A Treatise on Political Economy (LF ed.)
Destutt de tracy’s Treatise on Political Economy is a foundational text of nineteenth-century, free-market economic thought and remains one of the classics of nineteenth-century French economic liberalism. Destutt de Tracy was one of the founders of the classical liberal republican group known as the Idéologues, which included Jean-Baptiste Say, Marquis de Condorcet, and Pierre Cabanis. In this volume, Destutt de Tracy provides one of the clearest statements of the economic principles of the Idéologues. Placing the entrepreneur at the center of his view of economic activity, he argues against the luxurious consumption of the idle rich and recommends a market economy with low taxation and minimum state intervention. Destutt de Tracy sent the text of A Treatise on Political Economy to Thomas Jefferson in hopes of securing its translation in the United States. It was met with enthusiastic approval. Jefferson wrote to the publisher, “The merit of this work will, I hope, place it in the hands of every reader in our country.”
A Treatise on Political Economy. Translated by Thomas Jefferson. Edited and with an Introduction by Jeremy Jennings (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Table of Contents
- Introduction to the Liberty Fund Edition
- Note on the Text
- A Treatise on Political Economy
- Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan
- Abstract, or Analytical Table.
- Supplement to the First Section of the Elements of Ideology.
- Second Section of the Elements of Ideology, or a treatise on the will and its effects.
- First Part of the Treatise on the Will and Its Effects. Of Our Actions.
- CHAPTER I.: Of Society.
- CHAPTER II.: Of Production, or of the Formation of Our Riches.
- CHAPTER III.: Of the Measure of Utility or of Values.
- CHAPTER IV.: Of the Change of Form, or of Manufacturing Industry, Comprising Agriculture.
- CHAPTER V.: Of the Change of Place, or of Commercial Industry.
- CHAPTER VI.: Of Money.
- CHAPTER VII.: Reflections on What Precedes.
- CHAPTER VIII.: Of the Distribution of Our Riches amongst Individuals.
- CHAPTER IX.: Of the Multiplication of Individuals, or of Population.
- CHAPTER X.: Consequences and Developments of the Two Preceding Chapters.
- CHAPTER XI.: Of the Employment of Our Riches, or of Consumption.
- CHAPTER XII.: Of the Revenues and Expenses of a Government, and of Its Debts.
- CHAPTER XIII.: Conclusion.