30) Britain

Adam Smith’s Friends and the birth of Conspiracy Theory.  His connections to several influential individuals, including James Watt and John Robison.  Robison believed in a conspiracy of Freemasons behind the French Revolution.  He had nothing to say about Jews, but the notion later evolved into anti-Semitic fantasies like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Being Productive and Being Profitable.  The fatal flaw in Adam Smith’s theory.

The right hand of anarchy.  Mrs Thatcher in the 1980s took an axe to the roots of Britishness. This is not how she saw it, of course.   She genuinely believed that she was removing an excrescence on True Britishness.  Nice theory, shame about the facts.

The Brixton Riots of 1987.  Why they were basically reformist and probably eased the development of multiracialism.

Corporations Good, Corporatism Bad?  People forget how successful 1950s Corporatism was in ending the miseries of the 1930s and the horrors of the 1940s.

How the British Empire Blighted Britain.  Large parts of the British Isles are depopulated while wealth flows to London as a Global City.

Slavery in the British Empire.   Slavery of a very modern and commercial sort was closely associated with the rise of Britain as a world power, and the rise of the USA as a British offshoot.

Economical With The Irish.  How a noted British magazine like The Economist can feel comfortable about the vast number of avoidable Irish deaths in the mid-19th century Potato Famine.

Mary Tudor and Elizabeth – almost a beautiful story.  How history might have been very different had Mary had a son and heir to carry on a Tudor Catholic line.  If there was a destiny that shaped Great Britain’s rise, then it wasn’t a destiny that cared anything for Christianity in either its Protestant or Roman Catholic versions.

Minterism: an English Vanity.  One of the worst features of the society, displayed by a character in one of H. G. Wells’s mainstream novels.

How New Labour Emerged from 1970s Labour Leftism.  The curious history of the leading figures in the Blair / Brown years.

British Democracy Began in 1884, at the earliest.  The USA was not much better, maintaining racism into the 1960s.

The Significance of the Year 1984.  The year should have been celebrated as the centenary of British democracy. Only in 1884 did a majority of adult males living in Britain have a vote.  George Orwell managed to give it a very different meaning.

The Royal Bank “of Scotland”.  Looking at how the National Westminster Bank was swallowed, and a crisis created.  Also the rise of Scottish Nationalism, considered in 2008

Why Churchill Admired Mussolini.  The matters left out by most of his biographers.

How Churchill was Close to Fascism.  He developed similar ideas, and his opposition to Hitler was based just on fear of Germany becoming stronger than the British Empire.

Economical With The Irish.  How a noted British magazine like The Economist can feel comfortable about the vast number of avoidable Irish deaths in the mid-19th century Potato Famine.

Arkwright and the rise of the factory system.   It has no single beginning, but Richard Arkwright was a major contributor to a system in which a few people controlled the work of many.  He was hard-working and clever, but also a man who stole other people’s ideas.  A man who turned the work of many into wealth for just himself.

What is Capitalism?  Arguing that Britain is not and never has been an entirely  capitalist society.

Bulstrode’s progress – the complexities of English hypocracy, illustrated by a character from the novel Middlemarch.

Economics is About People, Not Money.  Looking at the social context in which Britain industrialised.  Suggesting that Marx and others were mistaken in just looking at the capitalist element in it.  And that in Adam Smith’s time, the British state was expanding faster than the economy was, part of a successful mix.

Coleridge and the end of Christian economics.  How a man who was a philosopher as well as poet had a plausible alternative to the Adam Smith vision.  And how he noticed the Trade Cycle, maybe the first person to do so.

More on Britain at another menu.

From two magazines, Problems and Labour Affairs., with other old articles on the website.

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