the Radicals led by Benthamite reformers like James Mill (1773–1836) were able to lobby successfully for the Reform Act of 1832 which allowed the "industrious" middle class to vote for the first time. One of the most important weapons in this campaign for reform was the meticulous documentation of corruption by the journalist John Wade (1788–1875) in The Black Book of Abuses in Church and State (1820, 1831). He listed in great detail all the payments made to members of the court (the Civil List), the aristocracy, the established Church, the military, and the many pensions and payments for bureaucratic posts in the administration. He described these beneficiaries of taxpayers' money in some of the most colorful language as "this devouring clan of Oligarchs" (p. 182), "the great Oligarchy of the state" (p. 461), "a plundering oligarchy" (p. 23), "classes who prey on the community" (p. 499), and the "favoured caste" (p. 139), all of whom preyed on "the middling and industrious orders" (p. 362).
The two main theorists in this group were the legal theorist Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) and the journalist and political economist James Mill (1773–1836) whose ideas would have a profound impact on 19th century CL thought. Bentham wrote a great deal on parliamentary and legal reform during the 1810s and 1820s such as Plan of Parliamentary Reform (1817) in vol. 3; Codification Proposal (1822), A Fragment on Government (1823), The Book of Fallacies (1824), Principles of Judicial Procedure (1827), Principles of the Civil Code (no date), Principles of Penal Law (no date), and Constitutional Code (1827–30). In these works he exposed the corruption of "the Sinister interest" which controlled the British state. Whereas the state should be promoting "the greatest happiness of the greatest number" it was in fact geared to serving the interests of "the ruling one" (the Monarch) and "the sub-ruling few" (the establishment). They along with their supporters, such as elected Parliamentarians ("the Ins"), "the fee-fed lawyer and the tax-fed or rent-fed priest" (A Fragment on Government (1823), Works, vol. 1, p. 245.), formed "a partnership for extracting out of the pockets of the people the industry of the people" (Principles of Penal Law (no date), Works, vol. 1, p. 394). This partnership created a "state engine" or "system of depredation and oppression"(A Fragment on Government (1823), Works, vol. 1, pp. 244–45.). In addition, these "sinister interests" defended their power and privilege with a sophisticated set of ideological "fallacies" which confused the people and deflected criticism and any attempts at reforming "this power-stealing system" (A Fragment on Government (1823), Works, vol. 1, pp. 243.) The end result was that "the members of the community are divided into two classes: the industrious and frugal, slaves toiling for others: the idle and prodigal, lords and masters, enjoying for themselves"(Principles of the Civil Code (no date), Works, vol. 1, p. 364).
A fairy typical example from his large body of work is this quotation from Principles of Judicial Procedure (1827) in which class, government waste, corruption, war, taxes, and government loans are all linked:
Under a government which has for its main object the sacrifice of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, to the sinister interest of the ruling one and the sub-ruling few, corruption and delusion to the greatest extent possible, are necessary to that object: waste, in so far as conducive to the increase of the corruption and delusion fund, a subordinate or co-ordinate object: war, were it only as a means and pretence for such waste, another object never out of view: that object, together with those others, invariably pursued, in so far as the contributions capable of being extracted from contributors, involuntary or voluntary, in the shape of taxes, or in the shape of loans, i. e. annuities paid by government by means of further taxes, can be obtained:—under such a government, by every penny paid into the Treasury, the means of diminishing the happiness of the greatest number receive increase;—by every penny which is prevented from taking that pernicious course, the diminution of that general happiness is so far prevented. (Principles of Judicial Procedure (1827) in Works, vol. 2, p. 139.)
Bentham was often very difficult to read so it fell to his followers like James Mill (1773–1836) to spread his ideas among a broader audience which he did in a series of entries in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (1824) - "Caste, " "Colony," and "Government" - and numerous articles in the influential The London Review during the 1830s - "State of the Nation" (Apr. 1835) and "Aristocracy" (Jan. 1836). The phrases he used most often were "the ruling Few" (or the "Aristocracy") and "the subject Many" in order to expose the "sinister interests" of the small group who controlled the British government for their own selfish purposes. Mill identified the sinister interests specifically with the narrow aristocracy which ran the British government, namely the “200 families” or the Establishment described in great detail by John Wade in his Black Book.
The Philosophic Radicals, of which he was a leading intellectual, wanted to destroy the power of the aristocracy, to remove their political and economic privileges, and to allow the “people” (or at least the middle class) to vote, be elected, and run the state in the broad "universal" interests of all mankind. To Mill’s mind the interests of the aristocracy were “sinister” because they were exclusive and solely benefited the members of this group at the expense of the broad mass of the common people. The common people, almost by definition, were incapable he thought of displaying sinister interests because this group was diverse, complex, and undifferentiated. A serious criticism which could and in fact was directed at this view was that the ordinary people could be mislead by a "faction" in the government or press about the true nature of their interests and bad policy from the state would be result. The strategy of the Philosophic Radicals was to destroy the power of the aristocracy by agitating for the bulk of the ordinary people to stand for election and to vote. The means to this end was the Reform Act which came into being in 1832 which permitted a sizable portion of the wealthier and propertied middle class to vote for the first time.
Mill defined an “aristocracy” as "any small number whatsoever; who, by the circumstance of being entrusted with power, …(and) have an interest in making a bad use of it … , are constituted an Aristocracy" (Mill, "Government" (1824), Political Writings, p. 505). He believed that colonies provided an excellent way for the aristocracy to get jobs, positions, contracts, and other state benefits, thus linking colonial policy and war with with domestic class rule. By controlling both domestic and colonial policy "the Few" could rule "the Many":
(I)n every country, there is "a Few," and there is "a Many;" that in all countries in which the government is not very good, the interest of "the Few" prevails over the interest of "the Many," and is promoted at their expence. "The Few" is the part that governs; "the Many" the part that is governed. (Mill, "Government" (1824), Political Writings, p. 272.)
The governing Few's control of the government both at home and abroad created what Mill described as "a vicious government" which ruthlessly sacrificed the interests of the many to the "sinister interests" of a small minority:
For what is meant by a vicious government? or wherein do the defects of government consist? Most assuredly they all consist in sacrificing the interests of the many to the interests of the few. The small number, in whose hands the powers of government are, in part directly, in part indirectly, placed, cannot fail, like other men, to have a greater regard for what is advantageous to themselves, than what is advantageous to other men. They pursue, therefore, their own advantage, in preference to that of the rest of the community. (Mill, "Liberty of the Press" (1824), Political Writings, p. 265.)
Thus, Mill came to view politics as a struggle between two classes, the "few" or "those who pillage" and "the "many" or "those who are pillaged." He provided a lengthy discussion of this in his summary of the "The State of the Nation" in 1835 which began with the following statement:
(M)en placed in society … are divided into two classes, Ceux qui pillent,—et Ceux qui sont pillés; and we must consider with some care what this division, the correctness of which has not been disputed, implies.
The first class, Ceux qui pillent, are the small number. They are the ruling Few. The second class, Ceux qui sont pillés, are the great number. They are the subject Many.
It is obvious that, to enable the Few to carry on their appropriate work, a complicated system of devices was required, otherwise they would not succeed; the Many, who are the stronger party, would not submit to the operation. The system they have contrived is a curious compound of force and fraud:—force in sufficient quantity to put down partial risings of the people, and, by the punishments inflicted, to strike terror into the rest; fraud, to make them believe that the results of the process were all for their good. (Mill, Political Writings, "The State of the Nation" (1835), pp. 6–7.)
He believed that within the ruling class there was "a threefold" cord which bound "the Many" or "those who were ruled." This was was made up of an alliance between three powerful groups within "the ruling Few": "the men of law with the men of the state and the men of the altar" or an overlapping union between "the union of Law and State" and "the union of Church and State". The powerful Few required "a complicated system of devices" in order to maintain their rule over the more numerous but weak Many.
These "devices" were "a curious compound of force and fraud": they needed force to put down revolts and to "strike terror" into the rest of the population, and to protect the many from outside threats which was a major source of the Few's legitimate claim to rule. They also needed to inculcate a feeling of submission to and reverance for those who wielded power. This was achieved with great displays of their wealth and the pomp and ceremony of office, but also by making an alliance with the Church in order to more fully control the minds of the Many. The "priestly class" was given a monopoly of education and they too inspired awe in the Many with their mysterious ceremonies and luxuriant garb. The third group to join the "confederacy" of "Those qui pillent" (those who pillage) was that of the lawyers who like the priests made their occupation "mysterious and obscure" and very expensive. Mill ominously concluded that:
A threefold cord is not easily broken. The doom of mankind might now have appeared to be sealed. The shackles on the mind secured the shackles on the body; and the division of mankind into ceux qui pillent, et ceux qui sont pillés, might have been thought to be established for ever. (Mill, Political Writings, "The State of the Nation" (1835), pp. 8–9).
However, Mill thought that the "threefold cord" of oppression had been broken, or was in the process of being broken, by Johannes Gutenberg's invention of the printing press which made it possible to expose what the ruling Few were doing to the Many.
A fourth group of thinkers are the Classical Political Economists and their supporters, which will be broken into two sections, the English School and the Paris School. After Bentham and James Mill the English branch devoted less effort to working on CA than their counterparts in France. They got side-tracked by their labour theory of value and theory of rent which led others (such as Marxists and other socialists in France like Louis Blanc) to argue that employers did not pay workers the full value their labour produced and hence "exploited" them, or that the rent paid for land was "unearned" by the land owner.
Two English political economists who did ask such questions were John Stuart Mill (1806–1873) and John Elliott Cairnes (1787–1863). Cairnes' interest in the CA of slavery has been noted above. J.S. Mill, although he was well aware of what the French CLs were writing, did not spend much time on CA but his late work on The Subjection of Women (1869) is filled with interesting insights into the oppressive nature of feudalism and political despotism and how a similar kind of oppression is used to keep women in an unequal and legally disadvantaged position vis-à-vis men. J.S. Mill used the term class many times in this work but he oscillated between a very general use of the word to describe groups of people who were more or less wealthy, educated, or "cultivated" (thus in a social sense) and less often in the harder edged political way his father James had used the term. Following a very interesting survey of the history of absolutist and despotic rule in Europe he applied the language of class to the situation of women in the 19th century.
Like the Benthamites he argued that "mankind" was divided into two classes, "a small one of masters and a numerous one of slaves" (SoW, p. 269) where the latter comprised a "subject-class" (SoW, p. 268) which also included most women - hence the title of his book "the subjection of women." The mechanism or "superstructure" of government (SoW, p. 292) which held them in subjection was a "system of privilege" (SoW, p. 268) and "the law of force" (SoW, p. 269) granted by the government which gave men despotic power over their wives and daughters or what Mill called the "legal slavery of women" (SoW, p. 296). Combined with this was a form of mental slavery whereby men were able to turn their "forced slave" into a more manageable "willing one" (SoW, p. 271) by persuading them to accept meekly their assigned position in society. The result was "despotism in the family" (SoW, p. 286) which had its parallel in "political despotism", where women lived "under the law of force" and "the almost unlimited power which present social institutions give to the man" (SoW, p. 289). Like most CLs Mill thought the exercise of this power exerted a "corrupting influence" (SoW, p. 320) on the wielder and resulted in an "eternal antagonism" between "the love of power and the love of liberty" (SoW, p. 338).
It should be noted he only used the expression "the industrious classes" (SoW, p. 272) once in The Subjection of Women and never used the phrase "the working class" or "laboring class" which were commonly used at the time it was written. He did discuss the economics of slavery and serfdom briefly in The Principles of Political Economy (1848) and mentioned only in passing or in a perfunctory way things like "the whole class of rulers, and ministers of state" (PPE, vol. 1, p. 138), "the class of functionaries" (PPE, vol. 1, p. 205), or "the few rulers" and "the ruled" (PPE, vol. 1, p. 219) which had so preoccupied his father. Typically he would note the existence of the "greatest oppression and degradation to the labouring class" (i.e. slavery and serfdom) (PPE, vol. 1, p. 252) and then move onto something else immediately (like the size of the land holdings). Or, he will simply state that the existence of private property has to be accepted by the political economist and that "we must leave out of consideration its actual origin in any of the existing nations of Europe" (PPE, vol. 1, p. 201) which was to beg the most important question which the other CLs and political economists we have discussed here insisted had to be asked and answered.
If most of the English economists followed J.S. Mill's example and not his father's and so did not discuss class very explicitly or very often they were all however ardent free traders following in the footsteps of Adam Smith and David Ricardo (1772–1823). It was free trade agitators and politicians like Richard Cobden (1804–1869) who applied economic theory to the problem of tariffs and used it to criticise the landed oligarchy which ruled Britain and benefited from tariffs and other restrictions on trade at the expense of ordinary consumers. Unfortunately, Cobden never wrote a comprehensive description of his political theory so scholars have to piece together his ideas about CA from scattered remarks in his speeches and pamphlets during the campaign for free trade between 1838 and 1846 but also extending up to 1850.
Cobden thought that a battle was being waged in Britain between the ruling few and the tax-paying many over who should pay the taxes, on what the taxes would be levied, and how heavy the overall tax burden should be. The protectionist "Corn Laws" were just the tip of an iceberg which lay hidden beneath the British political system. He thought that "the old edifice" of government (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 131) was controlled by powerful "classes and interests" (SQPP, vol. 2, p. 553) such as "the landed aristocracy" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 14), "hereditary legislators" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 179), "the squire-archy" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 97), "the sugar oligarchy" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 43), "the colonial interest" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 127), and the senior officers in the army and navy, who either paid no taxes, or transferred the burden of taxes onto the shoulders of "the middle and industrious classes" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 177) and "working classes" by means of indirect taxes on consumer items. They also benefitted from "jobbery" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 167), that is lucrative positions in the government civil service, the army, navy, and colonies. In an important speech in the House of Commons (March 8, 1850) (SQPP, vol. 1, pp. 252 ff.) Cobden listed the interest groups who benefitted most from the taxes which were collected. They included the army, navy, and weapons manufacturing (ordnance), as well as a lengthy list of items included under "civil expenditure" such as the civil list (spending on the monarchy, the court, and the aristocracy), civil service salaries and pensions, commissionerships, diplomatic salaries and pensions, the courts of justice, public works, and the colonies. All these interest groups constituted "a power that resists improvement" (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 262) which lobbied to protect those interests by "working(ing) by covert means" hidden from public (i.e. parliamentary) scrutiny.
On the other hand, the "the laborious and industrious population" (SQPP, vol. 2, p. 542) paid many indirect taxes on necessities like bread, sugar, and tea and it was the larger aim of Cobden and the Anti-Corn Law League to drastically cut government expenditure especially on the colonies and the military in order to be able to drastically cut taxes on these and other items. He wanted to replace all exemptions for the wealthy and powerful and indirect taxes on the poor with a universal 10% tax paid equally by all groups. In turn, in order to do any of this the lock on Parliament held by the ruling elite had to be broken by getting more of "the middle and industrious classes" represented in Parliament. The repeal of the protectionist Corn Laws in 1846 was just the first step in this long process. In a speech in Leeds in 1849 (SQPP, vol. 1, pp. 211 ff.) Cobden goes so far as to threaten the classes which ruled Britain that if they ever tried to reintroduce the old unequal taxes a new "agitation" like the Anti-Corn Law League would inevitably spring up and "the whole aristocratic system" from which they benefitted would be "torn to pieces" by angry taxpayers (SQPP, vol. 1, p. 216).
The French branch of the classical school, also known as the "Paris School", was interested in a new understanding of what was "productive," "unproductive," or even "destructive" labour; the productive role played by the entrepreneur (Say) whom they argued was not a parasite or exploiter; the idea of the existence of an "industrial class" of wealth producers of any kind (Comte and Dunoyer); the emergence of a new economic stage in human history ("l'époque du commerce" (the era of commerce) or "l'époque industrielle" (the era of industry)) (Constant); the importance and essential productivity of non-material goods or "services" (Say and Bastiat); the economics of slavery and the class structure of slave societies (Heinrich Storch, Comte, and Gustave de Molinari); the continuing problem of centralisation of government power (Alexis de Tocqueville); the growth of bureaucracy and "place-seeking" (Dunoyer, Molinari, Taine); and the nature of organised, "legal plunder" (Bastiat and Ambroise Clément).
One reason why members of the Paris School were so interested in CA is because of the upheaval and frequent changes of government which repeatedly took place in the first two thirds of the 19th century thus overthrowing established groups and bringing to power new groups who wished to use the state for their own purposes (or prevent their opponents from doing so), such as conservative landowners and protectionist manufacturers, new democratic and socialist groups, and authoritarian bureaucratic managers and military elites. They lived through the rise and fall of the Napoleonic empire (1803–1815), the restoration and then overthrow of the reactionary Bourbon monarchy (1815–1830), the supposedly more "liberal" monarchy of Louis Philippe (1830–1848), the Second Republic and the rise of socialist groups (1848–1852), and the authoritarian and bureaucratic Empire of Louis Napoleon (1852–1870). This might also explain why the French CLs were often more radical than their British counterparts as the class conflicts in France were much harsher and thus clearer to see.
For example, the journalist, politician, novelist, and political theorist Benjamin Constant (1767–1830) and the journalist, cotton manufacturer, and economist Jean-Baptiste Say (1767–1832) wrote during the Napoleonic Empire and Restoration and were very critical of Napoleon's economic policies (the economic blockade which kept British goods out of Europe, protectionism, and subsidies); the impact of war on French society (high taxes, conscription, and public debt); the rise of the new political and military elites who came to power under Napoleon; the large size of the bureaucracies which administered the French economy and society and seemed to remain in place whether under the old regime, the evolution, Napoleon's empire, or the restored monarchy; and the renewed alliance under the Restoration of the monarchy between landed elites and large manufacturers who wished to entrench protectionist policies.
The two theorists came up with several new theoretical concepts which would significantly change / deepen CLCA in the coming century.
The Industrial Class vs. the Privileged Classes in the new Industrial Era
The first was the idea that society was on the verge of entering a new historical stage in its political and economic development with a corresponding set of new classes. As we have seen "stage theories" had been part of Enlightened social thinking where the final stage was thought to be "commerce". It was now thought (Constant, Say, Dunoyer, Comte) that the next and final stage would be that of "industry" where the concept of "industry" had been expanded to include any and all productive activities not just agriculture or manufacturing. Constant phrased this somewhat differently at first in 1819, seeing the transition as one from "ancient liberty" (limited political rights for some, i.e. citizens in a society based upon slave labour) to "modern liberty" which was a much broader notion which included universal political rights along with economic freedoms undreamt of by ancient Greek and Roman authors. He pursue this topic in more detail in a later work which is discussed below.
In a series of crucially important books and lectures beginning with the Traité d'Économie politique (1st ed. 1813, revised and enlarged editions 1814 and 1817) and continued in his Cours complètes (1828) Say made a number of major theoretical contributions which changed the direction CLCA would take in the 19th century. These included the idea that:
Concerning the latter, the economic impact of governments, Say argued that many government services were "productive" (such as legal services, the protection of life and property) although with the important proviso that their services were not competitively provided on the market and thus were subject to pressures or incentives which reduced their productive efficiency. For example, because unlike private entrepreneurs, governments (or the "functionaries" who worked for them) did not personally incur any losses they might cause when taxpayers' money was "dissipated" (wasted) ("un gouvernement dissipateur") (TEP2, p. 927) and hence had little reason to avoid such activity, which he called "un crime de l’administration" (a crime committed by the administration) (TEP2, p. 931).
In addition, he believed that governments instead could become mechanisms for the furtherance of their own interests and not those of the broader public. By seizing taxpayers' property they could become "un usurpateur" (a usurper) (TEP2, p. 927) or "un spoliateur" (a plunderer) (TEP1, p. 239); by offering positions in the bureaucracy they could create a system of patronage and a competition for government jobs ("place-seeking") (TEP1, pp. 201, 215, 218; TEP2, pp. 940, 942) which created a new "des classes des privilégiées" (class of privileged people) (TEP2, p. 1052) who benefited from government pensions and jobs; by creating overly complicated and excessive numbers of laws they created work for additional judges and lawyers; by creating large bureaucracies to regulate the economy (la régie) they created "places superflues instituées dans l’administration publique … (a)dministrer ce qui devrait être abandonné à soi-même" (superfluous jobs in public administration to administer things which ought to be left to themselves) (TEP1, p. 215); that government jobs attracted individuals who had an "'malheureux amour’ de la domination" (an 'unfortunate love' of dominating others) (TEP2, p. 941); by increasing the things governments do beyond the bare essentials of protecting the life, liberty, and property of all its citizens it needs to increase taxes which, even when consented to by the public are "une violation des propriétés" (a violation of property rights) (TEP1, p. 236), gradually become "un pillage organisé" (organised pillaging) (TEP1, p. 277) and "une spoliation" (plunder) (TEP1, p. 236); and importantly in the historical circumstances in which his books appeared (the Napoleonic Wars) made possible the rise of of group / class of soldiers and military leaders who engaged in "un travailleur destructif" (destructive labour) which resulted in widespread destruction of property and loss of life.
Say uses the term "class" in its general sense to refer to social or economic groups based upon wealth or occupation as well as in his own more specific sense of those who engaged in new forms of economic activity and those who had access to government power. The former included
The latter included several "legally privileged classes" (des classes privilégiées) (TEP2, p. 349) or privileged private interest groups (les intérêts privilégiés) (TEP1, p. 513; TEP2, pp. 941, 1052) and "des citoyens privilégiés" (privileged citizens) (TEP1, p. 334) which he saw acting against the interests of "la masse de la nation" (the mass of the nation) (TEP2, p. 749), such as :
Although Say developed some key new theoretical insights concerning productive economic activity and the economic analysis of government, he did not use these concepts in a detailed historical or sociological analysis. This would come later in the work of two individuals he greatly influenced, Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer.
Although best known as a novelist (Adolphe (1816) and a political theorist (Principes de politique (1815)) Constant also wrote an important economic work Commentaries on Filangieri (1822) in which CA played an important role. In the post-Napoleonic period the world was leaving behind "l'époque de la guerre (the age (époque) of war) (COF, p. 10) and entering "l'époque du commerce" (the age of commerce) (COF, p. 18) or "l'époque industrielle" (the industrial age) (COF, p. 407) which would result in a drastic change in the old class relationships. War had been the main mechanism by which the state had increased its power and authority over time. It had used its power to favour some groups at the expense of others, which Constant described as "une lutte" (a struggle or fight) between “les gouvernants” (the governors or those who govern) and “les gouvernés” (the governed, those who are governed) (COF, pp. 48, 74), or in another expression between the small number of "les classes privilégiés" (the privileged classes) (COF, p. 228) and the much larger group of "la classe spoliée" (COF, p. 28) / "la classe dépouillée" (COF, p. 181) / "les classes opprimées" (COF, p. 284) (the plundered, robbed/deprived, oppressed class). In the new era of commerce these privileged groups who enjoyed special favors from the state would lose their protected status under the law and would have to compete for consumers in the free market like "la classe moyenne des industriels" (the middle class of industrious workers) (COF, p. 191) who were not and had never been so privileged. Instead, the state would become "neutral" (COF, pp. 79, 407) giving no favors to anybody. The law would become silent on these matters (le silence de la loi) (COF, p. 53).
During the "era of war" the privilege granting and taxing power of the state had been the cause of "la lutte" (struggle) between various groups for control. Constant gives the English and French Revolutions as examples of "cette lutte entre le pouvoir et les citoyens" (this struggle between (political) power and the citizens) (COF, p. 276), and "cette lutte scandaleuse de la faiblesse contre la violence, de la pauvreté contre l'avarice, du besoin contre la spoliation" (this scandalous struggle of the weak against violence, of poverty against greed, and of need against plunder) (COF, p. 284).
Like Franz Oppenheimer who would write in the 1910s (see below) Constant thought there were two fundamentally different ways of acquiring wealth, by means of war or by means of commerce: "La guerre et le commerce ne sont que deux moyens différents d'arriver au même but, celui de posséder ce que l'on désire" (COF, p. 31). During the era of war violence had become an institutionalised method of acquiring property. The state used war to acquire property through conquest, usurpation, and high taxes (which he defined as anything above the bare minimum needed to provide the essential services of protection of an individual's life, liberty, and property). Like Bastiat who wrote in the 1840s (see below), Constant thought that there was little difference between usurpation or theft by an individual and that by a "sovereign", except for the fact that the latter claimed a legitimacy which was not merited under natural law principles of property rights. Bastiat described this behaviour by the state as "la spoliation légale" (legal plunder). Constant's notion was very similar. Any violation of a person's property rights, especially when done "avec toutes les solennités de la loi" (with all the solemnity of the law) (COF, p. 284) is theft and a more despicable form of theft because it is committed "par l'autorité en armes contre l'individu désarmé" (by the armed (legal) authority against an unarmed individual) (COF, p. 284).
The work of Say and to a lesser extent Constant had a profound impact on two lawyers and journalists who wrote in the later Napoleonic and early Restoration period, Charles Comte (1782–1837) and Charles Dunoyer (1786–1862), who in turn would have a profound impact on later 19th century French CL thought, most notably Bastiat and Molinari. They took Say's theoretical economic ideas and applied them to a study of European history and contemporary French society in considerable detail in what would become the most sophisticated version of CLCA which had appeared up until that time. In the pages of their journal, Le Censeur européen (1815–1819) they along with their assistant Augustin Thierry (1795–1856) published a series of articles which eventually become an "industrialist theory of class" based upon the conflict between a peaceful and wealth producing class (les industriels) and a parasitic wealth-destroying state which took the wealth created by the industrial class and diverted it to its own purposes and those of the "privileged classes" it served.
Their Language of Class
Some of the terms they used to describe their version of CLCA included (note that "party" or "faction" can also be used in the sense as "class" in this context)
Plunder and pillage:
They worked closely together on their journal in the late 1810s but went their own ways in the 1820s when Comte wrote on the history and class structure of slavery (discussed above) and Dunoyer wrote a more comprehensive analysis of the evolution of class from early hunter-gatherer societies up to the present and beyond to a class-free society of "pure industry" (" la vie des peuples purement industrieux" (the life of a people who are purely/completely industrious) or "industrialism" (industrialism).
Some Additional Stages
The innovations Comte and Dunoyer introduced, under the influence of Say, was firstly to abandon the 18th century stage theory of class and economic development which culminated in the stage of "commerce" or "manufacturing" to include a broader notion of what constituted productive economic activity. This now included the activities of entrepreneurs and all manner of goods and services providers which were combined into a more general idea of "industry." The class which earned its living by any productive activity they called "la classe industrieuse" (the industrious class) (CC, "MP" (CE, March 1818), p. 47), that is "all useful and productive" workers, and the class which lived off the productive efforts of others was called "la classe oisive et dévorante" (the idle and tax or wealth eating class) (CC, "OS" CE (March 1817), p. 28.) or "les hommes parasites" (parasitical men) (AT, "F" CE (May 1817), p. 4).
In their surveys of the history of European society each economic stage had its own means of producing wealth and its own "ruling class" which lived off what others produced. In general, every society had had "les gouvernans" (the governors, those who govern) and "les gouvernés" (the governed, those who are governed) (CD, IM (1825), pp. iv, 113); always "une classe d'oppresseurs et une classe d'opprimés" (a class of oppressors and a class of the oppressed) (CC, TdL (1827)) and "des hommes qui vivent de pillage ou de rapine" (men who live from pillage or plunder) and "des hommes qui vivent du produit de leur travail" (men who live from the product of their own labour) (CC, "OS" CE (March 1817), FN1 p. 51.) This created an entrenched system of class conflict (la lutte) and exploitation which pitted the two classes ("les deux grands partis" (the two great parties) (CC, "MP" (CE, March 1818), pp. 2–3) against each other "en état de guerre" (in a state of war) which Comte summarised as
(I)l n'existe dans le monde que deux grands partis ; celui des hommes qui veulent vivre du produit de leur travail ou de leurs propriétés, et celui des hommes qui veulent vivre sur le travail ou sur les propriétés d'autrui; celui des agriculteurs, des manufacturiers, des commerçans, des savans, des industrieux de toutes les classes, et celui des courtisans, des gens à places, des moines, des armées permanentes, des pirates, des mendians. … Depuis l'origine du monde, ces deux partis ont toujours été en état de guerre; (CC, "MP" (CE, March 1818) pp. 2–3.)
There exists in the world two great parties; that of men who wish to live off the products of their own labour or their own property, and that of men who wish to live off the labour or the property of others; that of farmers, manufacturers, merchants, intellectuals, and industrious people of all classes, and that of courtiers, those with government jobs, monks, (members of) the standing armies, pirates, and beggars. .. Since ether beginning of the world these two parties have always been in a state of war (with each other).
This state of war could be seen most clearly in the stage of slavery where "des classes dominatrices" (the dominant or ruling classes) (CD, IM (1825), p. 282) oppressed "les classes asservies" (the subservient or enslaved classes) (CD, IM (1825), p. 391). Interestingly, Dunoyer argued that women were "the slaves" and "the working class" in the earliest stage of human development (CD, IM (1825), fn2, p. 146.) However, Comte, Dunoyer, Thierry argued that this "class war" had continued up to and including the present in various forms.
Their second innovation was to introduce two additional stages of economic development in order to include the new kinds of class society which had emerged in the late18th and Napoleonic period, namely the stage of politically derived "privilege" (or what we would now call mercantilism) and the stage of "place-seeking", i.e. seeking government jobs.
The era of privilege
In the stage or "régime of privilege" (also known as mercantilism) there were legally privileged or favored groups , "des classes favorisées" (the legally favored classes) (CD, IM (1825), p. 370) or "les classes privilégiées" (the privileged classes), in agriculture, trade, finance, or manufacturing who got subsidies, tariffs, bounties, or monopoly privileges from the state. These privileges harmed or exploited those who were not so privileged, "les classes non privilégiées" (the non-privileged classes) (CC, TdL (1827)), by preventing some people from entering the market as producers and for others, the consumers, by limiting their choice and raising the prices for goods they wanted to purchase.
The era of place-seeking
The second new stage was that of "la recherche des places" (place-seeking) (CD, IM (1825), chap. VIII pp. 278 ff) by which they meant the scramble of those looking for government jobs in the military or the administrative bureaucracies which were funded by the taxpayers. Comte and Dunoyer had witnessed this first hand under Napoleon who had dramatically expanded the regulatory and military state during his Empire. In their view these job seekers constituted a class in their own right, "une classe de gens à places" (a class of people with government jobs) (CC, "MP" (CE, March 1818)) who viewed government as a kind of "industry" ("l'industrie des places" (the industry of place-seeking, seeking government jobs) (CD, IM (1825), p. 288, NT, p. 2)), which provided people like themselves with a "career" or "une profession lucrative" (a lucrative profession) (CD, "IS" CE (Feb. 1819), p. 102). The net result of this was that government itself could now be defined as being not much more than "la foule immense des gens à places" (the immense crowd/group of people who have government jobs) (CC, "MP" (CE, March 1818), p. 61)
The new class of people with government jobs had a vested interest in expanding government regulation and intervention in the economy which would create more and better paid jobs for themselves and their relatives. This bureaucratic self-interest created a new kind of class warfare in addition to the general one between those who paid the taxes and those who "consumed" them. There was now rivalry within the class, "la guerre aux places" (the war over / for government jobs) (CD, IM (1825), p. 311), for more prestigious and better paid jobs, and one outside between them and the working and industrious class who paid the taxes and suffered under their bureaucratic regulations.
The idea of the ruling classes being "eaters" of wealth or taxes became more common in French CL at this time (later for example, Molinari would refer to "the budget eating class" - see below). Thierry referred to "les hommes parasites" (parasitical men) (AT, "F" CE (May 1817), p. 4) who made up the "factions" which controlled society and who lived off the labour of others. Comte referred to "la classe oisive et dévorante" (the idle and tax-eating class) (CC, "OS" CE (March 1817), p. 28) and "la classe des fainéans et des mangeurs" (the idle and tax-eating class) (CC, "MP" (CE, March 1818), p. 47). He also likened them to so many smart and hungry wolves and foxes:
(L)e parti des mangeurs a toujours été plus fort et plus rusé que le parti contraire: un loup est plus habile qu'un mouton; un renard en sait plus qu'une poule*. CC, "MP" (CE, March 1818), p. 4
The party / class of wealth/tax eaters has always been stronger and more cunning than the opposite / other party: a wolf is more crafty than a sheep; a fox knows more than a chicken.
Both the new systems of privilege and place-seeking were forms of "la spoliation organisée" (organised plunder) (CD, "SE" CE (Dec. 1816) and "un pillage méthodique et organisé" (methodical and organised pillage) AT, "F" CE (May 1817), p. 7).
The two different ways of acquiring wealth
Central to Comte and Dunoyer's theory of class was the idea that there were only two ways in which people could "obtenir des richesses" (acquire wealth). The first was by producing it themselves and trading it with others. The second assumed that the first way had already taken place to some extent and that that wealth could be taken by force from those who had produced it. This contrast in wealth production was expressed in various ways:
The Stage of Pure Industry
Their third innovation (especially by Dunoyer) was to imagine a final stage of a "purely industrial" society which would bring an end to class rule and the exploitation of one group by another, and where everybody lives peacefully off what they have produced themselves or traded with others. Dunoyer called this "la vie industrielle" (the industrial or industrious way of life) (CD, IM (1825), fn1, pp. 331–32) or "la vie des peuples purement industrieux" (the way of life of a people who are purely industrial). Eventually he thought the industrial class would shake off the parasitic and privileged classes and reduce the power of the state to an absolute minimum in terms of regulation and taxation. His hope was that eventually:
l'activité universelle est dirigée vers l'industrie; où l'on ne voit plus ni maîtres, ni esclaves, ni privilégiés, ni solliciteurs; où il n'y a que du travail et des échanges, et où le gouvernement lui-même n'est qu'un travail fait par une petite portion de la société au nom et pour le compte de la société tout entière. CD, IM (1825), p. 16
All activity will be directed towards industry; where one would no longer see masters, slaves, those with legal privileges, or those who solicit the government for favors; where there will be only work and exchange, and where the government itself becomes work done by a small portion of the society in the name and on behalf of the entire society.
This state would be radically decentralized and what little it did do would be run like a commercial enterprise under the control of the local community (CD, IM (1825), p. 358). He thought there were already a couple of models of what such a very limited state might look like, namely the Swiss cantons and the new American republic (CD, "IS" CE (Feb. 1819), p. 76). As Dunoyer put it, his aim was "municipaliser le monde" (to municipalise the world) (CD, IM, p. 366–7, fn 1) where "the pinnacle of perfection" would be reached if "tout le monde travaillât et que personne ne gouvernât" (all the world worked and no one governed) (CD, "CEP" CE (March 1817), p. 102).
The intellectual heir of Comte and Dunoyer's work on CA was the journalist, free trade campaigner, politician, and economist Frédéric Bastiat (1801–1850) who developed his own theory of class based upon his idea of "plunder" (la spoliation) whereby "la classe spoliatrice" (the plundering class) was able to seize the property and wealth of "les classes industrieuses" (the industrious classes) which as a result thus became "les classes spoliées" (the plundered classes) by means of the former's control of the state.
Some of the terms he used and even coined include:
He first began began writing about class as part of his campaigning for free trade in 1845 when he wrote a long introduction to a book on Cobden and the League (1845). In this he argued that Britain was ruled by an "oligarchy" which benefited from tariffs on agriculture which raised the price of bread for the poor. He would later call it "la classe oligarchique" as his theory of class developed. In his view the struggle to repeal the protectionist Corn Laws organised by Richard Cobden was a bitter "class struggle" or "la guerre sociale" (class or social war) between a small number of exploiters, the aristocracy, and a much large number of exploited people (democracy) who had irreconcilable differences.
He then turned his considerable journalistic skills to exposing the very similar system of class exploitation which existed in France in the first half of the 19th century where there was an alliance between large land owners and manufacturers who erected a complex system of subsidies, controls, and tariffs as a result of the very restricted franchise which limited voting and hence control of the legislature to a mere 240,000 wealthy voters, whom Bastiat called "la classe électorale" (the voting class). One of the purposes of the French Free Trade Association which Bastiat led was to break this electoral alliance and its power by introducing free trade and deregulation of the French economy in order to improve the lot of ordinary working men and women, "la classe industries (the industrious class) or "la classe ouvrière" (the working class).
Bastiat thought that the problem of class was so important that he planned to write his next book on A History of Plunder which would document how and when the plundering class was able to exploit the plundered classes over several thousands years. A plan of proposed chapters for this never written book was included in the posthumous second edition of his treatise Economic Harmonies (July 1851) under the section title of "Phénomènes perturbatrices" (Disturbing Phenomena) and would include the following historical stages through which he believed plunder had evolved: Chapter 16. Plunder, 17. War, 18. Slavery, 19. Theocracy, 20. Monopoly, 21. Government Exploitation, and 22. False Fraternity (Brotherhood) or Communism.
He believed that there were only two ways in which wealth could be acquired, either by "production" or by "plunder",
Il n'y a que deux moyens de se procurer les choses nécessaires à la conservation, à l'embellissement et au perfectionnement de la vie : la Production et la Spoliation.
There are only two ways of acquiring the things that are necessary for the preservation, improvement and betterment of life: PRODUCTION and PLUNDER.
Like other CLs he thought that European societies had moved through different stages each with its own ways of producing or plundering wealth, and its corresponding "industrious classes" and "plundering class." These stages he sketched out in the opening chapter “The Physiology of Plunder” of his second series of Economic Sophisms (1848) (CW3, pp. 113–30).
In Bastiat's history of plunder there are six historical stages: that of war, slavery, theocracy, monopoly, governmental exploitation, and socialism/communism (or what he called "false fraternity"). The first four stages were systems of organized plunder which benefited a small class of landowners, slave owners, religious leaders, and manufacturers at the expense of the majority. The kind of plunder which existed in these stages was called "la spoliation partielle" (partial plunder) (The Law (July 1850) ( CW2, p. 117).
War and slavery
The first stage was that of "war" where a warrior class looted and pillaged the unarmed farmers and peasants in acts of what he termed "la spoliation extra-légale" (plunder outside the law, or "illegal" plunder); then came the stage of "slavery" where a small group of slave owners exploited in a more organised and permanent manner an industrious class of slaves under the protection of the law, or what he termed "la spoliation légal" (legal plunder) which hereafter became the standard practice for the plundering class in all future stages.
The next stage was the stage of "theocracy" where a privileged elite of priests deceived or "duped" the believers with "theocratic sophistry" in order to justify the payment of compulsory tithes for their own benefit, or what he termed "l'exploitation des théocraties sacerdotales" (the exploitation by priestly theocracies). Instead of the church being the tool of the people it had been turned into "instrument du prêtre" (the tool of the priests) (ES2 1. "The Physiology of Plunder" (CW3, p. 123).
The stage of "monopoly" emerged in the 18th century and continued into his own day where large landowners, manufacturers, and bankers ("la classe privilégiée") used the state to erect a system of trade restrictions, government subsides, monopolies in the home market, and other privileges for their own benefit at the expense of ordinary taxpayers and workers. This alliance of vested interests had emerged in the 1820s and 1830s when French tariff policy was revised and entrenched after the defeat of Napoleon. It was against this privileged class that Bastiat directed most of his criticism against tariffs and subsidies in his best known works, the collections of Economic Sophisms (1846, 1848).
Alongside the system of "monopoly" there had emerged a fifth stage of organised plunder which he termed "l'exploitation gouvernementale" (exploitation by the government) or "le fonctionnarisme" (functionaryism) (EH XVII "Private and Public Services) where the state and its employees (“une classe de fonctionnaires” (a class of government bureaucrats)) used the power of the state to further their own self-interests either independently or in alliance with other privileged groups. What is important about Bastiat's argument here is the idea that the government itself, as an institution, had become a special interest or "plunderer" in its own right and not just the tool of some other class or small group of plunderers (although it might be this as well). The state functionaries acted to protect and expand the benefits they got from the access they had to the legislature, the legal system, and the tax system which provided them with "plunder" of various kinds: "la spoliation légale" (legal plunder), "la spoliation par abus et excès du gouvernement" (plunder by abusive and excessive government) (ES2 1 "The Physiology of Plunder" (CW3, p. 125)), and "la spoliation par l'impôt" (plunder by means of taxation) (EH chap. XVII, "Private and Public Services"). By June 1848 Bastiat had come to believe that "the state" itself was in essence nothing more than "la collection de tous les fonctionnaires publics" (the collection of all the public functionaries / state bureaucrats" who worked for it ("Taking Five and Returning Four is not Giving" (Jacques Bonhomme, 15 to 18 June 1848) in CW4 (forthcoming).) and that the bureaucracy had become a new form of aristocracy which ruled France and was rapidly devouring the country ("Speech on the Tax on Wines and Spirits" (Dec. 1849) (CW2, p. 335)) like some parasitic invasive pant. ("Justice and Fraternity" June 1848) (CW2, p. 68). This, Bastiat argued, divided society into two groups, only one of which (the host) made it possible for the other (the parasite) to survive:
Là, soyons de bon compte, qu'est-ce que l'État? N'est-ce pas la collection de tous les fonctionnaires publics? Il y a donc dans le monde deux espèces d'hommes, savoir: les fonctionnaires de toute sorte qui forment l'État, et les travailleurs de tout genre qui composent la société. Cela posé, sont-ce les fonctionnaires qui font vivre les travailleurs, ou les travailleurs qui font vivre les fonctionnaires?
Let us get it right, what is the State? Is it not the collection of all state functionaries? Therefore, there are two species of men in the world: the state functionaries of all sorts who make up the State and the workers of all sorts who make up society. That said, is it the state functionaries who enable workers to live or the workers who enable state functionaries to live? In other words, does the State enable society to live, or does society enable the State to live? ("Taking Five and Returning Four is not Giving" (Jacques Bonhomme, 15 to 18 June 1848) in CW4 (forthcoming)).
The sixth and possibly final stage was a future one which seemed possible if the socialists had been successful in creating an early form of the welfare state during the 1848 Revolution. Had they been able to implement their plans this would have resulted in what Bastiat called a system of "la fausse fraternité ou communisme" (false (or counterfeit) fraternity or communism) by which he meant compulsory state enforced and funded charity, in other words, a welfare state, which would be used to further the interests of the working class and their political leadership. It was in response to the efforts by socialists like Louis Blanc to build the first welfare state in France in 1848, which Bastiat saw as a new form of plunder, namely "la spoliation universelle" (universal plunder) or "la spoliation réciproque" (reciprocal or mutual plunder) whereby the people seeking welfare benefits from the state end up plundering each other as taxpayers ("Plunder and the Law" (May, 1850) (CW2, p. 275) and The Law (July 1850) (CW2, p. 117)). It was in this context that he developed his famous definition of the state as "la grande fiction à travers laquelle tout le monde s'efforce de vivre aux dépens de tout le monde" (the great fiction by which everyone endeavours to live at the expense of everyone else.) ("The State" (Sept., 1848), CW2, p. 97).
Bastiat was not optimistic that "class struggle /conflict" would come to an end so long as the state persisted in granting privileges to some at the expense of others. His study of history indicated that class struggles had been endemic for centuries and that it was punctuated by two alternating periods during which class struggle played itself out, "les temps de luttes" (times of struggle or conflict) in which different classes contended for control of the state, and "les temps de trêve" (times of truce) when one class dominated over the others until another period of conflict inevitably broke out. As he said to his close friend Madame Cheuvreux ("176. Letter to Mme. Cheuvreux," (23 June, 1850), CW1, pp. 251–52):
(T)ant qu'on regardera ainsi l'État comme une source de faveurs, notre histoire ne présentera que deux phases : les temps de luttes, à qui s'emparera de l'État ; et les temps de trêve qui seront le règne éphémère d'une oppression triomphante, présage d'une lutte nouvelle.
(A)s long as we continue to regard the State as a source of favours, our history will be seen as having only two phases, the periods of conflict as to who will take control of the State and the periods of truce, which will be the transitory reign of a triumphant oppression, the harbinger of a fresh conflict.
Bastiat's theory of plunder was taken up by the economist Ambroise Clément in an article on "De la spoliation légale" (On Legal Plunder) in JDE (July 1848) in which he provided a more detailed categorization of the kinds of legal state theft ("les vols") or plunder which had existed in French history up to the present (1848), which included "les vols aristocratiques" (aristocratic theft) during the Old Regime, ("les vols monarchiques" (monarchical theft) which reached a pinnacle under Louis XIV, "les vols réglementaires" (theft by government regulation) which was at its peak in the late Old Regime when nearly every aspect of economic activity was regulated by the state or monopolised by privileged corporations and which had metamorphosed in the mid–19th century into the highly regulated protectionist system, "les vols industriels" (industrial theft) where the government granted privileges to industry and banking which encouraged speculative booms and busts in the economy (such as speculation in railway shares), "les vols à prétensions philanthropiques" (theft under the guise of philanthropy), that is state funded charity and welfare, and "vols administrative" (administrative theft) which included any government activity which was not an immediate and clear economic benefit to the nation (such as increasing government sinecures, or increasing the complexity of law suits).
Clément also wrote the entry on "Functionaries" for the DEP where he makes the interesting claim (though he cited no government documents in support) that he estimated that there were 500–600,000 functionaries in France and another 400,000 men in the armed forces, making a total of over a million men employed by the state at taxpayer expense out of a total population of around 36 million.
The other economist who developed Bastiat's insights on plunder and functionaryism at some length was his younger colleague Gustave de Molinari (1819–1912) who would make extensive use of CLCA in a series of important works of historical sociology and economics he published in the 1880s (discussed below). Before writing these major works he wrote a series of articles for the Dictionnaire de l'Économie politique (1852–53) in which he used CA to explore the history and nature of the exploitation of forced labour (both slavery and serfdom), the original creation of nations and states though conquest and violence, the rise to power of the noble class, the role played by war in providing plunder for the state and jobs for the military, the role the tax-avoiding "bourgeoisie" played in the formation and flourishing of cities in the middle ages, and of course the privileged groups who benefited from tariffs and other forms of protection.
For example, in his essay on "Nobility" he discusses the origin of the noble class in war and conquest by which they were able to subdue and control large numbers of the "industrious class" of peasants. "Capricious" and unpredictable forms of plunder were gradually replaced by fixed and regular payments to the new ruling elite. However, the rise of a new "industrious bourgeoisie" meant that deals had to be made in order to buy off their opposition to be being ruled and plundered by an aristocracy with political and economic "monopolies" which laid the groundwork for a future confrontation which would see the nobility largely overthrown in the French Revolution of 1789.
In addition, two years after Bastiat's death Molinari wrote a very interesting analysis of the class structure of France under the Second Republic and the part played by state functionaries and the military in bringing Louis Napoléon to power in a lecture he gave in Brussels in October 1852, Les Révolutions et le despotisme envisagés au point de vue des intérêts matériel. In this lecture Molinari argued firstly that the administrators and senior bureaucrats in any government were what he colorfully calls "des mangeurs de taxes" (tax eaters) who lived off "des payeurs de taxes" (tax-payers) and secondly that they thus had their own "material interests" which they pursued by pushing for ever more government expenditure because it was in their professional interests to do so (Molinari Les Révolutions et le despotisme, p. 134.).
The administrative class wanted government to expand continually so there would be more bureaucratic offices to staff and more opportunities for their career advancement. To them this was "un nouveau débouché qui s'ouvre d'une manière permanente à son industrie" (a new market which opens up for them new opportunities for their industry in a permanent way) (Molinari Les Révolutions et le despotisme, p. 135). The military class sought war as they were paid not just in salaries but also in the form of glory, promotions, and military honors. The administrative class therefore had an incentive to form an alliance with the military "pour diriger le mécanisme primitif et grossier du despotisme" (in order to direct the primitive and rough mechanism of despotism) (Molinari Les Révolutions et le despotisme, p. 135). Both groups benefited enormously from expanding war because for the administrative class it increased taxes on a massive scale, and for the military it was the fulfillment of their training and careers. He was still arguing this some 50 years later but had changed his terminology to describe the class of people who lived off the taxpayers, "la classe budgétivore" (the budget eating class).
His most detailed treatment of the bureaucratic class which controlled the modern regulatory state came in the second part of his lengthy sociological analysis of revolution and the state, L'évolution politique et la révolution (1884) in a chapter on "The Internal Politics of the Modern State" (discussed below).
Before leaving the Paris School brief mention should be made of the work on class by the politician and political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859) who wrote in Democracy in America (1830, 1835) on the centralisation of state power, those who govern and those who are governed, the despotism of parties and factions, and the tyranny of laws, and in The Old Regime and the Revolution (1859) on the nature of bureaucracy, administrative tutelage, and the enduring power of functionaries and place-seekers under all regimes whether pre-revolutionary or post-revolutionary; Tocqueville's travelling companion Gustave de Beaumont (1802–1866) who wrote on the nature of aristocratic rule, especially in Ireland, in Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious (1839); the historian of the modern French state Hippolyte Taine (1823–1893) who wrote on The Origins of Contemporary France (1890) from its origins in the "functionaryism" of the bureaucratic Napoleonic state to the modern taxpayers who are "sheared" like so many sheep by the treasury:
Thus, in the first shearing of the sheep the exchequer cuts deep, as deep as possible; but it has sheared only the sheep whose fleece is more or less ample; its scissors have scarcely touched the others, much more numerous, whose wool, short, thin and scant, is maintained only by day-wages, the petty gains of manual labor.—Compensation is to come when the exchequer, resuming its scissors, shears the second time: it is the indirect tax which, although properly levied and properly collected, is, in its nature, more burdensome for the poor than for the rich and well-off. (The Modern Regime, vol. 1, p. 217)
In a similar vein to Herbert Spencer, the politician and economist Yves Guyot (1843–1928) warned in The Tyranny of Socialism (1893) and Socialistic Fallacies (1910) that the emerging socialist "collectivist state" would turn the proletariat into a new ruling class with the help of a class of officials who would oppress the class of taxpaying "drudges".
With the rise of sociology as separate discipline in the late 19th and early 20th centuries CLs, who compromise the fifth group, made significant contributions, such as the idea of the militant vs. industrial types of society (Herbert Spencer and Molinari), the circulation of elites (Vilfredo Pareto), "the forgotten man" (i.e. the ordinary taxpayer) and rule by a plutocracy (William Graham Sumner), status and rank (Max Weber), and overall theories about the growth of the modern state (Molinari, Gaetano Mosca (1858–1941), and Franz Oppenheimer). Oppenheimer in particular is important because of his later influence on Rothbard in the 1950s and 1960s. Mention should also be made of the German liberal Alexander Rüstow who wrote in the mid–20th century.
By coincidence two of the great 19th century CL theorists of CA, Herbert Spencer in England and Gustave de Molinari in France, were working independently on their major works of historical sociology during the 1870s and 1880s seemingly unaware of each other .
Herbert Spencer (1820–1903) was a journalist, radical individualist political theorist, and sociologist whose multi-volume work which took him over 20 years to complete is a tour de force of CL social theory. His overarching theory was that there were two different ways of acquiring wealth which gave rise to two very different types of societies, the "militant type" and the "industrial type." In these volumes he provides a detailed and complex description of the evolution of societies, the stages they pass through, and the ruling classes and regulating institutions they give rise to.
The notion of class played a very important part in his social theory in which there was a clear distinction made between "the ruling class" or "the governing class" on the one hand and "the subject class" on the other (PoS2, p. 291). The former included "the warrior-class" or "militant class" and "the priest-class", while the latter included "the slave-class", "the serf-class", and "the industrial classes" or "the producing and exchanging parts of the society, carrying on industrial activities" (PoS2, p. 177). Spencer saw the two classes, "the ruling militant class" and "the subject industrial class" (PoS3, p. 473) as being in an antagonistic though at times symbiotic relationship and in any given society the two lived alongside each other producing what he called a "compound society" (PoS1, p. 555; PoS2, p. 643) or a mixture of historically determined groups which had different values and interests which they pursued. This idea of "compounding and re-compounding" groups within society played an important role in his understanding of where British society was heading in the late 19th century which he believed had a relatively new and developing "industrial part" as well as an older but still politically powerful "militant part" which were at loggerheads and it was not yet clear in his mind which would predominate in the near future.
One of his guiding ideas is that war is ubiquitous and that it has played a key role in the evolution of societies from the simpler to the more complex, that complex industrial activity can co-exist with warlike societies, but that for the full flowering of industrial and economic activity war must be reduced or even eliminated from society. He also notes how important war is for the centralization of state power and its bureaucracies which had been built up from what he called a "permanent commissariat" (PoS2, p. 573)), and for the growth of government regulation of all aspects of private life.
Scattered throughout the volumes is a discussion of three important institutions where class rule plays an important role: political institutions (controlled by "political heads" such as chiefs and kings, representative bodies, ministries, the judiciary, and the army), ecclesiastical institutions (such as the priesthood, church hierarchies), and industrial institutions ( the division of labour, regulation of labour, slavery, serfdom, and free labour). In all societies he argued there had been an "inner few" who had been able to seize political power in order to rule "the outer many."
His most important analysis concerns the differences between the “militant type of society” and its control by a warrior class and other political and priestly elites, and the "industrial type" which has no exploiting political classes but only productive ones of various kinds depending upon the level of technology and historical circumstances. The militant type of society is historically prior to the industrial type but there has usually been a “mingling” or "compounding" of the two types in any given society and the tensions between the two is something he explores in some detail, as with the coexistence of imperialism and militarism with the rapidly expanding industrialism and consumerism of late Victorian Britain.
Societies and eventually states were originally organised for war fighting and the conquest of other people which meant that "the class of warriors" or "the militant class" became the "ruling class" or "the governing class" who regulated "the subject classes" which were made up of women, slaves, serfs, and "the industrial classes." As society became more complex there arose a division of labour within the "militant part of the community" (PoS2, p. 626) with the emergence of a "permanent commissariat" of professional "governing agents" (PoS2, p. 309) to run the bureaucracies of the state and to enforce the "compulsory cooperation" (PoS2, p. 286) required by a militant society. Over time this evolved into a "despotic controlling agency" (PoS2, p. 608) which was run by "a disciplined army of civil officials" ("The Coming Slavery," p. 67) or what he called "officialism" ("The Coming Slavery," p. 47).
Militant societies were heavily dependent on the productive labour of the subject industrious class who initially needed protection from other militant groups but who gradually came to resent the impositions made upon them in the form of conscription, taxation, and the regulation of all aspects of their lives. "The industrial part of the community" which grew steadily in size and strength began to demand some political representation in order to place limits on the level of taxation and regulation imposed upon them by the "the militant part of the community." This "resistance" by the industrious classes to the power of the militant class ultimately led to "a separation" of the two where the military was brought under the control of the civil government (PoS2, p. 441), its powers and cost drastically reduced, political and administrative centralization replaced by decentralized and private administration, and the full flourishing of peaceful industrial activity is permitted. Spencer thought that in a fully industrial society there would no longer be any political, ecclesiastical, or military classes which could exploit the productive industrial class, and thus no "despotic controlling agency" (PoS2, p. 608) to enforce state imposed "compulsory cooperation" (PoS2, p. 286). The role of what little remained of the state would be to ensure the widest possible extent of "voluntary cooperation" and to act as a large arbitration agency which would settle disputes among its citizens (PoS2, pp. 608–9).
However, at the time he was writing, British society he thought was a "compound society" made up of bits of the old militant society and its class structure and bits of the emerging industrial society with a completely different class structure. Initially it was not clear to him which way Britain was ultimately headed but as the century wore on he came to the conclusion that aspects of the old militant type of society were increasingly reasserting themselves which he criticized in essays like "The Coming Slavery" (1884). Here he drew a connection between traditional "slavery" and the increasing regulation and control of individuals' activity in late 19th century Britain where, instead of taking all of a worker's output, the administrative state "only" took a percentage. He argued that "socialistic arrangements" were a form of slavery ("The Coming Slavery," p. 57) that increased as the percentage taken from the worker increased under the direction of "the despotism of a graduated and centralized officialism" ("The Coming Slavery," p. 64). In his preface to a collection of essays A Plea for Liberty: An Argument against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation (1891) he argued that "the regulative apparatus" had created a "new aristocracy" which pitted "the regulators" against "the regulated." His sad conclusion was that "this industrial régime of willinghood, acting spontaneously" was being replaced by a régime of industrial obedience, enforced by public officials" which he predicted would lead to "the tyranny of bureaucracies" ("From Freedom to Bondage," pp. 21–23).
Working in parallel to Spencer was the Belgian-French economist Gustave de Molinari. After a decade or so working as a journalist and travel writer he returned to a study of class in the 1870s and 1880s with the publication of two large works on political and economic sociology, L'évolution économique du XIXe siècle: théorie du progrès (Economic Evolution in the 19th Century: A Theory of Progress) (1880) and L'évolution politique et la révolution (Political Evolution and the Revolution) (1884). in which he explored the often antagonistic relationships between emerging free market economic institutions and the state, and the classes which attempted to use its power for their own personal advantage.
The terminology he used to describe classes in this evolution of states and economies included
Molinari shared the basic CL idea that society is divided into two hostile and antagonistic classes, a productive "industrious class" (la classe industrieuse) and a privileged governing class (la classe gouvernante) within which various factions engaged in a bitter and often bloody struggle (la lutte) to seize control of the wealth to which the state had access.
In his two books he argued that society had evolved through various stages each with its own unique methods of producing goods and with a correspondingly unique political system and ruling class. The first stage was that of primitive tribes which lived by hunting and gathering and which were dominated by chieftains. The development of small-scale industry, "l'ère de la petite industrie" (the era of small scale industry) (EP, chap. II "Les gouvernements de l'ère de la petite industrie. Le régime féodal"), allowed the generation of enough wealth for the tribe's warriors to wage war against their neighbors for the purposes of plundering and capturing slaves. This led to the emergence of a ruling class of warriors and priests.
As the warrior class settled down and became landowners (eventually forming an hereditary warrior class of conquerors, kings, and nobles) slavery evolved into serfdom which allowed enough freedom and autonomy to the ex-slaves to stimulate greater production and the gradual emergence of urban communities or "communes" which also developed their own ruling class of urban and commercial oligarchs but which also stimulated an important movement for freedom (or "self government" - Molinari use the English word) (EP, p. 220) on the part of the new urban "industrious class". This was accompanied by the creation of government regulated monopolies or "corporations" in all the major areas of economic activity which created an alliance of powerful vested interests such as large landowners, merchants, and bankers to form and which constituted a new kind of ruling class and a system of "la servitude politique" (political slavery) which lasted up until the French Revolution of 1789.
The gradual accumulation of capital eventually permitted the emergence of a new era of large scale industry (la grande industrie) (EP, p. 232) (along with mechanization and steam power) which required a new productive elite of merchants , manufacturers, and financiers to run it. Molinari believed that this new phase in economic development created a bottleneck which had to be overcome before the full benefits / productivity of this new way of organizing the economy could be realized. As long as the government was run by and for the benefit of the old ruling class which had come to power during the era of small industry, the government would remain an obstacle to further economic development as it was "anti-économique" (anti-economic)  by which he meant both that governments were inefficiently run and that they hampered economic development with heavy taxes, monopolies, and too much regulation. If these governments did not change or adapt to the new economic circumstances they ran the risk of being replaced or even overthrown by the growing class of unhappy "consommateurs politiques" (political consumers) (EP, p. 265) who were increasingly drawn from the industrious classes. This bottle neck was partially overcome with the explosion and class warfare of the French Revolution but its liberal reforms were too limited in his view and the old ruling class was not entirely removed but only replaced by a new and dangerous alliance of classes under Emperor Napoleon which continued to exist in Molinari's day.
The final stage in the evolution of a government suitable to large scale industry would, in Molinari's view, not really be a government at all, but a very much smaller "government" which would be run like a business ("les gouvernements d'entreprise") (EP, Chap. X "Les gouvernements de l'avenir", pp. 351 ff.). As society evolved towards an ever more prosperous and peaceful free market system gradually there would be competition in everything, or what he called "un régime de concurrence universalisée" (a régime of universal/universalised competition) (EP, p. 482), which would whittle away the biggest monopoly of them all, the nation state.
What makes Molinari's theory of economic and political evolution a bit unusual for a CL is his idea that in the early stages of political and economic organisation some kind of coercive, exploiting class (such as a warrior or priestly class) was necessary in order to ward off other hostile societies, or to keep some of the lower classes in a state of "la tutelle" (tutelage) (EP, Chap. XI "Tutelle et la liberté," pp. 424 ff.) such as slavery or serfdom as they were not yet ready to assume full responsibility for running their own lives which he called "self government". As part of the evolutionary process Molinari believed however that "les classes assujetties" (the subjugated classes) would gradually achieve full political and economic freedom and "self-government" (he used the English phrase) sometimes through bloody revolutions like the English Revolution of 1649 and the French Revolution of 1789, but more likely through a slow and steady process of evolution.
Some of the more specific aspects of Molinari's CA include the idea of class interests and individual interests, tax-eaters and budget-eaters, and class struggle within the state for control and without for access to economic resources.
Individual Interests and Class Interests
Molinari believed that all individuals and groups of individuals (especially oligarchies and classes) had their own "interests" ("les intérêts de la classe" (the interests of a class, class interests)) which they pursued either peacefully through voluntary exchanges on the market, or coercively by either seizing control of the state or influencing those who had such control to provide them with privileges or jobs or other benefits at taxpayer expence. He identified many groups or classes "outside" the state which pursued their interests via the state, such as "les intérêts aristocratiques et cléricaux" (the interests of aristocratic and clerical classes) (EP, p. 320), "les intérêts esclavagistes du Sud" (the slave-owning interests of the South) (EP, pp. 172–73), "les intérêts monopoleurs et protectionniste" (the interests of monopolists and protectionists) (EP, p. 219), and "les intérêts des industriels, des artisans et des marchands investis du monopole du marché intérieur" (the interests of manufacturers, artisans and marchants who have invested/put money into a monopoly in the domestic market) (EP, p. 198).
Interestingly he also discussed the class interests of those "within" the state ("les intérêts particuliers de la classe gouvernante" (the special/individual interests of the governing class)) in a very "public choice" manner, as he argued that their interests as a class were very much opposed to "the general interest" which was often falsely used as a justification for what the state did. These interests included "les intérêts administratifs et militaires" (the interests of the administrative and military classes) (EP, p. 314), "les intérêts et les convoitises des classes ou des coteries en possession d'une influence dans l'entourage du souverain" (the interests and greed of the classes or cabals who have influence in the sovereign's entourage) (EP, p. 223), and of course the interests of the ever growing class of functionaries or bureaucrats within the state (la classe fonctionnaire). Molinari cynically argued that the class of functionaries thought of the state as "an industry" in its own right which created a "market" for job-seekers like themselves which they could exploit for "profits", all at taxpayer expence (EP, p. 378).
The modern state in his view had become little more than an alliance, association, or "coming together" (les agglutinations compactes) (EP, p. 403) of various interest groups and political parties who joined forces in order to better serve their own individual class interests "pour exploiter l'industrie du gouvernement" (in order to exploit the industry of government) (EP, p. 403).
Tax Eaters and Budget Eaters
Molinari used some colorful expressions to describe what the exploiting classes did to the productive industrious classes who created society's wealth and paid the taxes to provide the exploiting classes with benefits. Whereas Bastiat saw the exploiting class as engaging in criminal, albeit "legal" criminal activities (i.e. "legal plunder"), Molinari often used medical or animal metaphors. For example, he described exploitation by means of the state as "une plaie" (a wound or a plague), an "ulcer" ("ulcerous government"), or "leprosy" ("the leprosy of statism" which damaged the body of society and which had to be cured or cut out by a surgeon (i.e. by an economist).
Or alternatively he used animal metaphors, such as a parasite or a voracious animal which ate society's wealth. He referred many times to those who lived off subsidies and privileges as "parasites", to bureaucrats and privileged interest groups as "des mangeurs de taxes" (tax-eaters) who fed off the class of "des payeurs de taxes" (tax-payers) (Molinari, Les Révolutions et le despotisme, p. 136.), or to "la classe budgétivore" (the budget eating class) like the military who consumed huge sums of tax payers' money and always wanted more.
The Nature of Class Struggle
Molinari believed that there had been two class struggles (les luttes) at work throughout European history. He provided a concise summary in the opening of his book Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (1849) where he states:
Tout travail impliquant une dépense de forces, et toute dépense de forces une peine, certains hommes ont voulu s'épargner cette peine tout en s'attribuant la satisfaction qu'elle procure. Ils ont, en conséquence, fait métier de dérober les fruits du travail des autres hommes, soit en les dépouillant de leurs biens extérieurs, soit en les réduisant en esclavage. Ils ont constitué ensuite des sociétés régulières pour protéger eux et les fruits de leurs rapines contre leurs esclaves ou contre d'autres ravisseurs. Voilà l'origine de la plupart des sociétés.
Mais cette usurpation abusive des forts sur la propriété des faibles a été successivement entamée. Dès l'origine des sociétés, une lutte incessante s'est établie entre les oppresseurs et les opprimés, les spoliateurs et les spoliés; dès l'origine des sociétés, l'humanité a tendu constamment vers l'affranchissement de la propriété. L'histoire est pleine de cette grande lutte! D'un côté, vous voyez les oppresseurs défendant les priviléges qu'ils se sont attribués sur la propriété d'autrui; de l'autre, les opprimés réclamant la suppression de ces priviléges iniques et odieux.
La lutte dure encore, et elle ne cessera que lorsque la propriété sera pleinement affranchie.
Given that any work entails an expenditure of effort, and any expenditure of effort a degree of pain, some men have wished to spare themselves the latter, whilst claiming for themselves the satisfaction it provides. They have consequently made a speciality of stealing the fruits of other men's labor, either by [p. 36] depriving them of their external property, or reducing them to slavery. They have gone on to construct societies organized to protect them and the fruits of their pillaging against their slaves or against other predators. This lies at the origin of most societies.
This quite unwarranted usurpation by the strong of the property of the weak, however, has been successively repeated. From the very beginnings of society an endless struggle has existed between the oppressors and the oppressed, the plunderers and the plundered; from the very beginning of societies, the human race has constantly sought the emancipation of property. History abounds with this struggle. On the one hand you see the oppressors defending the privileges they have allotted themselves on the basis of the property of others; on the other we see the oppressed, demanding the abolition of these iniquitous and dreadful privileges.
The struggle goes on and will not cease until property is fully emancipated. (Les Soirées, p. 37)
One struggle was between those classes seeking to control the state or get privileges and benefits from it, what he called "la lutte des partis pour la possession et l’exploitation de l’État" (the struggle of parties for the control/possession and exploitation of the State) (EP, p. 305), and another broader struggle between those who governed (the tax-eaters) and those who are governed (the tax-payers). As he put it:
Entre les associations politiques qui vivent de l'exploitation de l'État et les intérêts particuliers sur lesquels elles s'appuient, et les intérêts généraux qui supportent le fardeau de plus en plus lourd de cette exploitation, la lutte sera, évidemment, longue et acharnée.
Between the political associations which live by exploiting the state and the vested interests on which they rely for support, and the general interests who carry the every increasingly heavy burden off this exploitation, the struggle will obviously long and bloody. (EP, p. 481)
The models of bloody class warfare were provided by the Jacobins of the French Revolution and the near success of the socialists led by Louis Blanc in the 1848 Revolution. Molinari was not confident that the 20th century would avoid another bout of bloody class warfare which he predicted would come in his prescient essay written at the turn of the century surveying the century to come. He predicted it would take the form of class struggle between conservative groups and the socialists, with the liberals largely sidelined until they could regroup many decades later.
The Future Classless Society
If the socialists could be prevented from replacing the existing coalition of classes who made up the ruling class with their own coalition drawn from the socialist party, intellectuals, and functionaries who worked for the state, and if the economic reforms he wanted to see introduced which w ould create a pure, "industrial" society with free trade and competition in everything, or what he called "un régime de concurrence universalisée" (a régime of universal/universalised competition) (EE, p. 459), then political classes would disappear. The end point he had in mind would be the political equivalent of the successful movement for "la liberté des échanges" (free trade, or the freedom to trade) which brought an end to economic protectionism and monopolies in food production and which had began in 1846 with the repeal of the English Corn-Laws. What he wanted was an end to political "protectionism" and monopoly, or what he called "la liberté de gouvernement" (free government, or the liberty of government) by which he meant the supply of "government services" such as police and defense, by private, competing insurance companies, or what he called "la production de la sécurité" (the production of security), which he had first proposed in 1849, or privately built and run "proprietary communities" which he discussed in L'évolution politique et la Révolution (1884) (EP, p. 392–93). With no monopoly state with coercive powers to tax, conscript, or legislate there could be no exploiting class and no government class.
The American economist and sociologist William Graham Sumner (1840–1910) trained as an Episcopalian clergyman before he became a professor of sociology at Yale University where he taught from 1872 to 1909. He was a defender of free trade and hard money, and a vocal opponent of American imperialism and the rise of socialism. His work on CLCA appeared mostly in the form of essays on the following three topics: the hard working and uncomplaining taxpayer whom he called "the Forgotten Man and Woman"; the alliance between politicians and "plutocrats" who used their wealth to to buy influence and special favors from politicians; the problem of "jobbery" or the seeking of jobs in the government administration or lucrative government contracts funded by the taxpayer; and "political earth hunger" which was the desire by the state to increase the extent of the territory it controlled and the number of tax-payers it controlled in order to maximise revenue which this hunger manifested itself as imperialism.
Sumner referred generally to all those who worked for their living and were paid wages as the "labour class"  or the "servile class". More specifically he coined the term "the Forgotten Man and Woman" in several essays written in 1883–84 to describe the hard working and uncomplaining taxpayer who was usually taken for granted by politicians and the elite. He or she paid their taxes on time, raised their families, left other people alone, and were the backbone of the economy.
The "forgotten men and women" were taken advantage of by "men on the make"  or the special "interests" who sought favors from the state to further their own ends at the expense of others. They did this by seeking well paid and cushy jobs in the administration, or by seeking lucrative contracts for state business such as public works. There was a "struggle" between the various interests for access to and control of the state, or what he called the "legislative device", given the fact that taxpayer's money was in limited supply. Sumner coined a special term to describe the widespread practice in American cities of seeking jobs in the administration, political and financial "jobbery" which was similar to the French CL idea of "place-seeking". Sumner defined it as:
By jobbery I mean the constantly apparent effort to win wealth, not by honest and independent production, but by some sort of a scheme for extorting other people's product from them. ("The Forgotten Man" (1883), The Forgotten Man and Other Essays, p. 488.)
The American practice was different as the emergence of party political machines in the rapidly growing big cities meant that the "spoils system" gave elected politicians considerable leeway in offering lucrative jobs to their families or political supporters. This created a growing class of state employees who were dependent on their elected leaders for their livelihoods.
Sumner distinguished between two kinds of "earth hunger": "economic land hunger" which was felt by poor European immigrants who came to the New World to improve their lot in life, and "political earth hunger" which was the desire by the state to increase the extent of the territory it controlled and the number of tax-payers in order to maximise its revenue. The former he thought was perfectly legitimate as it was normally done without the use of force, the latter was not as it was done by means of war and conquest and resulted in colonialism or imperialism. Sumner was one of the major organizers of the Anti-Imperialist League and wrote many forceful essays denouncing America's war against Spain and its colonial policy in Cuba and the Philippines, such as "The Conquest of America by Spain" (1898). He argued that a policy of imperialism violated the basic principles of the American constitution, corrupted political institutions within the U.S., was a system of financial, political, and military "jobbery" which benefited the "military interests"  at the expense of the "people's interests'", squandered the taxes paid by the "forgotten man and woman," and created a large public debt which benefitted the plutocrats who loaned money to the state. Imperialism also distracted ordinary people from seeing what the plutocrats were doing to the country which was "a grand onslaught on democracy"  and traditional American liberty.
Along with his notion of "the forgotten man and woman" the other important class which Sumner discussed at some length was the one made up of "plutocrats" whose control of society created a system of "plutocracy" which was an alliance between politicians and the party machines they controlled and the plutocrats who funded them and sought political privileges in return. The "plutocrats" were the wealthiest people in society but they could use their power and wealth either "industrially" or "politically", that is by investing in the productions of goods and services which were voluntarily exchanged on the market (the economic "power of capital"), or by lobbying politicians to get legal privileges and legislation passed which would benefit them at the expense of taxpayers ("the political power of capital"). Sumner thought that the democratic system of party politics which had emerged in post-Civil War America with its party organization, primaries, and conventions to select candidates was well adapted to being influenced by plutocrats who could exercise their influence behind closed doors.
There were two conflicts which Sumner warned about at the turn of the century. The first was between "militarism and industrialism" and the second between "plutocracy" and "democracy". The United States he believed had started out combining democracy and peaceful industrialism, but was now heading down another path which he termed "democratic absolutism". This was an alliance of powerful party politicians, those with government jobs and contracts, political plutocrats, and military interests, who would soon become much more powerful than "the forgotten men and women" whose voices would no longer be heard.
Sumner also considered the state to be "the greatest monopoly" of them all and hence more dangerous than other monopolies. He also hinted at but did not explore in any detail the idea that states and the classes which controlled them evolved over time from autocracy, aristocracy, theocracy, hierocracy, bureaucracy, and plutocracy. Given the pessimism he expressed at the end of his life he did not elaborate on what might replace the system of plutocracy and imperialism which dominated America at the turn of the century.
Vilfredo Pareto (1848–1923) was an Italian civil engineer who later in life became an economist and sociologist and taught at the University of Florence and the University of Lausanne. He was a staunch free trader and anti-militarist in the tradition of Bastiat and Molinari whom he deeply admired. In addition to many important works in technical economics he also wrote significant works of sociology which dealt with CA among many other things. One of his first forays into CLCA was the essay which he rather abstractly called "Un’applicazione di teorie sociologiche" (An Application of Sociological Theory) (1901) which was translated into English as The Rise and Fall of the Elites which was followed some years later with a more comprehensive treatment in Trattato di sociologia generale (A Treatise on General Sociology) (1916).
His thesis was that "elites" (Pareto was bilingual so he used the French word "l'élites" and the Italian "la classe eletta" (the elite or chosen class) which gives a better idea of its connection to his theory of class) arose in all fields of endeavour, whether social, economic, or political, who struggled to reach the top of their position or profession and remain there, but inevitably fell into decline and were replaced by new and more vigorous elites, hence there was "la circulation des élites" or "la circolazione della classe eletta" (the circulation of elites or the elite class) ((TSG 2042, p. 263)). He was careful to distinguish between two different kinds of classes of "elites" depending upon whether they had access to the power of the state or not, calling those who were not in politics "la classe eletta non di governo" (the non-governing elite) and those who were part of the political system "la classe eletta di governo" (the governing elite class) (TSG 2034, p. 2631).
Like earlier CLs Pareto believed all societies were divided into two classes, "la classe governante" (the governing or ruling class) and "la classe soggetta" (the subject or governed class) (TSG 2479, p. 3258; M&S4 p. 1788) where the former used the power of the state to exploit the latter. This exploitation could be done blatantly with the use of naked force, as in ancient Greek and Roman slavery, where the governing class behaved like "lions," or it could be done indirectly, as in contemporary European democracies, by the granting of various legal privileges like subsidies for favored businesses or tariff protection, where the governing class behaved like "foxes" using cunning, fraud, and corruption to get what they wanted (TSG 2178, p. 2879; M&S4 2178, p. 1515). Whether done blatantly or subversively the ruling class “appropriates illicitly” or "plunders" the property of other people, what he colorfully describes as “tosare le pecore" (shearing the sheep) (RFE, p. 436) and engages in ”fraudulent practices" in order to use the power of the state to gain wealth, monopolies, and other privileges.
Pareto believed that late 19th century European states were going through another historical moment of "radical transformation" TSG 2257, p. 2949; M&S4 2257, p. 1587) where another "circulation of elites" was taking place. The historical pattern he had observed was that an existing ruling elite would go into decline and be forced to share power with a new rising elite, until the old elite was finally pushed aside and completely replaced by the new. This cycle of "ascent" and "descent" of the governing classes was taking place again as he was writing, as the current ruling class was in the process of evolving from being predominantly monarchical and aristocratic in origin to being increasingly populated by new, emergent elites from both industry, the professional bourgeoisie, and the socialist parties. These new elites were permitted to participate in the newly expanded and more democratic parliaments, where they pursued their own vested interests in partnership with the traditional aristocratic elites.
What Pareto found troubling/uncertain was that the final shape of the new ruling elite had not yet been determined as there were at least three different elite groups contending for power and control of the state: there were remnants of the old aristocracy (in government, the military, and large agricultural landowners), a rising newly wealthy bourgeoisie or "plutocracy" (in commerce, industry, and finance), and the industrial working class and their representatives in the trade unions and the new socialist or labour parties which were getting seats in Parliament. He was particularly troubled by the rise of socialism which he critically examined in a major work on Les systèmes socialistes (1902) as he thought that an alliance between "plutocrats" and "socialists" was a possible outcome, where the democracies in France, Italy, England, and the United States would become demagogic plutocracies (un reggimento di plutocrati demagogici) (TSG2257, p. 2949; M&S4 2257, p. 1587).
Beneath the struggle between different elite classes for control of the upper level of the state there was also a structure of power and privilege within the state. Pareto thought that at the highest level, given the number of people involved, there was a "class within a class." The ruling class was not homogeneous and was effectively controlled by a much smaller group within it which decided on how things were to be run: "La classe governante non è omogenea; ha essa stessa un governo e una più ristretta classe o un capo, un comitato che effettivamente e praticamente dominano." (The ruling class is not homogeneous. It too has a government and an even more limited/smaller class, or a leader/boss or a committee which effectively and practically controls/runs things) (TSG 2254, p. 2939; M&S4 2254, p. 1575).
At the lower levels the ruling class employs members of the subject class to help it remain in power. One group specialises in the use of force and is employed in the armed forces and the police; the other has political skills and act as "la clientela dei politicanti" (aids to or clients of the politicians) TSG 2257, p. 2948; M&S4 2257, pp. 1585–86) and run the political party "machines" (especially in the United States) or work with Parliament and the bureaucracies "looking after" the needs of the various vested interest groups. Part of their job is to ensure that the government or the party remains in power and this is achieved often by bribing voters, elected officials, government ministers, newspaper owners, and other powerful and influential figures. Another very important function they have is to service the needs of vested interest groups, or what Pareto calls the "speculatori" (literally the "speculators" or opportunists who are constantly looking for government benefits and privileges). These "speculators" in government privileges include manufacturers seeking tariff protection from foreign competition, construction companies looking for government contracts for public works programs, and financiers and banks seeking to lend money to the government.
Pareto's pessimistic conclusion is that, no matter what form government takes or what particular ruling elite is in power, all governments and politicians share a number of things is common: they will use their power "per mantenersi in sede" (to keep themselves in the saddle) (TSG 22657, pp. 2959–60; M&S4 2267, pp. 1608–9) and to secure personal gain and advantage; that they take other peoples' property both to further their own interests, but also to share it with those members of the subject class who defend the state and safe-guard its rule; the use and abuse of power is proportional to the amount of power that governments have to intervene in the economy; that they have no moral qualms about taking other peoples' property as they justify it on the grounds that if they weren't doing it someone else would, that the ends justify the means, and that they are in fact serving the interests of their country.
Gaetano Mosca (1858–1941)
[add or leave out??]
Franz Oppenheimer (1864–1943)
Franz Oppenheimer (1864–1943) trained as a doctor in Berlin before turning to the study of sociology. He considered himself to be a liberal-minded socialist but his book Der Staat (1907) was seen as being very much in the CL tradition with his emphasis on the distinction between the two opposing means of acquiring wealth, "das politische Mittel" (the political means, i.e. through the use of coercion) and "das ökonomische Mittel" (the economic means, i.e. through one's own labour and by voluntary exchanges).
Es gibt zwei grundsätzlich entgegengesetzte Mittel, mit denen der überall durch den gleichen Trieb der Lebensfürsorge in Bewegung gesetzte Mensch die nötigen Befriedigungsmittel erlangen kann: Arbeit und Raub, eigne Arbeit und gewaltsame Aneignung fremder Arbeit. … Ich habe aus diesem Grunde und auch deshalb, um für die weitere Untersuchung … vorgeschlagen, die eigne Arbeit und den äquivalenten Tausch eigner gegen fremde Arbeit das "ökonomische Mittel", und die unentgoltene Aneignung fremder Arbeit das "politische Mittel" der Bedürfnisbefriedigung zu nennen. (Oppenheimer, Der Staat, p. 14.
There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one's own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. … I propose in the following discussion to call one's own labor and the equivalent exchange of one's own labor for the labor of others, the "economic means" for the satisfaction of needs, while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the "political means." (Oppenheimer, The State, pp. 24–25.
His book, along with Albert Nock's Our Enemy the State (1935) had a significant impact on the thinking of Murray Rothbard and was republished in the 1970s as part of the libertarian rediscovery of CLCA.
Oppenheimer famously defined the state as "die Organisation des politischen Mittels" (the organization of the political means) (Der Staat, p. 15; The State, p. 27) which "die herrschende Klasse" (the ruling class) (Der Staat, p. 154; The State, p. 264) or "die privilegierte Klasse" (the privileged class) (Der Staat, p. 67; The State, p. 113) used as "das Instrument der politischen Beherrschung und wirtschaftlichen Ausbeutung einer sozialen Gruppe durch die andere" (the Instrument for the political control and economic plundering of one social group by another) (Der Staat, p. 11; The State, p. 19), in particular "die beherrschte Klasse" (the class which is ruled, the subject class) (Der Staat, p. 152; The State, p. 260). In his theory of the evolution of the modern state, states began as a result of war, conquest, and piracy and moved through many stages such as the primitive feudal state, the maritime state, the developed feudal state, the industrial state, and the modern constitutional state. As a liberal he hoped that the end result of this evolutionary process would see "das entfaltete politische Mittel" (the ultimate unfolding of the political means) (Der Staat, p. 159; The State, p. 275) replaced by "eine Freibürgerschaft" (a community of free citizens, a freeman's citizenship) (Der Staat, p. 159; The State, p. 275).
In every stage of the state's development there was "ein Klassenkampf" (a class struggle) (Der Staat, p. 134; The State, p. 228) which threatened to break society apart (a "centrifugal" force) fought between rival groups for control of the state and a more general struggle between all the ruling groups and those who made their living by the "economic means." This force was counteracted by a "centripetal" one which drew people together who had shared social and economic interests (Der Staat, p. 134; The State, p. 228). This was part of what Oppenheimer called the "Statik und Kinetik" of the modern state (what remains the same and what changes over time) (Der Staat, p. 150; The State, p. 256). What remained the same, in his view, was domination of one class over another in order to exploit what they produced via the "economic means", what changed over time was the particular group which constituted the ruling class and those which constituted the subject class.
Max Weber (1864–1920)
[to add later]
Albert J. Nock (1870–1945)
The American journalist, essayist, and social critic Albert J. Nock (1870–1945) wrote a provocative reinterpretation of American history from a CA perspective, Our Enemy, the State (1935), in reaction to the rise of Fascism in Europe and the New Deal in the United States. He used Oppenheimer's distinction between the "political means" and the "economic means" of acquiring wealth, saw history as a long struggle between "Social Power" and "State Power" for control of this wealth, and defined the state as "the organization of the political means." Nock was rediscovered by Walter Grinder and his book was republished in 1973 with a lengthy introduction by him in order to bring CLCA to the attention of a new generation of scholars.
Alexander Rüstow (1885–1963)
Alexander Rüstow (1885–1963) was a German sociologist and economist who was one of the founders of "neoliberalism" and was active along with Walter Eucken in the German post-war "social market economy" movement. He wrote his major work Ortsbestimmung der Gegenwart (1950–57) (translated into English in a condensed form and entitled Freedom and Domination (1980)) while living in exile in Turkey where he taught at the University of Istanbul between 1933–1949. The theme of his book was the conflict between "freedom" and "domination" within Western civilisation which dated back to the formation of the earliest states through conquest of one group of people by another. One of his key ideas concerned the nature of "overlordship" and "die Uberlagerung" (superstratification) (Freedom and Domination, pp. 5 ff.) whereby a particular historical ruling class emerged through the combination or "layering" of leaders who came from two opposing social structures, one set coming from communal or confederative arrangements (which were largely voluntary and emerged from the ground up) and another set coming from arrangements based upon domination such as the military or the priestly class (which were based upon coercion and imposed from the top down). History is filled then with struggles between various types of states and the strata which existed within them for control, as well as ordinary people who wished to escape such domination by others. So for example there had been struggles throughout history between "a community state and a despotic state, a cooperative state and a class state, or a one-stratum and a two-strata state" (Freedom and Domination, p 50). The political goal for liberals Rüstow thought was to escape from a state which was dominated by "superstratification" to one where freedom, a classless community, and a cooperative state was the norm.
The reappearance of classical liberalism and libertarianism after the Second World war led to a rediscovery of CLCA, especially in North America, and this constitutes the sixth intellectual group we will discuss. It comprises the Austrian School and Public Choice schools of economic thought, as well as the Modern Libertarian Movement.
During WW2 Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) turned to a form of economic sociology with his writings on bureaucracy (1944), the total state (Nazism and Stalinism) (1944), and his general theory of interventionism (1940). Although he identified powerful vested interests who benefited from institutions and policies which he discussed in these works he refused to embrace the idea of "class" preferring instead to use the older term "caste" or "group interest" in his writings, believing that the word "class" had been so tainted by its use by Marxists and socialists that it should not be used by CLs, an argument he had first made in his work on Socialism (1922) and continued in Theory and History (1957). In Socialism he argued that Marx confused the notion of "class" understood as a social or economic category with "Stand" or "Estate" which was a legally privileged group (p. 216); and in Theory and History he argued that Marx erred by completely ignoring the important role played by individuals who thought, chose, and acted while "classes" as such did not (p. 76). Mises elaborated on his idea in an important essay written in 1945 "The Clash of Group Interests". Nevertheless, his use of the term "caste" and "group interest" is very much in keeping with the CLT to which Mises belonged.
The crucial factor in the rediscovery of CLCA in the modern era was the work of a group of thinkers who attended Mises' seminar at New York University and who were also members of Murray N. Rothbard's Circle Bastiat in New York City in the 1950s and 1960s. The most important members of this group were Murray Rothbard 1926–1995) himself and his close friends the historians Ralph Raico (1933–2014) (who also attended Hayek's seminar on Social Thought at the University of Chicago) and Leonard P. Liggio (1936–2016) (who was a PhD student at Fordham University).
Rothbard played the central role in what I term the "Rothbardian synthesis" which combined modern Misesian Austrian economic theory; the older tradition of CLCA, especially the work of the early 19th century French CLs Comte, Dunoyer, Benjamin Contant, and Bastiat, as well as the 19th century American political theorist John C. Calhoun; the early 20th century thinkers Franz Oppenheimer and Albert Jay Nock; and 1960s New Left historians such as Gabriel Kolko and Ronald Radosh. Rothbard was assisted by Raico who was interested in the French CLs, especially Benjamin Constant on whom he wrote his PhD; and Liggio who was interested in the work of Comte and Dunoyer, on whom he wrote an unfinished PhD, as well as the anti-war movement which was active in NYC in the 1960s. Both Liggio and Rothbard attempted to link the emerging libertarian movement with the New Left believing that they shared similar views in opposing the war and empire, and their class analysis of American history and current political events. This they did in a journal they edited called appropriately Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought (1965–1968) in which Rothbard presented a clear statement of his views on class in the introductory essay "Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty" (1965) in which he described history as a "race" or struggle between the "Old Order" (or feudalism) which was controlled by "the ruling classes" who imposed "tyranny, exploitation, stagnation, fixed caste, and hopelessness and starvation for the bulk of the population" (p. 8), and the new liberal order of free markets and "the producers in society (including free businessmen, workers, peasants, etc.)."
Liggio also wrote two very important essays in Left and Right in which he applied CLCA to American history and contemporary politics in original and innovative ways. In an essay about post-war American anti-communism, "Why the Futile Crusade?" (Spring 1965) he situates it in the broader context of "the class conflict between European peoples and their rulers, between the exploited and the exploiters" (p. 28); and in "Palefaces or Redskins: A Profile of Americans" (Autumn 1966) he epitomizes the American experience as the efforts of "the political Redskins, the mass of the American people" (p. 347) who have fled oppression and feudalism in Europe in order to find peace, freedom and prosperity in the New World, and "the Palefaces (who) represent those who seek to emulate the aristocratic society of Europe, that is, the ways of feudalism upon which the European ruling classes are based" (pp. 347–48).
Also in 1965 Rothbard wrote another essay summarizing his views on class and the state, "Anatomy of the State" which he would largely repeat in his popular summary of the libertarian worldview in the chapter on "The State" in For a New Liberty (1973). In the latter Rothbard made an important refinement to Calhoun's distinction between "tax-payers" and "tax-consumers" with his idea that in the modern more complex world of the welfare state it made more sense to talk about "net" tax-payers and "net" tax-consumers" since everyone, even those who paid most of the taxes, was forced to use government roads, the postal system, and other "services" provided by the state.
He had first made this refinement in a more formal and rigorous way in the conclusion to his treatise on economics, Man, Economy, and State which had been published separately in 1970 as Power and Market. He returns to Calhoun's distinction in his discussion of the different categories of "hegemonic intervention", in particular a discussion of the particular form he calls "binary intervention" where an intervener (such as the state) compels an exchange to take place between the intervener and another person, such as conscription and income taxes. He again quotes with approval Calhoun's observation that this intervention of the state "creates" two antagonistic classes where none existed before the intervention (pp. 16–18) but rephrases him to suit his own preference for the Misesian term and so refers to the two groups so created as "the taxpaying caste" and the "tax-consuming caste" where the former group receives" net subsidies". Rothbard concludes by saying the state intervention inevitably leads to "caste conflict, coercion, and exploitation" (p. 19).
There are two basic reasons why uniformity of income taxation is an impossible goal. The first stems from the very nature of the State. We have seen, when discussing Calhoun's analysis, that the State must separate society into two classes, or castes: the taxpaying caste and the tax-consuming caste. The tax consumers consist of the full-time bureaucracy and politicians in power, as well as the groups which receive net subsidies, i.e., which receive more from the government than they pay to the government. These include the receivers of government con-tracts and of government expenditures on goods and services produced in the private sector. It is not always easy to detect the net subsidized in practice, but this caste can always be conceptually identified. (Power and Market, p. 75)
Rothbard would later use libertarian CA to discuss in considerable detail the nature of the political and economic elites who controlled the modern American state in several essays and books (some co-edited with New Left historians), such as ""War Collectivism in World War I" and "Herbert Hoover and the Myth of Laissez-Faire" (both 1972), and "From Hoover to Roosevelt: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Elites" (2002).
With the assistance of Liggio Rothbard also used CLCA in his history of the American Revolution, the multi-volume Conceived in Liberty (1975–1979). He saw the revolution as truly "radical" in nature where opponents of the existing imperial and colonial governments reacted against "increased oppression by the existing State apparatus" (p. 1,555) both internal ("Tory elites" and "internal oligarchs") and external (the British Empire). It should be noted that even at this stage Rothbard was still a bit hesitant about using the phrase "class conflict" (which he put in quotes) preferring to use the Misesian term "caste" in many cases, or terms like "a ruling oligarchy" or "the privileged clique" or a "ruling caste" (p. 95). He addressed his theoretical concerns about the more commonly used Marxist notion of class in a separate chapter in which he makes it clear that his notion of class is something that is created by actions taken by the state to privilege some at the expense of others, for example where peasants and ordinary tax-payers were at the bottom of "the state-organized pyramid" and were "exploited by the ruling groups" (p. 250). Using another example of merchants in colonial America the state gave privileges to "particular merchants or groups of merchants" and it was this action by the state which caused a "class" (or he added "caste" or "estate") to "emerge" or "to become" where none had existed before. However, by the time his History of Economic Thought appeared in 1997 Rothbard had abandoned his reticence about using the word "class" in quote marks, using instead the Misesian term "caste", and now fully embraced the word class.
The new version of CLCA which emerged from the Circle Bastiat was further explored in a series of papers given at the newly created Libertarian Scholars Conference especially at its second meeting in 1974 (Liggio, Raico, Walter Grinder, John Hagel) and its fourth in 1976 (Mark Weinberg, Joseph Salerno). Liggio presented a paper on Charles Dunoyer's theory of class which was based upon his unfinished PhD which drew detailed and positive responses from Raico and Salerno, and another paper which went deeper into French CLCA by Mark Weinburg who also discusses the contributions of Jean-Baptiste Say, Destutt de Tracy, and Augustin Thierry. The interest in French CLCA continued with the Center for Libertarian Studies publishing translations of essays by Augustin Thierry on "Industrialism" and Gustave de Molinari on "The Production of Security" (i.e. the private provision of police and defense services). The latter was the inspiration for my first research into Molinari's political thought which was written in 1979 and published by the Journal of Libertarian Studies in 1981, and which I have pursued until today.
Rothbard's synthesis of Austrian economics and CLCA inspired two younger scholars, Walter Grinder and John Hagel, to take his ideas further with an Austrian-inspired class analysis of "state capitalism" which was also presented as a paper at the 1974 Libertarian Scholars Conference, "Toward a Theory of State Capitalism: Ultimate Decision-Making and Class Structure" (1974) with two follow up papers the following year at the Symposium on Austrian Economics on "From Laissez-Faire to Zwangswirtschaft: The Dynamics of Interventionism" (1975) and (unsigned but probably by Hagel) "Towards a Theory of State Capitalism: Imperialism - The Highest Stage of Interventionism" (1975). Their aim was to understand where the "key locus of ultimate decision-making" was located (the central bank which controlled money and interest rates), how different groups (both business and political elites) went about trying to control this institution, and what the consequences for the broader economy were. The Austrian economic insight which drove this analysis was Mises' insight that "Interventionism" was inherently unstable and hence those who attempted to maintain the system for their own benefit were doomed to keep resorting to additional interventions in a futile attempt to keep the system functioning.
Since the rediscovery of CLCA by Rothbard and the Circle Bastiat there have been other writers in the CL or libertarian tradition who have used CA in their work, which we briefly discuss below.
Robert Higgs is an economic historian and a Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, Oakland, CA. In his book Crisis and Leviathan (1987) examines the dynamics behind the growth of the modern American state in the 20th century. He does not adopt an explicitly CL theory of class but frequently refers to "elites", private vested interests in government , business, and lobby groups of various kinds, against which he contrasts "the masses". What is perhaps unique is his stress on the idea "that the government has substantial autonomy in its policy-making" (p. 63) and "that governmental officiais may have and act upon interests of their own, interests not necessarily representative of or in accordance with those of any nongovernmental group." And further:
To assume that the government has substantial autonomy is not to suppose that officiais can do anything they please. They face many constraints, which political scientists have studied in detail. Nor does my assumption have any necessarily conspiratorial or malevolent connotations. Public officiais may act as they do for the noblest as well as the basest of reasons. It would be naive not to recognize that some form of self-interest enters their calculations, but one need not-and probably should not-assume that narrow material or political self-interest alone impels them. Some governmental officiais may act in pursuit of their ideology’s conception of the public interest. In doing so they act autonomously to the extent that their conceptions diverge from those of people outside the government. (p. 63)
It is the interplay of self-interest, ideology, and the reactions to systemic crises like war or economic depression by business interests, elected politicians, the permanent government bureaucracy, and the voters which Higgs explores in his book.
Roy Childs edited two important Libertarian magazines in the 1970s and 1980s Libertarian Review (1977–1981) and Laissez Faire Books ( 1984–1992) for which he wrote many book reviews introducing CLCA to their readers. He also wrote two significant pamphlets, "Big Business and the Rise of American Statism" (1971) and "Liberty Against Power: An Introduction to the Traditions, Ideas and Promises of Libertarianism" (1975). In the former he rejected the Randian pro-Big Business perspective and adapted New Left interpretations of business involvement in seeking regulations in order to hamper their competition as developed by Gabriel Kolko and James Weinstein. He concluded that "big businessmen (have been) the fountainheads of American statism." In the more polemical "Liberty Against Power" (1975) he placed his theory of CA in a broader historical perspective where there was a centuries long struggle between "Liberty and Power" in general and conflict between "the rulers" and "the ruled" in particular.
David Osterfeld taught political science at St. Joseph's College, Renselaer College, Indiana. He rejected Rothbard's use of the term "class analysis", preferring the older Misesian notion of "caste." This was because "class is characterized by movement between economic and social groups; a caste is characterized by the absence of such movement" ("Marxism, Method, and Mercantilism,"p. 173.). In his analysis of communist societies Osterfeld believes there is a more rigid "ruling caste" which controls those societies, whereas in western democracies there is a more flexible and open "ruling elite" which exerts predominant influence in those societies.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has applied Austrian economic theory to the development of what he has called "Austrian exploitation theory" (pp. 59 ff.) which is based on the idea that any claim to property which is not based on "the homesteading principle" of just acquisition is a form of exploitation of one person by another. In his theory, exploitation occurs "whenever a person claims partial or full control over scarce resources which he has not homesteaded, saved, or produced, and which he has not acquired contractually from a previous producer-owner" (p. 60). When exploiters come together to create an organization to protect and further their joint interests governments and states are created and the leaders of this "exploitation firm" is called "the ruling class." Alliances between the state and large businesses are forged for mutual benefit, as the state gets access to the "financial power" firms have, and firms are interested in using the state to get "special protection" with from the state itself and from their competitors in the market (p. 66).
Roderick Long is a philosopher at the University of Alabama. Long distinguishes between two sub-classes within the ruling elite, namely "those who actually hold political office within the state, and those who influence the state from the private sector". He calls members of the former group "the statocratic class, or statocracy" and the members of the latter group "the plutocratic class, or plutocracy" and discusses the various versions of CA which might follow from four different power relations between the two classes: the Statocracy-Only position, the Plutocracy-Only position, the Statocracy-Dominant position ,the Plutocracy-Dominant position, and the Neither-Dominant position. Long criticizes Ayn Rand for her Statocracy-Only position and for ignoring the power of business lobbying government for favors. His preferred position is a modification which he calls "the Statocracy-Mostly-Dominant" position where "patronage appears to be an effective tool for maintaining class privilege even in the absence of a powerful state".
Gary Chartier (1966-), a legal scholar and philosopher at La Sierra University, Riverside, California, and Jayme Lemke have both observed that the growth of the regulatory-cum-administrative state has meant that state benefits can't all be seen in terms of cash transfers ("tax dollars") from one group to another. The result of this mass or regulation is that there are now multiple sources of class privilege which can harm some and benefit others (such as regulations about occupational licensing). Class structures should instead be conceived as complex systems in which power and privilege can vary across social groups in many different ways simultaneously depending on what kind of rules are in place and how those rules are interpreted and applied. Considering class structure in this way puts the focus on bureaucratic and administrative rules and how they affect different groups of people.
Jayme Lemke is a Senior Research Fellow and Associate Director of Academic and Student Programs at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. She argues that a key insight of Austrian economic theory, namely methodological individualism, is not violated by incorporating CA into a broader Austrian economic framework. She begins by examining the rules and incentives which exist in social and political institutions, in particular rules which apply to some individuals but not others, rules which are constructed in such a way as to make make movement in or out of the institution or group difficult and costly, and where some groups or institutions wield authority over others. As an example of preferential rules Lemke cites those which apply specially to a particular gender or race and not equally to all, where "different groups of people often face different institutional structures based on gender, ethnicity, place of birth, religion, occupation, or other observable external characteristics." (p. 188)
Beginning in the 1960s the Pubic Choice school led by James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, applied their version of free market economics to the study of rent-seeking, the politics of bureaucracy, the "Leviathan" state, and the "Exploitative State" without adopting an explicit class interpretation. They did not use the language of CA in their work, perhaps thinking that it smacked too much of Marxism or that it might compromise their "value free" approach to economics. Their interpretation of politics was that was just a series of ad hoc acts of rent seeking by particular vested interest groups, whereas the word "class" suggested something that has become more permanent, institutionalised, or systematized in nature. The question one might ask is, how long does it take before the institutions of the welfare-warfare state and the vested interests who control them and benefit from them become a "class"?
Nevertheless, their work fits in very well with CLCA but has not yet been fully incorporated into it. The work of Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. and Robert D. Tollison on mercantilism as a "rent-seeking society" (1981) and the Christian church as a monopoly provider of religious services (1996, 2011) should be noted.
Two other libertarian economists who also reject the use of the term "class" and prefer to talk about "vested interests" who engage in rent-seeking are David Friedman and Anthony de Jasay.
There has also been an interesting contribution by Margaret Levi in 1988 who applied a Rational Choice perspective to an analysis of the state and class rule which she appropriately called "predatory rule" which is compatible with mid–19thC CL theories of class. She argues that "rulers" are rational and self-interested actors who attempt to maximise "state revenue production" in order to extend their rule and to enhance their ability "to elaborate the institutions of the state, to bring more people within the domain of those institutions, and to increase the number and variety of the collective goods provided through the state" (p. 2). They have to operate within various "constraints" on their bargaining power with other actors, and face certain "transaction costs" in negotiating agreements on the policies they wish to pursue and the costs of implementing those policies. What is of interest to CLs is her support for the idea of methodological individualism in order to explain the behaviour of "rulers" - hence her call "to bring the people back in" to the analysis. However, she does not share a CL notion of what constitutes "exploitation" and concludes that "rulers are predatory in that they try to extract as much revenue as they can from the population … but this does not imply that they are necessarily exploitative" (p. 3).
Mançur Lloyd Olson (1932–1998) was an economist who taught at the University of Maryland, College Park and worked on institutional economics and public goods theory. In 1993 he developed an influential theory about the origin of governments, arguing that in the absence of a state "roving bandits" have an incentive to steal as much as they can from peasants and farmers before moving on to return at some future date to do it again. "Stationary bandits" learn that if they remain and settle among the peasants and farmers and only take enough to satisfy their immediate needs and leave a small surplus for the farmers and peasants to continue to produce they will maximise their "long term" opportunities for looting and plundering. Hence, the "stationary bandits" become an early form of the state which offers "protection" to the peasants and farmers from other roving bandits and a guarantee of steady, more limited, and predictable looting from themselves.
Olson and those whom he inspired do not use the term "class" in their rather abstract and formal analysis of these relationships, preferring instead to talk about "bandits" or "rulers" and not going into too much specific or historical detail about exactly what kind of groups, families, parties, or associations have engaged in this kind of activity now or in the past. However the similarity with the things Herbert Spencer and Gustave de Molinari were arguing in the 1870s and 1880s is striking. Olson himself applied his theory to the study of dictatorships and others to the study of warlordism in the Third World.
Angelo Codevilla (1943-) is professor emeritus of international relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. In 2010 he wrote a provocative essay from a conservative perspective about America's "ruling class" in reaction to the events following the bail-out of the large banks in 2008–9 which he believed was an act of desperation on their part to save the "system" from which they benefited enormously from collapse. These actions however brought the existence of this "class" to the attention of the public in a very dramatic and clear fashion. Codevilla considers this "ruling class" to be "political" in the sense that its members have a common background in jobs in government and the large administrative bureaucracies and share many cultural traits as a result of similar educational backgrounds and political views.
He contrasts this small group of "rulers" with the majority of the rest of the country, which he calls "the Country class" which is the heterogeneous collection of everybody else in the country who is not part of the ruling class. What they share in common is a belief in "marriage, children, and religious practice" and a desire to be left alone by the "ruling class". Since the two classes are so different Codevilla believes there is and will continue to be a "momentous class" between the two, perhaps even "revolutionary" one, the outcome of which he is uncertain.
[to add later]
In the 1980s Marxist inspired social theorists began to realise the inadequacies of traditional Marist notions of class for explaining the new kinds of states and policies which had been emerging in the post-World War Two period, especially the more activist policies inspired by Keynesian economic theories . Historical sociologists like Theda Skocpol (1947-) at Harvard began to argue that the state was an "autonomous actor" with its own interests and was not just a "reflection" of the dominant social class ("the capitalists"). Thus, her call "to bring the state back in" to the discussion,  something which had always remained central to CL theories of CA. In her own work on revolutions and in anthologies of research essays she edited she urged a more "state-centered" approach (p. 7) which would give due recognition to the interests and power wielded by non-capitalist "vested political interests" (p. 26) (such as working class political parties) and "an autonomous administrative state" (p. 26) which pursued political agendas often at odd with the desires of traditional "ruling classes."
Charles Tilly (1929–2008) professor of history and sociology at Columbia University was also part of this movement which rediscovered the importance of the state. In his own anthology which he edited The Formation of National States in Western Europe (1975) and in an essay in the above mentioned Skocpol anthology, "War Making and State Making as Organized Crime" (1979), he argued that states were "made" as a result of waging war with each other and that they operated as a "protection racket" or organised crime on a very large scale. These "racketeer governments" (p. 171) sought to make profits through the use of "legitimate" violence by which they "extracting" wealth from the citizens they ruled over. He expanded these ideas into a book Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1990 (1990) where he summarized his position with the aphorism "war made the state, and the state made war".
In order to make his points Tilly had to largely abandon the traditional Marxist theory of "social class" and use a much more flexible set of terms which focussed on a person's political role and the political or military power they wielded, such as the following:
a ruler summing up the joint decision-making of a state’s most powerful officers; a ruling class allied with the ruler and controlling major means of production within the territory under the state’s jurisdiction; other clients enjoying special benefits from their association with the state; opponents, enemies, and rivais of the state, its ruler, its ruling class, and its clients, both within and outside the state’s own area; the remainder of the population falling under the state’s jurisdiction; a coercive apparatus including armies, navies, and other organized, concentrated means of force that operate under the state’s control; and the civilian apparatus of the state, consisting especially of distinctive fiscal, administrative, and judicial organizations that operate under its control. (Coercion, Capital, and European States, pp. 34–35.)
For both Skocpol and Tilly both would have benefitted from the use of CLCA with its more political interpretation of class than trying to continue to work within the older and deeply flawed Marxist "social" perspective of class which largely ignored the important "autonomous" role of the state and the self-interested "classes" which worked in it and for it.
[to add later]
when does a "vested interest" become a "class"? how many decades of membership and benefits?
Things which help shape a class:
is there a conflict between methodological individualism and the idea of group behavior / sociology?
the relationship between ideas and interests and actions
identifying the important institutions of the sate / society / the economy and understanding who controls them and how and for what purpose
the psychology of those who give orders and those who obey
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Gareth Stedman Jones, Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History 1832–1982 (Cambridge University Press, 1983).
Gareth Stedman Jones, “Elusive Signiﬁers: 1848 and the Language of 'Class Struggle’,” The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought, ed. Douglas Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 429–51.
Gordon Tullock, The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004–5), vol. 5. The Rent-Seeking Society (LF, 2005); vol. 6. Bureaucracy (LF, 2005), and vol. 8. The Social Dilemma of Autocracy, Revolution, Coup d'Etat, and War (LF, 2005).
[Tilly] The Formation of National States in Western Europe, ed. Charles Tilly (Princeton University Press, 1975).
Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1990 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990).
Mark Weinburg, "The Social Analysis of Three Early 19th Century French Liberals: Say, Comte, and Dunoyer," Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1978, vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 45–63.
James Weinstein, The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968).
Ronald Wintrobe, "Dictatorship," The Encyclopedia of Public Choice. Editors Charles K. Rowley and Friedrich Schneider (New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004), vol. 1, pp. 77–90.
James Mill, "The State of the Nation," The London Review, (April, 1835), in Social Class and State Power (2018), p. 63. ↩
By "proto-liberal" we mean thinkers who share many of the ideas of what later would become known in the 19th century as "classical liberalism" such as belief in the value of individual liberty, property rights, the rule of law, free markets, free trade, and very limited government or even no government at all, and opposition to the use of coercion to acquire property or legal privileges for one group at the expence of others, but who did not call themselves liberals. Most modern-day libertarians regard themselves as being the continuation and hence part of the CLT. ↩
On this "other", non-Marxist tradition of thinking about class see the anthology of texts Social Class and State Power: Exploring an Alternative Radical Tradition, ed. David M. Hart, Gary Chartier, Ross Miller Kenyon, and Roderick T. Long (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018). See also the Liberty Matters discussion: David M. Hart, "Classical Liberalism and the Problem of Class" (Nov. 2016), "Liberty Matters" online discussion forum, the Online Library of Liberty http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/lm-class. ↩
On Marx's intellectual debt to the CLs see Ralph Raico, "Classical Liberal Roots of the Marxist Doctrine of Classes" (1988, 1992) in Requiem for Marx, edited by Yuri N. Maltsev, (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1992), pp. 189–220; and Tom G. Palmer, "Classical Liberalism, Marxism, and the Conflict of Classes: The Classical Liberal Theory of Class Conflict" in Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice (Washington, DC: Cato Institute, 2009), pp. 255–75. ↩
In "Letter to Joseph Weydemeyer" (5 March 1852), in MECW Volume 39, p. 58. ↩
There has been a recent attempt to argue that Marx had a much broader understanding of class than a purely economic one based upon the payment of wages and that he actually talked frequently about "class struggles" which included struggles for national independence (such as Ireland and Poland) and gender equality. See Domenico Losurdo, Class Struggle: A Political and Philosophical History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). ↩
Karl Marx, Capital. A Critique of Political Economy. Volume Three. Introduced by Ernest Mandel. Translated by David Fernbach (New Left Review, 1981; Penguin Books, 1991), vol. 3 Chapter 52: Classes, pp. 1,025–26. See also Stedman Jones, “Elusive Signiﬁers: 1848 and the Language of 'Class Struggle’,” The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought, ed. Douglas Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 448–49. ↩
Karl Marx, The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoléon (1852) in Karl Marx: Surveys from Exile: Political Writings, Volume II, David Fernbach, ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 1974). ↩
Ludwig Bamberger, "Socialisme d'état" (1890), in Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Économie Politique, publié sur la direction de M. Léon Say et de M. Joseph Chailley. Deuxième édition (Paris: Librairie de Guillaumin et Cie, 1900). 1st ed. 1890. Vol. 2, pp. 866–882. ↩
Yves Guyot, La Tyrannie socialiste (Paris : C. Delagrave, 1893); English translation The Tyranny of Socialism, ed. J.H. Levy (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1894); and Sophismes socialistes et faits économiques (Paris: F. Alcan, 1908); English translation Socialistic Fallacies (London: Cope and Fenwick, 1910). ↩
Paul Leroy-Beaulieu, Le Collectivisme, examen critique du nouveau socialisme (Paris: Guillaumin, 1884); English translation Collectivism: A Study of some of the leading Questions of the Day, trans. Sir Arthur Clay (London: John Murray, 1908); and L'État moderne et ses fonctions (Paris: Guillaumin, 1890); English translation The Modern State in Relation to Society and the Individual (London: Swan Sonnenschein, 1891). ↩
See also Gegen den Staatssocialismus, drei Abhandlungen von Ludwig Bamberger, Theodor Barth, Max Broemel (Berlin : L. Simion, 1884). ↩
Mackay edited two collections of anti-socialist writings aimed at the growing Fabian socialist movement in England: A Plea for Liberty: An Argument against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation, consisting of an Introduction by Herbert Spencer and Essays by Various Writers, edited by Thomas Mackay. Foreword by Jeffrey Paul (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981) and A Policy of Free Exchange. Essays by Various Writers on the Economical and Social Aspects of Free Exchange and Kindred Subjects, edited by Thomas Mackay (New York: D. Appleton and Co., 1894). ↩
Herbert Spencer, The Man versus the State (1884) in The Man versus the State, with Six Essays on Government, Society and Freedom, ed. Eric Mack, introduction by Albert Jay Nock (Indianapolis: LibertyClassics, 1981) and his preface to Thomas Mackay, A Plea for Liberty: An Argument against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation, consisting of an Introduction by Herbert Spencer and Essays by Various Writers, edited by Thomas Mackay (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981). ↩
Auberon Herbert, The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State, and Other Essays, ed. Eric Mack (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1978). ↩
Eugen Richter, Sozialdemokratische Zukunftsbilder. Frei nach Bebel (Berlin: Fortschritt Aktiengesellschaft, 1891); English translation Pictures of the Socialistic Future (Freely adapted from Bebel), trans. Henry Wright, Introduction by Thomas Mackay (London: Swan Sonnenschein & Co., 1907). ↩
Charles Fairfield, "State Socialism in the Antipodes" in Mackay, A Plea for Liberty and J. W. Fortescue, "State Socialism and the Collapse in Australia" in Mackay, A Policy of Free Exchange. ↩
Molinari, "Le XXe siècle," Journal des économistes, S. 5, T. 49, N° 1, janvier 1902, pp. 5–14. ↩
Franz Oppenheimer, The State: Its History and Development viewed Sociologically, authorized translation by John M. Gitterman (New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1922). First edition 1912. Quote p. 237. ↩
See among other pieces Bastiat's “The Law” (June 1850), in CW2, pp. 107–46. ↩
On the language and "rhetoric" of class in the Marxist and socialist traditions see the following by Stedman Jones and Sewell: Thomas H. Sewell, Work and Revolution in France: the Language of Labor from the Old Regime to 1848 (Cambridge University Press, 1980); Gareth Stedman Jones, Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History 1832–1982 (Cambridge University Press, 1983); and Gareth Stedman Jones, “Elusive Signiﬁers: 1848 and the Language of 'Class Struggle’,” The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought, ed. Douglas Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones (Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. 429–51. ↩
I have attempted to reconstruct Bastiat's theory of "plunder" and class in several papers related to the Liberty Fund's translation program of his Collected Works. See in particular "Bastiat on the The Law and Legal Plunder" (Nov. 2018) and "Functionaryism and the Functionary Class" (March, 2019) (both unpublished). ↩
The idea of a "class struggle" between the rulers and the rulers was also part of CLCA . Bastiat used the term "la lutte" (fight or struggle) between classes in a letter to Madame Cheuvreux in June 1850 in which he talks about historical periods of struggle between classes being separated by periods of truce (la trève). See "176. Letter to Mme. Cheuvreux," (23 June, 1850) (CW1, pp. 251–52). ↩
See their journal Le Censeur européen (1815–1819), Dunoyer, L'Industrie et la morale (1825), Comte, Traité de la législation (1827). ↩
See chapters V-VI, XV-XVII, XXVI-XXVII. ↩
See, Comte, "De la multiplication des pauvres, des gens à places, et des gens à pensions," CE (March, 1818); and Dunoyer, L'Industrie et la morale (1825), Chap. VIII. "Du degré de liberté qui est compatible avec la vie des peuples qui n'ont pas de privilèges, mais chez qui tout est emporté vers la recherche des places." ↩
See the discussion on the profitability of slave labour in Say, TEP, Book 1, chap. XIX, "Des Colonies et de leurs produits," Economica ed. vol. 1, pp. 409 ff. ↩
Henri Frédéric Storch, Cours d'économie politique, ou exposition des principes qui déterminent la prospérité des nations. Ouvrage qui a servi à l'instruction de LL. AA. II. les grands-ducs Nicolas et Michel, ed. J.-B. Say (Paris: J.-P. Aillaud, 1823), 4 vols. ↩
Simonde de Sismondi, "Des effets de l'esclavage sur la race humaine," Études sur l'économie politique , vol. 2 (Paris: Treuttel et Würtz, 1837). ↩
See the bibliography in the translation of Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare (Conversations on Saint Lazarus Street), ed. David M. Hart (Liberty Fund, forthcoming). ↩
John Elliott Cairnes, The Slave Power: Its Character, Career, and Probable Designs: Being an Attempt to explain the Real Issues involved in the American Conflict. Second Edition. (New York: Carleton, 1862). Especially Chap. III. "Internal Organization of Slave Societies, " pp. 46–63; and Chap. V. "Internal Development of Slave Societies," pp. 77–92. ↩
Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War. Second Edition (Chicago: Open Court, 2014). 1st ed. 1996. ↩
Thierry, Essai sur l'histoire de la formation et des progrès du Tiers État (Paris: Furne, 1853); English translation The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France, translated from the French by the Rev. Francis B. Wells, Two volumes in One (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1859). ↩
Molinari, "Villes," DEP T. 2, pp. 833–38; "Noblesse," DEP T2, pp. 259–62; "Esclavage," DEP T. 1, pp. 712–31. The first two were translated and published in John Joseph Lalor, Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States by the best American and European Authors, ed. John J. Lalor (New York: Maynard, Merrill, & Co., 1899). "Cities and Towns" (trans. E. J. Leonard), vol. 1, pp. 468–73; "Nobility," vol. 2, pp. 1,033–39. ↩
John C. Calhoun, A Disquisition on Government (1849) in Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun, ed. Ross M. Lence (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1992) , pp. 4–78. Quote p. 18. ↩
John Wade,The Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Municipal Corporations, and Public Companies; with a Précis of the House of Commons, Past, present, and to come. A New Edition, greatly enlarged and corrected to the present time. By the Original Editor. With an Appendix (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1835). First edition 1820–23 and further enlarged editions in 1831, 1832, and 1835. ↩
See David M. Hart, Class Analysis, Slavery and the Industrialist Theory of History in French Liberal Thought, 1814–1830: The Radical Liberalism of Charles Comte and Charles Dunoyer (unpublished PhD, King’s College Cambridge, 1994); Éphraïm Harpaz, Le Censeur. Le Censeur européen. Histoire d’un Journal libéral et industrialiste (Genève: Slatkine Reprints, 2000); and Robert Leroux, Aux fondements de l’industrialisme : Comte, Dunoyer et la pensée libérale en France (Paris: Editions Hermann, 2015). ↩
Charles Dunoyer, L'Industrie et la morale considérées dans leurs rapports avec la liberté (Paris: A. Sautelet et Cie, 1825). ↩
Say gave a course of lectures at the Athénée in 1819 and the Conservatoire des arts et métiers in 1820. See, Jean-Baptiste Say , Oeuvres complètes IV. Leçons d'économie Politique Ed. Gilles Jacob and Philippe Steiner (Paris: Economica, 2003). ↩
Dunoyer, L’Industrie et la morale, p. 366–7, fn 1. ↩
Molinari, L'évolution politique et la Révolution, pp. 391–92. ↩
Augustin Thierry, Histoire de la Conquête de l’Angleterre par les Normands (Paris: Didot, 1825); English translation History of the Conquest of England by the Normans; Its Causes, and its Consequences, in England, Scotland, Ireland, & on the Continent, translated from the seventh Paris edition, by William Hazlitt (London: H.G. Bohn, 1856). 2 vols. ↩
The rights of "freeborn Englishmen" were asserted in many Leveller pamphlets such as John Lilburne, Englands Birth-Right Justified Against all Arbitrary Usurpation, whether Regall or Parliamentary, or under what Vizor soever (8 October 1645). See also Rachel Foxley, The Levellers: Radical Political Thought in the English Revolution (Manchester, 2013). ↩
Etienne de la Boétie, Oeuvres complètes d'Éstienne de la Boétie, publiées Avec Notice biographique, Variantes, Notes et Index par Paul Bonnefon (Paris: J. Rouam, 1892), "Discours de la servitude volontaire," pp. 1–57. Translated as Etienne de la Boetie, The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude. Introduction by Murray N. Rothbard. Translated by Harry Kurz (New York: Free Life Editions, 1975). ↩
See for example Richard Overton, The Frogges of Egypt, or the Caterpillers of the Commonwealth (August, 1641) and Anon., A Dialogue betwixt a Horse of Warre and a Mill-Horse (2 January, 1644). ↩
Thomas Gordon and John Trenchard, Cato's Letters, or Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, and Other Important Subjects. Four volumes in Two, edited and annotated by Ronald Hamowy (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1995). ↩
See for example No. 16. John Trenchard, "On the Nature of Political Parties" (Feb. 11, 1721); No. 17. John Trenchard, “On wicked and desperate Ministers” (Feb. 18, 1721); No. 33. Thomas Gordon, “On the natural Encroachments of Power” (June 17, 1722); No. 72. Thomas Gordon, “On Government as a Gradation of Tyrants” (April 7, 1722); and No. 96. Thomas Gordon, "On the Behaviour of Political Parties in and out of Power" (Sept. 29, 1722). ↩
Caroline Robbins, The Eighteenth-Century Commonwealthman: Studies in the Transmission, Development, and Circumstance of English Liberal Thought from the Restoration of Charles II until the War with the Thirteen Colonies (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2004). ↩
A history of the four-stage theory can be found in Ronald L. Meek, Social Science and the Noble Savage (Cambridge University Press, 1976). ↩
Adam Smith, Lectures On Jurisprudence, ed. R.. L. Meek, D. D. Raphael and P. G. Stein, vol. V of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982). Henceforth LoJ. ↩
Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, ed. D.D. Raphael and A.L. Macfie, vol. I of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1982). Henceforth TMS. ↩
Adam Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations,Vol. I and II, ed. R. H. Campbell and A. S. Skinner, vols. II and III of the Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981). Henceforth WoN. ↩
All citations are to the Glasgow edition: TMS, VI.ii.2.7, p. 230. ↩
Adam Smith, Lectures On Jurisprudence, Chapter: Tuesday. March. 8th. 1763. ↩
Adam Ferguson,An Essay on the History of Civil Society, 5th ed. (London: T. Cadell, 1782). Henceforth HCS. ↩
See Rothbard's Introduction to The Turgot Collection. Writings, Speeches, and Letters of Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune. Edited by David Gordon (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2011), pp. ix-xxv. ↩
"Réflexions sur la formation et le distribution des richesses," Oeuvres de Turgot et documents le concernant. Gustave Schelle (ed.) (Paris: Institut Coppet, 2018), vol. 2, pp. 472–530; "Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth", The Turgot Collection. Writings, Speeches, and Letters of Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune. Edited by David Gordon (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2011), pp. 5–65. See also "Reflections on the Formation and Distribution of Wealth (1766)," in The Economics of A.R.J. Turgot. Edited and translated with an Introduction by P.D. Groenewegen (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1977), pp. 43–95. ↩
"Plan de deux discours sur l'histoire universelle" (c. 1751), Oeuvres de Turgot, vol. 1, pp. 248–67; "On Universal History," The Turgot Collection, pp. 347–7.] ↩
"Observations du Garde des Sceaux (de Miromesnil) et Réponses de Turgot (1776)", Oeuvres, vol. 5, p. 167. ↩
John Millar, The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks; or, An Inquiry into the Circumstances which give rise to Influence and Authority in the Different Members of Society, edited and with an Introduction by Aaron Garrett (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2006). Henceforth ODR. ↩
"Paper Aristocracy" (1804) in William Cobbett, Selections from Cobbett's Political Works: being a complete abridgement of the 100 volumes which comprise the writings of "Porcupine" and the "Weekly political register." With notes, historical and explanatory. By John M. Cobbett and James P. Cobbett. (London, Ann Cobbett, 1835), vol. 1, pp. 441 ff. ↩
William Cobbett, Paper against Gold and Glory against Prosperity. Or, An Account of the Rise, Progress, Extent, and Present State of the Funds and of the Paper-Money of Great Britain; and also of the Situation of that Country as to its Debt and other Expenses; its Taxes, Population, and Paupers; drawn from authentic Documents, and brought down to the end of the Year 1814. In two vols. (London: J. McCreery, 1815). ↩
William Cobbett, "The Royal Family of England", Cobbett's Weekly Political Register, Feb. 10, 1816, vol. XXX, no. 6, pp. 161–75. Quoted in Kevin Gilmartin, Print Politics: The Press and Radical Opposition in Early Nineteenth-Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996). p. 165. ↩
John Wade,The Black Book: An Exposition of Abuses in Church and State, Courts of Law, Municipal Corporations, and Public Companies; with a Précis of the House of Commons, Past, present, and to come. A New Edition, greatly enlarged and corrected to the present time. By the Original Editor. With an Appendix (London: Effingham Wilson, Royal Exchange, 1835). ↩
These can all be found in Jeremy Bentham, The Works of Jeremy Bentham, published under the Superintendence of his Executor, John Bowring (Edinburgh: William Tait, 1838–1843). 11 vols. ↩
These can all be found in James Mill, The Political Writings of James Mill: Essays and Reviews on Politics and Society, 1815–1836, ed. David M. Hart (Liberty Fund, 2013). ↩
See, Joseph Hamburger, Intellectuals in Politics: John Stuart Mill and the Philosophic Radicals (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965). ↩
An entire volume of his Collected Works is devoted to Mill's writings on French history and politics. See John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XX - Essays on French History and Historians, ed. John M. Robson, Introduction by John C. Cairns (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1985). ↩
The Subjection of Women (1869) in John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXI - Essays on Equality, Law, and Education, ed. John M. Robson, Introduction by Stefan Collini (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984). Henceforth SoW. ↩
John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume II - The Principles of Political Economy with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy (Books I-II), ed. John M. Robson, introduction by V.W. Bladen (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965) and The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume III - The Principles of Political Economy with Some of Their Applications to Social Philosophy (Books III-V and Appendices), ed. John M. Robson, Introduction by V.W. Bladen (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1965). Henceforth PPE. ↩
Richard Cobden, Speeches on Questions of Public Policy by Richard Cobden, M.P., ed. by John Bright and J.E. Thorold Rogers with a Preface and Appreciation by J.E. Thorold Rogers and an Appreciation by Goldwin Smith (London: T.Fisher Unwin, 1908). 2 vols. Henceforth SQPP. ↩
See David M. Hart, "The Paris School of Liberal Political Economy" in The Cambridge History of French Thought, ed. Michael Moriarty and Jeremy Jennings (Cambridge University Press, 2019), pp. 301–12. ↩
Benjamin Constant, De la liberté des anciens comparée à celles des modernes. Discours prononcé à l'Athénée royal de Paris en 1819, in De la liberté chez les modernes. Écrits politiques, ed. Marcel Gauchet (Paris: Livre de poche, 1980), pp. 491–515. ↩
Jean-Baptiste Say, Oeuvres complètes. Vol. I. Traité d' économie politique ou simple exposition de la manière dont se forment, se distribuent et se consomment les richesses. Édition variorum des six éditions (1803–1814–1817–1819–1826–1841) établie par Claude Mouchot. Ed. André Tiran et al. (Paris: Economica, 2006). 2 vols. (Henceforth TEP1 and TEP2). Also Œuvres complètes. Vol. II. Cours Complet d'économie politique pratique. Édition variorum des deux éditions (1828–1840). Volume réalisé par Emmanuel Blanc, Pierre-Henri Goutte et Jean-Pierre Potier (Paris: Economica, 2010). 2 vols. (Henceforth CC1 and CC2). ↩
Say corrected Adam Smith, who called the soldier "un travailleur improductif" (an unproductive worker), and referred to them as engaging in "un travailleur destructif" (destructive labour). See, TEP2, p. 951. ↩
Say quotes Bentham on "des intérêts sinistres" in CC2, pp. 1,039 and 1,154. ↩
Constant, Benjamin, Les ‘Principes de Politique’ de Benjamin Constant (1806), ed. Étienne Hoffman, 2 vols, (Geneva: Droz, 1980). Translated as Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to all Governments, trans. Dennis O'Keeffe, ed. Etienne Hofmann, Introduction by Nicholas Capaldi (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003). ↩
Constant, Benjamin, Commentaire sur l’ouvrage de Filangieri (Paris: P. Dufart, 1822). And Benjamin Constant, Commentaire sur l'ouvrage de Filangieri (Paris: Institut Coppet, 2012). Translated as Benjamin Constant, Commentary on Filangieri's Work. Translated, Edited, and with an Introduction by Alan S. Kahan (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2015). References are to the Institut Coppet ePub edition, henceforth COF. ↩
See the articles by Comte: "De l'organisation sociale considérée dans ses rapports avec les moyens de subsistance des peuples," Le Censeur européen (March 1817) and "De la multiplication des pauvres, des gens à places, et des gens à pensions," CE (March, 1818); Dunoyer: "Du système de l'équilibre des puissances européennes," CE (Dec. 1816), his review of Say's Treatise in CE (January, 1817), "Considérations sur l'état présent de l'Europe, sur les dangers de cet état, et sur les moyens d'en sortir," CE (March 1817), and "De l'influence qu'exercent sur le gouvernement les salaires attachés à l'exercice des fonctions publiques," CE (February 1819); and Thierry, "T", "Des factions," CE (May 1817), and "Commentaire sur l'Esprit des lois de Montesquieu, suivi d’observations inédites de Condorcet, sur le vingt-neuvième livre du même ouvrage," CE (March 1818 ). ↩
Charles Comte, Traité de législation, ou exposition des lois générales suivant lesquelles les peuples prospèrent, dépérissent ou restent stationnaire 4 vols. (Paris: A. Sautelet et Cie, 1827). 2nd ed. 1835; and Traité de la propriété, 2 vols. (Paris: Chamerot, Ducollet, 1834). ↩
Dunoyer kept expanding his study of class for the next 25 years in a series of works beginning with L'Industrie et la morale considérées dans leurs rapports avec la liberté (Paris: A. Sautelet et Cie, 1825); Nouveau traité d'économie sociale, ou simple exposition des causes sous l'influence desquelles les hommes parviennent à user de leurs forces avec le plus de LIBERTÉ, c'est-à-dire avec le plus FACILITÉ et de PUISSANCE (Paris: Sautelet et Mesnier, 1830); and De la liberté du travail, ou simple exposé des conditions dans lesquelles les force humaines s'exercent avec le plus de puissance (Paris: Guillaumin, 1845). ↩
Bastiat's first pairing of the terms "la classe spoliatrice" (the plundering class) and "les classes spoliées" (the plundered classes) occurred in EH 17 "Services privés, services publiques" (unpublished in his lifetime but possibly written in 1849–50) and then in various similar versions in The Law (July 1850) (CW2, pp. 107–46). For a discussion see, David M. Hart, "Bastiat's Theory of Class: The Plunderers vs. the Plundered" in Further Aspects of Bastiat's Thought, in CW3, pp. 473–85. See also ES1 "Conclusion" to Economic Sophisms 1 (Nov. 1845) (CW3, pp. 104–10); ES3 6 "The People and the Bourgeoisie" (May 1847) (CW3, pp. 281–87); ES2 1 "The Physiology of Plunder" (c. 1847) (CW3, pp. 113–30); ES3 14 "Anglomania, Anglophobia" (c. 1847) CW3, pp. pp. 327–41; "Justice and Fraternity" (June 1848) (CW2, pp. 60–81); "Property and Plunder" (July 1848) (CW2, pp. 147–184); "Plunder and Law" (May 1850) (CW2, pp. 266–76); and WSWNS Chap. 3 "Taxes" (July 1850) (CW3, pp. 410–13). ↩
Introduction to Cobden et la ligue, ou l'Agitation anglaise pour la liberté du commerce (Paris: Guillaumin, 1845), pp. i-xcvi. ↩
On "social war" see "The People and the Bourgeoisie" (May 1847) (CW3, pp. 281–87) and also "Anglomania, Anglophobia" (c. 1847) (CW3, pp. pp. 327–41). ↩
Frédéric Bastiat, Harmonies économiques. 2me édition. Augmentée des manuscrits laissés par l'auteur. Publiée par la Société des amis de Bastiat (Paris: Guillaumin, 1851), p. 335. ↩
Ambroise Clément, “De la spoliation légale,” Journal des économistes, 1e juillet 1848, Tome 20, no. 83, pp. 363–74. ↩
Clément, "Fonctionnaires," in DEP (1852), vol. 1, pp. 787–89. Translated as "Functionaries," in Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political History of the United States. ed. Joseph Lalor (1899), vol. 2, pp. 317–19. ↩
Gustave de Molinari, L’évolution économique du XIXe siècle: théorie du progrès (Paris: C. Reinwald 1880); L’évolution politique et la révolution (Paris: C. Reinwald, 1884); and even later, see Économie de l’histoire: Théorie de l’Évolution (Paris: F. Alcan, 1908). ↩
"Esclavage," DEP T. 1, pp. 712–31; "Servage," DEP T. 2, pp. 610–13. ↩
"Nations", DEP T. 2, pp. 259–62. ↩
"Noblesse", DEP T2, pp. 259–62. ↩
"Paix, Guerre," DEP T. 2, pp. 307–14. ↩
"Villes", DEP T. 2, pp. 833–38. ↩
"Liberté du commerce, liberté des échanges", DEP T. 2, pp. 49–63.; and "Tarifs de douane," DEP T. 2, pp. 712–16. ↩
Gustave de Molinari, Les Révolutions et le despotisme envisagés au point de vue des intérêts matériel; précédé d’une lettre à M. le Comte J. Arrivabene, sur les dangers de la situation présente, par M. G. de Molinari, professeur d’économie politique (Brussels: Meline, Cans et Cie, 1852). ↩
In “Le XXe siècle”, Journal des Èconomistes, S. 5, T. 49, N° 1, janvier 1902, pp. 5–14. Quote p. 8. ↩
Molinari, L'évolution politique et la révolution (Paris: C. Reinwald, 1884), Chap. VII. "La politique intérieure des États modernes." ↩
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America: Historical-Critical Edition of De la démocratie en Amérique, ed. Eduardo Nolla, translated from the French by James T. Schleifer. A Bilingual French-English edition, (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2010). 4 vols.; and The Old Regime and the Revolution, trans John Bonner (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1856). ↩
Gustave de Beaumont, Ireland: Social, Political, and Religious, ed. W. C. Taylor (London: Richard Bentley, 1839). ↩
Hippolyte Taine, The Origins of Contemporary France, in 6 volumes (1878–1893). In particular his volume on the Napoleonic bureaucratic state and the rise of the interventionist state in late 19th century France: The Revolution, vol. 3 The Revolutionary Government (1883); and The Modern Regime, in 2 volumes (1890–93): The Origins of Contemporary France: The Modern Regime, vol. 1, trans. John Durand (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1890). ↩
Yves Guyot, The Tyranny of Socialism, ed. J.H. Levy (London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co., 1894); and Socialistic Fallacies (London: Cope and Fenwick, 1910). ↩
See for example Max Weber, Sociological Writings, ed. by Wolf Heydebrand (New York: Continuum, 1994), and Chap. XXIX “The Rational State” in General Economic History, trans. Frank H. Knight (New York: Greenberg, 1927). ↩
Gaetano Mosca, The Ruling Class (Elementi di Scienza Politica). Translated by Hannah D. Kahn. Edited and Revised with an Introduction by Arthur Livingston (New York; McGraw Hill, 1939). 1st ed. 1896. ↩
Herbert Spencer, The Study of Sociology (1873) and The Principles of Sociology, 3 volumes, (1876–96). References are to Herbert Spencer, The Principles of Sociology, in Three Volumes (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1898). Henceforth PoS. ↩
See PoS2, Part V Political Institutions, Chap. XVII "The Militant Type of Society" and Chap. XVIII "The Industrial Type of Society." ↩
He delved most deeply into the evolution and nature of class in the sections dealing with Domestic Institutions (1874), Ceremonial Institutions (1879), Political Institutions (1882), and Ecclesiastical Institutions (1885). ↩
"That he would be well taken care of must take care of himself," What Social Classes Owe Each Other, p. 82. ↩
PoS2, Part V Political Institutions, chap. VI Political Heads. ↩
PoS2, Part VI Ecclesiastical Institutions. ↩
PoS2, Part VIII Industrial Institutions. ↩
Gustave de Molinari, L'évolution économique du XIXe siècle: théorie du progrès (Paris: C. Reinwald 1880) and L'évolution politique et la révolution (Paris: C. Reinwald, 1884). ↩
Gustave de Molinari, Cours d'économie politique, professé au Musée royal de l'industrie belge, 2 vols. (1st ed. 1855; 2nd revised and enlarged edition Bruxelles et Leipzig: A Lacroix, Ver Broeckoven; Paris: Guillaumin, 1863). See vol. 2, pp. 524–27. ↩
Molinari, Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare; entretiens sur les lois économiques et défense de la propriété (Paris: Guillaumin, 1849), p. 91. ↩
"Nation", DEP (1853), vol. 2, pp. 259–62. ↩
"XXe Siècle", JDE, January 1902, p. 6. ↩
Molinari and Passy, De l'enseignement obligatoire (1859), p. 332. ↩
Molinari, "Le XXe siècle," JDE, T. 49, N° 1, janvier 1902, pp. 5–14. ↩
See Molinari's article "De la production de la sécurité," JDE, T. 22, no. 95, 15 February, 1849), pp. 277–90; which has been translated as Gustave de Molinari, The Production of Security, trans. J. Huston McCulloch and a Preface by Murray N. Rothbard. Occasional Papers Series #2 (Richard M. Ebeling, Editor), (New York: The Center for Libertarian Studies, May 1977); and "Soirée 11" of Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare; entretiens sur les lois économiques et défense de la propriété (Paris: Guillaumin, 1849), The 11th Soirée, pp. 303–337. ↩
His essays have been collected in William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe to Each Other, (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1911); Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, ed. Albert Galloway Keller (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1913); The Forgotten Man and Other Essays, ed. Albert Galloway Keller (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1918); War and Other Essays, ed. Albert Galloway Keller (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1919). ↩
"The Absurd Effort to Make the World Over" (1894), War and Other Essays, p. 203; and "Earth Hunger or the Philosophy of Land Grabbers" (1896), Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, pp. 37–38. ↩
"The Forgotten Man and Woman" (1883), "On the Case of a Certain Man who is never thought of" (1884), and "The Case of the Forgotten Man farther considered" (no date) in The Forgotten Man and Other Essays. ↩
"Definitions of Democracy and Plutocracy," Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, p. 294. ↩
"Democracy and Plutocracy" (1888), Earth-Hunger and Other Essays,p. 287. ↩
"The Case of the Forgotten Man farther considered" (no date), What Social Classes Owe to Each Other, p. 141 and "The Conquest of the United States by Spain" (1898), War and Other Essays, p. 299. ↩
"Earth Hunger or the Philosophy of Land Grabbing" (1896), Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, p. 46. ↩
"War" (1903), War and Other Essays, p. 30. ↩
"The Conquest of the United States by Spain" (1898), War and Other Essays, p. 326. ↩
See "Democracy and Plutocracy" (1888), "Definitions of Democracy and Plutocracy" (1888), and "The Conflict of Plutocracy and Democracy" (1889) in Earth-Hunger and Other Essays (1913). ↩
"The Conflict of Plutocracy and Democracy" (1889), Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, p. 298. ↩
"Separation of State and Market," Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, p. 310. ↩
"The Conquest of the United States by Spain" (1898), War and Other Essays, p. 323. ↩
"Separation of State and Market" (no date), Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, p. 307. ↩
"Separation of State and Market" (no date), Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, p. 310. ↩
"Democracy and Plutocracy" (1888), Earth-Hunger and Other Essays, p. 290. ↩
Vilfredo Pareto, “Un’applicazione di teorie sociologiche,” Rivista Italiana di sociologia, 1900, p. 402–456 (henceforth ATS); translated as The Rise and Fall of the Elites: An Application of Theoretical Sociology, Introduction by Hans L. Zetterberg (Totowa, N. J: Bedminster Press, 1968) (henceforth RFE). ↩
Trattato di sociologia generale (4 vols.) (Florence: G. Barbéra, 1916). See also a modern edition: Vilfredo Pareto, Trattato di Sociologia Generale. A Cura di Giovanni Busino (Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese (Novarra: UTET, 2013). Henceforth TSG. English translation: Vilfredo Pareto, The Mind and Society. Edited by Arthur Livingston. Translated by Andrew Bongiorno and Arthur Livingston with the advice and active cooperation of James Harvey Rogers (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1935). 4 vols. Henceforth M&S. Unfortunately, this edition translates "la classe" as "element" which hides Pareto's theory of class from the reader. ↩
Les systèmes socialistes 2 vols. (Paris: V. Girard & E. Brière, 1902). ↩
Franz Oppenheimer, Der Staat (Frankfurt am Main: Rütten & Loening, 1907); translated as Franz Oppenheimer, The State: Its History and Development viewed Sociologically, authorized translation by John M. Gitterman (New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1922). Republished by Free Life Editions in 1975: Franz Oppenheimer, The State. Introduction by C. Hamilton; translated by John Gitterman (New York : Free Life Editions, 1975). ↩
Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State. Including "On Doing the Right Thing". Introduction by Walter E. Grinder (New York: Free Life Editions, 1973). ↩
Albert Jay Nock, Our Enemy, the State. Including "On Doing the Right Thing". Introduction by Walter E. Grinder (New York: Free Life Editions, 1973). ↩
Alexander Rüstow, Freedom and Domination: A Historical Critique of Civilization. Abbreviated Translation from the German by Salvator Attanasio. Edited, and with an Introduction, by Dankwart A. Rustow (Princeton University Press, 1980). ↩
Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy, ed. and with a Foreword by Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2007); Interventionism: An Economic Analysis, ed, with a Foreword by Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2011); and Omnipotent Government: The Rise of the Total State and Total War, ed. with a Foreword by Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2011). ↩
Chap. 20: "The Clash of Class Interests and the Class War" in Ludwig von Mises, Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, trans. J. Kahane, Foreword by F.A. Hayek (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1981), pp. 213–28; and "The Class Struggle" in Theory and History: An Interpretation of Social and Economic Evolution, ed. Bettina Bien Greaves (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005), pp. 75–82. ↩
Ludwig von Mises, "The Clash of Group Interests" (1945) reprinted in The Clash of Group Interests and Other Essays, with a Preface by Murray N. Rothbard. Occasional Paper Series #7. (New York: The Center for Libertarian Studies, 1978), pp. 1–12. "The Clash of Group Interests" originally published in Approaches to National Unity (1945). ↩
On the Circle Bastiat see Justin Raimondo, An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (New York: Prometheus Books, 2000), pp. 81–84. ↩
Rothbard acknowledges the influence of the French liberals in vol. 1 of his History of Economic Thought (1997) which he had been working on since 1949. ↩
Ralph Raico, The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2010). ↩
Leonard P. Liggio, Dunoyer and the Bourbon Restoration of 1814–15. (Unpublished draft dissertation, Fordham University in New York City, no date). ↩
Left and Right: A Journal of Libertarian Thought. The Complete Edition, 1965–1968. Edited and largely written by Murray N. Rothbard (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007). ↩
Murray Rothbard, "Left and Right: The Prospects for Liberty", Left and Right, vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 1965, pp. 8–26. ↩
Leonard P. Liggio, "Why the Futile Crusade?," Left and Right, vol. I, no. 1, Spring 1965, pp. 27–67. ↩
Leonard P. Liggio, "Palefaces or Redskins: A Profile of Americans", Left and Right, vol. II, no. 3, Autumn 1966, pp. 344–56. ↩
Murray N. Rothbard, Anatomy of the State (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2009). Originally published in Egalitarianism as a Revolt against Nature (1974). ↩
Murray N. Rothbard, For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto. Second Edition (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2006). "The State", pp. 55–86. ↩
See For a New Liberty (2006), p. 64. ↩
Power and Market: Government and the Economy. Fourth Edition. (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2006). ↩
See MES, pp. 18–19, 175. For additional discussion of the nature of the state see his chapters 22. "The Nature of the State" and 23. "The Inner Contradictions of the State" in The Ethics of Liberty (1982, 2016), pp. 161–82. ↩
Rothbard, A New History of Leviathan. Essays on the Rise of the American Corporate State, ed. Ronald Radosh and Murray N. Rothbard (New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1972), "War Collectivism in World War I," pp. 66–110; "Herbert Hoover and the Myth of Laissez-Faire," pp. 111–45. And A History of Money and Banking in the United States: The Colonial Era to World War II. Edited with an Introduction by Jose[ph T. Salerno (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2002.) "From Hoover to Roosevelt: The Federal Reserve and the Financial Elites", pp. 259–347. ↩
Murray N. Rothbard, Conceived in Liberty. Four volumes in one. (Auburn, Alabama: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2011). First edition Arlington House 1979. ↩
Chapter 32. "Mercantilism, Merchants, and "Class Conflict"" pp. 250–52. ↩
Other examples of Rothbard's care to distinguish his CL view of class or caste from the Marxist view can be found in his discussion of the "class struggle" of Bacon's Rebellion against "certain wealthy oligarchs" who were a "ruling caste" (p. 95), that there was no "class conflict" between farmers and merchants "per se" in a market economy (p. 241), the "class or "caste" interest" of the members of the new imperial civil service (p. 346), merchants who sought "government privileges, or lucrative posts in the bureaucracy" (p. 347). ↩
Leonard P. Liggio, "Charles Dunoyer and French Classical Liberalism," Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1977, vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 153–178. ↩
Ralph Raico, "Classical Liberal Exploitation Theory: A Comment on Professor Liggio's Paper," Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 1, no. 3, (Summer, 1977), pp. 179–83; Joseph T. Salerno, "Comment on the French Liberal School," Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1978, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 65–68. ↩
Mark Weinburg, "The Social Analysis of Three Early 19th Century French Liberals: Say, Comte, and Dunoyer," Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1978, vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 45–63. ↩
Augustin Thierry, Theory of Classical Liberal "Industrialism" (New York: Center for Libertarian Studies, 1978). Trans. Mark Weinberg. Preface by Leonard P. Liggio. ↩
Gustave de Molinari, The Production of Security, trans. J. Huston McCulloch, Occasional Papers Series no. 2 (Richard M. Ebeling, Editor) (New York: The Center for Libertarian Studies, May 1977). ↩
"Gustave de Molinari and the Anti-statist Liberal Tradition" Journal of Libertarian Studies, in three parts, (Summer 1981), V, no. 3: 263–290; (Fall 1981), V. no. 4: 399–434; (Winter 1982), VI, no. 1: 83–104. ↩
See, “The Struggle against Protectionism, Socialism, and the Bureaucratic State: The Economic Thought of Gustave de Molinari, 1845–1855.” Paper given at the Austrian Economics Research Conference, 31 March to 2 April 2016, The Mises Institute, Auburn, AL; "Was Molinari a true Anarcho-Capitalist?: An Intellectual History of the Private and Competitive Production of Security," a paper at the Libertarian Scholars Conference, NYC (Sept. 2019); the Introduction, Glossaries, and Appendices to Gustave de Molinari,Les Soirées de la rue Saint-Lazare: Entretiens sur les lois économiques et défense de la propriété (Evenings on Saint Lazarus Street: Discussions on Economic Laws and the Defence of Property). Translated and Edited and with an Introduction by David M. Hart (Liberty Fund, forthcoming). ↩
Walter E. Grinder and John Hagel, "Toward a Theory of State Capitalism: Ultimate Decision-Making and Class Structure" (1974) in Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 1977, pp. 59–79; and John Hagel III and Walter E. Grinder, "From Laissez-Faire to Zwangswirtschaft: The Dynamics of Interventionism" (1975) reprinted in The Dynamics of Intervention: Regulation and Redistribution in the Mixed Economy. ed. P. Kurrild-Klitgaard. Advances in Austrian Economics, Volume 8, pp. 59–86 (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2005). ↩
Robert Higgs, Crisis and Leviathan: Critical Episodes in the Growth of America Government (Oxford University Press, 1987). ↩
Roy A. Childs, Jr., "Big Business and the Rise of American Statism", originally appeared in Reason Magazine, vol. 2, nos., 11 & 12, 1971, and reprinted in The Political Economy of Liberal Corporatism. Essays by Joseph R. Stromberg, Roy A. Childs, Jr., and Roger Alexander. Center for Libertarian Studies Occasional Paper Series no. 4. Richard M. Ebeling, ed. (New York: The Center for Libertarian Studies, 1977), pp. 1–17. ↩
Roy A. Childs Jr., "Liberty Against Power: An Introduction to the Traditions, Ideas and Promises of Libertarianism" Laissez Faire Pamphlet No. 3 (New York: Laissez Faire Books, 1975). ↩
Gabriel Kolko, Railroads and Regulation (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965), Gabriel Kolko, The Triumph of Conservatism (Chicago: Quadrangle Publishing Co., 1967), and James Weinstein, The Corporate Ideal in the Liberal State (Boston: Beacon Press, 1968). ↩
See, David Osterfeld, "The State as a Caste Institution," in Freedom , Society and The State: An Investigation into the Possibility of Society without Government (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1983), pp. 75–117; "Caste and Class: The Rothbardian View of Governments and Markets" (1986) in Man, Economy, and Liberty: Essays in Honor of Murray N. Rothbard. Edited with an Introduction by Walter Block and Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. (Auburn, Alabama: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1988), pp. 283–328; and "Marxism, Method, and Mercantilism," in Requiem for Marx. Edited with an introduction by Yuri N. Maltsev (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1992), pp.125–188. ↩
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis" in Requiem for Marx. Edited with an introduction tin by Yuri N. Maltsev (Auburn, Ala.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 1992), pp. 51–73. Originally published as "Marxist and Austrian Class Analysis," The Journal of Libertarian Studies 9.2 (Fall 1990): 79– 93. ↩
Roderick T. Long, "Toward a Libertarian Theory of Class," Social Philosophy and Policy, 15.2 (Sum. 1998): 303– 49; parts reprinted in Social Class and State Power (2018), pp. 297–329. ↩
Chartier, Gary, and Johnson, Charles W., eds. Markets Not Capitalism: Individualist Anarchism against Bosses, Inequality, Corporate Power, and Structural Poverty (New York: Minor Compositions-Autonomedia 2011). ↩
Jayme S. Lemke, "An Austrian Approach to Class Structure," in New Thinking in Austrian Political Economy. Advances in Austrian Economics, Volume 19, (2015), pp. 167–192. ↩
See several works by Tullock in The Selected Works of Gordon Tullock (Indianapolis, IN: Liberty Fund, 2004–5), vol. 5. The Rent-Seeking Society (Liberty Fund, 2005); vol. 6. Bureaucracy (Liberty Fund, 2005), especially "The Politics of Bureaucracy" (1965); and vol. 8. The Social Dilemma of Autocracy, Revolution, Coup d'Etat, and War (Liberty Fund, 2005), especially "The Exploitative State" (1974) and "The Goals and Organizational Forms of Autocracies" (1987). ↩
Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. and Robert D. Tollison, Mercantilism as a Rent-Seeking Society: Economic Regulation in Historical Perspective (Texas A&M University Press, 1981); Sacred Trust : the Medieval Church as an Economic Firm, ed. Robert B Ekelund Jr., Robert F. Hébert, Robert D Tollison, Gary M, Anderson, and Audrey B. Davidson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996); and Robert B. Ekelund, Jr. and Robert D. Tollison, Economic Origins of Roman Christianity (Chicago: The University off Chicago Press, 2011). ↩
David D. Friedman, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism (2nd ed. Chicago: Open Court, 1995. 1st ed. 1974). "The Economics of Theft, or the Nonexistence of the Ruling Class". And Anthony de Jasay, The State (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1998). "Inventing the State: The Instrument of Class Rule" and "The State as Class". ↩
Margaret Levi, "Chap. 2 The Theory of Predatory Rule," in Of Rule and Revenue (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988), pp. 10–40, first published as "A Theory of Predatory Rule," Politics and Society, vol. 10, no. 4, 1981, pp. 431–65. See also her "Appendix: Bring the People Back into the State," pp. 185–204. ↩
See Levi, Margaret, and Douglass C. North, "Toward a property rights theory of exploitation." Politics and Society, 1982, 11 (3): 315–20. ↩
Mancur Olson, "Dictatorship, democracy, and develop-
ment," American Political Science Review, 1993, 87(3): 567–576. See also, M. McGuire and M. Olson, "The economics of autocracy and majority rule: the invisible hand and the use of force." Journal of Economic Literature, 1996, 35:72–96. ↩
Such as Yoram Barzel, A Theory of the State: Economic Rights, Legal Rights, and the Scope of the State (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2002). ↩
See for example Ronald Wintrobe, "Dictatorship," The Encyclopedia of Public Choice. Editors Charles K. Rowley and Friedrich Schneider (New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2004), vol. 1, pp. 77–90. ↩
Angelo Codevilla, "America's Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution", The American Spectator, (July 2010)
https://web.archive.org/web/20150714235155/http://spectator.org/articles/39326/americas-ruling-class-and-perils-revolution. This essay was expanded into the book The Ruling Class: How They Corrupted America and What We Can Do about It (Beaufort Books 2010). ↩
Bringing the State Back In. Edited by Peter B. Evans, Dietrich Rueschemeyer, and Theda Skocpol (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,1985). See especially her Introduction "Bringing the State Back In: Strategies of Analysis in Current Research," pp. 3–37. ↩
Theda Skocpol, States and Social Revolutions: A Comparative Analysis of France, Russia, and China (Cambridge University Press, 1979). ↩
Charles Tilly, The Formation of National States in Western Europe, ed. Charles Tilly (Princeton University Press, 1975). See Tilly's essays "Reflections on the History of European State-Making," pp. 3–83, and "Western State-Making and Theories of Political Transformation," pp. 601–638. ↩
Charles Tilly, "War Making and State Making as Organized Crime," in Bringing the State Back In, pp. 169–91. ↩
Charles Tilly, Coercion, Capital, and European States, AD 990–1990 (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990). Tilly's views have been criticized in a collection of essays Does War Make States? Investigations of Charles Tilly's Historical Sociology. Edited by Lars Bo Kaspersen and Jeppe Strandsbjerg (Cambridge University Press, 2017). ↩