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A reading of Hobbes' Leviathan with economists' glasses

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The purpose of this article is to show the central role of Thomas Hobbes in the formation of capitalist ideology. He is the first author to present the ideology of the businessman (homo oeconomicus), with its most distinctive characteristic, individualism. Every constitutive element of the capitalist system is found in Hobbes' writings. His mentality is bourgeois and he uses a model that can only correspond to a mercantile society of capitalist character, in which political rights are less important than security in the market. The economic liberalism of Adam Smith inherits from Hobbes its individualistic basis and its chrematistic platform.
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Keywords: Capitalism; Philosophy; Politics

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2000

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