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Peer Reviewed

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Abstract

The essay argues that Edmund Burke's differences from Adam Smith on government-sponsored assistance for the unemployed is rooted in their differences about the nature of government, not in their economic theories. Burke, unlike Smith, cannot free himself from the violent display of power on which he thinks political legitimacy rests. In this way, his work testifies to the insights of Michel Foucault. Smith has a different, more bourgeois ideal and a higher estimate of the "bourgeois virtues" of the common person.

Keywords

Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Edmund Burke, Unemployment Assistance, Virtues, Sublime Style, Government, Rhetorical Criticism, Economy

Total Pages

34

Rights

Copyright © 2011 David J. Depew

DOI

10.13008/2151-2957.1082

Acknowledgements

The author thanks Deirdre McCloskey for helping him avoid some dead ends. He is also grateful to Tom Goodnight for critically reading the text and making helpful suggestions.

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