Political Economy in the Pseudo-Aristotelian Oeconomica II and the German Cameralist Klock

History of Economic Thought and Policy, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 59-72, 2016

Posted: 25 Aug 2017

See all articles by Bertram Schefold

Bertram Schefold

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 27, 2016

Abstract

Montchrétien was definitely mercantilist. He praises the ancients, their honors and their self-discipline, but notes, like Serra, that there was no concept of Political Economy in Antiquity. The words, however, appear for the first time in the pseudoaristotelian Oeconomica II, where the household of a king, the household of a governor of a province, the administration of a city (polis) and the household of a private citizen are distinguished; The term applies to the financing of a city economy. The book contains a number of prescriptions of how to finance a city by means of various forms of taxation, gifts, forced loans and by manipulating the currency. Especially the latter are of extreme interest to the historian of economic thinking, As they reveal a remarkable understanding of metallist and nominalist conception of money. The paper tries to explain the contexts and then goes on to compare these doctrines with cameralism, using the comments published in 1651 by the German cameralist Klock on Oeconomica II. He treats the proposals as if they were made by contemporaries, evaluating them from practical and moral points of view in a way that suggests a parallelism of institutions and ideas.

Keywords: Cameralism, Economic Thought, Mercantilism

JEL Classification: B11, B31, E62, E65, H20, H50, H74

Suggested Citation

Schefold, Bertram, Political Economy in the Pseudo-Aristotelian Oeconomica II and the German Cameralist Klock (April 27, 2016). History of Economic Thought and Policy, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 59-72, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2030779

Bertram Schefold (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt - Department of Economics ( email )

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