Money, Commerce, Language, and the Horror of Modernity in ‘The Isle of Voices’

Money, not merely as subject in literature but also in its very form and function, exhibits qualities of spectral evanescence, fetishised power over the imagination, and the uncontrollable transgression of boundaries and limits, which closely parallel the concerns and anxieties of Gothic literature. Yet it is in the writings of economic theorists and commentators on market society like Adam Smith and Karl Marx that these Gothic anxieties about money are most clearly articulated. Stevensons short story ‘The Isle of Voices’, read in the context of his comments on money in his other writings, is one of the few fictional texts which uses these properties of money to create what might be called a ‘financial Gothic’ narrative, which nevertheless has insights and implications for the narratives of capitalist modernity in general.

Gothic Studies
The past, present and future of social democracy and the welfare state

This book outlines the reasons for the development of and need for social democracy and the welfare state. It begins with the reaffirmation that post-2008 Anglo-America has seen the greatest concentration of wealth since the Great Depression, some nine decades earlier. The book reviews the thought of classical liberals like Adam Smith, democratic theorists like Alexis De Tocqueville and Matthew Arnold, and early social democrats like John Stuart Mill and Beatrice Webb. It further details the reasons for the derailing of the welfare state. Milton Friedman's ideas about the free market were institutionalized by Ronald Reagan in the US and Margaret Thatcher in the UK, both of whom dismantled the welfare state, or as much of it as possible. The book talks about the collapse of the Grand Narrative of the Left in the 1980s and 1990s. How this led to the 'great forgetting' in Anglo-America, and to a lesser extent in continental European social democracies and welfare states as well, is discussed. The book argues that 'forgetting' the past success of social democracy has been costly. It highlights that globalization does not explain unemployment in Anglo-America; nor is it the cause of inequality in either the US or the UK. A comparison of Anglo-America's social model with the European social model of the welfare and social democratic states of continental Europe, follows. Even with the high unemployment rates of the European Union, most of Europe is still as economically efficient as the US and the UK.

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Therapy and empowerment, coercion and punishment. Historical and contemporary perspectives on work, psychiatry and society

the case of patients such analysis is complicated by the fact that their activities take place within institutions that are expressly designed to inhibit the free expression of the full range of their inmates’ physical, mental and emotional inclinations, and to segregate them from the wider public sphere and, and in some circumstances, to impose rather than merely encourage engagement in labour and work activities. Other aspects of work and labour that require analytical attention are those highlighted by the political economists and their critics. While Adam Smith’s

in Work, psychiatry and society, c. 1750–2015
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Why it matters

2 Social equality: why it matters Adam Smith: moral economy before political economy Adam Smith is often celebrated as the father – or apologist – of free trade capitalism, but Smith did not believe that commerce and profits trumped everything else, as he made clear in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which he published in 1759. There he embraced human happiness as the standard of civility and the aim of organized society; commerce was but the handmaiden for the good of all. It was not greed for profit that was to magically lead to the wealth of nations, nor the

in The great forgetting
Some reflections on the (literary) perception of pain

4 ‘I feel your pain’: some reflections on the (literary) perception of pain Jonathan Sawday Though our brother is on the rack, as long as we ourselves are at our ease, our senses will never inform us of what he suffers. Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759)1 Imagining pain When we contemplate the gloomy demography of pain in the modern world, it would seem that Adam Smith’s claim above, that even the prospect of ‘our brother … on the rack’ cannot ‘inform’ the senses of another’s suffering, is essentially true. How else are we to explain the

in The hurt(ful) body
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Eighteenth-century Gothic poetics

appear, if only superficially, to provide an extra-textual model of the emotions that puts back what aesthetics had seemingly taken out. Sensibility Adam Smith in the Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) views death through the prism of empathetic sensibility: We sympathize even with the dead, and

in Gothic death 1740–1914
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because of social and economic inequality. Chapter 1 also challenges the now dominant ideology that wealth ‘creators’ deserve their wealth. And it reveals that Anglo-Americans want more help from their governments, not less, even if that means more regulation. Chapter 2 reviews the thought of classical liberals like Adam Smith, democratic theorists like Alexis De Tocqueville and Matthew Arnold, and early social democrats like John Stuart Mill and Beatrice Webb. What they all shared in common was the belief that democracy and social equality must be combined. Each was

in The great forgetting
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Omen of a post-republic: the demon child of neoliberalism

condition per se: ‘In Nature all creatures struggle only for their own survival and supremacy’ (in Hallam, 2012: 45). DeSade here is precisely on the same page as Herbert Spencer, Adam Smith and neoliberalism: ‘survival of the fittest’; ‘you eat what you kill’; the ‘savage god’ of Yeats’s ‘Second Coming’; ‘a monstrous ideal of abstract animal power’ (Ransom, 1939: 318). Yeats was a pre-Holocaust fascist sympathizer who diagnosed the social pathologies of modern civilization very well and favoured a Platonic restoration of sober, self-disciplined aristocratic Guardians. In

in The domestic, moral and political economies of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland

up by prophecies proving that Adam Smith’s ‘invisible hand’ will ensure a Pareto-optimal allocation of resources to the benefit of all. As always the empirical evidence in support of the utopian prospects is thin – if not, as in this case, almost wholly absent.6 Indeed, the Financial Times, hardly a basher of capitalism, concluded that twenty years of capitalism had resulted in growing inequalities: ‘in 1980 the top 1 per cent of American households owned a quarter of the American wealth: by the late 1990s, that single percentage owned more than 38 per cent

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

William James will also argue over a century later), 5 is not ‘What gives pleasure?’ but ‘What kind of pleasure does it give?’ Pleasures are plural and heterogeneous, and there is no single entity called pleasure. In the same way, Adam Smith was clear that money functioned as a unit of account and a medium of exchange but had no value in itself, even if it made it possible to mediate the values of other things.6 As Marx points out, even before Smith and Mandeville, Locke was distinguishing ‘worth’ from ‘value’: worth is what Marx called use-value and is heterogeneous

in Writing and constructing the self in Great Britain in the long eighteenth century