This essay examines the tensions between liberalism and capitalism through an analysis of Edmund Burke's works on eighteenth-century liberal political economy and, specifically the challenges posed by colonial capitalism. When criticizing the East India Company Burke attempted to fortify "commercial" principles, on which British self-image rested, against the "rapacious" policies of British imperialism in India, which threatened this liberal self-image. His denunciation of the Company thus can be construed as an index to broader contradictions between the liberal self-image of capitalism and the coercive processes of colonial displacement and extraction that were an integral part of capitalism's emergence. The article, in its conclusion, outlines some theoretical and methodological issues that arise from situating Burke's writings in their colonial and capitalist contexts.
Edmund Burke, capitalism, liberalism, colonialism, British Empire, Scottish Enlightenment
American Politics | Political Economy | Political Science
INCE, Onur Ulas.(2012). Not a Partnership in Pepper, Coffee, Callico, or Tobacco: Edmund Burke and the Vicissitudes of Colonial Capitalism. Polity, 44(3), 340-372.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/1988
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