Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on August 22, 2013

in Man of System, Politics, Trade

… is from page 69 of the 1947 printing of Alexander Gray’s 1931 volume, The Development of Economic Doctrine:

Mercantilism may not inappropriately be viewed as the economic equivalent of Machiavelli and Bodin.  Bodin deduced that of necessity there was a supreme power in each state.  Machiavelli in effect said: “If you want a strong state, you must do this, and avoid doing that.”  Strong states were in demand, and the mercantilists, practical men confronted with practical problems, were concerned with the means whereby the State could be made strong.  In the somewhat hackneyed phrase of Schmoller, mercantilism is merely “state-making”….  Mercantilism was never more than a means.  The true end was political in its character – the creation of a strong state.


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