History of European Ideas 33 (4):411-426 (2007)

Physiocracy is still sometimes seen as an oddly archaic programme of agricultural development. The aim of this paper is to show that one of the Physiocrats’ prime concerns was to take the subject of agriculture out of international relations. The fiscal regime that was central to Physiocracy was designed to make every large territorial state self-sufficient and, by doing so, to break the connection between modern great power politics, the international division of labour, and the politics of necessity. From this perspective, the memorandum that Victor Riqueti, marquis de Mirabeau, sent to the Berne Economic Society in 1759, contains an early indication of what, had the Physiocratic programme ever been implemented in full, a world reformed on Physiocratic lines might have looked like
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DOI 10.1016/j.histeuroideas.2007.07.004
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