Literature and Theatre

Heinz Lubasz

There's definitely something odd about the way Adam Smith and the Wealth of Nations have come into vogue during the past fifteen years or so: partisans of what has come to be known as the 'free market' present themselves as true disciples of Smith - yet they seem to care much more for his image than for his ideas. The invisible hand is unquestionably the best-known ingredient of the Wealth of Nations, as well as being the one most beloved of the free marketeers; but it is also the least well understood, and in the course of time it has become the most crassly distorted. By reducing the complexities of the Smithian concept of self-interest to a single, undifferentiated interest in material gain, modern economists (and by no means the 'free marketeers' alone) make Adam Smith's concept of the invisible hand virtually unintelligible - in the first place to themselves.

in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
Ted Benton

This chapter focuses on some aspects of his conceptualisation of a range of social practices as the proper domain for economic calculation and for legislative 'deregulation'. In this conceptualisation Smith is engaged on three fronts: first, in advancing a certain view of individual human nature; second, in thinking about the relationships between individual action, group interest and the well-being of society; and third, in defining and extending the scope of his framework for analysis. The chapter focuses on the third of these fronts, but it will be necessary to give consideration to the other two if this is to be intelligible. However, McCulloch does bring into clear focus the near-complete absence in Smith of any analysis of the naturally given conditions and limits of non-agricultural production. Ricardo, whilst explicitly denying that these do constitute limits, does at least bring them (or some of them) into the discourse of political economy.

in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
Education as a public service
Andrew Skinner

This chapter reviews Smith's treatment of the principles of public finance and the ideal organisation of public works and services. But it is more important for our present purpose to note Smith's advocacy of a compulsory programme of higher education. As to the organisation of educational provision, Smith's analysis of principles which are of general application refers primarily to the universities and may well reflect the content of a letter which he wrote to William Cullen in September 1774. The state, arguably, also has a duty to control the organisation of public services where the efficiency criteria cannot be met. If the key principle is that intervention is a function of market imperfection it is little wonder that Professor Macfie could remark that the strategies which can be culled from the Wealth of Nations could be interpreted to suggest a formidable state autocracy.

in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
Women and the Wealth of Nations
Kathryn Sutherland

There are perhaps three explicit references in the whole text to women's participation in market or industrial activity or to women's wage-earning capacity. As cheap labour came to play a crucial part in the industrialising process, women were employed in large numbers, but often as the means to drive down the rates for a job and to bypass orthodox training customs. Women were throughout the eighteenth century educated within the home and exclusively for the performance of domestic duties. The obvious hero of Smith's narrative of wealth accumulation is the capitalist - the merchant, the entrepreneur or master-manufacturer. It has been argued that the grand project of the Wealth of Nations, Smith's combining of economics, politics and a history of civil society, represents the high point of a Scottish philosophical synthesis which also 'contains the seeds of its own disaggregation'.

in Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
New interdisciplinary essays

Few works of economic and political analysis have exerted a more profound influence on European, American and latterly world economic and social policy than Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. The version of Adam Smith's economic and social philosophy which has been invoked by proponents such as those in the Adam Smith Institute has often not been the product of a reading of the whole of the Wealth of Nations, but has rested instead on acceptance of the selective reading of parts of the book developed by nineteenth-century market liberals. In the nineteenth century, critiques of the effects of the division of labour were developed outside political economy by a sequence of British cultural critics from Hazlitt and Coleridge to Carlyle and Arnold, who deployed them in their attacks on contemporary industrial capitalism and the 'dismal science' of economics which they saw as providing its intellectual rationalisation; more radically, they formed an important element in the critique of political economy developed by Engels and Marx. Reaffirming the importance of the cultural analysis in the Wealth of Nations as a whole has been an important element in re-examining the historical particularity of Smith's work. Bearing in mind the strength of the cultural critique developed in the later books of the Wealth of Nations, a textually aware reading of the whole work suggests the extent to which its earlier and most famous arguments rest on what might be called strategic imprecisions.

Lawrence Grossberg

This chapter describes the context of contemporary politics as a struggle to establish a new "American modernity," against the "liberal modernity" which came into existence during the twentieth century and reached its pinnacle at mid-century. The idea of sensibility is an attempt to describe the organization of people's affective lives. Politics has always been partly about affect, if only in the form of emotion, but the balance between cognitive politics and affective politics is changing. The chapter describes three tactics in the new right's efforts to transform the mattering maps of various groups of people: affective disinvestment, affective magnets, and affective epidemics. It discusses how postmodern sensibility has been articulated in the new right's struggle to establish a new modernity. The chapter also describes the struggle as a hegemonic struggle against hegemony, and suggests that it works in part by establishing an affective frontier within society itself.

in Postmodernism. What Moment?
Abstract only
Lukas Erne

Shakespeare's Book' - the evocative title of this book raises the question of when and where Shakespeare first encountered a book that was clearly marked as his, with his name on the title-page: Shakespeare's book. The title-pages of the narrative poems, Venus and Adonis (1593) and The Rape of Lucrece (1594), contained no authorship attribution, nor did his earliest playbooks. But when Richard II, Richard III and Love's Labour's Lost were reprinted in 1598, they all mentioned his name. Important evidence that Shakespeare cared not only about the theatre but about both theatrical and bibliographical culture, the page and the stage, as well as their conjunction, can be found in Shakespeare's plays, as several contributors to the book demonstrate. It has long been clear that Shakespeare's writings show considerable self-reflexivity, but the form this self-reflexivity takes according to past criticism is chiefly that of metadrama.

in Shakespeare’s book
Books and theatre in Shakespeare’s literary authorship
Patrick Cheney

This chapter suggests that Lukas Erne's model of the literary dramatist is not quite accurate, since it remains unconsciously circumscribed by the 'dramatic' terms of the previous phases, and thus neglects to account for the five freestanding poems that this author saw published during his own lifetime. By benefiting from Erne's pioneering work, we may re-classify Shakespeare as an early modern author: he is a literary poet-playwright. From early in his career till late, across the genres of comedy, history, tragedy and romance, he rehearses a discourse of the book and a discourse of the theatre, and lets the terms book and theatre jostle in historically telling way. The chapter recalls Shakespeare's discourse of the theatre briefly to attend more fully to his neglected discourse of the book, including printed books and books of poetry. It focuses on key passages that conjoin the two discourses in a single utterance.

in Shakespeare’s book
Rehana Ahmed

The Satanic Verses controversy has been described as a transitional event for Britain's South Asian Muslim minority. This chapter illuminates Samad's description of the anger of Bradford's Mirpuri youth at the publication of The Satanic Verses in the wake of the Honeyford affair. It sheds light on the dialectical relationship between class, race and religious affiliation. Samad argues that if it was the local history of Bradford which led to the heightened tensions there at the time of the Rushdie affair, the local politics was also partly symptomatic of structures of disadvantage that operated on a much broader scale. Toynbee's stark polarisation of 'race' and 'beliefs' is predicated on an erroneous and outdated understanding of racism as focused uniquely on colour rather than culture. Her flawed attempt to maintain this distinction is necessitated by a liberalism that requires a problematic combination of anti-racism with a valorisation of the individual.

in Writing British Muslims
Henry V and its texts
Duncan Salkeld

This chapter offers a detailed examination of editorial theory and practice in relation to the two versions of Henry V – the 1600 quarto and the longer version printed in the 1623 Folio. It engages with some of the issues raised by Lucas Erne's Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist, in particular the notion that the shorter texts of Shakespeare's plays are oral 'theatrical' texts, while the longer texts correspond to what an 'emergent dramatic author wrote for readers'. The chapter suggests that some critics may have been too hasty in dismissing the possibility that the quarto text is a memorial reconstruction, arguing that behind its textual transmission lies a 'complex sequence of mediations'. The author regards quarto as a text produced indirectly from performance rather than a text designed for performance. He proposes evidence to suggest that folio's Choruses were performed in 1599.

in Shakespeare’s book