Lecture Notes-11.28.06

Lecture Notes-11.28.06 - "Challenges to and critiques of...

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“Challenges to and critiques of Euro-centric conceptions of capitalism” historical context and the problem of generalization the problem of the unit of analysis: from national to global perspective Historical context and the problem of generalization unit of analysis is held to be a nation/ social system defined by a nation state some discussion in Smith and Marx about the global market, but most of these thinkers do not talk about the global economy All these thinkers all abstract model builders. They set out to create some kind of a general theory of the market economy. A general theory of capitalism, for smith. Their followers had to deal with many empirical problems that these theories ran into. Ex: David Ricardo after Smith. Once you encounter a particular set of anomalies, you go back to the original model to improve the theory o Same occurred with Marx. He made predictions about the evolution of capitalism, which seemed to contradict history, and then the neo-Marxists tried to explain things that the original theory couldn’t explain o Smith’s main anomaly- how do you explain the amount of social disruption and exploitation and the amount of inequality and state power? o Marx- how do u account for the fact that capitalism proved much more resilient and reformable than Marx assumed, and how is it that the reformabilty tended to correlate directly with the growth of state power? o Main problem: Growth of state power in all of the European states in the 19 th and early 20 th century o Capitalism exists as an ideal type but there is also a real type. Need to take the abstract model and evaluate how well it fits with historical evidence and reality o
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