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A history of modern europe from the fall of constantinople. by Thomas Henry Dyer

By Thomas Henry Dyer

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Consequently, the fixed land tax escaped from discouraging the improvement of land, although it was an unequal tax because ‘the same land may be worth more one year than another’ (Steuart 1998 [1767], vol. 4: 232). In order for the land tax to be equal, the value of land had to be re-estimated every year subject to the value of the rent actually paid. However, Steuart thought that such a variable land tax would discourage the improvement of land. From this viewpoint, Steuart proposed to fix the then current valuation of land for at least a hundred years: ‘This is no more than giving every one a lease as it were of his land-tax for a hundred years’ (Steuart 1998 [1767], vol.

Consequently, the income produced from the rent of land would rise. The expansion of markets for manufactures, agricultural products and commercial services would require an increase in the means of exchange – that is, money: ‘so a statesman when he intends suddenly to augment the taxes of his people, without interrupting their industry, which then becomes still more necessary than ever, should augment the circulating equivalent in proportion to the additional demand for it’ (Steuart 1998 [1767], vol.

By contrast, Perelman (1983: 469) emphasizes that the ‘connection between the creation of a wide-spread wage labor relationship and social division of labor was essential to the work of Steuart’: nevertheless, Perelman (1983: 482) acknowledges that Steuart ‘did not sense the full potential of capital’. I follow the mainstream interpretation with respect to Steuart’s incomplete perception of capitalistic production. ‘Alienation’ is what Steuart termed the general exchange of commodities for the purpose of consumption, defining as ‘sale’ the part of alienation in which commodities were exchanged for money (Steuart 1998 [1767], vol.

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