Commerce, Markets, and Peace: Richard Cobden's Enduring Lessons

Independent Review, Vol. 9, No 1, pp. 543-549, Spring 2004

12 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2010 Last revised: 28 Sep 2010

Edward Peter Stringham

Trinity College

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Do capitalism and conflicts go hand in hand? Are the military and markets complements? Indeed, many conservative advocates of markets also passionately support the military, and many people who oppose war also oppose markets. Nineteenth-century writer Richard Cobden, however, maintained that the military and markets were substitutes: more military entails less market. Although the ideas in The Political Writings of Richard Cobden (1903) are a century and a half old, Cobden considered many arguments for military intervention still made today. He discussed whether military spending was beneficial to the economy, to commerce, and to peace, and in all three cases he answered no. Both conservatives and left liberals can learn much from Cobden’s discussion of commerce, markets, and peace. As he demonstrated, the advocate of markets must be an advocate of peace.

Suggested Citation

Stringham, Edward Peter, Commerce, Markets, and Peace: Richard Cobden's Enduring Lessons (2004). Independent Review, Vol. 9, No 1, pp. 543-549, Spring 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1676244

Edward Peter Stringham (Contact Author)

Trinity College ( email )

United States

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