Classical economics or classical political ..
This structure of government was described in different words by the economists who wrote about it. Whatever it was called, its features were the same in the writing of Hume, Smith, James Mill, and Senior. It appears by implication in some of the Parliamentary speeches by Ricardo. The conception was simple and clear. It held that society consisted of the governed and the governors. The mass of the people comprised most, but not all, of the first group. That group was to express itself in the lower house of Parliament, to the extent that it was to express itself at all. Parliament could not be allowed to rule alone. It had to be restrained, and the restraint would be exercised by what frequently was described as the “aristocratical interest,” that interest would express itself in an upper house, the Lords, or through a royal family, or both. The purpose of the House of Lords and of the monarchy was to prevent a representative government from abusing its power. The Lords and monarchy, that is, would contribute order and stability while the Commons would provide freedom. The belief in limited representation was not a justification of aristocracy and monarchy. That rationalization runs in quite a different direction and follows from an assumption that there is a class which by reason of its superior talents and exclusive political wisdom necessarily should be given power. The economists, in their conception of human nature, ascribed the same motives to the upper classes as to the lower and believed neither was to be trusted with a monopoly of power. Their object was a government that would establish an equilibrium among competing interest groups. That would be done by distributing power in such a way that no group would become paramount but each would have power enough to express its permissible interests. The theory of such a government is the familiar one of checks and balances. It was one of the ideas for which the eighteenth century is famous. It is found in many of the political papers of the period, and was set forth most impressively in The Federalist (as Chapter 3, Vol. 1 of this book explains).
Political ideas of the classical economists
The Political Ideas Of Liberal Economists
When, however, the economists considered the proper extent of political freedom, their views were not as comprehensive. They did not believe the people in their entirety should have as much opportunity to make political decisions as to make economic decisions. That some liberty should be allowed to everyone they did believe—but that all should have the same liberty they did not believe.
Blog hub of the Union for Radical Political Economics
Political economy challenges me to be critical and to cut through simplistic or propagandistic ways of seeing the world. Political economy is fundamentally about how we organise our lives and provide for our basic (and more complex) needs. It makes a practical difference in people’s lives. Political economy cares about questions of class that we don’t often hear about in our daily life. Don’t let anybody tell you that we live in a classless society! — Claire, PhD candidate