New PDF release: A Free Nation Deep in Debt: The Financial Roots of Democracy

By James Macdonald

ISBN-10: 0374171432

ISBN-13: 9780374171438

These days, the concept the way in which a rustic borrows its funds is attached to what sort of govt it has comes as a shock to most folk. yet within the eighteenth century it was once typically authorised that public debt and political liberty have been in detail comparable. In A unfastened kingdom Deep in Debt, James Macdonald explores the relationship among public debt and democracy within the broadest attainable phrases. He begins with a few primary questions: Why do governments borrow? How can we clarify the life of democratic associations within the old international? Why did bond markets come into life, and why did this happen in Europe and never elsewhere?Macdonald reveals the solutions to those questions in a sweeping background that starts in biblical occasions, specializes in the main interval of the eighteenth century, and maintains right down to the current. He levels the area, from Mesopotamia to China to France to the U.S., and unearths facts for the wedding of democracy and public credits from its earliest glimmerings to its swan tune within the bond drives of worldwide struggle II. at the present time the 2 are, it sort of feels, divorced--but figuring out their 1000's of years of cohabitation is important to appreciating the democracy that we now take without any consideration.

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24 A l<'HEE NATION DEEP IN DEBT figure; and given the modest size of the population (some fifteen to seventeen million) and the low price levels prevailing, its true value was far higher. It almost undoubtedly represents the high-water mark of ancient treasure accumulation. In the ancient world (and for long after), a well-stocked treasury was seen as the only reliable means of providing for emergency military expenditures. The prime theorist of ancient Indian public finance, Kautilya, writing around 300 B.

This is already an impressive-sounding *The talent was a unit of weight that varied from place to place between 25 and 40 kilograms. 8 kilograms. which is the value used throughout this chapter. 24 A l<'HEE NATION DEEP IN DEBT figure; and given the modest size of the population (some fifteen to seventeen million) and the low price levels prevailing, its true value was far higher. It almost undoubtedly represents the high-water mark of ancient treasure accumulation. In the ancient world (and for long after), a well-stocked treasury was seen as the only reliable means of providing for emergency military expenditures.

So do what I advise-if you like the advice: put men from your guard on watch at every gate, and when anyone brings out anything of value, let the sentries take it and say that a tenth part of the spoil must be given to Zeus. "17 An apocryphal tale, perhaps; yet once again Herodotus' version of events parallels the political wisdom of the Bible. It is reverence for the gods, whether instinctively felt, or cynically exploited, that first persuades the tribesmen to confer a portion of their hard-earned spoils of victory to a central treasure chest.

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A Free Nation Deep in Debt: The Financial Roots of Democracy by James Macdonald


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