Clipped Coins, Abused Words, and Civil Government

SKU: 9780936756271
Authors: George Caffentzis
Publisher: Autonomedia
ISBN: 9780936756271
Published: 1989
Format: Paperback
Page count: 246
Size: 6 x 9
Subjects: Economics, Capitalism, Colonialism

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This book situates John Locke’s philosophy of knowledge and his political theory within his engagement in British monetary debates of the 17th and 18th century. Caffentzis grounds this ampliative examination of Locke’s philosophy of economics, language, and history in the political crisis that resulted when monetary pirates “clipped” the silver currency of 17th-century England ("Clipping" is the act of shaving off a small portion of a precious metal coin for profit. Over time, the precious metal clippings could be saved up and melted into bullion or used to make new coins).

Anchored in extensive archival research, George Caffentzis offers the most expansive reading of Locke’s economic thought to date, contextualizing it within the expansion of capitalist accumulation on a world scale and the universality of money as a medium of exchange. His interventionist treatment undoes virtually all standard critical works on Locke.

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