further evidence that Andrew Sullivan's mother spent too much time at Surrey solariums during his gestation...,
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low hanging overhangs...,
the individual initiative of large scale state backed collective enterprises:
1493, Charles C Mann, pg. 56, discussing the formation of Virginia Company:
"What counts is work, thrift, honesty, patience, tenacity," wrote the Harvard economist David S. Landes. In his classic Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1999), Landes argued that Europe had developed ways of organizing people and resources -- private joint-stock companies, for instance -- that fostered and rewarded individual initiative, which in turn promoted those virtues. Other places did not develop them. The result of these innovations, [Douglass C.] North argued, was economic growth so robust that it led to "a new and unique phenomenon": the ascension of European societies to world power.
"Other places did not develop" "ways of organizing people" "that fostered and rewarded individual initiative". The joint-stock company at the time was little more than a limited partnership (more indentured servants passed hands than did stocks, I know of none of the latter trading at all), something introduced to medieval Europe by way of the Italian commenda in the 11th century, adopted at least in part from Islam, where it dates back to the 8th, used to capitalize the free trade networks across the Indian ocean for many centuries, until Portuguese piracy and terrorism destroyed them a century before the founding of Jamestown.
There may have been some novelty in King James' organization of the marketing campaign for such a large IPO, but these sorts of financial arrangements had been around since antiquity.
I suppose, given the topic, Mann is somewhat obligated to inform the narrative with the views of economists, and it's not his fault this is what economics departments have to offer.
- Islam, the Mediterranean and the Rise of Capitalism, Jairus Banaji, 2003.
- A comparative evolution of business partnerships, Murat Çizakça, 1996.
- Trade and Traders in Muslim Spain, Olivia Remie Constable, 1996.
- Partnership and Profit in Medieval Islam, Abraham L. Udovitch, 1970.
- At the origins of the Western 'commenda': Islam, Israel, Byzantium?, Abraham L. Udovitch, 1969.
:: posted by buermann @ 2011-12-05 00:48:00 CST |